In today's blog, I want to talk about one of the most important things you need to have in this industry and that is your portfolio. I've mentioned in one of my previous YouTube videos that if you don't know how to create an amazing design, you should use a template at the beginning, so we are going to look into that. Also, I will list a few principles that form the backbone for each portfolio. Without any further a due let's get into it.
Before we start getting into more details, you need to decide where people will be able to find your portfolio. I've mentioned this in one of my previous YouTube videos, that in my opinion best option is to have your website. You can do this very quickly and easily on Webflow.com, Wix.com or Squarespace.com. If you are not sure yet, try other platforms such as Dribbble.com, however again I am insisting on a website instead. Even if it has the platform's URL at the end, believe me it's better this way.
Everyone who takes a glimpse at your portfolio needs to recognise the style immediately. Thus, you have to establish your identity through the best design that represents you. And I talk not only about the design of your portfolio but also your work. Sometimes for really good designers, you can see certain elements that carry themselves everywhere, such as fonts, colour palettes and cleanliness or crowdedness of elements. There is a certain something that you identify with, and people need to see that from the very beginning.
From the impactful introduction to your work, you need to create an easy flow of storytelling.
In the beginning talk about yourself, maybe highlight a few attributes such as Hi, my name is ..., I am a designer but I also know front end code, or you can even add something funny like I paint, I sing, but I also design. Again this needs to reflect your style. The introduction needs to respond to the question 'Who you are?'.
Underneath your impactful introduction, add a bit of description, more about yourself, like passions, years of experience, your values, like you always like to learn and grow and so on. Something to catch the eye of your reader and incentivise him or her to continue reading more from your portfolio/website, like About page, and most importantly your Work Page. You can either create separate pages for all of this or just keep everything in your Home page. For both options remember that you are telling a story, so keep it logical and within your style.
Some people even present their About page as a Case study. Have a look at Moritz Oesterlau (www.moritzoesterlau.de) from Germany for example. He talks a bit about who he is and his experience, and also what he does now. Also notice how you immediately can identify his style.
Nowadays with all these shorts and reels, and Tik-Toks, it's better to keep it short and sweet. In my opinion you should have 4 projects that you showcase in your portfolio. Other designers seem to agree, for example Daniel Autry (danielautry.com).
He believes that there is no magic number, but he found the number that works for him.
In terms of style, again you want to maintain your style. Showcase the projects you are most proud of, the ones where you had total freedom and control on the user experience and the design, or where you had the most input on these.
Don't forget about storytelling. You are telling a story about your portfolio or website. In the beginning, you present the characters aka yourself, and place a hook on your readers. You continue with your work in more detail aka your 4 most impressive projects. Here, the most important thing is to talk about problems and how you used your designer mind to tackle and solve those problems. For each project you can creatively add some notes, even some sticky notes, where you discuss about these.
A good example for this is Elizabeth Lin's (www.elizabethylin.com) portfolio. She and her style stand our from the very home page. And on the Design where she is showcasing her projects, you can see how she taught about the entire process, and the result of that process. The entire story should lead to the end of it, where you highlight in a creative way a 'Let's work together button' or ' Contact me for more'.
So if you are the beginning and you don't know how to create a design for your portfolio yet, and also coded it, or you are simply not confident enough yet, I suggest templates. Websites like Webflow.com, Wix.com or Squarespace.com. can offer free templates but also paid ones.
For inspiration you can even check out my website. It's not as much of a portfolio as it is a personal branding website nowadays, however you can see that I talk about myself from the very beginning and try to lure you in with an amazing smile :). I then take you through some of my clients, and my passions like YouTube and current ventures. I also have an About page and I make sure my story ends with a 'Contact form' for an easy flow for the user. My style also carries through the website, through my choice of colours, fonts and simple elements. I've designed and coded this in Webflow.
Leaving this aside, I think you have now what it takes to give your portfolio a shot.