August 26, 2013 | Design, Interests, Personal
An online portfolio is good way to showcase work for designers but also anyone else. By creating one I don’t think you can go wrong which ever kind of work that you may be involved with day to day. Recently I’ve been exploring what elements make an effective and simple online portfolio so that the information that you’d want communicated is easy to find for others viewing your site. I’ve done a lot of research and have nailed it down to having five main components which I’m going to refer to as: Home, Projects, Blog, About and Contact. My discussion looks at primarily layout and design aspects that may be universal to any kind of online portfolio.
This would constitute as being the main dashboard for your online portfolio. The sites that I liked had grouped updates from the other areas of the site. An example would be having recent blog posts or projects being displayed here in an organized manner, possibly through groupings distinguishing the two. This would be helpful for someone wanting to view your most recent work quickly with easy to understand navigation. Jeremy Blum’s site is a good example of this.
The Projects area would be the portfolio area which would be used to showcase your work. I liked sites that used a preview format for each piece of work, which displayed some introductory text, possibly an image and associated time frame. In terms of organization a grid layout felt effective when scanning through the projects. Another level of organization could be added to group work based on what it is. This could be done on the page it’s self or through sub-menus under the project menu. Good examples of this include Touchfolio, Imbalance 2, Suburbia and Mixfolio WordPress themes.
This would be where you could share interests not directly related to the work you’d like to showcase. Maybe this could be the place where you could discuss your thoughts on the processes you took to complete the showcased work. Essentially a blog is a great way to show some personality and differentiate yourself from others working in a similar domain. WordPress has a number of themes that have blog layouts that can accommodate a variety of needs.
This area would be where you’d introduce yourself, possibly discuss why you created the site and what your objectives are to give a viewer of your site some background on you.
If you’d like to be reached out to by viewers of your site, you’d most definitely want a place on your site with your contact information.
In it’s simplest form Home, Projects, Blog, About and Contact would be part of the main navigation of the site. Each of these terms are direct and would be easy for someone visiting your site to understand.
These are the preliminary ideas I’ve gathered around creating my own simple and effective portfolio. Lets see how things go! I’m sure I’ll be refining things further soon enough. 🙂