Getting inspired for website design

Apfhex's picture
Member's Forum

I'm planning a redesign for my personal/portfolio site but I'm having a hard time coming up with a concept I like. I've been viewing stuff on CSS galleries like and I'm just so amazed what some people come up with. I'm not a really experienced web designer nor do I really want to do that kind of work for money. But I do want a good face for myself on the web. Any suggestions? What do you (cb readers) do to get started on a project like this?

Pink Petrol's picture

Different approaches

Hi, I recently posted two web links for agencies 'AllofUs' & 'Monomo', they both do some really inspired work, but check out London based agency Mook ( to illustrate a few different approaches to online portfolios. These guys are all doing really well at the moment so I guess they're doing something rite... although personally I'm not too keen on their sites.

A friend of mine has a really cool site although she wouldn't admit it - - If you have strong work a site of this simplicity can really work in your favour - gorgeous work no need for all the extra frills.

Flub-Dub's picture

same problem here

i GOT to build my folio, so many ideas and yet no choice.
what i have crunched so far

* i dont want a full flash site. because i want to be able to give people links.
and help people share links. [check this logo!, check this poster!]
so i want the full url in the address bar. i might use flash parts though.

* i want easy updates because i want to update it often. i just hate those sites that dont change for years. that means i dont want to open the sources (flash, psds) again. => some kind of admin interface, or something just as simple as uploading two files and a comment on the server. nothing more.

* i want to comment all my works. mini-brief or background or just a few words that help you understand the work. a simple thumb or title just wont do.

* im thinking about not involving any programming guru. maybe i'll use drupal and combine a blog and a portfolio in one site. updates should be easy, i could even let people subscribe to a mini-newsletter with news about new work, availability for work or just some cool thing everybody should know about.

* i really want to have goodies on my site. like a wallpaper, an icon, some useful free photos or ornaments. sharing stuff is so human.

* no pop-ups

* i want to feature ONLY what i consider to be my best works.
i'd rather have 10 good pieces than 50 so and so.
and maybe that's what i'll have :P
i need to be sure what im being judged for.

Thats about it.
I gathered the best pieces of my work, but i cant decide on:
= the concept
= the overall visual style
= whether to go by my name or by a brand, OMG! what brand, do i need a logo?

always outnumbered, never outgunned

Josh's picture

What I like to do, is just

What I like to do, is just spend a good amount of time browsing sites I like, by people and agencies that I find to be really good and similar to my style.

Then, I often browse through *their* links, and check out the sites/people that they are interested in - this gives me a whole new myriad of similar (or contrasting) styles that I most likely will like.

I keep doing this until I get really, really inspired; if not, then I keep going, and maybe even going deeper and deeper into 'who's linking to who, and what does their site look like?'.

Once I get inspired to work, I don't plan out exactly how I want my site to look at the end, I don't even think about that. I just start working on the areas/elements that inspired me, creating, uncreating, repeating, over and over until I have something completely new.

This new creation often renders a great feeling, one that makes you want to keep going and goin. Eventually, your design evolves into something you never expected, and very often, something that will make you really proud.

Josh Stevens | My Site
My CB Blog

Flub-Dub's picture

maybe its just me, but if i

maybe its just me, but if i start browsing and following one cool link after another i get tired in like 1 hour. too many "nice" to crunch, i just get equally about all of them or i get really pissed. there's no way i would start photoshop after that.
of course, you get some ideas but i surely need to post-pone any kind of work.

always outnumbered, never outgunned

Pink Petrol's picture


Browsing other sites is also a great way of finding out what not to do, i.e. if you come across something you like, it already exists, therefore you know not to repeat it etc..

But interms of real research, websites should be at the bottom of your list, take your inspiration from a sweet shop or a hole punch or anything outside the realm of web design - think laterally and the result will be far greater. Explore notions of taxonomies and archives etc..