The portfolio is one of the most important places for a designer, developer, or photographer on the web. This is the way you can get new clients, be seen by companies looking for a new team member, and a way to present yourself and your work to other designers or developers.
When making a portfolio it is important to ensure that you are careful to make it clear, concise, and to the point. In this post we share the 5 most impacting ways to improve your portfolio. From a little change to the copy on the page to fixing entire pages, we will give you some tips to clean up the portfolio and make it easier for your clients and prospects to use.
As a quick note, if you are a new designer, check out our latest post featuring 12 quick tips for new designers for some added tips and tricks to help you out.
1. Quality vs. Quantity
When it comes to a portfolio, quality is something you must consider more than anything. While a client may wish to see a lot of examples before deciding, this doesn't mean throwing in every little side project and illustration you've ever made. Feature your best work, the work you are most proud of. This is what makes the difference between a big and bulky/ugly portfolio and a refined but awesome portfolio.
2. Define Your Job
A lot of designers and/or developers feel the need to explain all aspects of their life on their portfolio and share random photos. It's great to show some of your personal hobbies and interests, but not on the front page. Dedicate the home or front page to your job. Clearly define your skill-set, share your strengths, and show a taste of your work so that the client leaves the website knowing exactly what you do, what you work is like, and whether or not they may return to hire you.
3. Easy to Use
After working on quality and defining your skills, be sure to make sure the site is absolutely flawless. You want to provide the best experience possible, because it is hard to get clients to keep coming back to your site to view your work without a great initial experience. Work to simplify your design, keep it clean and usable, and try to minimalize the load time. This will make the site better for anyone visiting it, and will help you to get and keep more prospects on your site.
That being said, don't slip up on the details. Make the site beautiful, showcase your talent and wow your visitors. Easy to use doesn't mean you have to sacrifice beauty, it simply means you have to take note and be careful not to over-complicate the site.
4. Share Your Knowledge
When showcasing your work add notes and even full posts to share how you came up with the design, what decisions were made in the process, and your experience. Design is not just about the finished product. It is about how it is perceived and how others use it. Be sure to show the various subtleties in your work and show those unique skills and styles you have developed.
5. Contact, not Just Social Media.
First, be sure to make a clear, and amazing contact form that works. This is the way your clients will get in touch with you so it is incredibly important. What good is a portfolio if your clients have no way of contacting you? Be sure to keep it clean and easy so that anyone who needs to will contact you quick. Try to decrease the boxes on the form as well. Only a name, email, and message are really necessary. Leave the budget details to a later date, or use a different email for that. Not all contacts are looking to hire.
Now for the social media aspect. It is good to connect on various platforms. However when it comes to getting a job or getting a new follower on twitter, what's really more important? Try to maintain your main goal of landing that client, and keep your social media icons somewhere that they are not annoying on the site, and can be clearly seen if and only if they are needed.
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