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Design inspiration for UI designers : Make great design again

an image showing process for design inspiration

So you are seeking inspiration for making good design and love to explore new things. Sometimes whenever  I come up with an idea, I open my system and start working on it within few moments and that’s the thing I demand from you.

In this blog post, I will tell you how we can get inspired for design (UI/UX especially).

There are various websites, Instagram accounts, YouTube channels you may follow to get inspired for design but I am going to explain few more factors to you including the above as well.

I will never like to make my post boring so I will try to keep you entertained with illustrations and pictures of the things I want to describe.

Hi, I’m Ankit Upadhyay, a medical student who talks about programming, design, creativity and productivity. You can read more about me here .

Great now you know me well then let’s start our conversation about design inspiration.

What is design Inspiration

What is design inspiration
Photo by Mikechie Esparagoza from Pexels

A blank page or paper encourage me to do something because you can either draw (doodles) or fold it ( Origami ).

“A blank page is an inspiration to create something…”

Inspiration works as a small pocket-book to learn new things. If you are burning out with your daily routine and the same design concepts then you need to explore some new ideas and you might ask yourself questions like “Jeez! what on earth I am missing”.

You should look for new and creative goodies that gives you energy to create awesome designs again because admiring new ideas is always been a better thing.

We search for these things because they give us lightning strikes in our head and it works like a charm and we say “something just like this!”.

Moreover, Inspiration for designing is gained by looking at amazing websites, watching YouTube videos , imitating famous designers but often Music can do this easily! Music makes our work easy and enjoyable hence you work without caring too much about things.

What about you?

I take inspiration from plenty of things such as Typography, color-palette, Minimalism, plane-paper sketches, and music as well. Also, there are lots of websites, portfolios, YouTube channels, and personalities I follow and I am going to mention most of them here.

How do I get inspiration for design

This is all you need to do 😉

Does it happen when you see a minimal layout with smooth typography or a specific design process and elegant color theme. You just admire it saying, “Wow! that’s some good stuff” and if it happens then give me a high-five!

That’s the spirit!

For getting started you will need to follow these simple steps:

  1. Open your machine.
  2. Explore new designs.
  3. Take inspiration and steel like an artist.
  4. Make your new design.
  5. Share it on social media, newsletter and blogs.

Now where to gather inspiration from?

Here are 10 main sources of inspiration for designers :

  1. Travel
  2. Social media
  3. The Internet
  4. Exploring a new design system
  5. Trying new color palettes
  6. Packaging of certain products
  7. Advertisement posters
  8. Sketching your design with a pencil
  9. Watching films, Reading books & magazines
  10. Admiring artists and their art

Do you notice how brands like Google, Apple, Microsoft, Stripe and Adobe expose themselves as a clear brand?

With their product design. Of course!

They have stunning websites & apps because they smartly use their brand assets ( e.g : logo, tagline, products) with design concepts and it makes their digital product so amazing.

Check the Apple website and see how apple use their logo, products, and taglines to make the web page minimal and lovely

Go to Stripe landing page and see how beautifully it is designed with aurora.

1. Traveling : Explore places for UI design ideas

Travelling helps to get inspiration
Photo by Loyale Trần from Pexels

While traveling, you came to see wall-paintings, ad-boards, parking-signs, boarding-pass, bus or railway tickets, packaging of products, posters of events as well as cultural fests.

Most of these things inspire us. You can take a challenge/task to redesign them. Redesign wall-paintings, advertisement-boards, redesign boarding passes and tickets. Get text information from the current design, open your machine, try to design it in a better way and believe me, it will help you a lot in exploring design ideas with new perspectives.

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”

Here look at these redesigned boarding-passes…

Not only boarding-passes, tickets but posters and everything mentioned above.

Take inspiration from your surroundings, Redesign almost everything you see around, think differently : what are other ways to design it? How to improve its usability?

2. Can social media inspire people?

How to use social media to get inspiration
Photo by Magnus Mueller from Pexels

Social media is a boom of inspiration for designers and almost any field out there.

I hope you understand why I said “Boom”. I bet that you must have visited Pinterest ever. It has a bunch of design ideas and it gives me an inspirational boom.

I use social media as an idea generator, trend mapper and strategic compass for all of our online business ventures.

– Paul Barron , CEO, speaker, filmmaker & creator of Foodable network

I am mentioning Pinterest here because I use it and I have a huge collection of personally curated designs and UI assets. You can access them here.

An image showing Pinterest UI\UX design board for inspiration
This is my UI UX & Graphic design board on pinterest

You can create an account on Pinterest and start curating your favorite designs, designs that inspires you to make one more.

I use Instagram, Pinterest & Twitter as social media and my wall is filled with the content from wonderful personalities who make me feel full of energy and inspire me to make great design again.

Follow designers & artists on social media

Here are few personalities related to design field you may follow to get inspired.

Explore more yourself and read this blog about : Pinterest accounts a designer should follow

3. The Internet

A tablet opened google home page
The all mighty google

How often you visit chrome or any other browser in your smartphone or laptop.

