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We have a new method for creating websites: We sort of steal things.

It’s hard to come up with a perfect vision for a new site on a blank screen.

So we have the entire team surfing for inspiration. We look at hundreds of sites and see what we love. A little of this color palate, that page structure, some of this navigation…  and we keep going until everyone says “THAT’S IT!”

What we get is completely unlike any of the sites we’re inspired by, and it’s more of a mash-up. It’s uniquely ours, and it’s great. 

Most important: We save months in the design process because everyone (including non-designers) can see the end result. Referring to real-live examples gives everyone the tools to explain what works for them. For example, it’s easier for the writers to see how the text will flow on an existing website than a wireframe.

Here are some similar thoughts from Seth Godin.

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  1. James Young August 26, 2014 at 9:10 am #

    Great post Andy! I wouldn’t so much as call it “stealing” because you keep what you steal, or turn it quick to get the heat off of you. You more or less borrow it! I use the same technique for writing performance evaluations.

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