You have a new assignment for an app or feature and need to create mockups and final designs. Using an example layout does not require permission or crediting the creator. However, if you use a custom font, set of icons, or an image, you may need permission from their creator. With free or open-source assets, you do not have to credit creators. Here are some free resources for UX / UI developers.
Fonts are an oft-overlooked part of any page design. Users are so familiar with fonts like Arial or Times New Roman from word processing they need to realize how much variety online fonts have. Font can convey tone, audience, and mood to users interacting with the copy. Picking the right font for your brand is crucial.
Along with offering sets of fonts to use, many of these websites have resource pages to help you understand more about fonts and typography. Learning how to maximize the impact of your fonts goes beyond the font looking nice. These resources will give you an artistic and technical understanding of fonts. Here are some great resources for free fonts for use in your designs.
What better resource for free fonts than a Silicon Valley giant? Google Fonts offers over 1500 families for you to choose from for your designs. What makes this resource great is the ability to generate a specific style for each font. On each font's review screen, you can select and preview a font with different weights and regular or italicized fonts. You can then download your customized font or create a CSS import to drop in the header of your webpage. It is simple, powerful, and streamlined to get you designing in minutes!
The Typewolf project was created out of frustration with the current free font websites. A simple sample of the often-used test text, the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog, is insufficient to test a font for a website or application. Typewolf solves this issue by giving real design examples of the font. There are plenty of examples of how a font would look with specific colors or for a product or service. Typewolf's pairing of great free fonts with real examples makes it easy to see how a font may fit into your future designs.
Where Google Fonts and Typewolf offer a carefully curated set of fonts, examples, and training, DaFont dives right into fonts. This no-nonsense resource offers a category search feature that focuses on mood and theme for what fonts you are looking for. From Western and Horror to Calligraphy and even holiday-themed fonts, DaFont has a font style for you.
An image is worth a thousand words, but icons can communicate many words with even less computer memory. Icons leverage common user interactions or expectations to condense meaning into less space. Effectively using icons in your design will help unclutter screens and create sharper designs for your users.
If you have ever searched Google for free icons, you have probably ended up on Flaticon. It is one of the most popular websites for icons, especially interface icons. They offer popular website and app interface icons in several stroke weights and edge designs. Along with their robust interface icon selection, they also have fun icon collections tailored around ideas such as style, event-focused icons, or items like construction or medicine.
The Noun Project
The noun project offers free images but is best known for having one of the most extensive online icon libraries. The noun project offers over 5 million free icons, curated to meet accessibility requirements for a good user experience. This resource is perfect if you are looking for diverse icons that all users can understand.
Images make great web design by breaking up repetitive copy and color block sections. Hero sections are introductory image sections for framing what your site is about to new and existing users. Getting good images representing your brand and vision can be difficult, especially if you do not have a budget, so having great free resources is a requirement.
Unsplash offers users over 3 million high-resolution images for free. If there is a topic you are looking for, Unsplash not only has the image, but it most likely has an entire collection of similar images. With almost three hundred thousand contributing photographers, this collection is continuously updated and expanded. The depth and variety of this image repository can not be matched by any other free resource online.
Burst by Shopify
With over 4.4 million websites powered by Shopify as of 2023, Shopify has a lot of responsibility to empower its users for good design. Beyond free themes and the ease of design through drag-and-drop page building, Shopify offers users free tools to personalize their websites and stores. Burst is a Shopify subdomain that allows users to find free images for their websites and apps.
Beyond the basic search bar, Burst has a great setup to aid users in finding specific images. Their collections section neatly organizes free images into many popular website categories to prevent you from aimlessly entering keywords in the search bar. Along with the collections section, they also offer a business ideas section which includes downloadable asset packages, and copy guides to help you create a design based on a specific store type or focus.
Pexels offers content in the form of both photos and videos, all for free. They need the ease of search and discovery that Unsplash and Shopify Burst offer, but they still have plenty of great categories and collections to help you find what you are looking for. One of the more unique features of their site is the challenges sections in which Pexels challenges content creators to add their best images for a specific topic. From focusing on colors to moods and activities, these challenges create collections of 10k+ images.
Learn to Design Like a Professional
We have reviewed free resources, but you may want to expand your design abilities. Learning is done by doing, but doing tasks correctly requires professional guidance. Thinkful's 5-month UX / UI design bootcamp will teach you to develop like a professional. Here you will learn the theory of design, work on projects using the latest industry tech and methods, and how to communicate effectively with clients.