I visit chrome browser about 20-25 times a day and even more.

Why?

I love to explore new things like websites, apps, articles and new designs because it helps me to think better at design.

Everyday, I ask myself that what is the new thing out there to learn and I found myself in the middle of great resource of information on the Internet.

I want you to read a paragraph

“Google everything. I mean everything. Google your dreams, Google your problems. Don’t ask a question before you Google it. You’ll either find the answer or you’ll come up with a better question.”

Paragraph stolen from Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon

This is all you need to do, explore things up. Find your frequency, get inspired.

Major sources of design inspiration are the Internet & your surroundings. Use both well.

I have curated thousands of interesting internet links. I open that collection whenever I need an inspiration.

Most of them are related to design and design assets.

I regularly explore various websites that are useful and give me a hint to create something better.

Here you can find UI design inspiration :

  1. Dribbble
  2. Behance
  3. Mobbin
  4. Collect UI
  5. Awwwards
  6. Muzli
  7. UI garage
  8. UX planet

List has infinite resources but I want you to explore yourself.

4. Explore a new design system

explore a new design system
Photo by Startup Stock Photos from Pexels

Go and try a new design system or UI kit or CSS Library (for web designers)

Brainstorm on its usability and visual elements.

If it’s been a long time then the time has come. Find a new design system or UI kit and show your creativity.

Explore and keep record of your designs and share them to public so that anyone else can get inspire.

If you’re running out of design systems or mostly are the same, then use your head and create a new one for yourself.

This will keep you engaged in the design work and make you feel the inspired to make good stuff again

Look how bootstrap, apple, google have their design system, use their or make yours.

There is a video on YouTube about making material design from Google Design and it inspires me a lot.

Making of material design : Video from Google Design

5. Trying new color palettes and typography

trying new color palettes
Go out of the trend

I love to talk about colors and how to use them. I can show you multiple websites that are good because of color combinations and use of good color palettes.

Whenever you use colors, either use color palette or use monochromatic websites with one accent color.

Here is a YouTube video on how to make color palettes

How to make color palettes: A video from The Futur Academy

When It comes to learn about color palettes and how to use it, I will give you this YouTube video to watch

How to use color palettes : Video from The Futur Academy

I want you to go through this video once and after that you can bookmark this website about color-matching and color combination.

If you searching for new & good color palettes then here are few websites that may help you to find them.

  1. colorhunt
  2. my color space
  3. picular
  4. coolors

Find more by yourself 😉

I really love using new color palettes and to see how some websites have good color combinations even they use multiple color palettes on it… like this website

I can not get tired talking about colors & typography and I’ve got a brief article for absolute beginner to understand colors and typography from scratch( Explained for a 5 year old kid.)

Watch this video about typography

Watch this video about typography and I hope it will inspire you

6. Packaging of certain products

Box photo created by mego-studio – www.freepik.com

Do you ever notice that how few products give you a sense of premium quality?

They all do it by easing complexities , making better products , making their website design minimal & user-friendly, keeping their services professional and easy to available, Sometimes with the product packaging also.

See how minimal and distraction free a product packaging could be!

See few more designs on dribbble and behance. So please go and explore by yourself . Get inspired to create something great.

7. Advertisement posters

Ever seen any advertisement and admired its design. Yeah they make great use of visual elements to gain attention.

Here are few examples of advt. posters and banners that draws attention.

May be I’ve got bad taste in choosing them but you can explore the google and few websites I mentioned earlier to find unique and better designed advertisement posters.

8. Sketching

Sketching the product before getting into it
Photo by picjumbo.com from Pexels

Do you sketch? If you don’t then start doing it.

I’m not saying you to design a masterpiece sketch but just start rough doodling.

That would be nice if you will be able to draw a rough sketch of your project or design and If you use sketching or doodling, you can generate good ideas and implement them better at your projects in the form of images.

Pencil and paper are the best tool I have ever used for sketching but if you want to try something digital, I will recommend you to use Autodesk sketchbook or Tayasui Sketches.

I use Snapchat and Tayasui sketches to draw doodles on my smartphone.

9. Movie Posters & Book cover design

book cover design inspires us
Photo by Luis Quintero from Pexels

Don’t let me start conversation on movies and books otherwise, you have to stop me by force.

You may have watched tons of movies, millions of posters and same goes for books, book-covers.

Here notice these few book-cover designs that inspires me. Go and explore more like them by yourself on the Internet.

10. Admiring artists & their arts

That may be related to drawing or sketching somewhere in practical but when you read about an artist, you learn about his views on creating art.

Follow few artists of your era or the previous ones because they will never let your artistic soul die.

Here are few I follow

  1. Austin Kleon (Website)
  2. Lynda barry (Instagram)
  3. Arvind Gupta ( Website)

End of the lecture : What to do now?

To seek design inspiration, you have to find new perspectives to make great output.

Explore each resources I’ve shared with you.

I want you to keep your creativity and productivity up and make sure you do something.

I do explore Internet to learn and collect interesting links and tools that may help you to level up your skills and grow your personality.

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