I recently switched my career (from brand designer to one of the hottest, in-demand fields that is, UI/UX designer :)) — and while finding inspiration was not so new in my previous career, I came to realise (from my 6 months in this role + previous role), that there are way too many UI design inspiration websites to look for!
So, the question becomes, how do I ensure to find the right content given the amount of choices, what value each of these site provides, and reason why it is so important to actually know what you should be looking for, and not investing too much time looking for some ambiguous sites out there 🙂
Below are the 10 sites I personally find valuable by far:
Great reference if you are designing/developing a website and need a more flashy design approach, featuring new technologies with loads of animation (yes, it may be irrelevant at some point when we have to design within certain technology capabilities..). Please bare in mind however, that not all of them are having good usability, at least from my observation.
2. UI Patterns
The site might look confusing at first but wait until you land on this specific page. Each pattern includes a common problem to solve, usage (this section will help in defining the best practise) as well as some consideration in related to certain pattern, for example: on calendar picker, Monday is typically depicted as the first day of the week (instead of Sunday), in many European and Asian countries.
Most valuable part (of the site) in my opinion: “persuasive design patterns” section which has a more psychological approach to what motivates us and what drives us toward action — presented in the same way as above, along with some examples.
One of my favourite design pattern reference (not only they feature iOS for iPhone but also iPad and Watch device), except they are now limiting the access to only paid user.
4. Site Inspire
Mainly for website inspiration (as the name goes ;)). I personally find the filter functionality (by styles) to be the most useful as it helps to speed up the process of finding some design as reference when design directions are pretty much defined.
Same as above, except it showcase only the one single page website (if you are not familiar by this definition, check out their about page). Very useful if you are developing a site which encourages user to make a quicker decision via a long scrolling layout.
6. Collect UI
Another nice mobile design reference which I find similar to Dribble results page (in fact, almost all designs have links to Dribble page!), except it has the categories listed on the left for quicker access. I personally think it is most useful when you need some quick visual references for brainstorming sessions.
7. Nicely Done
Not only this site has great inspiration for web pattern, but their product section has by far my most excitements! It showcase the latest digital products in the market, with major screens available (without having to click the site url and sign up for the product). Good content reference if you are building similar product.
8. UI Garage
Similar to Collect UI, except it has iOS, Android and Web as filter categories. Also, unlike Collect UI, when you hover the design, it gives you a little more context (than having the same title across) of all designs. The filter also helps to narrow down the options, reducing overload inspirations.
9. UI Sources
This site has a nice review on the latest apps in market. Each screen (of selected app) has a video showing the micro interactions — which might be useful if you are developing an animation for your UI. Recently added was the China app design patterns. This section has well translated screens so it gives you a better idea how each functionality works. Although it hasn’t much content yet, definitely it will come in handy when designing an app for CN audience.
Else, I personally thought it would have been nicer if they include the category (for easier search) on the main site.
10. Page Flows
As described on their site, it is a growing library of annotated user interface videos. Most useful when you are doing research and somewhat need to research different companies, sign up for their products (to view each flows), and unsubscribing the emails. However, the content is only limited to free members tho membership cost each year is not too expensive either (so might be worth?).
Other websites are not listed but I find it’s less valuable due to certain reasons below:
UI Jar — limited content for mobile, tho it has a nice url to the App Store and animation.
Design Inspiration — not sure if I will like using it, as it has too-broad range of categories (non-UI/UX specific).
UI Cloud — mostly skeumorphic design which appear to seem outdated.
UI Movement — this site focus exclusively on UI designs, however not all components are listed hence you should utilise more on the search input.
Mobile Patterns — good reference if you want to know the difference between iOS and Android design patterns, however most examples are not showing the latest designs.
Muzli — its chrome extension allows quick access to the latest stuff in the design and UI/UX scene, however with the broader content, it may not be ideal if you are looking for some specific design pattern for example.
Uplabs — it has so much content you need to leverage the search and filter for the most use of it.