As an interactive designer it is important for me to regularly check out what other great designers and developers are creating. Besides basic creative inspiration, looking around gives me a sense of what the latest design trends are. Like everything on the Internet – design styles change and evolve rapidly. Developing your own style is good, but you don’t want your designs to look like a style that was common even 3 years ago. Checking out other sites is also a great way to get new ideas for user interface design. I’m a firm believer in following best practices and common standards when it comes to site navigation and interface design. You don’t want to confuse people or make it difficult for users to figure out how to find stuff. But new and creative interfaces can really take a website to the next level – if done well.
Here are my top 5 design inspiration sites:
1. The FWA
FWA stands for Favourite Website Awards, an industry recognised internet award program and inspirational portal, established in May 2000. FWA is the most visited website award program in the history of the internet, with over 170 million site visits as of November 2012 (and multiple billion hits to our servers). FWA award winners are chosen by well known, recognized leaders in the industry.
2. Communication Arts
Founded in 1959, Communication Arts is the premier source of inspiration for graphic designers, art directors, design firms, advertising agencies, interactive designers, illustrators and photographers. Now in its 53rd year, CA continues to showcase the current best—from industry veterans to tomorrow’s innovators—in design, advertising, illustration, photography, interactive media and typography.
The awards that recognize the talent and effort of the best web designers, developers and agencies in the world. An expert panel formed by some of the most important designers, bloggers, and agencies in the world takes on the difficult task of assessing the talent, effort, and dedication that goes into the web projects submitted to Awwwards.
4. Site Inspire
SiteInspire is a showcase of the finest web and interactive design. I really like how you can sort by Style, Type, Subject or Platform.
5. CSS Reel
CSS Reel is a popular place for designers and developers to showcase their work. Visitors vote for their favorites and winners are showcased. You can sort through winning sites by category.