As the world continues to shift towards digital, there has never been such an exciting time for web designers. Thousands of new websites emerge on a daily basis, allowing designers and developers to stretch their creative muscles to come up with engaging and inspiring designs.
Whether you’re a new designer or a seasoned pro, you’ve surely felt the pressure to come up with something new and exciting. But what do you do when the ideas simply stop flowing?
One of the best ways we’ve found to spark new ideas is to take inspiration from other talented designers. But where do you find these designers? We’re glad you asked.
We’ve put together a list of a few of our favorite places to check out some design inspiration and get your creative juices flowing again.
If you’ve been a designer for long, you’ve most definitely heard about Dribbble. In their own words, Dribbble is “a community of designers sharing screenshots of their work, process, and projects.”
Individuals and teams upload screenshots of their designs for viewers to see. With Dribbble, you have access to thousands of submissions by designers across the world.
While you’re likely to find inspiration simply by browsing the home page, Dribbble allows you to filter by category should you be looking for specific design elements.
Categories such as animation, branding, typography, and product design, among many others, each allow you to narrow your search to spark a revelation.
If you’re looking for something a bit more interactive, Dribbble hosts “Playoff” competitions in which users create and upload their unique designs based on a common prompt. This weeks prompt is “Redesign the box from your favorite board game”.
We think Dribbble is a must for any web designer, and we think you’ll agree.
Borrowing from and ‘competing’ against top designers from across the world is a surefire way to push yourself to come up with your own new and exciting ideas.
Surprised to see Pinterest on our list? Turns out there’s more to Pinterest than living room decor inspiration and delicious recipes.
Before sites like Dribbble came to be, Pinterest was the go-to image board for showcasing design work. Pinterest continues to serve as a massive collective of inspiring work, allowing creators to upload their work directly or crosspost from another website/community.
A simple search for “web-design” on Pinterest returns thousands of results from designers across the globe.
And much like Dribbble, you can zero in on specifics by navigating through the various “tags”.
With a constant stream of uploads and a ever expanding user base, Pinterest continues to be a must stop for designers looking to generate new ideas.
Awwwards has consistently been a leader in showcasing and awarding the webs top designs, making it a no-brainer for our list.
If you’re unfamiliar with what they do, Awwwards showcases and awards creative website design and development work. In their own words, they’re “the awards that recognize the talent and effort of the best web designers, developers and agencies in the world.”
As a designer, you can browse through the winners and interact with award winning designs.
For a more immersive experience, you can even offer your own in depth ratings, requiring you to thouroughly analyze design and UI in a way that most definitely will have a positive impact on your own design work.
A really great aspect of Awwwards is the fact that they celebrate not only websites as a whole, but specific website components such as: mobile features, menu design inspiration and loading animations to name a few.
As a fixture in the design community, our creative team frequently browses Awwwards to check out the latest winners. After all, what better way to spark inspiration than browsing and interacting with designs from the best of the best.
Known mostly by developers as a place to showcase front-end code, Codepen.io should also be a frequented spot for designers looking to discover new creative designs and animations.
While sites like Dribbble and Awwwards may be a designers paradise, Codepen offers tangible design inspiration for those designer/developers who are tasked with implementing the designs they create.
Not only that, they, like others on our list, allow you to search for specific design ideas that, potentially, can be duplicated to fit your needs or simply get the ball rolling (that said, please do not steal other designers’ work).
As a sidenote, Codepen also hosts it’s own IDE(Integrated Development Environment) allowing users to create and test code right from within the browser.
For all of the reasons mentioned above and many more, we can’t recommend Codepen.io enough to any code-savvy designers looking for a creative boost.
Perhaps the least known option on this list, Calltoidea is a platform showcasing creative designs for specific components.
What we like most about Calltoidea is their no-nonsense UI, allowing users to quickly search and view designs without unnecessary distractions(see guys, sometimes less IS more when it comes to design).
With a variety of available component designs to browse, Calltoidea is a perfect place to supplement your searches on a larger site such as Awwwards or Dribbble.
While the selection isn’t large for full-scale web projects, their catalog is perfect for last minute inspiration for some of the things often left ignored including 404 pages, empty pages, logins and more.
With the amount of resources available these days for designers, we could have tripled the length of this list with no issue. In the interest of eveyones time, we instead focused on our favorites, sites that we use on a daily basis to grow creatively.
Let us know what you think of our top picks, as well as any hidden gems you use when you’re hard-pressed for a new idea!