The question is “where to get inspiration for a great website design?”.
The short answer is “Look Outside”.
And for the long answer, keep reading.
Professional web designers who have been in the trade for years will often find themselves hitting walls. And just like in most other jobs, hitting a creative wall can lead often lead to project delays, or worse, cancellations.
It’s important to keep your options open when you are unable to draw inspiration from the usual web resources. Explore beyond the standard choices and adapt from external sources of inspiration.
Today, we’ll be highlighting the importance of inspired website design and talk about a couple of external sources you might want to draw inspiration from for a great website design.
If you are working on improving existing website design, using website heatmaps will help you pin point areas of improvement.
To help understand the importance of a good web design, How Efficient Web Design Impacts Your Business.
1. Find external inspiration
Finding external inspiration is important – Here’s Why!
Often, you will be working on a web design project alone, with limited interactions with other folks. This greatly limits your ability to discuss certain choices and formulate new ideas. Moreover, in most cases, you will find that, apart from your client and a couple of other people, external input is quite rare in most projects, thereby leaving you with very few sources of inspiration or external constructive criticism which will help you make better choices and look at things from a fresh perspective.
On a side note check out our article Minimalistic Design vs Content Heavy Design to decide which one is right for you or your client.
2. Find and keep good sources of feedback
It’s important to remember that external criticism can be a double-edged sword.
Poor sources of constructive criticism will affect your deadlines!
It’s easy to get drowned in noise and find yourself getting demotivated based on the opinions of others. Take everything with a grain of salt and make the best decisions to satisfy your client.
Taking special note of this can help you ensure that you do not get drowned with new suggestions or ideas. Focus on realizing your client’s needs and expectations.
Therefore, constructive criticism can help inspire new ideas within you, but too early on, and you will not be able to reflect a true representation of your client’s expectations onto the site.
3. Go through other excellently designed websites
The most common mean of inspirations for many web designers is to go through other excellently designed websites.
In this method, web designers get inspiration for a great website design by going through other excellently designed websites. From there, adopting some designs, and picking up things that you like, should set you up for a very good start.
There are several websites out there as well, built to highlight the best-curated websites in terms of design and user interactivity. From these sites, you should be able to learn from well-designed sites and try and replicate some of their works in your project. Through this, you will not only enable a faster design and development process but empower yourself to draw inspiration from the success of other great web designers.
Additionally, with an archive of searchable web projects presented in these sites, your sources of drawing inspiration are quite unlimited. Therefore, keep these sites well within your reach when you find yourself stuck while working on your next big project.
4. Look outside of web design for inspiration
While working on a particular web design project, your source of inspiration does not necessarily have to come from other websites or designs.
It is often the case that inspirations drawn from unlikely sources can help drive a creative choice. This can lead to a successfully designed and implemented project which satisfies the needs of your clients and offers a great user experience for their users.
Rather than looking at external sources of inspiration as a last-ditch effort to get inspired, it’s better to think of it as the best source of inspiration. It allows more room for creativity as you adapt an abstract concept into a realistic website design.
The parallels between photography and web design are pretty easy to draw.
When you reach a creative block and cannot figure out the right way to start on replicating your client’s vision on a web page, head out and click some pictures.
The subject of your choice doesn’t have to relate with your project in any way. A completely unrelated image can start your engines again and get the creative juices flowing.
If clicking pictures aren’t your forte, look around online photography resources, something will click.
At the end of it all, at worst you will end up with either a new batch of photos to add to your photography collection. At best build an excellent new website drawing from new-found inspiration.
6. Explore Nature – Adapt real-life designs to your site
There are two ways to go about exploring nature.
In the first case, if you’ve been at your desk, working on your site and have made no clear progress, take an extended break. Usually, a walk in the park or around your city should allow you to come back with a fresh mindset. You might also find some inspiring architecture along the way, interesting color pallets in nature or just simplistic design choices from nature.
In the second case, taking a break and freshening your mind is a great way to make room for new ideas, get rid of the knots in your thoughts, and make decisions to set a crystal-clear picture regarding the design.
By drawing inspiration from sources other than your typical web designing sites and templates, you allow yourself to grow in terms of creative diversity and give yourself room for more experimentation.
Learning from other sources allows you to work faster, and spend less time rethinking and redesigning while testing out your concepts. Once you’ve seen something that you feel is the perfect way to approach your project, you will not only be able to work faster, you will be motivated to realize your idea and bring it to fruition. With this approach, drawing inspiration from different sources, both related and unrelated directly to web design, you will boost your creativity by a significant amount.
With these in mind, find inspiration for your next web project from sources other than what you are comfortable with, more often than not, moving away from your comfort zone allows you to stay motivated and maintain freedom.