Finding Inspiration Part 2: Know what you’re talking about
Reading books sucks. I hate it. I find myself having a hard time staying awake after 2 or 3 pages of pretty much any book. I envy people that can read for hours on end and just gather up all of that juicy knowledgey goodness (clearly I am not counting Twilight). I have come to terms with the fact that books and I are unlikely to ever really get along.
The internet on the other hand is cool. Reading on the internet is also super cool. I can read on the internet and a lot of the time I don’t even fall asleep! Which is good because when it comes to designing web sites it is important that you keep up with the Jones’ and know all of the latest and greatest methods for usability and design. It’s not like you have an option really, seeing as how Geocities has been shut down and all.
Knowing what other designers (particularly ones that are better than you) are up to is important. So is knowing about the new capabilities of up and coming internet browsers or operating systems or people. So read blogs, and watch videos about all of these things. Hopefully you find some things you can agree with and get on board with some new ideas or techniques. Equally as important is finding information that you disagree with, because real advancement in design practices is only achieved through discussion and culmination of differing opinions. There is no 1 person solely responsible for the way the internet or the web design business evolves.
So there are a lot of places to go read, watch, or hear about what different people find to be the latest and greatest new ideas. Is it weird for me to link to a blog about other blogs? Probably not, that’s pretty much what makes the internet such a great place anyway. DBT has been so kind as to take the time to comprise a list of top blogs that discuss all things design. You may find yourself reading about practices that you already apply but never knew it, you will definitely find some things that you had never thought of before.
Now this all plays into design inspiration because it expands your palette and gives you more tools to work with. The more you know about what you do the more you can expand upon it and help it grow. Your random moments of creative influence will be more frequent if your brain has more thought categories that require a creative influence. If nothing else you can impress everyone with all of your savvy lingo.