When you look through the eyes of a prospective client, your skills as a web designer are only as good as the portfolio that you create. Unless you impress them, when they view your works for the first time, they are not going to work with you.
Your main goal is to quickly answer “why?” should the visitor pick You out of all the rest. You should show your personality, make it easy is for the client to navigate around your page and to contact you.
So, here are the 10 best ideas for an impressive web designer portfolio.
1. Have a clear tagline and logo:
What really represents you as a designer is your logo, while your tagline is what identifies you. Nowadays, people that are browsing the internet have very short attention span, thus you have to have something that will catch their eye. Otherwise, your potential client will quickly leave the page.
When you have a clear tagline and logo, you will quickly show to your potential client who you are and what you do. Your logo should represent your style, while your tagline should be short and descriptive. Keep in mind that you have to quickly answer the question “why?” for the visitor.
2. Provide your portfolio with an easy navigation
This is pretty much common sense. Yet, it is still worth mentioning: even if you have the greatest website in the world, it won’t be worth a penny if it is hard to navigate. If your client can’t find your work examples quickly and if he can’t easily contact you, then, in truth, it doesn’t matter how good you are. Your visitor will just grow frustrated and go looking for another designer.
3. Make it easy to contact you
What is your main reason for making a portfolio? To find clients and start working! But if it is hard for a visitor to contact you, he is not going to try twice. There are many designers out there and he knows it.
4. Show only your best works
Imagine that your portfolio is your greatest hits album. The only works that you should show should be your most impressive, absolute best and representative work. Keep the mediocre works out of your portfolio. Just like a stunning greatest hits album makes you instantly fall in love with it, so will the flawless design of your portfolio capture the minds of your clientele.
5. Categorize your work
This goes hand in hand with easy navigation. You should categorize your work to make the browsing as easy as possible. Even if you have 10 items, it is easier to navigate if they are placed under categories: websites, logos, banners, etc.
6. Include testimonials
Your prospective client will always look for a proof that you are what you claim to be. Just think about it: if you are undecided about a new designer but you see people fawning over the quality of his works, and you see links going to the websites in question that prove that it is not a fake, then the chances are that you’ll contact him. Testimonials reduce the risk for potential clientele, and it is the main element that makes them trust you.
7. Offer a downloadable portfolio and resume for printing
It is not that important but it’s a nice thing to have for some visitors. Let’s imagine that your client wants to show your portfolio to their boss, or simply examine it without having to stare at the computer screen. Create a PDF file of your work, which people can easily download.
8. Clearly state what kind of work you offer
Your client shouldn’t guess what type of work can you do or have to question you for it. It should be clearly laid out before him.
9. Add some info about yourself
Since you won’t meet your client in person, it is a good idea to share some information about yourself. It makes your relationship with your client more personal, which always works for the benefit of future cooperation.
10. And the X factor – your uniqueness
Your portfolio should be unlike anyone else’s. There are hundreds of other professional portfolios out there, but yours has to stand out for your client to notice you, to decide that you are worthy of their time, and, eventually, to fall in love with your work.