When it comes to technical stuff I try to surround myself with smart people who know more about the subject than I do. Designing your website has technical aspects that pros can help with, but it’s also personal in nature.
What about your website design do you want to influence? What part of you, if any, will your website reflect? How do you want it to look and feel? What kind of emotion/feeling are you trying to invoke? And of course, what action are you trying to prompt website visitors to take?
Finding answers to all these questions doesn't need to feel like an impossible task just because you're not a website developer. So where can you find inspiration for designing your website? I'm sharing my favorite place, exploring online and off for that ah-ha website design moment!
Finding Website Inspiration In Your Every Day
The natural world has a lot to offer when it comes to design inspiration. You can observe beautiful geometric shapes and symmetry, for example the shapes of flowers and the patterns of leaves. You can find cohesive color palettes (colors that work together naturally) that may look great on a monitor. Nature can evoke emotions as well. Does a sunset over a lake make you feel calm and relaxed? That can be a perfect image if you have website that centers around yoga or Tai Chi. See how inspired you can become by finding the connections between the your website and nature.
Scenes and images are all around us, a photograph has the ability to capture and focus on an exact moment. A good picture can zoom in on the details, pinpoint a perspective, and freeze emotions in time. Test out multiple different images to see how they change the feel of your website. Try taking your own pictures and playing around with them with an editor or different filters. Can a picture state what you are trying to say without using words? I hear they can be worth a thousand.
There are lots of great things for inspiration to be found in brick and mortar stores, for instance, the organization and layout you might observe. You can learn a lot from the product placement (What they want to sell you is easy to reach), the signage (Attention grabbing headlines), and the flow of the traffic (how does it make you travel through the store?). Think about your grocery store, ever wonder why the milk is always in the back of the store? They purposely put the necessities in the back because it forces you to walk past things you don’t need. But wait, there’s also the logistics. Plumbing and electric are grouped, high turnover items are closer to the receiving dock, etc. Can you translate this type of organization into website flow?
Cute puppies, kittens, and everything else
Sometimes, inspiration comes from unexpected, even unintentional situations. Everyday interactions at the gas station to power lunches with the C-suite can spark a thought that leads to an idea that turns into a brilliant action.
Don’t want to leave the couch? Neither do I.
Inspirational Online Resources
This website has loads of content you can get ideas from: contemporary, classic, cartoon, simple, and extravagant. You’ll need to sign up to view all the material but it’s free to browse for inspiration. A benefit of Dribble is that you get access to thousands of designers and can contact them directly. They call themselves“...the go-to resource for discovering and connecting with designers and creative talent around the globe.”
Mainly a market intelligence platform based on analytics, Crayon also features a “Get Inspired” section that has over 46 million web pages to check out. Fortunately, there’s a search option to narrow the field as well as qualifiers like page type, industry, color, and even expected traffic level. A great perk is that you can see (and track) exactly what your competitors are doing.
In two words - Very Cool. Behance is part of the Adobe family and this site provides a plethora of inspiration. You can view photography, animation, short films, graphic design, illustration, and much much more. You can also hire an expert if you love their work.
This site promotes the awards for design, creativity and innovation given to websites found throughout the world. There’s plenty of categories to select from, even “Creative and Unusual E-Commerce Experiences”.
Inspiration knows no boundaries, it’s everywhere, waiting to surprise and engage you. Go! Be Inspired! Find the support you need as you build your website by joining our free Facebook Group, Online Entrepreneur