5 Sites for Web Designers in Need of Inspiration
As designers, we build off the shoulders of others. Speaking as a UI/UX designer, I typically do a ton of research when working on a web or mobile design. I’ll interview prospective users. I’ll chat with BAs and Product Owners. I’ll create some rough wireframes and show them to my fellow designers. But sometimes, all that research isn’t enough to help me solve a problem. Even worse, sometimes there is too much research and I get flustered by the endless possibilities and ways of fulfilling a requirement! I’ll get in a design rut where that light at the end of the tunnel seems too far to reach. When I get into ruts like this, I hit up my web design hot spots that inspire me to design better and even push boundaries of what’s being done today.
This is my number one go-to when I’m curious to know how other designers solve problems. It’s not specifically geared towards UI/UX, but the amount of talent and ideas are endless. Dribbble is a social network for designers all over the world. It’s a place where creatives can play show and tell and where I love to get my inspiration when trying to figure out which direction to go for an icon design or how to handle a particular search design that happens to have a dropdown.
If you’re ever in need of that spark of inspiration, I highly recommend this site. They call themselves “the mother of all design resources” and I lean towards agreeing with that statement. In addition to their fantastic repository for all things mobile, they have a design hub of resources that are quite useful in a pinch.
This particular site’s goal is to maintain a high level of great design inspiration; a goal which I say they achieved quite nicely. Like dribbble, this site has a multitude of designs; covering everything from photography, illustration, architecture, print, logo designs, and UI/UX. Even cooler, it works a lot like Pinterest (another general inspirational site I love), giving the user the ability to save favorite designs and follow other designers.
Site Inspire is just freaking cool! They have filters at the top that allow you to specify what you’re looking for. Whether it's a particular style you want to be inspired by or for a particular platform, they’ve got you covered! Another unique aspect about this site is that the editors only choose the best of the best to inspire you. You also have the ability to go and click around on the sites featured if you’re interested in focusing more on the UX.
This site is all about their modules and is super mobile heavy. Maybe you’re struggling to figure out a particular way to handle your map design or maybe you need ideas about how other people use fly-out animations. NEVER fear! Littlebigdetails has got you covered.
Honorable Mention: http://mediaqueri.es/
While this website isn’t one of my top 5, it’s most definitely noteworthy. This site has great examples of how designers have handled responsive designs in the past. Granted, there's no search functionality or filters to help you find that RIGHT design inspiration you’re craving, but it’s a great reference point when designing for responsive and totally worth checking out!
Not only do these design hubs have great inspirational content for all things UI/UX, they are also great websites themselves. This is something I appreciate above all else. These websites are simple, sleek, and easy to use. They are also unique, which makes the browsing and searching experience enjoyable as well as educational. Don’t take my word for it though. Check them out and let me know what you think! Better yet, if you know of any other great design repositories, specific to UI/UX, share the love by sharing the site below. Hope you enjoy these resources as much as I do!