17 Best News and Inspiration Resources for Web Designers and Developers
Web design is an ever-changing creative field. Continuous technological advancements and the development of powerful web design software tools allow designers to fully express their creativity and bring their wildest ideas to life. While the constant influx of innovative projects makes the world of web design exciting, it also renders it challenging to keep up with.
Staying in the loop with the news and current trends is necessary because it allows for a greater understanding of web design’s evolving nature. That, in turn, leads to new knowledge, skill improvement, growth opportunities, as well as a better grasp of market demands and audience expectations. When you’re up to date with popular tendencies, you can better adapt to the ongoing changes and avoid creating outdated works.
We have made a selection of some of the most valuable resources on all things web design. Most of these websites provide a tremendous supply of inspirational examples, but they also include valuable lessons, tutorials, and useful advice on how to become a better designer or web developer. The websites and platforms we will discuss include:
Awwwards is one of the most respected platforms on the Internet for web designers, agencies, and developers. This website is a remarkable resource of inspiration for both beginners and experts alike because it gathers creatives from all over the world.
Individuals and brands can submit their websites to Awwwards and have them reviewed by a team of carefully selected jurors. Aside from the official jury, users who have passed the site’s validation system also participate in the evaluation. Depending on the score, sites can win several accolades, including Site of the Day, Site of the Month, and Site of the Year awards, as well as the Mobile Excellence and Developer Award recognitions. Winning any of these awards is a tremendous honor in the sphere of web design and web development.
You can explore websites depending on the awards they have won, categories, tags, technologies used on projects, colors, and countries. Moreover, the site also includes terrific collections of websites you can browse depending on the category you are interested in. For instance, you can view a selection of One Page or Clean websites, to name a few. A particularly useful section for all web designers and developers is the Awwwards Academy. It contains courses, interactive live YouTube sessions, and workshops held by professionals who already have significant experience in the industry. By listening to what they have to say and watching their courses, you can learn a lot about the business and grow as a designer and developer.
There is also a helpful blog containing articles about the latest tools, popular effects, trends in the world of web design and development, etc. Once a year, Awwwards also publishes an e-book on various web design and development topics.
CSS Design Awards is a popular international award platform honoring web designers, studios, and web developers. Anyone can submit their work to the site and have it go through a dual judging system.
A panel of professional web designers and developers reviews websites submitted for the Website of the Day award. The jury also scores projects for UI, UX, and Innovation awards, but their votes for these three recognitions are upvoted by the public.
Nominated and awarded projects are all exhibited on the site, providing a beautiful overview of the current tendencies in web design. Visitors can also read a blog that contains inspirational collections of all Website of the Month winners as well as useful stories and interviews with the more experienced creatives in the industry. By discovering more about how they work and listening to their advice, you have a terrific opportunity to learn how to improve your skills as well as learn all the useful tricks of the trade.
The FWA or The Favourite Website Awards is a prestigious award given to particularly innovative projects. Sites can win the FWA awards on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis. The scores are given by a panel of 500 jurors. Moreover, there is a special annual award voted by the public. Viewers can watch the judging process live on the site, which sets this platform apart from other awards websites.
Aside from exploring submitted and awarded projects, users can read interviews with some of the most inspiring creatives in the industry. They selflessly share advice on how to overcome some challenging situations any designer or developer might face as well as handy tips that can facilitate and speed up one’s creative process. Moreover, they talk about their inspirations, what their creative process looks like, share websites that might be of help to aspiring designers, etc. Besides discussing web design and development matters, there are also stories on mental health, how it affects one’s work, and what the industry can do to help those who struggle.
The Muzli extension for Chrome is one of the best resources for the latest design news. The extension contains four separate tabs – Inspiration, Search, Colors, and Collections.
Inspiration is the default section on Muzli. When you launch the extension, you will see a landing page filled with articles from all over the web, including Wired, Medium, Awwwards, Fubiz, 99designs, and many other websites. Instead of visiting them all separately, the Muzli extension gathers the inspiring content in one place and allows you to access it in one click. You can choose what kind of content you wish to focus on, be it design, technology, culture, or the news. The articles belonging to the selected category will be displayed on the landing page, but you can still read content on other topics (all categories are displayed at the top of the screen at all times). If you stumble upon an article you particularly like you can save it in the library and go back to it whenever you want.
Muzli Search lets you quickly find the content you are interested in the most. You can perform the search by color, style, or keyword.
With Muzli’s Colors Palette Generator, you can create a specific color scheme, either by selecting colors from the displayed palette or by entering the hex code or the name of a color. You can even upload an image and Muzli will automatically detect colors, create a scheme, and display results matching the palette in question.
Muzli Collections is where you can discover carefully curated content grouped by all the most popular topics.
