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How To Gather Web Design Inspiration & Ideas

As a web designer and developer I find myself constantly needing some kind of inspiration, whether it’s for a new web page design or a new image slider that needs to be built. There is a fine line between using a website as inspiration and ‘stealing’ the ideas.  When I first started in the enormous industry of web design and development I purchased the book “The Web Designer’s Idea Book”. This put forward the idea that a good designer would take elements from existing work merge them together to create an entirely new design. Now sometimes, as I’m sure most designer have, I have a moment where I can just see everything in my mind of how it should work and look and that’s great, but sometimes I get a bit of a mental block and need some help. The following article lists some great websites and books that I have used and recommend to gain inspiration, and remember don’t steal!

Inspiration Websites

I could list hundreds of websites that I have used to gather inspiration; my bookmarks tab is full in chrome!

My favorite place to look for inspiration is on awards websites. This is because it lists a huge amount of websites that people have voted for and that have won awards. The general standard of design and usability of the websites listed is very high which provides a high standard to work too.

http://www.cssdesignawards.com/

I use this website when I need some fast inspiration, its great to browse hundreds of web designs in a few minuets.

http://www.thebestdesigns.com/

The Best Designs provides a well-categorized list of websites. For example if you the look and feel you are going for is “dark” you can filter the results they have by that category, which stops you from sifting through hundreds of irrelevant entries.

http://www.awwwards.com/

Awwwards is my favorite chosen website to work with when it comes to inspiration. There filter system for looking through entries works perfectly allowing a user to find relevant designs with ease. You can sort the entries by, Keywords, Tags, Colour etc… This website is a must for your web inspiration bookmarks tab!

A few others worth checking out:

http://www.designlicks.com/

http://americandesignawards.com/

http://www.webbyawards.com/

ThemeForest

As I’m sure you are aware ThemeForest is a website that designer can sell templates and themes for websites. Some of the designers on this website really are top class showing some great designs especially responsive web ones, which have really helped me in the past to get a feel off where elements will go when a page is responding.

Inspiration Books

I know that everything is available on the web for no cost, however I am still a fan of being able to pick up a book and look at print material to gain inspiration. I use 2 books regularly: The Web Designers idea book Vol 1 and 2. These are available from amazon and are cheap for what you get! I believe Vol 3 is coming out this year too.

Round Up

There are thousands of beautifully designed websites out there these days. Research into existing websites and gathering inspiration is key to the development of a website. However always keep in the back of your mind of how the website will work. Its all well and good to have an amazing web design but if the website doesn’t work and let a user achieve there goal it is pointless. Try to cross the design and usability.

Thanks for reading and any comment would be appreciated!

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