Web Design Portfolio Advice

DESIGN_BANNER_small_with_boarderWhen applying for web design jobs, a strong portfolio is essential because this is the section of your application which shows off your skills and experience.

Not sure how to put your web design portfolio together? Don’t panic! We’ve outlined our top Dos and Don’ts for web design portfolios on this page to help you out.

*When you’ve got your web design portfolio nailed, don’t forget to check out our jobs board to see what web design jobs are currently up for grabs.*

 

DO:

Include A Variety Clients & Projects:

When it comes to your web design portfolio, it’s a good idea to include a variety of work to show off the range of clients that you’ve worked with and the variety of projects you’ve worked on. Try and pick out a range of clients eg. huge international brands, smaller, niche charities, eCommerce sites etc – which show off your diverse range of skills. And if you’re just starting out, don’t be afraid to include projects you’ve worked on at university or during a work experience placements – remember; everyone has to start somewhere but make sure these are of sound quality!

Show Off Your Skills:

Following on from the last point, while it’s important to include a range of clients in your portfolio, it’s also a good idea to include a range of projects which accurately reflect your complete skillset. If you’ve got experience designing apps, website mock-ups, banners or infographics, be sure to include examples of all of these in your portfolio. By including these, you’re not only showing off your work history but you’re also showing off the techniques, programs and technical expertise you had to use to complete each one.

Include Links To Live Examples:

While you can get a pretty good idea of what something looks like in a portfolio, if you can, it’s always a good idea to include links to live examples on the internet. Why? Because things like website skins and designs always look better on live examples – plus, including live links will point them in the direction of any previous clients – one of which could be really similar to their brand, making you the perfect fit for their role – something they might not have realised if you hadn’t included a link!

Include Relevant Work:

With the last point in mind, when choosing which work to go into your portfolio, if you can, you need to try and include the most relevant work you have. If you’re applying for a job with a charity now and you’ve worked with a charity in the past, even if it’s just something small like designing a logo, it’s always worth including. If you’ve worked on a complete website redesign and the job you’re applying for wants someone who’s worked on a large web projects before, include it. Remember, your web design portfolio is your chance to show off your relevance to the role, in addition to your skills and work history so don’t give an employer the chance to overlook you by including irrelevant work.



DON’T:

Forget The Details:

Included your most relevant work which shows off your expertise in the field of web design? That’s great – but it’s important not to forget the details. What do I mean? Well, you really need to fill in the gaps. By the side of each piece of work, be sure to include the name of the client, the website URL or link to the app, where you produced this piece of work (eg. with which agency), an overview of the brief and an overview of the work produced and the techniques used. Why? Because this is what an employer will want to know anyway so by answering their questions now, you’re saving everyone time and effort in the long run.

Throw Everything In:

When it comes to choosing work for your portfolio, it can be tempting to throw everything in, particularly if you’re new to the working world and you don’t have that much experience under your belt – but we’d urge you to think again. When it comes to your portfolio, an employer is probably only really going to look at the first five or six pages – so you need to make sure that the work you include on those first few pages shines you in the best possible light. Similarly, throughout your career you’ll develop as a designer as your skills become more honed – so it’s probably a good idea to miss out early work which doesn’t reflect your skillset or expertise at this point in your career.

Over-Complicate It:

The best web design portfolios are simple, sleek and succinct – so that’s definitely something to bear in mind when it comes to putting your own portfolio together. Yes, you want to show off to a prospective employer – but it’s important not to overcomplicate things. Your portfolio should be simple to follow and should tell a clear story. Like I said earlier; be sure to make it clear which project was for which client and be sure to include a simple contents page at the beginning of your portfolio to make it as easy as possible for an employer to navigate. Also, don’t forget to include links to your online portfolio too!