Nowadays, it seems like almost every designer has a personal website to showcase their work. The importance of creating an online portfolio is essential in their success. Online portfolios are certainly effective but most of them required a bit of technical knowledge to develop which may not be the core expertise of some designer. Ultimately, a designer’s portfolio is the showcase of his/her work, talents, skills and opportunity for potential and future clients, so we should not be reckless in creating one.
Imagine that the online portfolio is a school performance card and the client is the parent. What designers want their parents to see in the performance cards depends entirely on them. While there are readily tools and templates to make their life easier, such selection won't label them as a bright student.
It may also seem easy to just plug in a gallery to showcase their work, but what sets them apart from hundreds of similar designers whom are fighting for the flagpole are really simplicity, usability, innovation and uniqueness.
Here we discuss 10 pointers which designers might want to consider when creating a foothold on the web and hopefully when carefully considered and well executed, will deliver quality results for their portfolios.
10 Remedies For Creating A Great Designer's Online Portfolio
1. Uncomplicated And Focus
You may be tempted to use grandiloquent or unnecessary words to describe your works or profile in hoping to “attract” potential customers. Sometimes it might turn out otherwise, customers would not want to read a lengthy opening introduction of your works when most of the words you uses need to be check with a dictionary.
What’s more disturbing is that you might stray out of point. If you can use seven words instead of thirty words while bringing the same message across and accomplishing your goals, you might consider cutting down unnecessary words.
Many single designer has include many other additional services like, web development, marketing, and SEO which may not be their main expertise. Focus on your strength instead of trying to have a squeeze at every pie.
Ritacruz is a Portuguese girl based in Cardiff, UK. She has graduated from Design for Media at the University of Glamorgan in Wales. She has specify her skills and focus well in her portfolio.
2. Showcase What You Want Your Clients To See
Present in your portfolio only your best works. If something is mediocre and is not up to your standard, do not show it. If you think your clients would be impressed by the amount list of work you have done instead of the quality attributes. You might want to think again. If you do not want others to see it, hide it.
Loïc Sattler, who is born in the east of France is a rich media designer owns a very remarkable portfolio. He has showcased the most quality of his works in his portfolios which he wanted others to see.
3. Quantity vs Quality
As a designer, it’s naturally that you want your client to know as much about you, e.g. your skills, talents, great projects, expertises etc. However, sometimes if you show too many types of work or try to show too much work of a similar type, you might overwhelm the user.
Furthermore the outstanding works are overshadowed by the mass number of all your other ordinary works. A targeted and clear portfolio is much better than a huge, unfocused and mediocre one. So be sure to keep it short and sweet.
Li Chin is a Web/Graphic/UI Designer who residing in Sweden. Though she has decided to only showcase some of her creativity in her portfolio, they are especially of high standard.
4. Creativeness Vs User Usability
Creativity is the fundamental doctrine every designer ought to have. In fact, it is the creativeness that fuels their passion and motivated them to go on. However, creativeness should not endangered the usability of the website.
While, it is good to try out new navigation technique and design appeals, the basic roles of the important field must still be kept. You would not want your clients to search more than a few pages to find a way to contact you or view your works.
Mitxel Gonzales Zabalo is a 30 years old designer who live in Donostia, Basque Country. He has design a creative website yet not sacrificing the easy navigation and accessibility.
5. Define Your Mission, Services And Goals
Every designer bound to have a set of their own belief, philosophy and capability. It will be good to let your clients know in advance what kind of person they will be dealing with and the style of your work. Explained your capability and how you can help your clients to meet their expectations.
The key here is honesty which is set to go a long way in building good customers rapport. Refrain from boasting and promising things that you can’t deliver, it is not only waste unnecessary time but damage your reputation and brand.
Ryan Keiser's mission is clearly defined on his homepage. He create websites which is usable, accessible and colorful experiences for his client.
6. Target Your Clients & Market
What kind of clients you get depend on how you attract them at the first instance. If you promised 24/7 service support, be prepared to have them calling you 3am in the morning. The more you target your design to a specific type of client, the more it will speak to the visitor within that market. If you are looking to entice corporate clients in a conservative industry, then present them with work that is sleek, marketable and looks successful.
Speaking to a specific audience allows the designer to become a recognized expert in the field easier. Targeting a specific market can differentiate your services and makes you more likely to stand out which increase your success rate to clinch jobs in a specific niche and being perceived as an expert in that area will increase.
Kev Adamson is an award winning freelance illustrator, animator and designer. He has target his market well by designing his site in a style that is in tune with the services he is providing.
7. Utilizing The Appropriate Technologies
Also consider the maintainability when deciding on technologies. Simplifying your portfolio as much as possible will ease the time you’ll have to spend on upgrading or making changes to the website. You can also utilizing a CMS (Content Management System) like WordPress to enhance your portfolio and make your site easy to update and edit. Try to keep a clean source code yet provides elegant and lightweight capability.
Max Shaman is a Flash developer and he has clearly show you how he can utilize Flash technology to create a fun and unique website for you.
8. State Your Availability, Contact Details, Awards & Achievement, And Testimonials
Contact information and about page should be displayed prominently and easy to find. If you are using contact form then they should be easy to use without complex Captcha to frustrate your clients. Tell your potential clients when will you be available for hire so that they can arrange for the schedule.
