Whether you are a new web designer entering the workforce for the first time, or a seasoned professional seeking out new and exciting opportunities, you need to be mindful of what should be included in your web design portfolio, as well as what you should omit.
One of the most important considerations when building your web design portfolio is to keep the layout simple and easy to navigate. You do not need a lot of clutter on the main portfolio page. However, clickable links that take the user to another page or section with more in-depth information is acceptable, and even desired.
On the main page of your web design portfolio, arrange thumbnails of your work in an easy-to-understand layout. Thumbnails are important because they give the user a quick first impression of the type and quality of the work you do. Thumbnails should capture the attention of the viewer and encourage him to explore each project further. If you need a few ideas about layout, check the Kindle Bookstore or any book or magazine site with an appealing and usable layout. Make each of thumbnails clickable to a page with the details about each of the projects. Be sure to include Alt Tag descriptions so when the user hovers over each thumbnail, he sees a short summary of the project.
Highlight your best work in a Showcase section. Are you particularly proud of a few of your projects, such as those that emerged better than you ever anticipated, or those that took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to complete? Though you may not be thrilled about the idea of “showing off,” when you are creating a web design portfolio, it is important to display your best work in one unified section.
If you are like most web designers, not every project you work on will be a beautiful work of art. Sometimes, web designers must work through complex UI issues, solve usability problems and invent new ways to integrate code with back-end developers. For each of the projects you include in your portfolio, provide a detailed description. The description is the place where you can describe the complexity of an issue you solved or a solution you implemented. Additionally, detailed descriptions will provide space for you to explain and clarify your contribution to each project.
Generating Content For Your Web Design Portfolio
If you have not yet had the opportunity to complete a professional web design project, you can generate new content for your portfolio by opening a website account with one of the many free web services, and then creating a few stunning designs to include in your portfolio. Be creative and use your imagination to design and implement a few projects that you anticipate might be of interest to companies and individuals that may hire you in the future. Show them what you can do for them.
Related Resource: Management Jobs in Web Design
No matter your level of design experience, you can expect your web design portfolio to be a continual work in progress as you will hopefully always be completing new projects, gaining new training and taking on new challenges.