What NOT to include in your design portfolio?

You’ve probably heard your whole life that first impressions are important, and that you will never get a second chance to make one. These first impressions are almost impossible to change, and they often set the tone for the relationship that follows.

Here are some things to avoid adding to you portfolio if you want to make a great first impression.

1. Bad taglines


 
The landing page is one of the most viewed pages of any website. Most company websites and portfolios have a tagline on the landing page but they are usually generic and make a bad first impression.

The purpose of the tagline is to:

  1. Clarify what you’re doing and promote your potential.
  2. Encourage the visitors to continue exploring your website.
  3. Build emotions and show the benefits of connecting with you.

Please don’t include taglines like: “I design meaningful experiences” or “Ninja designer”

2. Bad “About” page


 
The purpose of “About” page is to help visitors discover who is behind that website. They want to see that there is a real person on the other end with values and priorities that match theirs.

This page should answer the following questions

  1. Who are you?
  2. Where are you from?
  3. What are you good at?
  4. What tools do you use?
  5. What is your experience?

While answering the above questions, please keep in mind that the page should not contain too much text and look soulless.

3. Rating your skills


 
I often see skill charts rating skills with x out of 5 stars or percentages. What does 4 out of 5 stars for Javascript or Photoshop - 90% mean? I would rather write about how many years experience I have with different tools.

4. Typos

There is nothing worse than having typos in a website. If your website is in a language you don’t know well, try to get others to review it for you.

5. Completed designs

I’m not saying you should not include completed designs in your website, the problem is when this is the only thing you have. Add some sketches, concepts, ideas and design case studies showing how you managed to get to the end result.

Andy

Front-end Engineer & Designer based in Dublin currently working @IBM.
I write about: Javascript, HTML, CSS, React JS, React Native and UI/UX Design.

Add comment