Everything to love about Designspiration.com

There’s a website I visit almost daily, and it’s not Facebook or the New York Times. It‘s designspiration— a perfectly named, totally engaging place to find visual inspiration for practically everything.

The site is the brainchild of Shelby White, a visual designer and entrepreneur. Launched in 2010 as a collaborative community space to share great design ideas from around the world, there are few rules for posting — no nudity, no selfies, credit your source, nothing not design related. So the site stays fresh, dynamic and always interesting.

The interface borrows a lot from Pinterest, with a similar grid pattern for the feed, user profile pages and save functionality. Which is a good thing. Designers were some of the first users of Pinterest, and the pattern is elegant, intuitive and encourages exploration, discovery and sharing.

The left image displays the number of people who have saved the image and gives the user the option to save. The right image shows the save overlay. Users can save to one of their existing collections or they can create a new one.

Unlike Pinterest each image has it’s own page. You can see who is created the image, who saved it to the feed and a bottom grid of similar images on the site for further discovery. There’s also a selection of colors that accompanies each image if you want to make a color palette. It’s a really thoughtful and useful addition for anyone who practices a design discipline. Because Designspiration isn’t about stealing ideas. It’s about inspiring them.

The site delivers inspiration by giving you many ways to search and discover. They have a simple, vertical navigation system that travels with you wherever you go on the site. You can view everything, see what’s popular or make it random. Simple but very cool when you start digging in. There’s two ways you can search:

Search By Color

At the top of the site is a paintbrush. Click on it and a color grid fills your screen. You can choose up to 5 colors. They can be distinct or shades of the same color. It’s all up to you. How cool is that?

Search by Term

There’s a standard search pattern in use here. Click the magnifying glass, type in your search term, see your results displayed in the feed. Ghosting back the feed and making the type big while you type makes it fun. And they use predictive functionality as well, so you get new ideas. At the top of your results display is your search term in a prominent blue box. Below it are alternate terms you can use to keep discovering.

What I really love about this site is it’s specificity. I come here to find visual inspiration. That’s it. And that’s what makes it so wonderful. I hope more people discover the site, join in and contribute.

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