Web design is part art, part science. On the one hand you will probably design your website very much in a way that you think is going to earn you money and that you think will help you to direct traffic toward making purchases and clicking adverts, but at the same time you should also be focussing on trying to create a website that looks great and that says what you want to say about your business or about your subject, and one that you are proud of and that you feel that you want to spend time on and show people around.
But like any artistic endeavour, it is necessary to find inspiration before you can choose how to proceed with your web design. You need to have some kind of vision for the way you want it to turn out, and some kind of ideal for where you want to take it. And you will need to have a ‘feel’ for the kind of site you want and the feelings you want it to evoke in others. Of course you might ask a web design company to create your website for you, but for this to work you are still going to need to instruct them on what to build, and you are still going to have to know in advance the kind of impact you want your pages to have when someone visits them.
Thus you need inspiration, and if you are forced to make a website with a certain time budget then this can be hard and feel forced. How to you grab the architecture of a perfect website out of thin air?
The main way to do this is to go around the web and to look at other people’s website to see what they are doing and to see what you want to mimic. You might this way come across a site that looks perfect to you and that way say ‘yes’, ‘this is the kind of thing I want’. Better yet, you might take different elements from various sites around the web and piece together something unique and new. But that won’t always work and it doesn’t exactly lead to real originality or innovation.
And that’s where finding inspiration in other, less obvious places, can be much more interesting and useful. This way you are combining two disparate elements that wouldn’t normally go together and you are creating something entirely new. Here we will look at how to do that.
Unusual Sources of Inspiration
First of all you need to know what kind of message your site should have. Is this a site that needs to look slick and futuristic? Or would you rather it was traditional and historical? Do you want it to have a ‘clean””’ feel, or a ‘complex feel’? Now once you know this, think about what else evokes those feelings in you.
For instance then, if you want your site to look slick and modern, then maybe a great source of inspiration might come from a catalogue of luxury properties. You can then look at the mise en scene of these interior designs and the colours used in the modern kitchens and bathrooms, and you can use it for your own site.
Likewise another great source of inspiration is film. Sci-fi films often go to great lengths to create their own style that is unique yet matches our schemas of the future. By using the colour schemes and ideas from Minority Report, from Blade Runner, from Iron Man or even from a game like Human Revolution, you can then come up with a colour scheme and feel that is highly modern but that hasn’t been seen on the net before.
If you want it to feel green and clean, then how about going to real world locations and picking up some colours and textures there? Or if you want your site to have gravitas, how about finding and dusting off an old tome from a suitable period in history?
Author Bi0: Bren Hammel is a web designer and works with EurekaSEM, a Web Design Newcastle company. He has written numerous posts to help web designers improve their designs.