It’s that time again, time for another web design project. Are you excited to get started, or do you feel a little creatively stunted? It’s ok if you have fallen into an inspiration track. It happens to the best of us. Sometimes you run out of ideas, and other times you just need a little updating. As one of Vancouver’s largest web design agencies, we are constantly looking for ways to streamline our creative process while looking for new and innovative ways to be inspired and create amazing websites. Below are ten ways we’ve learned to help revive the design process. For us, we want to focus on studying our target audience, getting inspiration from the best in biz and keeping up to date with award-winning websites and the ever-evolving industry standards. A lot goes into creating the perfect web page, but it always starts with inspiration.
Immerse yourself in inspiration
This tip is more of a lifestyle change than an actual step in designing a great website. However, it is still important! Complete immersion means keeping up to date with design aesthetics in many media, including web design, but also Instagram feeds, fashion and even home decor. Get a feel for what’s popular! This step is extremely low pressure, it’s just a matter of scrolling through social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest and paying attention to what gets noticed. Maybe it’s a specific color scheme, or maybe it’s an animation trend, whatever it may be, just save it! These saved posts are a good starting point for later when it’s time to do more in – depth research.
2. Great web design means getting to know your client
Before starting a web design project, be sure to get to know your client. After all, your client is the one you design for. Of course, they will probably have their own customers, but first and foremost, please the person and company you are building the website for. In addition to ensuring that they love the final design, they can also serve as inspiration and trigger creative ideas and innovative design techniques. Work together to make their dream website a reality.
Understand the purpose of the site
As you get to know your client, it is important to understand what their site will be used for. Although web design can be used to suit all types of websites, the best web design agencies do not use a one-size-fits-all approach. The design elements you will use will vary depending on what the website will be used for. Just think, good web design for healthcare will require different features than a modern e-commerce store or a funky restaurant. Good web design will ensure that you connect all the features functionally and intuitively.
4. Examine your target audience
Although the first person to please is the client, the next person to please is their ideal customer. Pay close attention to who the site is targeting. Studying on your key demographic is crucial when it comes to the best web design. Identify the target audience and pay attention to what attracts them. This is where your saved inspiration on Instagram and Pinterest can come in handy. You want your site to have a good user experience or UX, which means it has to be modern, intuitive, functional and aesthetically pleasing.
5. Reverse engineer what your competitors are doing
Some of the best ways to get inspiration are from your competitors. Check what they are doing and work backwards to achieve the desired effect. We always take this step when designing our top sites – it helps us stay up to date with what’s available while staying competitive. It also gives us a chance to make changes to great ideas to add our own unique spin. If you want to be the best, learn from the best!
Review award-winning pages to get inspiration for your web design
Yes, there are awards for the best web design and sites, and yes, you need to pay attention to them! Some awards include CSSA Design Awards, Awwwards, Shopify Commerce Awards and Apple Design Awards for apps. Be aware of what these sites and apps have in common and how you can apply them to your web design projects. What would work with your brand, what features will help you realize your vision, what tools can you use to help your customers best?
7. Examine standards for the web design industry
There’s an old saying, ‘if it does not break, do not correct it’, that’s not exactly how we feel. In a competitive market like web design, we believe in innovation! Just because something works does not mean it cannot be improved. The online world is moving fast to keep up to date with current trends and industry standards, we turn to sites like Awwwards and Dribble.
8. Review design portfolio galleries and case studies
Review your previous work and the portfolios of your competition. Maybe you jog your own memory by looking at your case studies, or maybe someone else’s portfolio gives you some insights you had not thought of before.
9. Become aware of what you do not like
Learning what you do not like is as valuable as figuring out what you like. By realizing what you dislike, you avoid repeating the same mistake over and over again, you learn to streamline your design process, and it helps you create the best possible web page. Some classic things to avoid on your site include too many ads or pop-ups, outdated contact information, and clutter. Less is usually more when it comes to the best design.
This may seem counterintuitive, but one of the best ways to recharge your creativity and use your inspiration is to unplug your work. Get out of your screen, get outside and connect with others. Breakthroughs are often made with an inactive mind. Newton discovered gravity by observing a falling apple, and microwaves occurred because the engineer, Percy Spender, noticed that his chocolate bar melted in his pocket while working on a radar machine. Now, we’m not saying you want to unlock the next big scientific discovery, but you can just create the next new web design trend. Disconnection is great for your brain and your business; it helps you relax and it improves your working life.
These are just our top 10 recommendations for how to get inspired by every web design project. But we would also like to hear from you. What do you do to stay inspired by your work? Whether you are building a website for yourself or for others, it is important to be relevant and functional with your designs. And remember, if you need a little help, rent it out! Vancouver’s largest web design agencies are stacked with everything you need to create the best possible website, from graphic designers to code specialists, content writers and more.