This post looks at design inspiration and pattern galleries. Referencing the design of others is one of the best ways to learn how to design websites. You can also reference these sites to find common usability patterns and styles that can inspire your own unique designs.
The most popular site for design inspiration is Dribbble. Dribbble is a playground that allows designers to share their work. This site provides daily inspiration. It has powerful search features so you can explore by designers, colors or whatever search term you desire.
Web design is all about patterns. Understanding and using common patterns help websites increase usability. Pattern Tap is one of the largest pattern galleries. You can search for design components such as navigation menus, form fields, and sliders.
User Interface design is a big topic on Dribbble. However, if you want to focus exclusively on User Interface patterns, UI Parade is a great resource.
Two of the best galleries to find color inspiration are Colour Lovers and Adobe Kuler. These sites both have a community element which lets users share and rank their favorite color palettes. They also offer tools so you can create your own color palettes.
Design inspiration can be found everywhere. These are just a few of my favorite places to look.
Do you have any websites you regularly visit for design inspiration? Please share in the comments.