User Interface Inspiration

Call it inspiration from others, or learning by example, but user interface designers often get sparks of new ideas from looking at UI best practices.

At CDG Interactive, for example, when creating design directions for a new web site interface, we’ll assemble mood boards for pure aesthetic inspiration, and research not only competitors of our clients, but sites in what we call “parallel industries.”

So we were delighted to discover a new repository of ideas and UI best of breed examples for ecommerce web sites called Ecommr. Launched just 3 months ago, the site collects both full screen shots and individual UI elements in an easily browsable library.

As its missing-vowel name suggests, it’s heavy on the Web 2.0 experience, which means you navigate both by major categories (Elements, Retailers) and by individual tags (Add to Cart, Category Landing Page, Shopping Cart Contents).

(Speaking of cart contents, one of our favorite element examples is this one from T-shirt site Threadless. How can you resist a plea to fill an empty cart’s belly?)

And because the site is built in WordPress, each page functions like a blog post, which allows users to leave comments on the individually posted UI elements, as well as subscribe to the site via RSS.

In addition to Ecommr, here are some other sites for design/UI inspiration:

How about you? Where do you go for UI inspiration?

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