Matthew Smith over at Digital Web Magazine runs through some excellent points on how forming your own repository of other people’s designs can – if analysed correctly – positively influence your own designs and teach you some valuable lessons.
This is not about theft of ideas. In fact, he reinforces the idea of intellectual property of the designer by suggesting that you provide links back to the source of each of the items in your repository, as well as a disclaimer (should the repository be public) that the work is not your own. This is good practice for two reasons:
- You’re much less likely to come unstuck legally
- Its a good way of keeping track of the sites you’ve visited and enjoyed. You can also quickly re-visit them later on to see if the design has changed, and update your entries accordingly.