Siteinspire is a platform that showcases some of the finest and most exciting examples of visual and interface design. At the moment, it features a little over 8000 websites you can explore by style, type, subject, or platform. The website offers some default keywords to facilitate your search, but of course, you can insert whatever design-related term you want. For example, you can click on the suggested “Use of Infographics” keyword and Siteinspire will display an assortment of websites that best match the criteria. Upon selecting a specific website, you will also see a list of similar projects. There is a “Selected” collection which showcases the best websites according to Siteinspire’s team. Aside from searching for websites using keywords, you can go through the directory of agencies and designers featured on the site and explore their projects. The content on this platform is carefully curated and the Siteinspire team has stated they prefer simplicity and clarity over glitzy, overly-decorated sites. Their goal is to deliver only the best content to Siteinspire’s visitors and maintain the quality the platform has been known for among design aficionados.
Httpster is a great resource of “totally rocking websites”. They are committed to showcasing examples with beautiful typography and simple design. Featured sites are displayed in chronological order on the homepage. On hover, you have the option to either visit the website in question or discover more details about it on Httpster. Project single pages contain large imagery introducing the selected project to viewers. A particularly useful feature are related tags displayed below every photo, helping users discover more websites designed in the same style or that contain a specific element. There is no search option on Httpster, but practical tags enable viewers to browse sites by type or style. The list of default tags belonging to the two categories is displayed in the hidden menu.
UIJar is a beautifully organized and easy to explore source of design inspiration. The content is divided into several categories, all of which are displayed in the main menu. Almost all categories include a dropdown menu that reveals a list of related tags. For example, if you’re looking for some UX/UI inspiration, you can browse websites by selecting specific type, style, or subject tags from the dropdown list, such as “parallax”, “form”, “travel”, and more. Alternatively, you can also enter any keyword in the search bar and quickly find what you’re most interested in.
The Collections page contains a set of carefully crafted website collections based on particular criteria, including white space, eCommerce, portfolios, and many others. If you register on the site, you can also curate a collection on your own.
To find out what creatives and agencies are featured on UIJar, head over to the Creatives section. And if you would like to ask some of them a question, go to the AMA page. You will see which designers are available, and then, if you have an account, you can send them your question.
Hoverstat.es is “the home of alternative design, code, and content on the world wide web”. Since 2012, they’ve been committed to creating a space for bold, experimental websites that eschew traditional designs. The most recent additions to the platform are displayed on the homepage. Alongside animated website previews, Hoverstat.es also added a short description of each project, describing what they liked most about it. That way, you can get a better picture of what each website is like and click on those that seem most interesting to you. If you wish to explore some older entries or use the search option and look for a specific category of websites, visit the Archive page.
Behance is a portfolio platform that allows creatives to share their work with the audience. In 2018, there were over 12 million Behance users, including designers, photographers, illustrators, and other creatives from all over the world. The amount of projects shared on the platform is astounding, which makes it a terrific place to quickly and easily find inspiration for your own projects. Aside from using the search option and entering desired keywords, you can also search for projects based on the creative field they belong to, the tools used to create them, their color, and the author’s location. Behance also allows you to search for images, people, and look for specific moodboards. You have the option to save projects you like as well as to use the “More Like This” button to find similar works.
You can also explore a curated collection of the best projects on the platform created by Behance’s team (the assortment is visible in the Discover section).
Another great thing about Behance is the Livestream area. Here you can find a collection of live stream videos created by experts from various creative fields. Available video categories are displayed at the top of the screen. You can learn more about a specific area of expertise you are interested in, e.g. discover how to design a coffee delivery app, how to create animated GIFs, learn how to design a coloring page, and heaps more.
Dribbble is a great website for connecting with leading designers and creatives and discovering their works. Projects are organized into several categories, including animation, branding, illustration, mobile, print, product design, typography, and web design. To further narrow down your search, you can enter additional tags, select colors, look for projects uploaded at a certain time or made with specific apps. Upon selecting a project, you will see a list of similar works that could also be of interest.
Dribbble also invites its users to participate in “weekly warm-ups” and create works on a particular subject. For instance, at the moment of writing this article, they invited creatives to illustrate a still life scene found around their home. If you find yourself at a loss for inspiration or unable to overcome a creative block, this might be a great way to kickstart your creativity.
Dribbble also has its own blog where they share articles that can be of great use to all creatives. You will find tips on how to become a freelance designer, how to choose colors for mobile app design, how to decide between a career in UX and UI design, and much more.
The Learn Design section is just the place for you if you wish to hone your skills or learn something new. Live workshops with leading experts are held throughout the year, so you should keep an eye on this section to register on time and not miss out on something that might be of great help for your career.
