Starting a new design project is never easy especially when it comes to creativity. Most designers, when lacking ideas surf the web looking for inspiration. Web sites that host designers’ artwork are an excellent starting point. Below is a list of free sites that will make life easier for every designer when it comes to inspiration.
Pttrns is the finest collection of design patterns and other resources. When you need inspiration, look here for great examples of mobile user interface patterns. Another similar site is User Flow Patterns, a growing collection of short user flow videos.
If you are looking for inspiration for your design project, then basically everything around you should be taken into consideration. However, there are websites that provide a little extra creative stimulation. Portfolio sites like Behance, Dribbble, Coroflot are a great place to start when looking for visual inspiration from existing projects.
Thinking in Color
Create color schemes with Kuler, Adobe’s color wheel, and they will be automatically saved to Creative Cloud Libraries for access from your desktop. You can also browse thousands of color combinations from the Kuler community.
Free Art Resources
Every designer loves free stuff. The following are some great free tools that we love:
If you are looking for a place where you can download high-quality fonts without paying for each font family these websites are what you are looking for.
Google Fonts – One on the most important advantages of this service is that it is maintained by a very reliable provider – Google. Google fonts are all free and it was one of the first libraries of open source fonts ever to be hosted.
Dafont– Here you’ll find a ton of unique fonts sorted by categories making it easy to find quality fonts that fit your needs.
Font Squirrel – With thousands of amazing typefaces, Font Squirrel is an important resource for any designer. Here you can generate web font kits and embed custom fonts on your website. This site is more professional than Google and Dafont. I highly recommend scrolling through this site.
Having a range of free icons is always helpful. Sites like Iconfinder, FlatIcon or Entypo host the world’s largest collection of premium and free icons. Icons are widely used by designers in almost every web and app project, so it is important to be able to download them in different formats. On these sites, you can download icons as Web Font, PNG or SVG files.
Prototyping and workflow platform
One of the biggest challenges for mobile designers is working on different devices simultaneously. They use a computer to design mobile apps and then phones and tablets to test their design. Streamlining the workflow is now more important than ever. Luckily, there are many new tools and add-ons that can help.
When designing for mobile it is essential to be aware how your design will look on different devices. The easiest way to test your design is to use the Adobe Preview app. This Photoshop CC 2015 companion app is the fastest way to see a preview of how your design looks on a mobile device.
Once you’ve designed all of the screens in the app, it’s time for testing the flow of the app as a whole. The dominant tool for this stage is the InVision App followed closely by Marvel. Those tools are easy to use, all you have to do is to upload the designs and add hotspots to transform your static design into a clickable and interactive prototype. A new partnership between Adobe and InVision brought designers enhanced prototyping features. Now you can upload a PSD with Artboards in Photoshop CC 2015 and InVision will automatically turn each artboard into its own screen, retaining the title you gave it in Photoshop.
With these tools, you will certainly save time and find easier inspiration. We at 12Rockets use tools like these every day which is why we strongly suggest checking them out for yourself.