Where can I find inspiration for user interface design? UX Question #60

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Ray from Akron, Ohio, asks: Where can I find inspiration for user interface design?

I love that question. Thanks for asking, Ray. This is UX Question number 60 and I am Ben Judy

Where can I find inspiration for user interface design? Well, of course you can draw inspiration from any well-designed UI that you come across. For years, I’ve made a habit of taking a screenshot or photo of anything interesting or well crafted that I see in a website, mobile application, or other user interface. I review these screenshots to give me ideas as I do my own design work.

Inspiration is really important to designers. Contrary to what some people might think, we usually don’t spontaneously come up with ideas all on our own, like some artist painting their feelings. Go back to episode 47 for my thoughts on whether UX design is an art or a science.

No, inspiration is essential because we need to see examples of good UI design, so we can borrow what works. Very seldom do we create new UI components or patterns out of thin air. Rather, we recombine existing elements into something new.

Of course for UI design, the web is now full of collections and libraries and blogs that make it easy to find samples for your consideration.

I’m dropping quite a few links in the description of this episode. Here are just a few that I will call out.

Of course you’ve got sites like Dribbble, Behance, and Pinterest where designers upload small snippets of work. These generally lack context, but you can find examples of patterns and portions of UI screens to look at.

But if you want a library of libraries, check out designnotes.co. This is a free resource library for product designers with links to other websites in categories such as UI Inspiration, Colours & Gradients, Icons & Illustrations, UI Kits, and more.

Sidebar.io has long been a favorite of mine. Every weekday, they post five curated links to articles about digital design. You can sign up for the email newsletter as well.

For microinteractions, Built For Mars offers a collection of bitesized UX interactions, curated to inspire and help you tune into what great UX looks like.

There’s an amazing reference library for video game designers at gameuidatabase.com.

A vast library of Design Systems lives at designsystemsrepo.com.

Almost 7,000 handpicked UI patterns can be found at uigarage.net.

You can find graphic design inspiration at theinspirationgrid.com.

Again, all of these links are in the description.

My favorite might be scifiinterfaces.com. It’s pretty much what it sounds like.

Keep asking your questions about UX. Next time, I’ll answer the question: what are microinteractions?

Referenced in this episode:

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