While design trends will always be popular, they’re not necessarily the best methods for constructing a new website. Trends do not always fit into every project and sometimes you’ll need to try new techniques to fulfill a client’s wishes.
This is where you should try relying more on design patterns which are commonly-used methods of crafting interface features.
The UI-Design website has a design patterns gallery full of examples for anything you could imagine. Form fields, tours & in-page wizards, breadcrumbs, anything that you’d typically find in a modern interface has a category on this page.
This doesn’t mean you should solely rely on design patterns for all of your work – far from it.
But studying common patterns can help you put together ideas that may work for projects in need of a working solution. Plus visitors are going to be familiar with popular patterns, thus making a site much easier to browse on the user’s end.
Each page caters to a particular pattern with details and helpful hints. Live examples are only part of the equation.
For example the breadcrumbs page covers the incipient problem and how breadcrumbs can solve that particular problem(hierarchical navigation).
Use this resource as a guide to stay focused on what matters most: the user experience. If you can solve problems from an experiential level then your aesthetic design work should become the least of your concerns.