Yes, it’s all about content, social media, search engine optimization, landing pages, calls to action and other ways to persuade people to buy.
The authors of Inbound Marketing believe most websites look perfectly fine and web visitors “are not particularly interested in your site’s colors or the type of menus used.” Per my recent review, I think this book offers good insight, however, not on this score. The web is has plenty of poor looking sites.
Just as people can judge a company by its office space, a restaurant by its décor, or a person by the clothes he or she wears, presentation matters. This does not suddenly change once you hit the web.
Of course, a great looking website with crappy content won’t get you far. Yet to say design doesn’t much matter is bogus. You don’t need to get all fancy, still, you want to provide an optimum user experience, and that includes good design.
Great sites for web design inspiration
It helps to know where to go for design inspiration and information. So I’ve noted several sites to help get your creative juices flowing.
Even if you’re not an artist, these are still excellent resources; for ideas to pass on to a web designer. Do a little window shopping in the galleries and showcases. Check out different font options. When something catches your eye, show it to the designer and say, “I’d like this kind of visual style for my site.”
Then too, if you’re like me, it’s just plain fun to peruse really cool design.
One of the premier sites for web designers and developers, Smashing Magazine keeps you up-to-date on the latest trends and techniques, in lively fashion. Graphics, coding, software — Smashing covers the gamut with thorough articles rich in resources.
When Vandelay Design first started this blog the idea was to show off the company’s expertise in a more creative way than a typical portfolio site. They surely succeeded — the blog has in excess of 38,000 readers who appreciate its useful posts, which often include examples of stellar web work. Comments to posts provide more great sources of info.
Inspired’s motto is “daily graphic design inspiration” and that’s what you get as applied to products, websites and blogs. Twitter and WordPress get added attention, and there’s a forum where you can ask and answer questions to engage with others in the Inspired Mag community.
Another one that covers the gamut (to include print; yes, it still exists) Crazy Leaf goes deep with tutorials, videos, photos, advice, templates, freebies, and more. Interviews with bloggers and authors help you learn how successful artists go about their business.
An excellent source to find out about all kinds of freebie stuff: fonts, icons, applications and blog themes. A tutorial section puts special emphasis on how to make of most of Photoshop.
If you believe the devil is in the details then you’ll dig Onextrapixel, a self-described “digital playground” dealing with user interface experience, programming, workflow, trends, techniques, plus web marketing and branding. The latter two topics push this site beyond pure design to shed light on how design fits into broader web strategy.
An aggregator of useful articles, tutorials, how-to guides and other information to keep your web design and development know-how up to speed. If you happen to write or read a worthy blog post, there’s a simple form to submit an article for possible inclusion. Approval is usually within 24 hours, so they’re pretty attentive.
– Deni Kasrel
Why not check out these websites and share your take on them? Do you have others to recommend? Comments welcome.