Portfolio Website Design Considerations

Portfolio Website Design Considerations:

A portfolio website is a sales tool to promote abilities and skills to a future employer or client.  Its aim is to showcase previous work in an organised and accessible way.

The design of the Home page has to have impact.  Once this has been achieved a viewer of the website will feel drawn into looking and exploring further.

“Above the fold” on the home page is the area where this is most important.  Careful choice of image, layout and fonts contribute to the overall feel of the website and the designer.

The design of this page determines the style of the designer.  It could be simple and minimalist; or cluttered and included moving images, photographs and/or sound.  This is both gallery and exhibition hall. It is a lab, a studio and a vault.

It can show successful published work and also experimental projects.  It must show the specialisms that make the designer.

Colour, layout, photographs and structure are key to getting this message through.

Responsive and flexible design allows the pages to be displayed on all platforms.

Contact details and a full and detailed “About Me” page supported by past experience other than actual project work to display other experience and attributes.

Clear Navigation by using Menus, Tags and Categories to display all relevant material quickly and easily.

Keep everything Simple and Usable.

The Home page should explain exactly what the site is for.  A Portfolio of Skills.

Each page could be a landing page so has to be able to stand alone. Good use of navigation is essential.

The site itself is part of the design portfolio but it can also be functional.  A list of skills can include:

Adobe Creative Suite including Photoshop, InDesign, Dreamweaver etc

It can also include other skills such as Photography, silk screen printing, lino-cut, pottery, sound mixing and recording, video editing and each of these can be promoted on this site.

Portfolio is defined as a collection of works or documents that are representative of a person’s skills and accomplishments. A collection of creative work.

Designing for the Internet involves a knowledge of html, css, javascript, php and mySql.  It doesn’t stop there.  A web designer has to be aware of layouts (in grids), fonts, graphics, colours.

A web designer has to have full knowledge of digital photography and photograph manipulation.  An ability to edit video and transfer to image.

A full understanding of the various ways in which text, images, videos and all other content is stored. If could be jpeg, pdf or a word document.  These formats do not sit well within an html format and need to be stripped down and adapted to make content work on the medium that is the world wide web.

Careful use of the way that images and text are presented.  There is a raft of software that can make images flow, flip, judder, move about the page. There is gallery software that presents images in many formats.

A designer has to be aware of the size of files, upload time, download time, page loading time and what slows this or speeds it up.  Various ways of minimising this such as hosting videos on Vimeo or Youtube with links saves space and load time.

Designing for the internet of things means a knowledge of connectivity via the internet, bluetooth, wi-fi, touch, gesture.  Being aware of Oculus, 3-d, 4d means that it is a skill set that has to be updated all the time and has to be demonstrated on the portfolio website.

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