Sources of Inspiration for Web Designers
by Bradley Nice, Content Manager at ClickHelp — all-in-one help authoring tool
In this post, I`d like to talk to you about inspiration and where to get it. All creative professions require a lot of it. Web designers are not an exception. Have you ever noticed that there are periods when you are sparkling with ideas? And there are periods when you are empty and dull? But your work cannot wait till you find a source of inspiration once again and start generating ideas. You need to know what can help you right away. Of course, one of the sources of inspiration is the digital world itself. There are a lot of websites, materials, social network profiles that can give you a clue in what direction to move. But sources of inspiration may be found somewhere else outside of the digital sphere, which is even more surprising.
The greatest source of inspiration is nature. On the one hand, it gives us the brilliant color combinations that some designers may use. On the other hand, it gives us a lot of other things that do not seem to have an obvious connection with nature. For example, a lot of engineering solutions were inspired by nature. The world-famous Japanese high-speed trains. Their form was inspired by a little bird — kingfisher. It has a long nib that allows it to dive while hunting fish without losing its speed. So, with this elongated form, Japanese trains have become noiseless and more speedy. Another good example is the whale fins. Their form inspired engineers to create serrated-edge wind turbines that are most efficient. Who knows what inspiration you may get from nature =)
You may invent an immense number of web designs and UI`s. But….Are you sure that your users will like them? Are you sure that they need them? Practice shows that users like what is convenient for them. Design and UI should be intuitive and time-saving. If you want to know what people need, just watch what and how they use. This information will give you a lot of ideas about what and how you can change. Listen to what people say. Sometimes, just a simple user`s sentence: ‘I wish I could…..’ — may give you a fresh idea of what to create next. A case like this is the famous Skyscanner. It was created by Gareth Williams, Barry Smith, and Bonamy Grimes when Gareth was frustrated looking for suitable flights to ski resorts. A huge success, I would say =)
Books are an endless source of inspiration. You can find there old and forgotten fonts and illustrations, ideas for logos, etc. This source is really immense. You can get back to it as often as you want, and every time you will discover something new for yourself. Moreover, you can use magazines and journals. They may have inspiring graphic elements and color combinations.
It may seem odd, but architecture may be inspiring for web designers as well. First of all, architecture has a great influence on fashion. It is all about proportions. They create an impression. Many designers admit that they get inspired by skyscrapers, pieces of architecture of the last centuries, or by something ancient. If it works like that, why not use this trend in web design? Shapes and colors of buildings may give you a totally new idea of what your website or app should look like.
In conclusion, I would like to say that when you have no ideas at all, look around yourself. You may notice something that will inspire you. Perhaps, this will be something different from what was mentioned above. But this inspiration will be only yours!
Have a nice day!
Bradley Nice, Content Manager at ClickHelp.com — best online documentation tool for SaaS vendors