I e-mailed the designers of a website I liked, www.duoh.com.
This is the reply I got. The link was very helpful!
I am a student at the Arts Institute of Bournemouth currently studying Visual Communication. Our next project is about web design where we have to design our own online portfolios, are there any tips you can give me? I love this website of yours, it's a really eye-catching design. How do you go about designing something like this?
I look forward to hearing from you.
That's hard to explain in words because it will be something different for everybody. In my case I wanted to experiment and try something really different. The idea was to work with illustrations but in the first iterations it became a bit too girly so moved forward towards something different but still with the idea of using illustrations. That's when it hit me to use the illustrations as an experiment for people who view the site on bigger monitors. You can read all about how the site came to live in this post:
Your portfolio should represent your personality and you should try to be as original as possible. Make sure your portfolio itself is an example of good web design and talk about what you did for the client so that potential ones see what you did. Hope that helps.