You should also clearly credit your work. It helps to build confidence with your target market to clarify your role in the projects you present in your portfolio. If you designed the website, but someone else coded it, then state that. If you did everything then confidently declare that as well.
Providing client’s testimonial and your achievement and awards are effective for persuading those that visit your site to trust you. It also increases the level of professionalism when tastefully incorporating into your portfolio and each of it should be directed to the source in order to create credibility and authenticity.
Basically, you can find out everything about the web designer - Jan Cavan in her about page. She has provides some of her awards and recognition and testimonials from her clients.
9. Personal Style With Unique Design
While it maybe hard to be totally unique in your design and yet infusing your personality into it, you will make your portfolio not only memorable but incredible. Being remarkable in the design of your portfolio often means bringing to fruition the personal design taste unique to you that has been cultivated over the years.
You should carefully consider how to intermingle your extraordinary individual elements into your portfolio without forgoing user usability and disorientating the balance between eminence of your portfolio and the design of the site itself. By using your name as the domain name of your portfolio also enable you to be recognize and remember easily.
Marina Karlova has her own style of designing her portfolio with a unique design.
10. Be Prepared For Expandability And Scalability
When you are developing your portfolios, you should have in mind your long term goals too. Your portfolio is likely to change several times as you develop different projects over the course of your career. You want to incorporate certain services in your portfolios like e-Commerce which enable you to sell your templates or icons.
By including a blog in your portfolio is another great way for you to connect with your client. So it’s important not to restrict the capability of your portfolio but to create a readily expandable portfolio when the needs call upon. It will always help to have a view toward the future.
Joanna Klima is a freelance graphic and web designer based on the Gold Coast, Australia. She has a portfolio which includes her personal blog and her shop.
25 Beautiful & Creative Designers' Portfolios
A successful designer's portfolio finds that perfect blend of your personality, prominence of work, simplicity, and ease of use to makes your portfolio stand out from the crowd and achieve your goals. Now with the pointers, we’ll showcase 25 beautiful and creative designers’ portfolio that have make an impact on us.
Chris Spooner is a famous graphic designer that was born and raised in Sheffield, UK. He is pretty active in various social websites and most web fanatics would have long hear of his name.
Arun Pattnaik is a creative designer that has decent experiences in the field of designing and consulting.
Ayaka Ito is a new media designer born in 1988 in Japan. She is currently working towards her Bachelor of Fine Arts at Rochester Institute of Technology.
Brent Ayers is a 28 year old web designer residing in Atlanta whom has been designing websites for nearly 10 years.
Cris Vector is a freelance illustrator and designer with more that 7 years of experience.
Dries Schaballie is an interactive and graphic designer whom has also founded an agency which specializes in high quality new rich media productions for a varied pallet of clients.
Mitch Canter is a WordPress designer and general web developer based in Nashville, TN.
Dan Friml is a 38 years old multimedia artist, graphic designer and web designer who is living and working in Prague.
Paul Kadysz is a 22 years old student and freelance graphic designer whom has designed over 100 websites.
Gustavo Rodriguez, a graphic designer living at Montrèal (Canada) has been a designer for more than 3 years.
Mat Webb is a graphic designer who specialize in web design which was born and bred in Sydney Australia.
Chuck Anderson is the founder of NoPattern Studio and is also a designer with numerous quality works.
Dave Gilliaert Werner is a designer and also the founder of Minor Studios at San Francisco, CA.d
João Oliveira is a Portuguese graphic designer and illustrator, born in 1986 and based on Porto, Portugal.
Patrick Monkel is a freelance graphic designer living in The Netherlands.
Perttu Murto is a 23-year-old graphic designer / art director / illustrator from Finland whom has been involved in graphics for almost 8 years.
Alex Cican is a freelancer designer from Romania and is the founder of Sican Studios.
STILLONTHERUN.COM is the online portfolio of Emeric Trahand whom is a freelance graphic designer.
Sumeco is the online identity of Dutch designer Theo Aartsma whom has completed his Bachelor of Multimedia in 2006.
Justin Maller is a freelance illustrator and art director based in Melbourne, Australia whom has been creating digital art for over eight years.
Travis Neilson is a creative director for an advertising agency and also a designer living in Las Vegas.
Mike Sullivan is a digital art director and graphic designer with a strong sense of aesthetics and visual identity, with over 13 years experience in print, typography, online and interactive design.
You And I Graphics
Irene Demetri is a Greece based visual communication designer specializing in web design solutions and Youandigraphics is her personal portfolio website.
Maru Velazquez Domaniczky is a web & graphic designer from Paraguay.
Rich McNabb is an interactive web designer residing at New Zealand.
There may be other remedies in creating a successful portfolio but the most important thing here is trial and error. Keep trying and tweaking your portfolio, so you may achieved the best benefit from it. Having an online portfolios is no longer just a showcase of your works but a portal for you to connect and interact with your clients and fans. So next time when you want to create an online portfolio, try remember this 10 pointers.
Have you seen any other wonderful portfolios? Share with us here at the comments.