Personally, I find reading, writing and blogging to be very inspirational. Just the act of putting words to page helps me articulate and come up with new ways of approaching a challenge or solving a problem differently. The following is a list of my favorites (not in any particular order) which range from tutorial oriented sites, to news oriented sites, to more practical sites such as Fred Wilson’s blog or Seth Godin. Enjoy.

  1. Hacker News – although this isn’t design focused, anybody could learn a lot from the articles and stories shared at this site.
  2. Smashing Magazine – while these pages are typically filled with tutorial oriented content, the writing and details on how to, what to and why to do the right thing with visual design and interaction design both.
  3. Fred Wilson’s blog – it’s got more practical venture capital insight than any other blog from an individual in this category, from my view. It’s worth reading if not taken too seriously.
  4. Stuck in Customers – a site that was the first one I had seen about HDR photography and it converted me into a huge fan.
  5. Seth Godin’s blog – the most prolific marketing mind of our time in many ways, Seth’s topics cover inspiration, motivation, marketing, social, trends and more.
  6. TechCrunch – Knowing what kinds of funding happens, by whom, when and why is important in many ways because it points to current standards and best practices. By knowing where the average user experience is (beyond Facebook, Google and Amazon) on sites such as Pinterest, Instagram, AirBnB and more you have a far better chance of designing something unique, interesting and functional which hits the mark, if it’s also within the standard deviation of products your prospects are already familiar with.
  7. ReadWriteWeb is also a must, for most of the same reasons TechCrunch is. Sometimes, the reporting on ReadWriteWeb is also the best in the category. Not always, but often enough I think it’ll eventually rival Mashable in size, at least for the news areas.
  8., while not updated nearly as much as a blog, is worth a read at least every few months for Jakob Neilson’s insightful Alertbox column, which has been around for more than a decade.
  9. John Battelle’s Search Blog has been around for a while as well. Famed author, noted prognosticator of annual internet and technology related news, John’s blog has been calling it right for our industry in easily digestible chunks for a while. Any serious designer should know the market, or at least as I do, study at the feet of those who also boldly predict trends with his kind of accuracy.
  10. Marc Andreessen’s blog is even less frequently updated than the others, but for good reason. While it’s still debatable the long term future of Ning post merger with Glam, what is clear is that their investment firm has become the “Sequoia” of our time in the few years since they have launched.
  11. Signal Vs. Noise, from 37signals. With ruby becoming one of the de facto scripting languages to build web applications (two companies I co-founded went with Ruby), 37signals has forever earned a place in web history. Couple this with their keen design, interaction and business insights, 37signals is one of the best ways to learn about how to create products that surprise and delight customers.
  12. Ted Talks Love them.
  13. A List Apart Whether it’s HTML5 tricks or CSS3 insights, this is a great place for a light read.
  14. w3schools
  15. TeamTreeHouse
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