Whether you’re looking to start a blog or build an entire website, you need to make sure your creative juices are flowing. Having a fantastic web hosting company is the first step. Then you must spend time brainstorming and experimenting with your ideas which is always a solid place to start but sometimes you need a little more inspiration. A great way to get this inspiration is to take part in design community boards. You can use these boards to see other people’s designs, ask questions, collaborate and take part in discussions. Here are some of the best ones to check out.
Looking to improve the user experience design on your website? Finding a strong community of UX designers that can give you great advice is hard to come by. Luckily, there’s Designer Hangout. By getting access to the community, you’ll receive a newsletter, access to the job board, live Q&A sessions and the ability to attend live events. In addition, the community has a live chat, so you can have conversations with other UX designers in real time.
Have a lot of questions about your upcoming UX project? Are you running into problems with your design? Stack Exchange has a UX community where you can go and ask your most pressing questions. The Q&A community is fairly busy with questions getting a 94% answer rate. The questions are voted on to see which ones rise to the top and get more views. You’ll find that many of the questions that are posted are tagged. These tags can be used to see if there are any similar questions that others have asked before you.
Digital Point is one of the most well known online communities for everything related to design, development and digital marketing. Posts on the design sub forums typically receive anywhere from hundreds to thousands of posts. The community is made up of thousands of active and helpful members. The great thing about Digital Point is that you’ll learn everything from coding, pay per click advertising, SEO, to email marketing just by browsing the various sub forums on the site.
4. Coffee Cup
Coffee Cup is a discussion forum dedicated to software and web design. What makes this forum different from many of the others is the fact that they use a simple interface to help you browse the large number of posts on the site. The forum is also categorized into specific aspects of software and web design. For example, there is a section on responsive designs, form building, HTML editors and website analytics just to a few categories. This allows you to quickly jump in the forum and find the topics you are looking for.
The Envato community is one of the best places to go to share your work and see what other designers are working on. Envato is the company behind some of one the largest creative marketplaces, so they tend to attract users that are more creative focused as opposed to technology focused. You may even benefit from some of their tutorials and examples of how others have used their graphic design templates to inspire your own creation.
If you’re looking to start a blog or even build a regular website, chances are you’re using WordPress. WordPress is the most popular CMS platform and to help back up their large user base, the company has set up various forums to help you get the most out of WordPress. You’ll find sub forums for everything related to WordPress including installation, networking, developing, accessibility and design feedback. Almost every post on the support forums gets a reply, so head on over if are dealing with any WordPress challenges.
SitePoint is known for really high quality training courses for everything related to design and development. They’ve built a very focused audience behind their brand through their forum. Their online forum is home to over 250,000 designers and developers. You’ll find every topic imaginable from server configuration, databases, frontend development, mobile app design, to PHP. Make sure you use their category tab to find the appropriate posts and the top tab to check in on the most popular conversations.
Sometimes the best way to motivate yourself is to find out what types of jobs you should work towards to and how much you can get paid for your work. Authentic Jobs is one of the few online boards that posts legitimate design and development jobs (full time, part time and telecommuting positions) from companies that need positions filled. This information can help you get an accurate assessment of how to build your portfolio and what skills to develop if your goal is to become a full-fledged web designer or developer.
9. Deviant Art
Deviant Art is a social network for artists and art enthusiasts. Users can post their work and get valuable feedback from others in the community. Deviant Art has a very active community made up of 38 million users and receives over 68 million unique visitors a month. While Deviant Art covers a wide range of categories like digital art, animations, photography, paintings and cosplay, you’ll find plenty of web design related projects to inspire you. All the different types of art on the site should also help you get some great ideas for your website.
A big part of web design that’s overlooked in conversations is graphic design. If you’re more of a do-it-yourself kind of person and create graphics from scratch, then this forum is perfect for you. This community is all about sharing your own creations and looking at the graphic designs of others users. Everything from vectors, typography, logos, to digital illustrations is covered on this forum.
Those are some of the best online communities that you’ll find for web designers and developers. You don’t have to try to tackle your creativity challenges alone. Sometimes all you need is other like-minded people to talk to and the right resources to launch your next project.