Published on May 8, 2019
According to scientific studies, visual information is perceived by the human mind much better than any other type of content, leaving vivid impressions and getting firmly into one’s memory. That being said, how many striking visual elements does your portfolio feature? If it’s a couple of screenshots accompanied by a bunch of plain text, then it may as well be hampering your business growth and expansion among clients.
Some things are better seen once than heard about a thousand times as they say. Optimized PR campaigns, pre-purchased traffic – none of that will help you collect a client base as efficiently as a good, quality portfolio. Further on in the article, we are taking a look at a number of portfolio websites, each of which is a great example to learn from in terms of both design and UX.
Best Portfolio Websites to Inspire You
Some of the following resources might as well serve as a prototype for your future ‘business card website’. So get comfortable and draw some agency website inspiration for your own future project.
The website stores all the works of the eponymous digital agency. And you know what? Projects are great and all (this brand’s staff designers certainly grabbed hold of the most fitting color schemes to paint one’s brand identity) – but above all else, we enjoyed the seamless animation the resource can boast. Once you put a cursor above a certain project, the design applied to a certain product is displayed – a mobile app or desktop website. Such dynamic displaying tiles are a great trend to take after – a client sees the readymade solution ‘at work’ immediately.
This here design agency portfolio lists cases in the arranged chess-board fashion along the scrollable Projects page. We believe this example to be among the top creative solutions both from the perspective of the visual implementation (everything looks up-to-date and minimalistic) and UX (despite the fact that a user, basically, launches another page upon clicking on a case, everything is made look as though you are still looking at the same page, just on another ‘level’).
This is the creative agency portfolio implemented with the freshest web design trends in mind: minimalistic overall style, geometric shapes and figures, pastel tones, and revealing animation. All in all, these guys managed to create a really vivid example to take after – a perfect solution for everyone wishing to creatively, strikingly boast their portfolio in 2019.
Do you like saturated, acidic color patterns as much as we do? Obviously, only an agency with a strictly-defined target audience can afford to play with such ‘over-the-top’ design solutions (any formal establishments or agencies that position their business formally may as well go past here). This is the choice for someone looking to play with the boundaries of the standard and leave a focused impression on a certain audience.
We simply couldn’t go past this amazing digital portfolio. Apart from all the presented projects being impeccable, we also loved the cursor-bound tilting animation that creates a 3D illusion for the whole page. See it for yourself!
Yet another awesome example of properly employing bright tones that contrast between each other. Everything about that page just screams ‘creativity at its core’, bringing most various colors together under one meaty-red ‘roof’. It is also a very optimal solution budget-wise (there is not a single advanced graphic element that would cost much to implement).
This resource is an excellent demonstration properly fitting in seemingly cumbersome text blocks. Viewing project descriptions from the catalog, you can see one of the most successful examples of ‘cramming all that text’ in with screens in an organic, highly-efficient manner. You can feel at once how much creative work was put into achieving this one.
Despite the moderate collection of color schemes this portfolio features, the overall approach is certainly worth checking out. There aren’t many case galleries that make descriptions go along perfectly organically with everything else on the page. The design of this one may be the best way to go for those working with an extended scope of services and tasks that go beyond visual design.
This is the resource that literally amazed us with confusion. Once you open this portfolio’s homepage, all that you see is a black-and-white concept of a TV screen filled with white noise. After you click and drag some interactive elements, you understand how amazingly well and tasteful everything is put together on this website. An awesome, original concept implemented with as awesome technical input.
Vivid color choices always attract user attention, especially if the right contrast sets the mood. Apart from tasty colors, this agency does this thing where you can see a sneak peek of a project you are moving your cursor over. That way, website users can see some part of info and get intrigued without even clicking anything.
You must see this one with your own eyes – you are met with quite a peculiar homepage illustration continued by a list of exhibited cases that is scrolled through peculiarly as well. If you seek originality, here’s a bunch of it – take a look and get inspired for some wild, out-of-line ideas.
Grey, moderately-colored background, blurred letters… What can attract potential clients here, you might ask. The design of this digital portfolio beams with melancholy in the best, warmest way, while also demonstrating the designer finesse of artists that created this solution.
Everything’s pretty standard in terms of the UX here: you see a bunch of project names with respective ‘+’ symbols, clicking which, the project description gets expanded. The raw digital font-focused design is the best – it is as though all the text on the page was composed using a typewriter. The taste and optimal conciseness of this design creators’ can be felt when viewing this page – there are no excessive dynamic elements involved.
Don’t forget to think about your cursor while you draw some portfolio websites inspiration – with this here resource, for example, you wouldn’t see your ordinary arrow. Instead, you use a laser sight as your trusty pointer – like a real sniper! In all the other aspects, everything’s done with just the right amount of professionalism here – each project sample is accessible to view and returning to a root catalog is fast and easy.
The digital portfolio on this resource is the factual proof that even the most moderate concepts can be executed strikingly. Designers made a bet on the classic color scheme choice (darker tones hint on the high qualification of the company) along with some minimalistic animation that becomes ‘alive’ once the cursor is moved over the case tile.
Refresh Studio’s portfolio made the unfurling of project tabs resemble the graphics from ‘Transformers’ – everything moves very gradually and all the moving elements can be seen in detail. While the page loads, you can see things appear meanwhile, making the UX seamless at no expense of the required loading time.
A great thing about this site is that it has sound. Beware though: launching the website all alone in the dark may result in goosebumps all over your back. As die-hard fans of horror movies, we enjoyed the color scheme and psychedelic animations. Although, such solutions would hardly fit the taste of a mass consumer audience.
FAQ for Coming Up With a Standing-Out Portfolio
On top of our list of the website portfolio inspiration examples, we’d also like to provide a FAQ for you, which will help you form at least a big picture of how your future portfolio solution may look.
What are the major web design trends of the year?
Coming from the above-listed case studies, it can be dynamic loading, incremental rendering, sound effects, custom cursors, as well as elements that seamlessly appear over the basic background. As for design patterns and color palettes, most of the players go for darker tones and minimalistic shapes.
Is animation necessary or just screenshots will do?
Regular screenshots will hardly be enough for most cases. Considering the fact that all of the cases we presented in our list featured animated parts at least to some extent, we tend to believe that moving elements can serve as an implicit demonstration of your designers’ skill for potential clients. Unless you are planning to hide some aces up your sleeve, you must show everything you have from the get-go.
Should I use templates for my portfolio?
Practically every more or less popular web software engine provides hundreds of templates for various objects by default. The risk of creating a resource closely resembling some other existing solution is real but very rare. A different thing is that not each template will allow you to unravel your imagination in terms of the UI and UX implementation. If you have an awesome idea which you can fuel with a sufficient budget, try to get as many elements done ‘by hand’, in an authentic manner.
How extensive should my list of case studies be?
We believe that less content and more quality is always the best decision to go for. Drawing up each case for a portfolio can take too much time that could be spent working with clients instead. Take your 5-8 best works for a portfolio and show all the rest you have by request.
How can I enhance the view of my case studies?
A few years back, many digital agencies placed some client feedback and the designer’s info on every case study page. It is more of an out-of-date thing now. It’s far better to focus on the intuitivity and simplicity of your page’s UX elements.
We truly hope that the examples of agency portfolio websites along with a few tips for your own portfolio’s inspiration will come in handy for you. If you are planning to implement a page that would top lists similar to ours, let’s work on it! Our team of experienced developers are ready to rock and deliver the PSD to HTML service that makes you smile. Seriously. Contact us and let us prove it.
This post was last updated on March 18, 2021