A while back I wrote "Where to Go to Find Design Inspiration", where I listed some of my favorite places to peruse when I’m looking for design inspiration. At the end, I posed the following question to the readers: "Where do you go for design inspiration?", and asked that you contribute suggestions. This is a list of places that readers have recommended. Some I haven’t heard of, and several I’ve added to my own favorites list.
Without further ado – I present 16 sites that you visit for design inspiration.
I’ve written about The Best Designs before, so I didn’t list it down this time around. For those unfamiliar with the site, The Best Designs is a wonderful spot to view high-quality XHTML and Flash designs. They tag each design with relevant keywords (i.e. – Bold, Colorful, CSS) so you can narrow down your search to the particular look you’re attracted in.
2. CSS Remix
CSS Remix is (according to their tag line): "A Fresh Blend of the Best-Designed Web 2.0 Sites", though there are some non-Web 2.0 themed sites included as well. With over 14,000 RSS readers, CSS Remix is definitely a prime destination for designers looking to check out the work of other designers.
3. CSS Mania
CSS Mania is a regularly updated CSS-based web design gallery that includes many design genres. At present, it has over 10,000+ websites in its collection. Though the reader who suggested CSS Mania frequents this site, he warns (and I agree): "They aren’t as particular about the quality of the designs they present, but there are definitely some gems in there."
screenfluent is a site that features some very nice designs. What’s great about screenfluent is that it gives you a preview of the site by opening a modal window (more commonly known as a "lightbox"). There are over 7,000 featured designs so there’s not a lack of content to view.
Screenalicio.us has over 9,800 designs for you to see. The users have the capability of rating each design based on a 5-star rating system and the ability to give feedback for each entry. You can sort the designs based on ratings and time submitted.
Open Source Web Design is a community where users upload designs to share to the public. Downloading an OSWD design is free of charge. You can either browse their gallery of designs or download them to study.
One Page Love is a niche web design showcase gallery that features beautiful, creative one page websites and applications. Some categories include products, portfolios, temp pages, and events.
FullSingle is another site that displays single-page websites. The latest gallery entries are featured at the top of each page with a brief description of what the page is about.
If the above two weren’t niched enough for you, here’s one with even greater specificity. It’s an aggregate of single page portfolio websites of designers and developers. There’s over 800 portfolios currently listed on One Page Folios, and each entry is reviewed before being published.
10. We Love WP
We Love WP shares top-notch WordPress powered sites. They also showcase free themes that designers have modified into something unique.
11. CSS Divine
CSS Divine is a CSS-based design aggregate website. You can do a color search by clicking on the color palette at the side bar, and it’ll narrow down the gallery to themes tagged by that particular color. There are plenty of categories including Art, Business, Clean, and Portfolio.
12. Design Snack
Design Snack, according to their tagline, is "The designer’s showcase that you control". Design Snack features XHTML and Flash designs. You can customize the way the designs are displayed, vote on individual entries, and browse by color.
SF art & design portal is the work of the Amsterdam-based web design agency, Strangefruit.nl webdesign. SF art & design portal features hand-picked, innovative, creative art and design sites. You can browse by category, style, color, and even country.
14. Design Shack
Design Shack is an exclusive repository of first-class CSS-based web designs. They look for designs that "stand out from the crowd". They also have a Tutorials section that features web design lessons.
CSSloaf brings together designs from 35 other showcases so that you don’t have to go all over the place to see the latest designs. They feature large screenshots so that each design is visible; no need to strain your eyes on tiny thumbnails.
eduStyle is dedicated to the design of higher education websites for higher education professionals. It’s intended to showcase the best works of higher education designers to their peers.
Thank you for your contributions and suggestions, as well as giving me a few links to add to my collection. If your favorite sites aren’t on here, make sure to discuss it in the comments section and maybe we’ll have a follow up to this one.