An in-Depth Guide to Creating a Stellar Portfolio of Your Design Work

Having a portfolio of your design work is not only an important way to showcase your skills, but also serves as a design challenge in itself. When constructing a portfolio, it is important to consider what elements are necessary in order to make a strong, lasting impression on those viewing it. Not only should the visuals be eye-catching, but it should also give a clear insight into who you are and the type of work you are capable of producing.

Ricardo Mota, Head of our Design Practice, and Drew North, Head of Product and Design, are two of the most senior design professionals at Works. We spoke to them to gain insight into how to ensure your design portfolio stands out.

  • Identify your target demographic.

Ensuring that your portfolio is accessible to all stakeholders, from Human Resources to the Director of the relevant business unit, is an important consideration. Additionally, it is essential to show that you have a comprehensive understanding of the technical aspects of design.

  • Put the system to good use.

    It is essential to take the time to understand the various platforms available, such as Behance, Adobe Portfolio, Dribble and Notion, and the associated pros and cons, in order to make the most of the opportunity to showcase your design on a range of excellent websites.
  • Promote your identity.

    It is essential that a prospective customer can gain an understanding of your business and services from the initial page of your portfolio. To provide key contact details, you should create a page titled ‘Contact’, while the homepage should be used to captivate visitors and make a positive first impression. It is important to ensure the homepage is engaging but not overwhelming.
  • Putting the spotlight on your work

    It is essential that the work should be the main focus of the portfolio. Create a page to summarize your work and include links to relevant case studies and examples from the landing page. Choose pieces that show your range of skills, but do not overload the portfolio. It is recommended to limit the case studies to two to four, with the most impressive one presented first. Enhance your work with mockups of the most recent smartphones and laptops, for example the new iMac.

It is essential to select works that demonstrate the qualities which you wish to be recognized for, as everyone has a limited amount of time and focus.

Within a few short sentences, readers of your case study must understand who the customer was and the results you achieved for them. Our aim is to spark their curiosity and motivate them to click through to your website.

However, there are a few essential aspects of each case study you do.

The Hero

It is essential to capture the attention of prospective customers from the outset. To achieve this, it is recommended to incorporate high-resolution images or animation into your content.

Herein lies the difficulty

Every case study should begin with an understanding of the client’s primary challenge. It is important to demonstrate an appreciation of the user’s needs and how success will be evaluated. However, it is not necessary to reveal all the details.

Potential clients reviewing your portfolio will be looking for evidence to show that you have the capacity to complete the specific project requirements. Please ensure you submit your portfolio in advance.

The role design played in preventing global destruction

Every case study should start and finish at this point. To successfully reach a solution to the problem, it is necessary to demonstrate how the given requirements were interpreted, the available data was utilized and creative methods were employed. For best results, it is recommended to follow the advice of experienced professionals.

Let Your Inner Nerd Glory in This

This forum provides an opportunity to discuss the nuances of your work with other professionals with a similar technical background. Whether you have conducted user experience (UX) research or not, you can showcase how you have developed an understanding of your target audience.

Rank order of headlines

It is important to not overlook headlines, as they can be very significant. Remember that most people will only read the headlines of your portfolio, so it is essential that they be succinct and clearly convey the most important information.

Demonstrate enhancements to the process

By showcasing how your work improved the overall process, it will be almost as impressive as the design itself. To do this, you could present a few key flowcharts.

Make use of pictures, but choose wisely the ones to show.

Having the ability to influence others comes with great responsibility. You will be provided with a selection of images that illustrate the different components of your project. You don’t have to use them all – focus on the images that best convey your message. Make the most of the photos that you do use, as no one has the time to view an excessive amount.

Prior to and following

Present two images of the user interface (UI) side-by-side, with one showing the improvements made to an existing system or process. This will be particularly useful for readers who are familiar with the cumbersome process of having to search through multiple Excel sheets or SharePoint subfolders to find the required data. Your audience will be able to relate to the difficulties of dealing with unwieldy systems, as this is something that many of us have experienced.

I want to see the cash.

It is important to demonstrate that your approach to problem solving has successfully addressed the business issues outlined in the brief. Please provide evidence of how you have achieved the predetermined benchmarks for success. The use of financial statistics, such as a 50% increase in signups, can be an effective way of demonstrating success within a concise statement.

Congratulations on reaching this stage! Now that you have some tips to help you create a fantastic portfolio, remember that it should reflect both your work and your personality. Make sure your portfolio gives an insight into who you are as a person, as well as a designer, so that you can make a strong connection with potential clients.

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