Inspiration for your web design can build trust…if you know where to find it and if it’s done right. In the 1997 movie Good Will Hunting, Matt Damon stars as a fantastically intelligent but troubled young man trying to come to terms with his past with the help of his psychologist, Robin Williams.
In one inspirational scene, Robin Williams explains why knowledge is as much about experience as it is about theory. In one of the lines he says:
“…I’ll bet you can’t tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You’ve never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling.”
So here is a radical idea if you’re a web designer (or involved in launching a new website redesign): step away from your computer and look up. Look at your ceiling. Up at the sky. Or up into outer space. Don’t be nervous – your computer will still be here when you get back.
The benefits of stepping away are priceless. Take other areas where inspiration is needed for good design. For example, architects take inspiration from opera when designing buildings. Fashion designers take inspiration from architecture. And artists take inspiration from anything. Web design can benefit from the same sources and more.
And here is the trick: it must be offline. There’s no point reading about the opera or looking at pictures of buildings – you need to experience them in person.
Here are some other ideas:
- Art – Let’s start with an obvious example. Looking at art is a great way to get your creative juices flowing but it’s more than that. It can also give you ideas about colors, formats and compositions.
- The Printed World – This can include typography, magazine design or anything else that involves creative designers in print. Even business cards and billboards can give you ideas.
- Architecture – Good architecture will give you ideas about form, structure and how different elements and materials can work together. It is also a great study of space and how it is used.
- Television – It’s a bit old school, but some of the best creative minds in the world work in television. Everything from commercials to the atmosphere created in a drama can be helpful.
- Books – Books can help you with ideas. But the most obvious benefit is they will help you to become a better writer – as long as you’re reading books by good writers.
- Movies – Like television, movies are a goldmine for designers. Really good movies are a visual feast. The way stories are told in movies can also give you inspiration.
- Technology – This is one of the more obvious examples, particularly given the beautiful and game-changing designs that have developed in recent years. The iPhone is a good example.
- Nature – All other design disciplines take inspiration from nature and web designers should do the same.
- Music – Music can influence your mood, which can have a positive effect on the designs you come up with. Composition, style and flow are also important.
- Everyday Life – There are things around you every day that can be used in your designs. It could be a conversation, the shape of a car, or the design of the tables in a coffee shop.
Explore the many different places where you can pick up design ideas. There’s no magic tool or wonderful website that will deliver the same results as just opening your eyes and ears to what’s going on around you.
Be inquisitive and have a desire to learn. Read, watch, listen and experience, and the design ideas will come. Shutdown and explore to find the inspiration you need for your web design. If you can’t shutdown and explore, you can at least look up. You don’t need to be in the Sistine Chapel to learn that inspiration is everywhere.