Copying Web Design: Is It Stealing?
Many new web designers are struggling at first, trying to find their muse. Coming up with new and fresh designs is a challenge; some panic, some copy, and some ask for advice. But is copying web design okay?
Copying web design: is it stealing?
First of all, take a deep breath. Starting is always hard. You have to learn, make mistakes, listen to overly harsh criticism, and… persevere, basically. Every creative person, whether an artist or a designer, starts imitating others. Nothing inherently wrong with it: nothing we create is unique.
Web design is not that different from drawing: first, you copy famous artists, and with experience, you start making things that are uniquely yours. Your voice is somewhere there, but at first, it’s more than okay to copy the others.
But. When copying, make sure you aren’t actually copying. Taking inspiration is okay. Necessary, even. When you see a site you like, try to imitate the general idea, but don’t go into the “pixel-perfect” territory. Copying is how we learn; the more you appreciate others’ mastery, the better you will become. But please, try to copy the “real” websites, not those fancy mockups. Those can be inspiring as well, but it’s best to start working on usable designs from the beginning.
Remember: you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. First, you become as good as your peers. And then you go your own way.