Website Design Creating A Great Online Portfolio
As a freelance website designer, your online website design portfolio is your first introduction to your prospective client. They might read reviews, ask their associates for references and suggestions, but they finally see your work when they see your portfolio. It will showcase your skills, and convince them to hire you for the project. Your portfolio speaks more about your skills than words ever will, which is why it’s vital to create an attractive and effective one. This guide will help you create a portfolio that would impress potential clients.
Focus on Content First
Your portfolio is a sales pitch and your prospective customers need to see and understand what they get. While elaborate designs and images might showcase your skill, they would show your sense of design and ability to incorporate content into it. All websites have some form of content and information so you need to create a portfolio in which everything has a purpose.
The content should be clear and stand out against the background. People should be able to read what’s written easily on any device and screen size. The idea is to show that you can design UXs, websites, and graphics that would serve a purpose, attract customer attention, and convey information clearly.
While your prospective customers will love good design, they would want something that’s functional and that contributes towards their website. For example, a graphic designer might create an infographic that details those skills or qualities. It would give the prospects the information they need, and showcase your website design skills as well.
Think About Your Target Audience
Different clients will have different levels of skills and knowledge so you need to modify your portfolio accordingly. For example, if your prospect is a business owner with little to no knowledge of design, you need to create a portfolio that would show your skills in a way they would understand.
However, if your prospect is an editor or someone familiar with design, you need to create a portfolio that shows more sophisticated and complicated aspects of your designs and techniques. You would also have to consider your target audience’s requirements.
People who want logos and branding will have different requirements than those who want you to design infographics or create animations. You need to modify your portfolio to focus on the relevant skill. This is especially important if you’re versatile and competent in different design disciplines.
Involve Your Audience with Stories
Your prospective customers will be more interested in what you have to offer if you portray your skills in a unique and comprehensive manner. You shouldn’t just focus on the end result, but also the steps you took to get there. For example, you could show the final product then peel back a layer to show the prototype, then peel back a layer to show the mockup, then the wireframe, the sketches, etc. This takes your prospective customers on a journey to understand the design process.
It would also give them an idea about your design techniques and work process. They’ll understand that you can handle projects and design challenges of all sizes. By telling your design story, you draw your target audience in and get them involved in the creation process. This is another form of communication through your portfolio and it’ll help your work stand out.
Your portfolio should look put-together and polished when your prospective clients study it. This means you need to pay attention to details and make sure the design is clean and presentable. The visual appeal of your portfolio will determine whether your clients look at it seriously or dismiss it off the bat.
It means you need to pay attention to the alignment of images, fonts, image compression, and the overall appearance of the portfolio. It’s also important to choose the typeface carefully because fonts usually convey a story as well. It has a very subtle influence on design and sets the right mood.
For example, a san-serif font would look clean and minimalistic, which suits modern website design preferences. A serif font, however, is more stylistic with slight flourishes and details that look more ornate. The right font will ensure your portfolio looks crisp and professional and that would catch your prospective customer’s eye.
Explain Your Designs
As we mentioned before, different clients will have different levels of understanding when it comes to design and graphics. People who work in this field and have some knowledge and experience will notice the nuances and details in your design without assistance. The same can’t be said for normal clients who are business owners, bloggers, professionals, etc.
If you provide text explanation along with your designs on your portfolio, your clients will appreciate it. You can use this opportunity to express your passion for design and establish a connection with your client.
Text explanations will give your clients insight in your projects, design process, and let you explain subtle aspects of every project on your portfolio. This can be very compelling because you can show your clients what lies behind the scenes and what goes into making the finished product.
Avoid Common Mistakes
There are many mistakes you should try to avoid as much as possible, especially when you present your portfolio to clients without design experience or knowledge.
- Some designers send a portfolio with a large strip of website design. This requires the clients to scroll down to look at the entire website. It doesn’t give your clients the entire picture of the webpage at once. It’s better to have several above-the-fold frames of different sections of the website.
- It’s a new trend to showcase website or graphic design on different screens in graphics. For example, you would show how a website would look on the phone screen in an image. Unfortunately, this doesn’t display the finer details of the graphic. It’s a better idea to show the graphic in its entirety and not framed by pictures of computer or mobile phone screens.
If you follow these points, you’ll be able to create a very convincing portfolio that would attract clients and help you earn more revenue.