Getting started on a new website build or redesign can be the most challenging part of a project. While you might have a multitude of concepts in mind, nailing down an ideal one can be daunting. It’s hard to develop concepts in a vacuum. One solution: drawing inspiration from already-existing projects. It’s a great way to break through creative blocks and get your ideas flowing. Here are several types of resources that can help unlock your creative potential.
1. Awards Websites
Wanting to find a successful, unique web design? Look no further than one of the many award sites, where high-quality entries are already selected for you. There’s no need to search through lesser-quality designs. Most of the sites have high-level search functionality. Start with the Webby Awards, Awwwards, and CSS Design Awards. You’ll find some of the most forward-thinking, premium designs on the web.
2. Web Designer Galleries
Are there specific designers you admire? Go to their portfolios and dig in! While they may not be completely comprehensive, online portfolios usually display a designer’s best sites. Along with screenshots and (usually) an outbound link, you’ll often find fascinating descriptions of the design process. Also, take a look at sites like Dribbble and Behance for inspiring examples of top designers’ work.
3. General Galleries
Looking for some of the highest-quality examples of web design for specific industries, filtered to your heart’s content? Look no further than Site Inspire, a stunningly designed site in itself. If you’re focused on inbound marketing, try Crayon.co — it has a powerful search engine. For leading-edge submissions and unique startups, BetaList leans toward trendier styles that stand out from the pack.
4. Design Details
If you’d like to narrow down ideas for site elements, there are sites that can help you. Little Big Details includes ideas for small touches that make a big difference in user experience. UI Parade is more of a catalog of UI (user interface) design concepts.
5. Pinterest Boards
Pinterest is much more than recipes and DIY projects — it’s also a prime destination for designers. Utilize it. It’s an easy tool with a refreshingly different interface from most websites (not to mention the app). In fact, using the app provides a welcome break from browsers and can jumpstart ideation for web design that will take you into uncharted territory.
When designing a website, it’s helpful to seek outside sources for inspiration. Try these ideas to stretch your imagination.