There are many different approaches that a designer can take when creating their own portfolio website. In general, a portfolio site should be clean and simple to showcase the work, but it should also reflect the designer’s personality and style. The site should be memorable and different in order to make people keep coming back. There are different sections that are necessary to include in a portfolio site: a work section, an about section, a resume, and contact information. I decided to look at multiple examples of each of these sections to see just how many possibilities are out there, and how different they each can be while still being successful and effective.
A work section on a portfolio site is key to display your skills in context of projects you have completed.
I’m going to start off with a site that I found and love—the Box Clever site! Their portfolio is organized by category and there is a small icon to indicate each one. When you’re on one of the category pages, there are blocks of color with images of projects and as you hover over each on, the block flips to give more information. It looks like a box! Clever! Do you get it?…then when you click, it takes you to the project page with all the information, and it’s color coordinated with the original block of color on the category page. It’s all very cohesive and nicely presented.
Another website with a strong portfolio page is Pod1. You can view their work as a whole or search by category. When you click on the link for each category, instead of taking you to a new page the projects just rearrange to display what fits. The images are simple and when you hover, it displays the company the project was for. I also just need to point out that this website’s favicon scrolls…how cool!
It is also important to include an about section to describe who you are and what you do.
Activate Media uses icon images to illustrate their about page and the history of the company. This allows the viewers to not only read about them, but visualize it as well and connect better.
Spry has video playing in the background of their page, which is so unique and eye catching that I think this site as a whole is very successful and effective. I really like them for their about page, because at the top they use their logo as their first description, and off of each point of the logo is an adjective that describes the company. Then as you scroll down, they spell things out and introduce the staff, including Mr. Cooper the dog in charge of quality control…
Your resume should be included on your portfolio site in order for potential employers to gather all the information they need about you digitally.
Now let’s just take a moment and talk about Robby Leonardi’s Interactive Resume website. You won’t get any information quickly, but that’s the point. When you start that interaction, you’re in it for the journey and you just happen to gather information about him along the way. He definitely created an memorable experience to ensure that you pay attention.
This whole site by Pascal van Germert is a resume. As you scroll down, you gather information about him, his experience, his skills, and his projects. Everything is clean and straightforward which makes it easy to understand.
Contact is the ultimate goal of a portfolio site, so having this information easily accessible is vital.
Tilted Square has a contact page labeled “Get in Touch,” which seems like such a more personal and inviting title. They not only have their contact information and a contact form clearly displayed here, but they also have a specific option for people to submit potential projects, called the “Project Planner.” This is an easy way for potential clients to contact them about what they need without going back and forth with emails or playing phone tag.
Atto Partners also has that friendly approach with a “Talk to us” link. Here they provide direct contact information, a project submission form, and maps to their different studios.
All these components are necessary for an effective portfolio website. When designed cohesively in a style that fits you, it becomes successful.