My name is Ljubisa, a product designer based in Croatia. For the last couple of months I am building my own website. Usual stuff. But, while I was doing my research (and every now and then do another one) I realized designers are doing their websites in different way. Like, a lot of different ways.
Some designers have only links to their work, but those links will only do a redirect to Behance or Dribbble. Some designers will write a whole book of a case study for their project. Some designers will post only some shots like it is a Dribbble.
And so on...
What bothers me is a fact that there is no people in the middle. Either they are showing everything and more than that or nothing. So, while I still have time I would like to hear from you guys what do you think every designer should have on their website (if building one).
I wanted to create max 5 case studies + several shots from other smaller projects, and that is probably how I will do it but I am just curious what other people think.
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I think that the different archetypal portfolios show you the different kinds of designers there are. And those in turn attract the people who are looking for that particular type. Some more glitzy, others quirky, others more strategic. I am sure you’ll figure out how to put your own spin on yours, and people will find you that way.
I would just recommend one thing: Never put work out there that you aren’t totally aligned with, even if it’s a big brand or something that people think rings a bell. Employers will hire you for what you show, so make sure you show them what you want to do. ;)
I think it depends a lot on what kind of work you want to show and to whom. If it's big brands and visual design, just images may be enough for a prospect client. When it's design managers, you may want to show more about your process, methods, responsibilities and the impact your work made.
When I'm on the hiring side, I find it suspicious when there's a mismatch between what designers claim they do and how they present it. Like when a designer says they do interaction design, but only shows a few good looking mockups.
I usually prefer a few well-written case studies demonstrating process and impact made over many superficial items. After all, a portfolio is a way for me to assess if the designer can do the job I have in mind. When there's little info, I don't know how many people were on the team, what constraints and guidance the designers had etc.
Interesting. When you say "few well-written case studies" what is the number can you imagine there for that? I realized it was hard for me before to create case studies because of the NDAs, but I found a way to present my work without any problems to anyone.
Now I am just gathering the insight how much is ok. I do not want to go for "enough", I want to go for a bit more. But... not too much.
The more the better of course :) But what I meant was that, in my opinion, when hiring for jobs that are about process and hard to visualize impact, even one in-depth case can be more useful than screenshots from many projects. Still, I guess people want to see that you've done more than project :)
On the other hand: the entrepreur hiring me for a small freelance design job once, mentioned that he knew I was a great fit for the project because of a specific good looking screenshot on my portfolio overview page. In the intro of its case study I mentioned I didn't do visual or branding for that project. Didn't matter.
So perhaps it's about finding a balance. Depends on your audience.
Wow. Interesting. I can imagine something like this happening because more often people care more about process than screenshots. But, in the other hand sometimes people who talk too much and can explain whole bunch of things cannot do a single pixel right.
Thanks! I will keep this in mind!
👋🏼 this might help with some more info. I asked a similar question of the community a few months ago, https://news.hifolks.com/posts/3704/portfolios-for-senior-i-cs
Right now, I'm shooting for 3-4 pieces on my portfolio site. They range from short paragraphs of context with plenty of images/photos to more in-depth case studies, such as https://thisisswan.com/work/principles/