Design-heavy portfolios vs Site-author portfolios

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by rkriheli, Mar 7, 2008.

  1. macrumors member


    Dec 11, 2002
    new york, ny
    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: . 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.
  2. macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2004
    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.
  3. macrumors 65816

    Nov 6, 2006
    Norfolk, UK
    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 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.
  4. macrumors 68040


    Apr 11, 2003
    The work looks good. Your site looks like a blog template. Literally. Is it? You might want to distance yourself from that perception.
  5. thread starter macrumors member


    Dec 11, 2002
    new york, ny
    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

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