Even the greatest artists need inspiration, so it is understandable if you feel that you are running out of ideas while designing your web page. This is the moment when you need to refresh your imagination and creativity by taking a step back and admiring other examples of great web design.
“But I am supposed to be original…and it is wrong to copy from others”, you may protest. Who said anything about copying? To be inspired means, first of all, to stop seeing everything from your perspective. What is everyone else doing? What do experts like? What attracts people to a certain website? These are questions you should ask yourself. And today we will help you find some of the answers by pointing you in the right direction.
We tried to be as little biased as possible in making our recommendations for sources of creative web design examples. We took all the relevant sources and we examined them with a critical eye, trying to leave aside our own personal preferences. This is what we have come up with.
- Web Design Awards Websites – Awwwards
Just like there are awards for great music and great films, there are also many online directories ranking websites. There are many such awards websites around, but our chosen example is awwwards.com.
This website has been maintained and curated for years and it keeps high and transparent standards for ranking websites according to their design, creativity, usability and content. Whenever you feel that your muse has left you, take a look at the highest ranked websites by Awwwards and you will certainly feel inspired to become creative once again in developing your own website. Who knows, one day it may rank on Awwwards too!
- Agency/Designer Portfolios
We are not going to give any suggestions in this category, because you will certainly find your favourite web design agencies and freelance designers (if you do not have them already). However, we will mention Behance – the social media for graphic designers where you can discover many young and talented people, as well as established designers with lots of experience.
From this starting point, you may go on to explore individual websites and find more inspirational designs to refresh your own views on how your website should look.
- Social Media Platforms – Pinterest and Instagram
Agencies and designers are just as eager to get their work out in the open and visible to potential customers as you are. Pinterest and Instagram are the two favourite social media platforms for graphic and web designers. Not only do they feature their best works, but they also frequently post time-lapse videos and work in progress photos showing how they create their designs from the beginning to the end.
- Curated Lists – siteInspire
Curated website lists do not rank websites or give them awards. They simply showcase various examples of great design and usability from various domains of interest: business, arts, entertainment, media, etc.
Our selection for you is siteInspire, which stands out, in our opinion, by the large number of featured websites and the large number of search filters you can apply to find the exact type of websites you are interested in.
Flickr is a category of its own. It is not exactly a social media platform, nor a portfolio website. You will find lots of visuals, some relevant to your search, other less than relevant. In general, you get the best results if you know exactly whose designer’s work you want to browse.
As a side note, Flickr also features a gallery of public domain images – you can use them to incorporate in your web design and transform as you wish, 100% legally and free of any costs.
As a final piece of advice, search for and understand the meaning and limits of fair use when it comes to inspiration from other designers’ work. Your honest belief that you are not copying someone else’s work will not be good enough should you be sued for intellectual property infringement.