Whether you’re a marketer, an engineer, or an operations manager, your business needs to have a unique and effective web presence. Even if you’re a freelance designer, you need a website.
Designing a unique portfolio requires you to think beyond what’s popular in the web design industry right now. Designing a website means creating an online presence that can make your career as a designer–and a designer who makes websites–thrive.
Start With What You Know
What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? What are your strengths? Many designers have a great understanding of their capabilities, but this doesn’t mean they have all the answers. When working on your portfolio, think carefully about what you know, and get a good idea of what it would look like if you spent the next 10 years doing something else.
Once you have your ideas about what your portfolio should look like, your next step is to figure out the structure. How do you want to present your work, what should your credits look like, and how many pages should your portfolio be?
Pick a Theme
For your portfolio, you should choose one theme that works for you and your industry. This is going to be the backbone for your design. In order to showcase your abilities, you’re going to want to create a design theme that has certain elements that make it stand out.
The series portfolio: This type of portfolio is a portfolio website, and it includes a gallery of all of your completed projects. It also includes personal profiles and social media profiles that include links back to your portfolio. It’s also likely to have a contact form, and possibly even sign-up forms.
Highlight Your Skills or Projects
A portfolio represents your entire body of work, even if you’ve only designed a handful of projects. A portfolio shows how you style things, how you finish them, and how you make them look. A portfolio project is a one-time piece of work that represents your full portfolio.
Create your portfolio by identifying a simple project to start with, then design a fully functional portfolio website or just a basic website page. Choose one project that will highlight your skills and showcase what you’ve been doing in your chosen field. Then, you should update your portfolio by adding more projects as you’re able.
Also, you should make a list of the best clients and projects you’ve done in the past and create a short list of high-profile projects that you want to highlight on your portfolio website. If you can, you should plan to change your portfolio every year. Many designers make the mistake of sticking with what they’ve created. A good portfolio should be one that you can use over and over again, as well as adapt for new designs.
Incorporate Social Media Profile
Finally, many professional portfolios incorporate some form of some sort of social media presence to enhance their overall presence. You might, for example, incorporate a social media profile into your portfolio website. This could be just as simple as an integrated Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest profile, or a fully developed website with an email contact form.
Finally, you should make sure that your portfolio website is responsive (so it can work well on mobile devices), and then you should make sure that your website looks good in all of the major browsers (Firefox, Safari, Chrome, and Internet Explorer).