Personal website design archetypes
Some quick thoughts on broad categories of personal website design.
In my line of work (making applications on the web) and in adjacent lines of work (designing applications for the web, managing folks who design for the web, making money on the web), everyone's got a personal website. Most of these personal websites are just for personal branding, but some of them (like this one) also feature blogs, where the owner of the website can write down their thoughts about, usually, the Industry.
Most personal websites of this ilk can be categorised into one of a few design archetypes:
- The Plain Jane: simple, probably Python or handcrafted static HTML on the backend, "undesigned". Dan Luu, Patrick McKenzie, Robert Heaton
- The Hypebeast: lots of webGL, overdesigned, wins lots of Awwwards, spins my CPU up to 80%. Rauno Freiburg
- The Testbed: like the Hypebeast, but restrained and with a bit more focus on content. Robb Owen, Lynn Fisher, Sophie Koonin
- The Minimalist: tons of whitespace, system fonts, "simplify, then add lightness" Caterham philosophy. Tom MacWright, Frank Chimero
- The Bookworm: beautiful typography, classic design. Robin Sloan, Simon Collison
I think there's also a sort of non-category of folks who get design but who aren't designers, whose websites generally look alright and work well and evince a personal branch but which aren't that much to write home about. (This website's a good example of that.)