Has your website’s design hit a creative roadblock? Do you feel like the design gods are leaving you high and dry? Do not despair! Many talented and experienced designers are intimately familiar with the struggles of designer’s block, but that doesn’t stop them from moving forward in their careers. And it shouldn’t stop you, either.
One thing you want to ask yourself as you create a website: are you getting enough visual inspiration to guide you through the process? You won’t believe how helpful it is to learn from the success and, even more importantly, from the errors of other designers. Keeping your eye open to these sources of influence is like taking a course in web design, only without stressful tests and deadlines.
To point you in the right direction, we prepared a list of offline and online study objects that are particularly useful in training your designer’s eye and working through that block.
Package Design: Packaging is a key element in product branding. More than a simple matter of convenience, the package is often the first interaction of the client with the product. Try to notice how designers create a package layout. What do they find important to include on a package? How do they make sure to trigger the client’s curiosity and interest? And more practically, how do they work with logos, fonts, colors and all other design elements to strengthen the product’s branding through its packaging?
Shop Windows: With the emergence of online retail, shop windows are under increased pressure to appeal to potential customers. This pressure has generated tremendous amounts of creativity in the field of shop window design. Online store owners especially have a lot to gain from observing how successful stores arrange their window displays.
Architecture: The main thing that a website designer can benefit from observing architecture is how great architects maintain the balance between beauty and functionalism. This is a big question that web designers confront very often. Learn from the architects’ experience. They spend their entire careers thinking about it.
Book Covers: The only case in which judging a book by its cover is exactly what you should do. It is extremely challenging to design a cover to encapsulate the theme, the mood and the style of the book in one single visual. You’ll find many great examples that demonstrate how to create a design that says more with less.
Fashion Shows: The catwalk is where some of the world’s most innovative designers reveal their latest works. Even if fashion and websites are quite far distant in function and purpose, you can still learn plenty about foundational design issues, like how to maintain consistency, or how to convey a unique voice.
Wix Power Users: A neverending source of inspiration for the Wix team of designers are websites created by our very own users. We learn so much by watching Wix users explore the possibilities of our templates and our website editor. Their creativity is truly mesmerizing and we recommend you check out what these folks are up to.
Music Videos: Okay, technically this should be offline inspiration, but who here still watches music videos primarily not through the internet? In any case, music videos usually have artistic freedom that other media lack. This freedom sometimes results in incredibly beautiful videos that are breaking visual ground. Lady Gaga’s videos are a terrific example of how creative (and weird) music videos can get.
Pinterest: With Pinterest you might get more inspiration than you’ve bargained for. Some boards that are curated by Pinterest users are so darn good that it can get hard to stop browsing and start working. Pinterest is particularly useful because it allows you to view works related to your own field or industry, and additionally you can check out other website designs, web ad designs, logo designs and other useful comparison points for any web designer.
Photography Websites: All websites, no matter what their topic is, have potential to be a source of inspiration. The reason we mention photography specifically is because photography sites are a great example of combined content forms that many other websites replicate – photographs, animations, short texts, longer texts, contact tools and others. In that sense, they are the perfect example of content diversity in web design.
Mobile Apps: With more and more mobile users directing their surfing habits away from browsers and into app interfaces, the specific design trends that come out of the app industry are dynamic and fascinating to observe. Like your website, apps also need their design to facilitate long, frequent and enjoyable visits by the end user. Go check out how they achieve this goal (or how they fail at it).
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