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The changing look of listing / portfolio sites

Websites that present a portfolio or list of creative work are always a design challenge. They have to be easy to navigate, and present visual ideas without overwhelming the viewer. Here’s a peek at how they’re evolving:

In 2004, Daniel Eatock (top notch designer) and Jeffrey Vaska (top notch programmer) developed Indexhibit, originally conceived as a presentation device. Seeing the potential of the simple left navigation, right side content format, Indexhibit was developed into the eatock.com website.

The guys then released the code free to anyone who wanted to use and adapt it.

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At the last count around 1000 sites have taken up Indexhibit, not only designers or arty farty types, but bloggers, journalists, engineers, expo’s, festivals, doctors – all kinds of sites. Shows how a simple solution and equally simple code can spread.

Recently we’ve seen several different approaches to free website portfolio code becoming really popular (to be honest – used mainly by a swathe of designer / blogger types). One of the more interesting is Indexr.

Indexr retains the simple and easily adaptable setup of Indexhibit (both originally intended as listing sites), but this minimalism makes the sites highly visual.

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Another is a template for WordPress (the open source content management system we use for this site) called Grid-A-Licious. Developed by Superb, Grid-A-Licious has gone beyond its blog site roots and has started to be used by designers and architects as portfolio sites. Grid-A-Licious offers just the right balance between image and copy.

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So far Indexr and Grid-A-Licious are not as prevalent as Indexhibit, but I expect a flurry of sites based on them to start sprouting up, and many moving over from Indexhibit. At Velocity, we’re playing with different ways of showing our work and hope to have a portfolio page up soon. If you know of any good ones, let us know.

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