Monday I brought up the idea of a redesign for this site and my good friend Mike Papageorge just wanted more content, which makes perfect sense. Eventually the design goes to the background and you come to the site to see one thing: content. However, sometimes the design is what inspires the author to continue to write. Seeing the same design every single day can grow tiresome for someone like me. Kind of like visiting the 99 CSS design galleries and seeing the same kind of designs day in and day out.
When I started the CSS Vault I wanted to showcase great designs coded using CSS. Initially it was a great time because there were so many great designs coming out that used CSS, but then the gallery clones started to pop up and we all began to compete with each other over who could post a design first. It grew boring and troublesome so I sold the site and moved on (and has since been sold again for a whopping $100k). We are all pretty good with standards based designs now and know that many beautiful sites are done using CSS, however it is time for a shift.
When looking for design inspiration is your only source CSS sites? Have you ever come across a beautiful site done in tables or Flash? Maybe if you want some ideas you go through a magazine. When you first saw the iPod did it inspire you to design a little bit differently? See design galleries need to back away from finding quality design in one subset and start to incorporate the beautiful designs in everything that we see.
I’m not sure if there is a site like that around and sooner or later 9rules will release one, but I’m surprised one hasn’t come around already. Instead of creating another CSS gallery site why hasn’t anyone taken it to the next level at all? I know this community is better than the generic Web 2.0 copycat community so what prevents someone from taking that step and raising the bar? Maybe if we are lucky history will repeat itself and we will set the tone for the next couple months/years with regards to design galleries, but if someone beats us to it then more power to them.
Here is what I was working on in my free time last year: 9rules Design Gallery. As you can see it never got completed because I had to focus more on getting Ali and all its great features out the door, but I hope some time soon I can revisit it and bring in the social features that Ali has brought to 9rules and make design galleries fun again.