Where to get Inspiration for your website
When you’re designing a new website there are several sources available with ideas, tips and inspiration. These sources will help you when you are considering how you’re going to display the information to your users. They’ll also help you make decisions on color schemes, logos, layouts, menu structures, fonts, and much more. Here are some places to get inspiration for your website.
Getting inspiration like this is not a new concept. It has happened in music, art and literature for centuries. The great American war novel The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer was inspired by Herman Melville's classic book Moby Dick. It in turn was inspired by the works of one of the greatest writers of all time - Shakespeare. But even Shakespeare wasn't original as he took ideas and inspiration from other literary greats like the English poet Geoffrey Chaucer. So if seeking inspiration from others is good enough for Melville, Mailer and Shakespeare, it’s good enough for most websites.
The starting point for getting design, layout and content ideas is other websites on the internet. Start with websites in your industry, including your competitors and websites from companies similar to yours located in other countries or States. Also look at general websites that you like visiting and ask yourself why you like them. Finally look at the big and successful websites on the net and ask yourself what makes them so good.
Remember that nothing is left to chance with big websites like the simplicity of Google or the minimalistic design of Apple. Every item on the page, button, link strategy, image, video, menu, font, and color scheme is carefully tested to achieve maximum results. Therefore you cannot go far wrong by mimicking some of these designs.
Look out for:
- Menu layouts and specifically how easy or hard it is to find information
- Page titles
- Color schemes
- Button positions, sizes, colors and text
- Fonts including paragraph fonts and <h> tags
- The position of calls to action
- Responsive layout
- How the site uses multi-media content including images and video
- Catalogue and individual product displays, including the position of the Buy Now buttons
- Features that give the site a lift or make it stand out like sliders, full-screen images or videos
- Anything else that makes the website work or not
The Web Design Industry
Aside from other websites you can look to the web design industry for inspiration when designing your website. You will find some of the best designs by looking at examples from the professionals but a word of caution: you’ll also find some terrible designs. So look to the professional industry but don’t assume that a website is good just because it was developed by a large agency. The list of factors above applies to whatever website you’re looking at.
Here are some good places to find good quality websites:
- Website design companies that you are familiar with – look at their portfolio pages
- Website design awards – there are several respected website design awards that take place annually as well as many local variations. Some of the more popular include Awwwards, CSSDA and Webby Awards.
- Template marketplaces – this includes premium templates for platforms like Wordpress or Joomla. Even if you are not building your website using one of these tools you can get inspiration from the design of the templates. A good place to start is Mojo Marketplace.
- Blogs and galleries – there are several good blogs and gallery websites that showcase the best designs the internet has to offer. These include Crafted by Love, Admire the Web and Design Shack.
Finally you can get inspiration for your website design from locations not on the internet. This includes everything from television, photography, and the world around you, particularly architecture and nature. And once you have your inspiration take one more tip from Shakespeare – create something that your audience will love rather than something for yourself or the critics.