Tips for Creating Your Digital Design Portfolio

Looking to showcase your creative work online? Here are three things to keep in mind:

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1. Know your objectives. Form a plan.

Before you lift a finger, think about the what, the why and the where of your future portfolio.

Ask yourself, what am I trying to achieve? What kind of work do I want? With what type of employer or client? Found and hired by what type of professional? Ultimately respected and admired by what type of peers? Your answers to these questions will help determine your tactics.

When you know what you’re looking for, you can investigate what your target audience is looking for. Talk to people in your industry. Make a list of portfolios you know are working for your intended employer and break down what you think are their best qualities.

As you create your portfolio, there will be many decisions you’ll make along the way. A well considered strategy will improve your chances of creating an experience that hangs together and is optimized for your objectives.

2. Don’t reinvent the wheel.

There are many default qualities of a professional portfolio website. You don’t need to start from scratch unless you’re trying to completely redefine what a portfolio site can be.

Consider signing up for an account at one of the several online portfolio services available. If nothing else it will help you prepare your content. What you’ll learn from these sites is what the core building blocks of an industry standard professional portfolio are. The services are easy to use and you can build a site in very little time. If you take advantage of this you’ll be better prepared if and when you choose to create your own site from scratch.

3. It’s about the content.

Your site is a package for displaying what’s most important: your work (and your story).

Inventing a site that upstages your actual work is not a great approach for this reason. Be sure to provide clear and easy access to your work above all else. Strive for packaging that presents your content in a professional manner.

When you’re ready to put your work in the site, 1) choose the pieces thoughtfully, and 2) put them in an order that helps tell a natural story. If you’re inclined to show a large amount of work, take steps to make sure it’s easy to navigate and try to avoid including work that you’re not thrilled about or you think is excessively redundant.

Your portfolio site is also your opportunity to tell your story. The use of an about page, inclusion of a resume, the descriptions of your work, and demonstrations of your creative process are all storytelling tools to be considered and crafted.

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If you’re interested in learning more, check out Creating Your Digital Portfolio: The Essential Guide to Showcasing Your Design Work Online.

This comprehensive manual gives you all the knowledge and skills you need to build and present a digital portfolio that packs a punch. Creating Your Digital Portfolio covers everything from web hosting and uploading content, to personalizing and presenting your work to clinch that job.

Learn more about the book and how to get a copy…

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