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UI Inspiration and Design Pattern Resources

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on Inspiration

Are your fresh design ideas no longer fresh or are you a designer who continually re-uses the same old and trusted design patterns that have followed you for many a year? Or, you might just be a UI designer that is stuck in a rut? If you are looking to change all that, then this is the post for you.

This article offers inspirational UI resources as well as showcasing the best in design pattern solutions. Whatever your need for all of the sites and resources below, they all offer one thing in common… they all strive for better User Experience one design pattern at a time.

Welie.com – Patterns in Interaction Design

UI Inspiration
Welie.com is a reference or basic 'toolkit' that you can use when designing user experiences, that showcases and promotes a lot of the best practices within Interaction Design.

It does not attempt to be a substitute for creative design, it simply seeks to describe what you probably already know and have learned about, by offering solutions to common design problems.
Welie.com – Patterns in Interaction Design »

GUIdebook: Graphical User Interface gallery

UI Inspiration
GUIdebook has been designed to be almost an online museum of graphical interfaces. This labour intensive site has been put together, clearly lovingly, by Marcin Wichary, whos admiration of those old and obscure interfaces has driven him to desperately preserve all, so as not to be forgotten. What a great job he has done!

You can use this site in two ways – as a way to look back and refresh some nice memories from a bygone era, or if are interested in seeing the evolution of GUIs throughout the decades (and it is fascinating to witness that). Either way, this is a must bookmark for anyone that even takes the slightest interested in GUI.

Not only does this huge repository have some marvelous vintage interfaces it is also has a mighty fine collection of GUI related articles that date back through the decades.
GUIdebook: Graphical User Interface gallery »

UI-patterns.com

UI Inspiration
UI-Patterns.com is the work of Anders Toxboe – a Danish web developer who has saught to categorize what has before seemed like ad hoc approaches to developing web applications.

By not only listing different ways of solving common design problems, but also rationalizing about how, when, and why such solutions should be used, it is the goal of the site to create a tool that will help end future debates, get a clear understanding of why you’re doing what you’re doing, and why we’re not doing what we’re not doing.

UI-Patterns.com is an attempt to over time create a library of such solutions to common problems. It seeks to better the situation for the UI designer, who struggles with the same problems as many other UI designers that have struggled with before them.

UI on Smashing Magazine

UI Inspiration
Smashing Magazine offers many in-depth articles, fresh resources and inspirational showcases that focus on UI. Whereas every other resource on this page may offer solely design patterns and solutions, Smashing Mag offer a wider array of topics:
Designing Social Interfaces: Overview and Practical Techniques »
Enhancing User Interaction With First Person User Interface »
10 UI Design Patterns You Should Be Paying Attention To »
12 Useful Techniques For Good User Interface Design »
10 Useful Web Application Interface Techniques »

UIZEN – Showcase of best online/web application user interface design.

UI Inspiration
There are many CSS/Website galleries but they do not help solve Web Application, CMS or a back-end problem. This is where UIZen comes in, they showcase good User Interface Designs from around the web so you next Web Application or back end is not only usable but also good looking.
UIZEN – Showcase of best online/web application user interface design. »

Open Source Design Pattern Library

UI Inspiration
The Open Source Design Pattern Library is a place where individuals and organizations can share, collaborate, and discuss design patterns. The OSDPL aims to become a community where designers, developers, and other people interested in patterns can come to reference material, collaborate on patterns and designs, and share their knowledge with everyone.

MephoBox

UI Inspiration
MephoBoc initially started started as a personal project, but as the collection grew the author opted to share it with the community.

It provides a more focused inspiration than your typical CSS galleries (which only display full sites), by dividing web site elements by categories that can then be found found in the collections section.

We are Colorblind – Patterns for the Color Blind

UI Inspiration
About 8% of the male population has some sort of color blindness, who tend to see colors in a limited range of hues. Because of this, the color blind have trouble with a lot of websites.

The patterns and examples on this site help you create websites that the color blind will be able to use without any loss.

inspireUX – words to inspire user experience designers

UI Inspiration
inspireUX is a blog that posts quotes relating to user experience (UX). Every quote on inspireUX focuses on the impact that user experience has on people, business, or the world.

This blog is intended for both user experience practitioners as well as anyone involved in product design and development. Often, when creating designs or experiences, it’s easy to forget the “big picture” behind why you’re creating what you’re creating. It’s nice to have a little reminder of how important user experience really is and how it impacts everyone’s everyday lives.

UI Flickr Groups

Web Design Inspiration on Flickr »
A collection of screenshots of websites that have been found to be inspirational, interesting or otherwise attractive.

Design Patterns on Flickr »
This collection captures findings of consistent, unique or interesting interfaces and design flows from across the web.

Interface Insults on Flickr »
Have you ever been insulted by an error message on a website or in an application? Take a screenshot and post with this group…

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