View Full Version : Design-heavy portfolios vs Site-author portfolios

Mar 7, 2008, 01:37 PM
My mac design brethren,

I have something I could use some help with.

Before I begin, I want to relay some background info about myself and situation: I have been a design / site author for pretty much 80% of my full-time professional career (the other 20% has been in quality assurance and usability testing) though I create/author sites on the side when I am not employed as a designer. I am more interested in doing design these days rather than site-authoring, but do not want to downplay either skillset.

I put together a quick portfolio a while back to reference my work. You can see it here: http://portfolio.kriheli.com . While the portfolio is solid (from the feedback I've been given in the past) it doesn't really scream DESIGN, if you know what I mean. I personally believe it is very front-end developer / process heavy, and really doesn't appeal to most interactive agencies looking for seasoned web designers. Though I have decent experience in the field, if my portfolio doesn't kick, neither will my prospects. I spent a great deal of time in the past few weeks looking at designers online portfolios for inspiration and one thing I have noticed is that while they showed extraordinary design skills, the usability, web-standards thing was vastly inferior and grossly understated against the design. This is fine, I believe, for those just pimping their design skills who don't care to develop, but I try and sell myself as someone who has expertise in both.

Questions are... is this unwise? If not, what is (in your collective opinions) a good way to showcase your design (for web) skillset without downplaying the other skills which I believe are critical to my target? I know the clear answer would be to make a great looking site that also adheres to web standards, but does anyone here think (like me) that web standards really takes the edginess away from innovative, sharp design? Do I need another cup of coffee or something?

Any suggestions would be great.

Mar 7, 2008, 02:57 PM
I used to think that way. Until it's really been enforced upon us as a designers for a number of good reason. I don't think your design has to cower to standards as any design can be developed within standards. I personally am a fan of the one page portfolio pages that are starting to rule the industry. The bottom line when someone is looking for a designer is they want to see samples, past site, etc.

My first impression when I visited your website was, blog. Not sure if that's the image you are trying to portray, but my guess would be no.

Just my 2 cents.

Mar 7, 2008, 04:08 PM
My first impression when I visited your website was, blog. Not sure if that's the image you are trying to portray, but my guess would be no.

SNAP, my exact thoughts exactly.

I look at it this way, my website is an extension of me and my work/personal style. You also have to consider what is the first thing people see/think when they see your site.

Now I'm no web designer (I know enough to do basic html etc but thats about it) but I would like to think I know what looks good or atleast what makes my work look good and as such designed how I wanted it to look on paper/in photoshop and then went and tried to make it. I even changed the styles of some of my 3D work to suit the style of the site. I created my site in golive rather than dreamweaver as I personally felt that golive gave more emphasis on the design of the site than the underlying development/coding of the site which worked better for me, could easily be done in dreamweaver but I just can't seem to gel with dreamweaver as well.

After a quick hunt through your site I found your http://www.kriheli.com/ site. Personally I feel that this has more of you and your personal style in it, maybe try to combine elements of this site into your work one.

Mar 7, 2008, 05:47 PM
The work looks good. Your site looks like a blog template. Literally. Is it? You might want to distance yourself from that perception.

Mar 7, 2008, 07:26 PM
thanks for the comments, guys. i appreciate the feedback. the more the merrier. the current portfolio is indeed a blog template, and i literally hacked it together in one sitting - as i did not have much time to work on my own stuff being inundated with other work.

i see a chunk of time freeing up for me in the coming weeks and i will devote some energy to creating a fresh portfolio from scratch that is certainly less "bloggy" :D