If you’re in need of a job, you can explore Dribbble’s job board. Or, if you wish to hire someone to help you on your next project, you can contact available designers through the platform.
Land-book contains a vast collection of cutting-edge websites. This platform is a great place for all designers, developers, agencies, and anyone on the lookout for some inspiring works. The content is beautifully organized and easy to explore. The helpful search option and tagging system speed up the process of discovering the types of works that interest you the most. You can also view only the most popular projects or explore just the recently added ones. If you register on the site, you can create a collection of favorite projects, but also submit your own website and have it reviewed by Land-book’s team and potentially featured in their gallery.
As its name suggests, Designinspiration is an ideal place to go when you wish to find some inspiring designs to kickstart your creative process. Not only can you browse the extensive gallery via keyword and category, but you can also use a color palette picker, select up to five colors, and discover websites that contain the selected hues. Project single pages contain a list of related tags as well the color scheme used for the project, enabling you to swiftly find similar content. You don’t have to create an account to enjoy the beautiful content, but you do need one if you wish to save projects you like in your gallery.
One Page Love is your go-to place whenever you wish to find some impressive examples of one-page projects. The content is updated daily, and there’s a plethora of available categories to choose from. Moreover, One Page Love packs an assortment of one-page templates you can use as a starting point for your project. Aside from providing viewers with some seriously inspiring content, the platform offers them the possibility to learn how to create stunning landing pages. You can attend a landing page masterclass, read interviews with professionals, as well as listen to podcasts and pick up useful tips along the way. There are also helpful articles and curated collections of the best one-pagers according to the site’s team. Some content is available to everyone, but to access the majority of the learning material you need to register on the site. Subscription is free, but the masterclass course and the e-book with landing page tips come with a price tag. However, considering the amount of helpful and valuable content you get access to, One Page Love is definitely worth both your time and money.
AIGA stands for America Institute of Graphic Arts. Their Eye on Design platform contains an astounding collection of beautifully written and insightful articles on all things design. The content is organized into several categories, including graphic design, branding, illustration, typography, digital, and several others, helping you effortlessly find articles on a field you wish to discover more about. You can also enjoy articles that discuss design in specific countries or analyze the connection between design and other forms of art, education, mental health, etc. The Designer Series category might be especially of use to all designers as it contains interviews with some of the biggest names in the industry. They talk about how their projects came to be, their workflow, the way they combine typefaces, and much more.
Pro users have the option to activate the Professor Mode which allows other users to watch a “professor” i.e. one of the experts on the CodePen platform write code in real-time. If you wish to extend your coding knowledge, joining one of these virtual classrooms can help you achieve your goal.
Another way to hone your coding skills is to join CodePen Challenges – each week, you get a prompt on a particular subject related to a monthly theme. If you do a good job, your pens will be displayed on the site’s homepage.
Codrops is a blog that contains helpful articles and tutorials as well as inspiring material intended for web designers and developers. The content is informative and easy to digest. Codrops authors delve into a myriad of topics related to web design and development, so you can learn about pretty much everything, from making an appointment scheduling platform and applying a hover effect with SVG filters to devising a grid slideshow with a glitch effect. The Codrops’ team also creates great roundups of inspirational websites that are particularly useful when you find yourself stuck in a rut and you’re being unproductive. The Playground page contains projects and articles exclusively related to web development. You can explore its content to learn new skills, but also to discover new ideas. Besides the textual tutorials, you can also enjoy easy-to-follow video materials that further facilitate and speed up your creative process. Codrops also packs a set of freebies, i.e. a collection of all kinds of elements you can download free of charge and use for your projects.
The Gallery is a website curated by Manuele Morale, a freelance developer. If you’re interested in discovering exciting examples of minimalist websites, you should check out this platform. There is no search option, no tags, no related items. Morale simply “hangs” website previews on the site, as if they were pictures on a gallery wall. The collection of minimal sites seems endless. No matter how much you scroll, new content keeps appearing on the screen. On click, you will be redirected to the site in question, so you can explore minimalist designs in great detail.
Whether you work as a web designer or developer, exploring these websites will undoubtedly benefit your work. Everything is just a click away, one tag or project leads to the other, capturing you in a maze of creativity you never want to leave.
All of these platforms contain tremendous amounts of educational, insightful, and inspiring material you can use to hone your skills and discover new techniques and innovative ideas. You can also subscribe to their newsletters and get a daily, weekly, or monthly dose of inspiration and knowledge delivered straight to your inbox. Most of these sites also allow you to connect with other creatives, comment on their work and have them give you feedback on yours. Their advice could significantly help you improve your projects, especially if you’re only just starting your career.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to the community, attend workshops when possible, read the news, and watch tutorials on topics of your interest. Tend to your creative spark on a regular basis because that is the only way you can ensure continual professional progress.