Your portfolio website can be the first impression that a client takes of you and a decisive element to be hired by someone or not.
48% of Internet users consider that the design of a website is what gives credibility to a business, so you should make sure that your portfolio looks professional and that it represents you as a freelancer.
Creating a portfolio website goes much further than simply having a site that people can visit. There are many elements to take of as this will be your place to impress and help potential clients understand who you are, what you do, and how to hire you. Here you will find tips and recommendations on how to design a portfolio website.
1. Make Your Website Responsive
Throughout the design process, you will need to continually review how your site looks on a mobile device, tablet, or desktop.
A page that looks great on a desktop may appear disorganized on mobile. Every time you add an element to a template, you must check the site on different devices.
Because navigation is vertical on mobile devices, an item added to a template will often have a different location on mobile compared to the desktop version. Therefore, the item may need to be resized or moved entirely to fit seamlessly into the template on all devices. Follow this step-by-step guide to learn how to build a portfolio website.
The good news is that there are currently many website portfolio creation platforms where all their templates are web responsive, so you will not have to go through all that tedious process to make your website look good from any device.
Some examples are Adobe Portfolio and Format. Having a website that is responsive is very important because 72% of people want mobile-friendly websites, the reason is that currently, 77% of adults have a smartphone and often use that medium to surf the internet.
2. Include a Friendly Interface
The web interface is a graphic element that allows the user to access the content, navigate, and interact. To get a user to stay and return, the interface design is important.
For a web design to be effective, it must ensure that site users can easily access content, interact effectively with all components, and feel permanently comfortable, all without complications. T
he element that makes this possible is the interface, and you should pay special attention to its preparation and design.
As a complement to quality content, your portfolio website must have a friendly interface for your users since this is the functional basis of your website.
When designing your website, you will have to ask yourself the following questions: What average number of users will visit you? Who is going to visit your website? What is your target market? Are your users specialized clients? Or is your portal aimed at users in general?
This is useful to segment your potential users and take it into account when designing your website. Think about your users, and what they are looking for or want to find on your website, and on this basis, you should develop a friendly interface for your portfolio website.
3. Pay Attention to Your Website Navigation
When designing your website, navigation is key; this is essentially the map that shows the central places that users can visit. There is nothing worse than a site with a cluttered or confusing navigation interface.
When designing your website navigation, it is important to ensure that your visitors can easily find what they are looking for.
Some features of a well-designed navigation bar include optimized content, navigation hierarchy, and responsive design, so the experience will not change drastically on a mobile device.
If users cannot find what they are looking for, they have no reason to stay on your site. On the contrary, they will bounce back and find a competitor that offers a better user experience.
A clear structure is key to the success of a website because the satisfaction of visits depends on it. When a user is able to quickly find what they are looking for on a page they are visiting for the first time, they are also willing to become a customer or a regular user of it.
For your website to be so comfortable that people spend time on it, explore it carefully, and interact with it, you need to meet some basic criteria:
- Clear structure: users should get an idea of the organization of the page at first glance and quickly find their way around it.
- Intuitive handling: users should achieve their goal (information, contact, services) in just a few steps.
- Understandable and useful content: The content should not only be understandable to the user but also offer relevant information or solutions.
- Visible interaction elements: the user should always know how to contact the administrator or the page offer (forms, registration, contact, social networks, mail, etc.).
Simple and effective navigation through your website benefits your visits, but also your marketing strategy, since the more pleasant the user experience (UX) on the page, the easier it will be to get clicks or conversions, indicators that reveal their interaction with the page.
This “conversion” of the user into a consumer of your services can be measured with relevant analysis tools, which contribute to increasing reach and, in the best of cases, getting new clients.
4. Include a Search Engine
Having a search engine integrated into your portfolio website will make it look more professional and will allow visitors to find what they are looking for.
A search engine is a very useful component for your users, and it makes your page more accessible and easy to use.
This is especially relevant if you are blogging, it will help the reader find relevant articles and will give you an insight into sought after information from your readers.
Keep in mind that the most frequent way users search for information on the internet is through both internal and external search engines.
If a potential customer cannot find something easily, they will most likely look for that content on another website.
5. Choose the Text and Images Well
Texts are an essential part of every website and must work correctly to transmit information. Through the text you will communicate with your audience, you will make it clear who you are and what you do.
For that reason is that you must make sure that the texts are legible, that they can be read. The content must be reviewed and corrected so that there are no misunderstandings and you make yourself understood correctly.
The font you use for your text will convey the essence of your website and it will depend on whether the client can understand well or not what you want to communicate.
You also need to make sure that this font will be readable in different browsers and devices. You should take into account the size, it cannot be too small to be illegible or too large to interfere with the order of your portfolio website.
Try not to accumulate the text in large blocks but that these are separated so that the reading becomes lighter.
Images and Graphics
Apart from the text, the images will also help you convey a message to your visitors. Especially in a portfolio website and depending on the area where you work, the images are a fundamental part to show what you do.
Giving your visitors a good visual experience will make them spend more time on your page and become more interested in your content, this means that you should make sure to use high-quality images.
