Top 3 Influential & Inspiring Web Design Blogs You Should Follow
With the age of media and informatics blooming more and more, it is no surprise that an increasing number of people tend to prefer the more widespread online forms of communication and entertainment. Nowadays, not many people buy newspapers or magazines anymore, rather opting for their digital format versions or reading the information right from its source, on fancy social websites.
Diaries and scrapbooks are still a nice form of keeping memories safe, and they preserve that touch of melancholy. However, alienation and the crave for attention have encouraged the development of blogs, which turned into not only public diaries, but also cooking books, self-improvement books, tourist guides, fashion catalogues, heaven of reviews and online courses. But in order for all of these and many other websites to be more visually pleasing, and attract readers and users, entire teams spend a lot of time using their skills to create and arrange codes, the result being something simple, but attractive and addictive.
About Web Design in General
The entire concept of design refers to accumulating ideas and assembling them in categories such as web graphic design, user experience and interface design, code software, in the end obtaining a presentable product, accessible to end-users worldwide via internet and web browsers.
Web design is similar to other forms of design, considering and including constituents such as graphics – the more the merrier, colour – meant to catch attention and not be eye hurting, layout – everything must be in harmony, and font – very important for readers, but also relevant to the content.
However, whereas these are the basic features considered by web designers, it is also very important to introduce interactive features – they strengthen the bond between the people behind a web page and end-users with comments and even polls; and to take care of multimedia aspects (video and audio) and navigation – websites difficult to navigate on usually cause annoyance and users abandon them quickly.
Another feature, which has become quite essential now, refers to compatibility. Earlier mobile web browsers were unfriendly with most websites; therefore, web designers took precautions in making web sites available under almost the same form on any device, browser and operating system.
Experts vs Beginners
Whether it is about beginners learning the basic stuff or looking out for help in their new hobby or job regarding web design, or about designers with many years of experience leaning about new things and looking for solutions to new problems, they can all look them up on blogs. Some web designers gathered their forces in order to help their own by keeping them updated with news, revealing secrets about the job, giving sources of inspiration and even some lessons. The following list introduces the web design blogs everyone needs to check and bookmark.
Founded in August 2009, Designrfix describes itself as a place full of “Daily Inspiration and useful online Resources for Web Design and Graphic Design”. With over 12,000 fans on Facebook, 9,000 RSS Readers and 50,000 on Twitter, the blog is divided in seven main parts.
The Inspiration section gives tutorials on various designing techniques, especially 3D and 4D, information on advertising issues – the secrets behind certain techniques and lists with the best ads regarding certain areas of interest. This area also promotes and praises various artists with different styles, be it digital or traditional art, photography or interior design. The inspiration goes further with creative ideas on business cards, logos, presentations on typography, photography, computer graphics, motion graphics, digital art, web design, but also graphic, product, and industrial design. Inspiration also gives away tips and tricks for iPhone and iPad users, as well as wallpapers and lists with the best design apps of various uses.
The second one is all about tutorials – after effects, cinema 4D, CSS, HTML, illustrator, jQuery and Photoshop, proving that the websites’ team is literally all about helping others, not only about promoting and inspiring.
While the Freebies section also includes tutorials and lists presenting techniques and programs, it actually fits the title with some free fonts, icons, iPad and iPhone wallpapers and themes, patterns, brushes, Vector graphics, wallpapers and WordPress themes, and with real gadgets in the Giveaway subsection.
Resources continues the “sharing is caring” policy with more tutorials, bundles, offers and free items with designrfix deals, eLearning, fonts, icons, iPhone themes, Android, logo, patterns, Photoshop brushes and tutorials, premium products, Vector graphics, web development tools and WordPress subsections.
In the Freebies–Giveaway section, one can win something if they enter into a contest, the last section, Deals, offers not only great sales on laptops and other gadgets, but also online web design courses for those who truly need an actual teacher to teach them the basics of web design. This is understandable, because Designrfix is also an open blog for new team members, respective writers, willing to share their experience and knowledge about tutorials and design tools.
2. Web Designer Ledger
A web designer’s best friend in many situations and with a layout similar to Designrfix, but closer to the traditional blog style, Web Designer Ledger is a web design blog founded in 2008, with more than 80,000 fans on Facebook and 171,000 on Twitter, self-proclaimed “a publication written by web designers for web designers. The primary purpose of this site is to act as a platform for sharing web design related knowledge and resources.”
The web site is divided into 10 main tabs, the first one being entitled Web Design. Web Design includes Portfolio, which contains various articles and lists on designs and websites, such as Mobile, which focuses on mobile themed matters, web design and interfaces for smaller gadgets, but also Business, centred on web design aspects related to bigger household names. E-Commerce studies the visual techniques used by online stores, and Wearable is the subsection that follows the development and introduction of technology in clothes and accessories.
Web Designer Ledger also has an Inspiration tab with lists and guides on different types of design – traditional, digital and even retro, with different uses – for websites or advertising. UI (user interface) discusses Typography, giving tips and details about fonts, graphical control elements design in Modal, various types of aesthetics for Menus, and examples of creative web Forms. Graphics is the tab where one can find information about Fonts, tips on Vectors and Textures and on how to design and create various Icons and Patterns.
The thing that is very interesting about Web Designer Ledger is that it has a special tag for Interviews with Developers and Web Designers, with some book recommendations, too.
The blog also has a Shop area where one can buy countless bundles, packs, gadgets and accessories.
Web Designer Ledger also encourages people to be creative in writing by joining their team, and writing articles on design, detailed tutorials on animation, editing programs, photography, coding and others. If someone does not want to join the team or is not accepted, they can contribute as a guest poster.
1. Smashing Magazine
Smashing Magazine is a website founded in 2006 and the winner of the “Best Blog” award nomination in 2008, with currently more than 981,000 followers on Twitter and 280,000 likes on Facebook, which “delivers useful and innovative information to Web designers and developers.”
Starting in November 2012, Smashing Magazine launched their Smashing Library. The collection includes printed books and eBooks in PDF, ePUB and Kindle formats, both versions being available to be acquired in their online store.
Another item that can be bought on smashingmagazine.com is a ticket at their annual conference, held three times every year in New York, Barcelona, San Francisco, Oxford and Freiburg, with the aid of partners Microsoft and Shopify.
For those not willing to spend money on Smashing Magazine books, nor on their conference, there are Smashing Jobs. The blog has plenty of job offers in various fields, not only in the USA, but also Canada, Europe and India.
I hope that these blogs will help you start your web design careers and give you inspiration on daily basis. I’m very curious what blogs you follow and recommend for newbie as well expert web designers. Share your thoughts in the comment section below!