When you’ve lost your creative drive and can’t think of any new design ideas, learning the skills to become a great web designer seems like the easy part. At least when you were in school, there was a clear direction to take when developing a custom website.
But now that you’re on your own and have to use your own creativity to please clients, things feel a little different. You have to find constant inspiration in order to make your sites stand out and get the job done.
When creativity runs dry, rather than look in all the usual places for design ideas, try some of these nontraditional outlets.
1. A Different Era
The second decade of the 21st century seems to be all about mixing the best of every generation that preceded us. Everything from women’s fashion to modern home decor incorporates design elements from years to decades ago. Why not resort to this in your design work?
Take a look at some of the artwork and design features that were prominent in, say, the 1950s, just after the Second World War. Colors were bright and abstract, which was intended to capture attention at the dawn of a new age of peace.
With some contemporary adjustments, that design style could easily be used for a great website today.
2. The Library
“The impact that libraries can have is often forgotten now that we can find anything with a few clicks at home,” says a blog post from Green Residential, experts in real estate marketing and management. “But some inspiration, like that found in books, simply can’t be replaced.”
Contrary to popular belief, there are still books that cover website design, even if many of the materials you read can also be found online. Flip through a few books at your local library to get ideas for modern web design techniques and creative inspiration.
3. City Architecture
Big cities are a wealth of design knowledge and revelation. Though much of the architecture in our metropolitan areas is shaped like a 20th century skyscraper, there are plenty of buildings that have a little more creative design in mind.
Visit a large city near you. Note the colors, statues and more abstract elements, and any architecture that defies gravity. The modern and zany sophistication can easily be translated into great web concepts.
4. High-Speed Photography
A new trend in photography could create a new trend in great web design. “High speed photography is the art of photographing a rapidly occurring event,” says an article from Hongkiat.
“Depending on the event to be photographed, methods range from use of ultra-short time flash exposures to producing lots of exposures in a split-second. … This lets you freeze time through pictures that are happening tremendously fast.”
Examples of what high-speed photography looks like include water spilling in midair from a glass, the instant after a pin pops a balloon, and a bullet hitting a target (such as the famous one blasting through an apple). Look for a high-speed photographic image that catches your attention, and see if you can build a website around that.
The number-one-selling commodity in the world is food. People don’t just buy food they need; they spend a lot more money on food they want, thanks to hard-driving advertising and an attention to detail that comes with it.
Food has an uncanny ability to attract customers and drive action unlike anything else. What is it about your favorite food that draws you in? Is it the texture? Color? Unique flavor?
Think about the elements of a great dish, and see if you can integrate those irresistible qualities into your website design.