Web designers are often forced to make something out of nothing. Stuck between the constraints of your client and your desire to create something well-designed, functional, and interesting for your portfolio, it can sometimes be hard to hit the sweet spot. You’ve obviously got the skills and imagination to produce something that makes you proud and that people will like, but you just need that one little nudge of inspiration to set you on the right course.
Looking to others to give you that creative spur is often the perfect solution, so we wanted to provide a few resources to provide some stimulation. We’ve already mentioned the use of clean website designs for inspiration, but there are a wealth of online communities and guides to help web designers out there. Here are some of our favorites.
CSS Design Awards
Anyone in web design has most likely heard of the Awwwards, but another similar site you may not know is CSS Design Awards. The main feature is the ‘Website of the Day,’ where each site is given a score out of 10 based on creative design, code and function, as well as UX and content. In addition to ‘Website of the Year’ and ‘Designer of the Year,’ there are regular articles on web design, interviews with leading industry designers, and job postings. A great place to surf around and find the vision you’re seeking, as well as a site to hopefully see your own work featured on one day.
1&1 Digital Guide
This web hosting company has put together an online guide containing essentially everything regarding the internet, but their web design section is particularly useful for designers. The digital guide features regular in-depth articles on everything from image compression, icon fonts, responsive typography, and web design fundamentals. The ‘Web App of the Week’ section is neat, and their recent blog post on eight web design trends for 2017 is especially enlightening.
The web designs featured on FlatDSGN embrace the idea of minimalism, as it’s often said that simple but beautiful designs are preferred by web users, FlatDSGN makes it possible to become emboldened by others’ work and to create your own impressive designs. As well as a section covering the latest deals and bundles on things to assist designers, you can also submit your own designs to be featured on FlatDSGN.
The unusual name aside, there is a lot going on with Dribbble. This community for designers is jam-packed with glimpses of portfolios, and is a veritable refuge for anyone unable to conjure up any motivation for their own designs. Web designers, graphic designers, illustrators, and font artists all come together to show off their work and get some feedback from like-minded people in the industry.