A great website will have a variety of facets. It’s new, yet feels familiar. It’s easy to navigate and easy on the eye. It’s innovative, but stays within the status quo of design.
Creating a website that’s not a copy isn’t easy, but if you go to the right sources for inspiration, you’ll be surprised at what you can come up with. Here are some sources you might not have mined.
Subscribe to a few different magazines: the print editions, not digital. Get a range of publications, from home design to fashion and legal publications. This will give you a variety of design styles to study and prepare you for any design job you might encounter.
As you flip through the pages, look at details like color schemes, geometric patterns, photography, typography, spacing, and other elements that make for good design.
2. Product Pages for Home Décor Sites
If you’re looking for inspiration for a retail site, product pages on home décor pages are an excellent place to go. They’ll show you successful color schemes, imagery, placement, typography, and scrolling.
Consider this product page for a site that sells window treatments. Not only does it show a variety of color schemes and complementary combinations with the firm’s products, but you can also view great examples of 3D imagery, effective scrolling, text and images that work together, and a simple header and footer.
This can help any good designer create a stronger scheme for his or her website.
3. Nature Hikes
When you’re all out of ideas at your computer, get up and take a walk. Go on a hike somewhere and surround yourself with trees and greenery, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Observe the way colors work together in nature.
If you’re somewhere like Central Park, recognize the complementary nature of the city skyline against the green trees. Use the elements that work together well to design a beautiful website for any industry.
4. Landscaped Gardens
A well-landscaped garden can provide excellent natural inspiration. Check out a botanical garden near you or observe the landscaping of well-to-do properties.
Successful landscape design is beautiful and works symbiotically. You’ll observe geometric shapes, color schemes, layering, and more by observing such greenery.
5. Social Media
YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, and other social media can serve as inspiration for web design. Not only do these sites expose you to other well-designed sites, but they also give you glimpses into people’s lives.
Websites are made for your users, so any social media site can potentially give you insight into their needs, wants, and design preferences. Observe the interactions of the target audience. Look at the pictures they post, the comments they make, and their micro-interactions with the site.
Social media is currently the number-one online activity, so if you want to discover what your target audience wants, that’s an essential place to look.
There’s no better place to observe creativity in modern web design than modern art. Paintings, sculptures, photography, sketches, and pottery can act as inspiration. Physical and digital art aren’t much different.
Find artwork that speak to you. Use elements from them to make up your original website design.
Books are composed of text and images, and the basic principles of web design are roughly similar. Check out some design books from the library.
Textbooks, children’s books, and other tomes that have pictures can be excellent fodder for design. While flipping through the pages, study the spacing between images and text, captions, color schemes, themes that run throughout the book, and other conventions of good design that can translate to the digital arena.
8. Fashion Shows
Drop in on a local fashion show to check on the latest trends. Design basics tend to cross lines, and there’s a lot to learn from cuts of clothing, color combinations, and user demographics.
There are also hundreds of fashion blogs and websites you can observe to see how fashion and digital design can be combined seamlessly.
Great website design demands creativity, which isn’t always easy to conjure. Great designers constantly seek new sources of creativity and come up with ideas that follow modern design conventions and display something beautifully original.