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9 Tips for Designing a Portfolio Website

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Every designer knows that their portfolio is like a diary, except it’s meant for other people. It’s a string of memories and experiences that highlights moments of pride. Think of a portfolio as a way to present yourself that is complementary to the CV. In your resume, you offer your work experience in a readable and easy to understand way. In a portfolio, you show your potential employer what you can do and how committed you are to the job. That is why it is essential to create a website that will show your best side. Here are some tips to help you do that:

Create your design

It’s tempting to use a template to speed up the website creation. But it is not always the best course of action to take. By creating your design, you will leave an impression of professionalism and dedication. It gives you the freedom to organize the webpage any way you want. It also lets you test various features and design solutions. You can always enlist the help of a professional web designer if you get stuck.

Don’t forget technical things

While creating the webpage, think about helping people find you easily. You can do it in two ways: choosing the right domain name and through SEO. A unique and interesting domain name offers several benefits: it expands your brand identity. It also makes it really simple for the people to find you. Since options are limitless, you can always make it more memorable by picking the interesting .me domain as your top-level domain. There’s an endless variety of ways to create a unique domain name that will showcase both your personal and professional aspects.

Be focused

When creating a webpage, you may feel tempted to add all the things you ever did as space is usually not an issue. And why not – if you put all the things you did, surely it will add to the value of the portfolio? As we mentioned above, a portfolio is not a CV. Choose only your best works, the ones that you feel best represent your skills and capabilities. That should be a centerpiece of the webpage.

It should not be only visual

Even though we all think that portfolios are first and foremost a visual experience, do not forget the text. People are interested not just in your work – they want to know the person behind the scenes. Show what makes you tick. Share your hobbies, dreams, achievements. Use a portfolio to tell your life story so that visitors can see how your work changed as you changed.

Try to keep it simple

Exploring your web page should be an easy and enjoyable experience. So, keep that in mind while you create it and later when you improve it. Visitors should not be overwhelmed with various colors or images. They should also be able to navigate through the pages easily. Test your page with friends or acquaintances to learn how it all works from the outside perspective. Ask for their suggestions and ideas on how to improve it. Remember – your goal is to help others learn about you. It should be a joyful experience.

Be ready to communicate

Your contact information should be visible from the moment the visitor is on your webpage. A big, colorful button with appropriate text (“let’s talk”) is the simplest way to show your availability. You can add social networks or online places that you frequently use, along with your username. If someone wants to write to you in detail, contact forms are excellent for that. 

Let others speak for you

Testimonials are an essential part of your portfolio page. They give social validity to the work you present. They offer other people the opportunity to say good things about your work and the way you do business. Ask your clients to write it in their own words as authenticity goes a long way.

Give value to the community

Think about adding a way to interact with the people who follow or are interested in your work. A blog is a perfect way to engage existing followers but also to attract new ones. Share tips and tricks you learned by doing. Offer help and support to the struggling designers. Create How-tos on different topics that beginners can follow as well. Strive to publish posts on a regular schedule. With all these actions, you will grow your followers base in no time, and potential employers could be among them.

Always be improving

When you finish working on it, your webpage should change and evolve. Ask for feedback and act upon it. Look to others for inspiration and improvements. Try to look at your page with a fresh set of eyes. As your work expands and changes, your portfolio webpage should too. Maintain a playful spirit. A portfolio is a place where your creative side can – and should – express completely. 

Guest Poster – Elaine Bennett

Elaine Bennett is a digital marketing specialist focused on helping Australian startups and small businesses grow. Besides that, she’s a regular contributor for Bizzmark Blog and writes hands-on articles about business and marketing, as it allows her to reach even more entrepreneurs and help them on their business journey.