Whether you’re working with words or photos, coding or infographics, running out of ideas is a fact of life for even the best and most prolific website designers. It doesn’t matter if you crank out a dozen sites a year or a dozen sites a week—it’s hard to keep things fresh and new. And after all, who wants to keep recycling the same old platforms or templates, which in the end can negatively impact the impression your current and future clients get when they see your work.
The next time you’re stuck in a design rut, pay a visit to these five sites and see if you can’t find your muse once again.
1. Charles Apple’s Blog
A visual journalist and graphics director, Charles Apple provides commentary on everything from basic design concepts to ethics for graphics. He also provides a great way to stay on top on of what’s going on in the design community in terms of innovation, and his site itself is an exercise in inspiration: simple, clean and well-organized. Be sure to check out his posts on comics and cartooning.
Part of the Knight-Mozilla OpenNews project, Source is a community for journalism coders, developers and designers but also a place to find a wide variety of bloggers analyzing cutting edge visualizations and providing some great how-to commentary on everything from data management to 3D printing. And you don’t have to be a journalism designer to really get some value from the site.
If you’re having a hard time getting data to render clearly and effectively, visit chartsnthings for all things infographic. The personal blog of the folks in the graphics department at the New York Times, the site gives a ton of great examples culled from the team’s finished products that can help any designing get moving in a positive direction.
4. The Escapist
Although a landing spot for game designers, Escapist magazine does offer a lot to the everyday site designer, especially in terms of promoting interactivity with web users. And the site itself is somewhat addictive—with tons of links to check out and personal blogs to read, there something for everyone.
5. A List Apart
An online magazine focusing on web design and development commentary, A List Apart is a fantastic place to keep one’s finger on the pulse of the industry. Chock full of articles on standards and best practices, innovations and trends and tips on managing workflow, the 17-year-old site is also a genuine pleasure to peruse, and you’ll most likely find yourself visiting it on a regular basis.