As a designer, I sometimes find myself in a creative rut. I can get fixated on one specific type of design and look back on my last few projects to find that they all look very similar. Below I have assembled 7 of my favorite resources that help me get out of the occasional design rut.
Pinterest is no longer the home of crock-pot recipes and workout inspiration. As the social media site has exploded, so have a variety of interests and subject matter. When I want to expand my design horizons, I will often look up “website design” and pages of designers I admire and see how they are putting new twists on mundane design features such as dropdowns and contact forms.
Dribble markets themselves as “show and tell for designers.” It’s a community of designers that post their work and offer feedback. Dribble is a great place to check out upcoming trends in web design.
This is a great site for keeping an eye on the highest level of competition. You can browse through winners and nominees as well as sort through their directory if you are seeking a specific industry. Awwwards generally features the best designs from some of the largest international design houses, so they can be a great source of inspiration if you want to really break outside the mold.
Even though print and web design are extremely different, there are certain universal design elements that remain the same throughout both. I find that I get a lot of typography inspiration from print designs.
Behance is another website where designers can freely post their work to share or receive feedback. Unlike Dribbble, they offer some pretty interesting filtering options such as color and tools used.
6. Stock Photo Websites
Sometimes when I’m feeling uninspired I stop thinking about the structure of the site and start to think about the feeling of it. I browse through imagery that I think may fit the project and that imagery can lead to a spark of inspiration. Try Shutterstock, iStock, or Fotolia.
7. Outdated Websites
Sometimes the sight of an awful website can instantly get the wheels turning. When something is so awful, it helps you think about a fresh way to make it better. It helps me focus on specific aspects of a site and not the entire thing all at once.