The quality of a website's design is fundamental to its success. Web designers are routinely challenged on a variety of fronts to produce informed, attractive, compelling and meaningful experiences to users, all the while balancing those needs with the perpetual call to aid in conversion.
It's enough to make even the most strategic designers lose their way in the quest for the "perfect" design.
While challenging to create a list of 50 top sites for designers, it's not the most difficult thing, either. Designers are a social group by nature; openly sharing their expertise, learning new techniques and profiting from their work. That means there is no shortage of supply when it comes to finding the tools and resources designers need or desire on the Web.
Website Magazine's Top 50 sites for designers in 2010 focused on resources for design inspiration (https://wsm.co/ekDcEE). This year's edition highlights those sites that designers might find useful in their day-to-day design activities - from finding that perfect font, to storing images and files, and even asking their peers a few complex questions along the way.
Readers should not be surprised at the presence of some of the more recognizable names at the head of this list. Adobe, Apple, Google and Microsoft are those setting standards and producing and managing the platforms and solutions that designers interact with daily. (Show us a designer that is not impacted by these enterprises, and we'll show you a very lonely designer.)
From stock image sources like istockphoto.com (#5) and font directories like iconfinder.com (#27); to back-up services like mozy.com (#20), billing services like Freshbooks. com (#17) and time trackers like Toggl.com (#44), this list has something for every Web designer. Dig deep into this list to find some of the best. Stackoverflow.com (#6) is a popular Q&A site for the developer set, and stock photo site sxc.hu (#15) - which is part of Getty Images - might provide even more inspiration.
Every website is different and every designer's set of tools and services will be different, too. For this reason it is important to stay on top of those sites most popular among designers and this list acts as a solid starting point. Explore these resources and send