How to Create a Simple but Effective Design Portfolio

Countless blog posts have taught you how to create a portfolio, and some of them are valuable. So why did I write another article featuring tips for creating a portfolio?

First, most writers feature tips for all kind of portfolios in a single blog post. Portfolios for actors, painters, photographers, coders, and designers have many similarities, but they also have many differences. A separate approach for each kind of portfolio might be a better alternative.

Second, the internet and technology evolve, so an up-to-date post featuring new ideas could bring you more clients.

Finally, this article focuses on a particular portfolio type: simple portfolios for designers. Check out this article if you want to create a simple but eye-catching design portfolio.

How to Create a Simple Portfolio

A simple portfolio seems like it should be a simple project. The reality is completely different. You can compare portfolios to Formula 1 cars and other kinds of sites to normal cars. Formula 1 cars implement and test the newest technologies; similarly, portfolios should be built using the latest technologies and latest trends. It’s not simple to be an early adopter of new tools and trends.

1. Clients Come from Mobile

Create a Simple but Effective Design Portfolio

Gone are the days when potential clients searched for design portfolios on a desktop computer. Chances are that most visitors visit your portfolio via a mobile device. You’re leaving a lot of money on the table if you don’t optimize your site for mobile users.

Using a responsive website template or theme isn’t enough. Your portfolio must be responsive, retina-ready, and speed-optimized. Mobile users are the most impatient people, and they won’t wait long for your site to load.

Make sure that your portfolio satisfies these standards. Otherwise, no one will visit your gallery.

2. Chose the Proper Platform

A plethora of good solutions are available for your simple design portfolio. However, choosing the best alternative 100% depends on your preferences.

A reliable alternative is to use a content management system (CMS), such as WordPress or Joomla. The advantages are the stability and the high number of portfolios based on CMSs. The disadvantages are the relatively high prices and the management complexity (updates, use of plugins, code tweaks).

Using an HTML template is another alternative. You can buy a template, customize it, and upload it to your site.

Website builders such as Wix represent a convenient solution. They are becoming more and more powerful, but are still simple to use. Plus they launched many new features that were built for web designers – so that you can quickly create the type of portfolio that represents you.

Briefly, you have solid choices for creating a simple and effective portfolio.

3. Don’t Be a Jack of All Trades

Do you think that covering a lot of design areas will attract more clients? It’s a huge mistake! Don’t show off as a Jack of all trades because it’s practically impossible to be an expert in so many complex areas.

Clients who search for and hire Jacks of all trades are people who want to pay peanuts for a lot of work. A more productive approach is to specialize in two or three fields and build your portfolio accordingly.

4. Don’t Be Unique, Be Yourself

Create a Simple but Effective Design Portfolio

Being unique can help attract clients who resonate with your ideas. Still, it’s way better to be yourself! It sounds weird, doesn’t it?

Let’s suppose that you’ve positioned yourself as a designer who builds only minimalist sites. You aren’t totally unique, but you are in a narrow niche. Are you satisfied with this manner of work, does it resonate with your core values? You are unique just for the sake of uniqueness if your answer is no. You won’t like what you do sooner or later, and your work will transform into a boring routine.

Being yourself is a whole different story. Identify your strengths and train yourself. You will develop a unique style that defines you. You’ll narrow the group of clients targeted, but they will certainly be interested in your style and work.

5. Be Concise and Helpful

Create a Simple but Effective Design Portfolio

You don’t want to waste your time with tons of emails and messages from potential clients. Save your time by improving your portfolio.

Start by making it clear if you are available; a simple switcher on your site informing people that you are available or not is a true time-saver. Next, make sure that viewers notice your list of services. For instance, let them know that you design blogs and business sites but that you don’t implement e-commerce solutions.

Help people by featuring your work methods. Show how you worked with past customers, let people know if you provide free coaching and design revisions, and so on. Create an FAQ page if you’ve faced many similar problems. It will save you from unwanted emails and phone calls.

6. Testimonials

Satisfying clients means more than possessing stellar design skills—even though they are capital. An experienced web designer knows how to communicate and educate customers, handle stressful situations, meet tight deadlines, and adapt to particular situations.

There is no better evidence of these traits than the opinions of past clients. Treat the testimonial page accordingly—it is just as important as the gallery.

Don’t add just a block of text that exaggerate your skills. Add links to past customers’ social media profiles and websites. A profile picture works like a magnet, and video is definitely an eloquent method of proving that the customer is real.

Wrapping Up

It’s impossible to cover everything about how to create a portfolio. However, the above tips and a good collection of previous work should be enough to create an enticing portfolio.

Are you a designer? Please share your portfolio and let us know which of the above tips you applied. We are waiting to know your thoughts.

Like it? Share it.

Leave a Comment Yourself

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *