Do you want to create a kick-ass portfolio? Follow these steps.
Let me give you a quick introduction of who the fuck am I to be telling you how to create a kick-ass portfolio.
My name is Victor Berbel, I’ve been a professional designer for over 14 years working with all types of digital projects. During my career, I worked with advertising agencies, founders, and co-founders and for the past 4 years, I have been focusing on freelance projects and mentoring students about design, freelance, portfolio, and career.
To build a strong portfolio is no easy task and takes time and effort.
Here are 6 steps that I think are essential when you start to think about creating one.
1. Define what you do
Are you a Graphic Designer, UX Researcher, UI/UX Designer? You can’t be a jack of all trades and expect someone to hire you as a specialist.
This is the first thing you have to do before strategy, content, and design.
Defining what you do from the start will give you the understanding so everything you put in your portfolio will be aligned with that.
2. Are you looking for a job or a client?
There’s a big difference in the content you will have on your portfolio to draw the attention of recruiters or clients.
For recruiters, you can use a simpler approach and have a portfolio with case studies and an about page, and for clients have your process, services you provide and as much social proof as possible in form of real client testimonials.
3. Content is king do not waste it
Let’s not use cliches like “My name is X and I do X ‘’ on the homepage.
We all have seen this a thousand times so use strategy-driven content and be your own person when writing content. I also suggest moving away from the third person text because in my opinion it sounds like a company and not an individual’s portfolio.
4. Passion/concept projects are worth it
There’s no problem in having passion/concept projects in your portfolio.
The only difference from a client project is that in that case, no one was paying you. By having those types of projects you are showing how passionate you are about the type of work you do.
5. People work with other people, not machines
People like to work with people so you don’t need to be 100% technical all the time. Insert your personality on your website, that can be a little piece of personal information, something about your hobbies or even a photo of your pet.
A professional photo is also a must-have, we all have cell phones and there’s a camera on all of them so if you can’t pay for a professional studio photo go to a well lighten spot and take a photo and please, do not use that photo someone took of you at your cousins wedding.
6. Case studies are like movies
They all have a start, middle, and end so treat them as a cohesive story when creating them. The people looking at them will understand them easily if you do it that way.
Let’s use Lord of the Rings for example, what if within the first 10 minutes of the movie you only watched Frodo throwing the ring into mount doom you wouldn’t understand anything, why he had the rings, where he came from, and whose the ring he threw away belonged to and how he managed to get to mount doom.
That’s all for now and it doesn’t matter if you are going to use Webflow, Squarespace, or build a custom HTML website, those steps will help you get the job done and have a kick-ass portfolio.
Here’s a few interesting portfolios:
My target audience with this article was not the super-junior designers, and if you are confused about what to do first, I recommend the other article below.
If you have any questions or just want to say hi email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch with me on Linkedin. 😉