Pablo Picasso said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” Works of art, music and movies are frequently inspired by other artists, singers and filmmakers. So it comes as no surprise that many professional web designers and content developers also take inspiration from other sources, tweaking them to work for a client's brand or business. After all, if you see something that works, why not make it work for you?
The old saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" doesn't quite apply to web design. Instead, modern web designers adopt the mantra "Even if it ain’t broke, make it better.”
Being able to recognize smart web design choices and implement them in ways that enhance your designs is just good strategy. To get started, here are seven websites that web designers can check out for inspiration.
Our first site, Behance is a social media site owned by the king of creative software, Adobe. The inspiration is not the website itself, but its focus: carefully curating and showcasing the most outstanding creative projects from around the web. Think of Behance as a buffet of the best of the best—artists, designers, photographers, retouchers—all on display for you to pick through and peruse. It’s an online gallery of exceptional web design and artistic expression.
What makes Behance worth mentioning here stems from the financial backing and authority of Adobe. Its a tightly-run site that is also instantly connected to a significant creative community that submits, reviews and favorites the most impressive work.
The search filters on the site include categories well-known to designers and artists. For example, Behance’s “galleries by top creative fields” includes categories like “graphic design, photography, architecture, advertising” and more. “Galleries by top creative tools” breaks down categories by tools like “Photoshop, After Effects, Illustrator” and so on. Web designers would be wise to check out the dedicated search field for web design inspiration.
2. One Page Love
Like Behance, One Page Love is a hub where you can browse inspirational web designs and template layouts. The difference is that One Page Love is dedicated solely to one-page websites.
Not every website you design is going to be a single page. Most websites you design will have more than one page. That said, One Page Love is a great resource for landing page design inspiration.
One Page Love even offers learning resources and articles covering topics like landing page tutorials and landing page trends.
Awwwards is more than just a website dedicated to the curation of award-winning web design. It’s also an organization that’s highly respected for giving out those kinds of awards.
Awwwards is an outlet and podium for top talent around the world, and their annual award winners represent the global crème of the crop of web designers, web developers, and design agencies.
This means you’ll find inspirational design elements and completely conceptualized web design functionality on full display. Recent winners feature bold design choices, expressive color palettes and attractive UI/UX design from agencies and designers in countries all around the world.
Awwwards even gathers together industry-specific websites to showcase inspirational examples of what certain industries are doing with their web design. The page offers a look at almost 100 different inspiring websites for web design agencies.
4. David Hellman and Best Website Gallery
David calls the website his “visual bookmark collection,” but Best Website Gallery has become an inspirational epicenter for countless designers and developers. The site’s simple-but-effective tagging feature lets visitors quickly whittle down and browse through thousands of different websites. Search for specific industries, industry trends, agency examples and even color choices. Want to see what’s big in the world of green, blue, or orange web design? Best Website Gallery has you covered.
Additionally, David’s own website is an excellent example of web design aesthetics and UI/UX functionality done well.
ABDZ (also called Abduzeedo) has followed and shared design trends from around the world for over a decade. It started as a blog and branched out into design curation and tutorial territory.
ABDZ focuses on visual design elements more than anything, which means it's a helpful resource for creative web designers looking for inspiration. The website pulls inspirational material from a wide variety of mediums. As a result, designers can find visual and typographic trends and topics from digital design, print design, and even art installation design.
6. Brutalist Websites
In the modern web design world, UI and UX expectations shape how designers create and curate web content. Brutalist Websites chooses to showcase sites from around the web that take traditional UI/UX design trends and turn them on their head.
Bold, often counterintuitive design choices are front and center in most of the featured sites on Brutalist Websites.
Click-and-drag website builders have made it easier than ever to create your own website. The result is web design that looks and feels the same as everyone else’s. Check out the websites featured on Brutalist Design for inspiration if you’re looking to design something different and a little strange.
Pinterest is essentially the internet’s dream board. If you can dream it, you can find it on Pinterest. Fortunately, this is true for more than just wedding planning and interior decorating. Pinterest provides an easy way to find inspirational web design.
You’ll need to sign up to get past the Pinterest castle wall, but once inside, you'll be able to search and scour the web for just about anything your web designer mind can imagine. Need specific design element inspiration? How about good examples of UI/UX features? You can probably find what you're looking for on Pinterest.
Web Design Professionals Still Do It Best
Click-and-drag isn’t always the best option for web designers and business managers. In fact, trusting your web design and website development to experienced professionals is often the best way to get what you want. Chances are, professionals have dealt with challenges similar to yours in the past, and seasoned web designers keep their finger on the pulse as far as industry trends are concerned. They'll probably have a few web design tips and tricks for you as well!