Web Design The Quest For Inspiration

The web is filled with incredible works of art. Beautiful graphics, stunning photography, awesome motion, slick animation and sometimes all that put together, to create that one website that leaves everyone breathless. These days web designers are a dime a dozen. Any sane person that can follow a couple of tutorials and invest in some software can create their own website. But as a web designer myself, the difference is very visible between those who’s pores leak of creative juices and those who design cause they got nothing better to do. In no way am I degrading those who lack that creative edge, but actually applauding those who do. For many, web design started of as a hobby or branched off other creative arts like making music or painting or even creative thinking. It’s awesome that someone can express his or her creative originality through a productive outlet such as Web Design.

But like all things, even creativity sometimes runs out and we find ourselves looking at an empty white photoshop document trying to get inspired. Frustration builds up, and that’s when we quit designing and open up our favorite first-person shooter and let it loose baby. When does it go from something you love to do, to a chore? I have felt that mental block many times and it’s hard to meet deadlines with a quality product when you have no ideas. But don’t give up, you are a creative enthusiast so find some creative solutions to get you motivated to work design again.

Here are a few things that have worked well for me.

  1. Go to award sites like, coolhomepages.com, cwd.dk or Internet tiny awards. You can view other people’s work and gain some ideas. Either the site of the day or the popular site section can provide some needed insight on things.
  2. Go look at your own portfolio, what better way than to admire your own work and be proud of yourself. You are a designer, remember that. It’s those creative people that achieve quick success.
  3. Listen to ambient music. No, not elevator music. But electronica, ambient, ambient trance, chillout, soundscapes, atmospheric or even some deep non-vocal trance. Music helps you get into moods and sometimes you can feel your heart beat a little faster as you get motivated and the hair on your arms stands up thinking about design. Even if you only listen to rap or rock, try this out, it’s definitely relaxing and mentally stimulating. You can go to Shoutcast Radio or the Radio Station Guide to find some pretty cool radio stations.
  4. Exercise. Get out there, work up a quick sweat and get your heart pumping. This has worked for me many times.
  5. Take a shower. When I am in the shower, a hundred ideas go through my head. You are alone and only hear the sound of water. I have had some million-dollar ideas in there, all too soon to forget as soon as I step out. But think about a potential design and draw it out in your head.
  6. Become a member of some design forums. There are so many out there take your pick; Site-point, Kirupa, Flash-Kit etc… Most of them have an inspiration or a cool site section, which list web sites that people think deserve recognition and therefore motivational. Also go to the site critique section to find some cool ideas and give your thoughts.
  7. Finally, do it because there is a future in it. Imagine yourself being successful with every site you design. Then take steps towards it and make it happen.