What are the essential elements of a fantastic personal portfolio website? Knowing the basics can make a big difference. Whether you’re a studio designer promoting your blog, or a freelancer pressing toward the opportunity of a lifetime, you’ll need a great portfolio site that puts your best foot forward and shows your strong side. Remember, a portfolio website is all about you. If you’re in need of a job, you’ll need to get the word out about your design style with great reflections of your best work. The site itself can say everything about you, or leave a less than the favorable impression. Thus, knowing the fundamentals can go a very long way.
Top Five Elements of Great Portfolio Site
Any great portfolio site starts with an attractive logo. Usually the first thing a viewer sees, a logo does not have to be your name, but should definitely leave a lasting impression. Top left placement is an industry standard, but a little creativity here, like signature-style logos, can spice things up a bit.
You’ll want users to be able to spot your website and immediately identify it, so it makes sense to link your logo to your home page whenever possible.
A tagline may seem like insignificance, but it can play a big role in the look and feel of your site. You’ll want to give the viewers a good idea of what it is that you do best, in as few words as possible. Your tagline should be descriptive and short, presenting a realistic summary of your work and purpose.
It may be somewhat difficult to come up with a good tagline, but including one is worth it. When deciding which message fits best, consider who you are, where you’re from and what you do. Simple one-line sentences can make the concrete statement you’re looking for here.
Believe it or not some designers completely disregard this primary part of a portfolio site. If you want to keep your viewer more interested than confused, include a page or section with previous work. This lets employers see for themselves where your strong points lie and the type of work you’ve been doing up to now.
Great photos or high-quality graphics should definitely be used here since it’s just not the place to skimp or cheat you out of a good impression. Furthermore, include descriptions for your work, keeping these short and to-the-point, and if you can, incorporate website links for further authenticity. Client testimonials or short quotes sprinkled throughout in a meaningful, relevant way are a nice touch to enhance the viewing experience.
One should always be mindful of the purpose of portfolio sites, and that is to get the viewer to contact you based on what they see. Though it’s a crucial aspect of these sites, it’s quite easy to get caught up in the design elements and neglect it. This is not recommended.
Viewers should find it easy to reach you, and your information should be presented in an easy-to-read font and format. Better yet, use a form. This will allow you to obtain detailed information on those inquiring about you and your work.
While the elements mentioned here cover the essential elements of the portfolio site, there are other features, of course. “Contact”, “About Me” and “Services” are great, fundamental assets for any portfolio website and should be included with much care and design attention.