Portfolio Site Critique

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by gregtuco, Dec 27, 2009.

  1. gregtuco macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Location:
    Taos, NM
    #1
    Hello,

    I've just created a portfolio site on Wix.com. Despite a a few server problems (on their part), I've found the site to be very convenient, given my lack of web skills.

    My issues are twofold:

    1) I would like to see how this site "plays" on a variety of platforms and screen resolutions.

    2) I need a general overall critique of my portfolio. It is basically print oriented, geared toward magazine and educational publishing.

    As we are all aware, it's a bad time to be looking for work, but that's where I stand. I've never been out of work from this business for longer than six weeks. I'm now going on five months unemployed with leads few and far between.

    Competition is brutal- employers are looking for the slightest excuse to put your resume in the "dead pile". I can't take anything for granted. As anyone who's been in this business for any time knows, a thick skin is essential to one's survival. I have one. Please be as constructively honest as you can. I can take it.

    Thanks!

    Portfolio site:

    http://www.wix.com/greglosborne/portfolio2010
     
  2. ntrigue macrumors 68040

    ntrigue

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    #2
    I'll try to return with more content. As of now, great foundation and it shows a diversity of skills. I would tailor the site to the particular industry you're focused on; potentially eliminating the cartoon items and putting the real estate up-front. Count on the viewer clicking less than three times with your critical and best work here.
     
  3. gregtuco thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Location:
    Taos, NM
    #3
    Hey ntrigue,

    I AM trying to show a diversity of skills but do I think the cartoon pieces are a bit weak. Trying to give the educational publishers something...

    That's always the problem, I guess– trying to be all things to all people in a buyer's market.

    The "3 clicks" thing is a good suggestion. The old school of portfolio review says to put your best piece first and your second best piece last. That was assuming that the artist was physically present and had a modicum of control over the interview. Three clicks is probably about the attention span of the average HR person or art director. I certainly can't fault them when they're dealing with literally thousands of submissions.

    THANKS,
    Greg
     
  4. Nostromo macrumors 65816

    Nostromo

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Location:
    Deep Space
    #4
    Honestly, I'm not a big fan of those free portfolio apps. They have this typical look of "no money spent".

    If you really want an easy to use web application that looks professional, take a look at dripbook.

    Or hire a web student to put a site together for you.
     
  5. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #5
    Sorry but it took me a while before I could work out how to use the navigation which is a real shame because the stuff in the cv shows talent and skill.

    A big turn off for most Creative Directors is a Flash based CV especially templated ones, IMHO try something simple. It says one thing I can template but say nothing about design. Smashing Magazine has some brilliant ones that are very easy to replicate or purpose for your own use.

    Also I would highly recommend splitting the CV into part, so print, web, etc.. with a brief description of what you did, the software used and the outcome (it shows creative process). I've included what I feel are some of the best online CVs out there.

    http://www.piraja.no/portfolio/
    http://www.designme.sk/
    http://www.damienthaller.com.au/
    http://www.mikeafford.com/

    http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/08/05/30-fresh-and-inspirational-portfolios-with-a-twist/
     
  6. Nostromo macrumors 65816

    Nostromo

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Location:
    Deep Space
    #6
    I personally use an HTML/CSS/Javascript site to show my work.

    Why exactly do CDs hate Flash based portfolios? Because they can't bookmark a particular image, or because they are all "built to impress" and not quick enough to navigate?

    PS: great links. I'm in the process to develop a new site where I will replace the "click on a thumbnail" viewing with slideshows that can be stopped, restarted, and allow to target a particular image.

    If you could post a link to a photographer's site how CDs love it I'd appreciate that a lot.
     
  7. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #7
    1) It generally takes longer to download.
    2) You need a plugin. (So not good when you're looking at CVs on you iPhone on the way home).
    3) Generally most designers don't do Actionscript well.
    4) A CD wont wait for things to load.
    5) Most CVs can achieve if not the same look very similar done in HTML, CSS and Java.

    I have had someone send me a link before with a 80MB (yes 80MB) flash file then wonder why I couldn't be bothered looking at it.Unless you're applying for a specific Flash Designer role leave it alone, no CD will bother with it. Sorry to say it's just that simple.
     
  8. gregtuco thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Location:
    Taos, NM
    #8
    As one who gets really annoyed over "Flash over Function" (I 'm an old Bauhaus guy) I tried to keep the special features to a bare minimum.

    Just browsing some of the Flash-based examples on Wix's gallery page was testing my patience. The thumbnail carousal-type features, etc. are great to look at, when they're not bogging down your connection.

    Knowing that if this bothers me, some overworked AD/CD/Hiring Manager isn't going to wait for my little 'dog and pony show' to load.

    To minimize this, I decided to forgo the fancy features and present a simple slideshow- half the reason for my post is to get a sense how the site is acting on other systems.

    My problem is not knowing how to build websites from the ground up (just starting to learn)- and being too broke to hire anyone who can build me something reasonably slick and professional, i.e. functional. (I need to have something to show now- hence Wix.) I will check out the suggested links.

    The most annoying fault with Wix, at least on my end, is its very spotty performance on Safari. There are times when my page, and the Wix home site refuses to load for me. It gets so bad at times, that I have to switch over to Firefox. Considering that the vast majority of potential employers are most likely Mac shops (at least I hope) – it's also very scary.
     
  9. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #9
    I know how the broke thing feels, you should try either Wordpress or Rapidweaver both should give you a pretty nice looking and easy to update site.
     
  10. Nostromo macrumors 65816

    Nostromo

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Location:
    Deep Space
    #10
    I generally prefer to control the way I present my work.

    This is why I learned HTML, CSS, and enough Javascript to be able to use the JQuery library.

    As I hand code, I keep my web site's file size small.

    I also try to not put any clutter on my site. Just my name, a few lines to keep the design in balance, links to different portfolios, contact, and done.

    I wouldn't even have any use for Flash.

    The only thing I really like about Flash sites is that it's really hard to lift images there. As a photographer, I would be much better protected. But I register my work, and if someone steals it, I send a takedown notice or, if it's been commercially used, a lawsuit is easy.
     

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