However, you should also bear in mind that high-quality images can slow down the page loading process, but to avoid that you can compress the files or try uploading them in different formats such as .jpg, .gif, and .png.
You can also accompany your texts with images that are related to what you speak, so you will make the reading of the texts more entertaining for your potential clients.
The graphic or visual design of a web page must be pleasant, clean, functional, and updated.
Remember that users scan your website in a short time, and if it is not visually pleasing, their visit will be very fast and you will have lost a potential client who was surely interested in your services.
A clean and simple design is usually all that is needed. The “less is more” theory is especially valid for Internet users.
The first impression is essential and while a good design alone is not enough to keep a user on your website, it is key to attracting their attention long enough to review your portfolio.
6. Integrate Social Networks on Your Website
The integration of social networks within a web page will help you make your portfolio website much more popular, easy to share.
If you integrate social networks like Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, people who visit your website will be able to follow you and keep up to date with everything you do, so it is also a good way to keep in touch with your potential clients.
Advantages Of Integrating Social Networks:
- Greater reach across multiple platforms: the integration of social networks allows you to publish information in multiple places at the same time like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. In this way, you will be able to create a positive image of your business all over the web.
- Create a brand image: Offer your clients a platform through which they can contact you, and in which you can allow yourself to create a positive image using direct communication to your advantage.
- Manage the content correctly: By using the feature offered by many social media platforms, you can manage the business content and the time in which you want it to be published. For example, you can design messages that offer promotions or events of your business in advance and schedule them to publicize any special day.
- Get reaction from your audience: By creating a Facebook page, Twitter account, and any other social media platform, you will be able to know what customers think about your business through honest feedback and fill in suggestions that you may consider useful for developing future strategies.
- Understand your audience: Through the integration of social networks, you can obtain a deeper understanding of the behavior of your potential customers, thanks to obtaining comments and opinions.
- It can be your best means of promotion: Once again, social networks are the best way to share something really important. In them, you can promote everything related to your business, such as offers or the creation of new services.
7. Creativity to Make a Website That Stands Out
The first tip for creative web pages is to have a devised concept behind their design. Think about how you can convey who you are and what your personality is.
Creativity will make people understand your essence just by looking at your portfolio.
On the other hand, if you manage to make a creative portfolio this will make you stand out from other freelancers and will make it difficult to forget.
Within niches such as graphic design or illustration, showing that you are creative will increase your chances of getting clients and jobs.
Colors and harmony in the objects displayed on the website make the difference.
It is not the same to navigate a clean and aesthetic web page as a stuffed one with information.
Elements such as color, font, format, size, distribution, aesthetics must be harmonious with the idea to be transmitted, fine in its essence, and of excellent visual quality.
Innovation in the Content
The message to be transmitted must be refined and innovative. The content should project a concept, an experience, or a story that stays in people’s minds.
You can also find a different way to present the usual and common elements of every web page. For example, if you are a web developer you can create a plugging that is unique to your portfolio website
In general, creative web pages are characterized by having a fresh and innovative concept. They propose something new in all the aspects mentioned above and it is attractive to those who visit it.
The point of adding a creative touch to your portfolio is that you manage to add your personality to it and that potential clients can see what it is that differentiates you from the rest.
Extra Tips for Designing a Portfolio Website
To make an online web design portfolio, a large dose of creativity and originality will be necessary when organizing and structuring your work to add personality to the portfolio. Here are some tips for making a web design portfolio:
- Decide your target market: it is important that, before making the portfolio, you ask yourself to whom or to whom you want to target it. Find out first about the company or client interested in hiring you to adapt the portfolio to their needs.
- A lot of images and little text: avoid long and unnecessary explanations. Get to the point and try to create a dynamic and visual portfolio, as recruiters will want to see your work in no time.
- Your experience by areas: you should divide your portfolio by areas and add a couple of examples of projects of each type, which will show that you are a versatile web designer and capable of doing work in different professional areas.
- Be selective: clients and companies look for quality rather than quantity of work, so do not overload your portfolio and choose the projects that convey the most professionalism.
- Contact information: Do not forget to add contact information, including the address of your personal website or professional blog, to facilitate contact with potential companies or clients.
- Information and updating: it is essential that you indicate useful and relevant information about each of the jobs you include (name of the project, date of completion, etc.) and that you keep your portfolio updated at all times.
- Testimonials: you can provide references or testimonials from clients or companies where you have previously worked as a web designer. With this, you will be able to create trust in future clients and give them more reasons to decide to trust you and your work.
Here you will find more information about what to include in a portfolio website, check this.
The Design of Your Portfolio Will Help You Find Clients
The design of your website portfolio is key to getting more clients and jobs, so you must dedicate time and effort to obtain a satisfactory and functional result, which guarantees your users a good experience.
Remember that the goal of your website is to attract more audience and convert them into clients.
If the design of your website is not good, it does not lead to your visitors buying or hiring your products and services, it is not the design that your site needs.
That is why you must strive to have a portfolio website with an excellent design and instead of settling for an average or basic portfolio that does not represent you, take into account the many benefits offered by a website that works well and makes your visitors fall in love.