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The majority of portfolios look alike!
Given the plethora of case studies out there, how can companies find the talent they are looking for?
Welcome to Learn Primitives!
Here's what you'll learn:
Why do portfolios look alike?
Fitting in is not an option
The impact you bring as a designer
and much more…
Let’s dive in…
I’ve reviewed thousands of portfolios throughout my career and unfortunately, the majority of portfolios look alike!
Stop it. Stop following the same template approach, everyone else is already doing that.
Given the plethora of case studies out there, how can companies find the talent they are looking for? And how can designers differentiate themselves when applying for a position? Is a formulaic approach to the design process endangering young professionals’ capacity for critical thinking?
Are we going for a one size fits all approach?
- The process is not tailored to your needs
- They aren’t positioned to target the right audience
- They don’t showcase your voice
- Less critical thinking
- The illusion of a structured industry
- The "Dribbblization" of case studies
Fitting in is just not going to work #uniquedesign
Why is this important?
As a designer, your portfolio is your calling card. It's the first thing potential clients or employers will see, and it needs to make a lasting impression. But with so many portfolios out there, how do you differentiate yourself and make yours stand out?
More important than following the same steps in the right order every time is the ability to understand when and how each method should be used, and why it will help the designer come up with a better solution to a problem. Designers who can think for themselves will make better decisions when their first real project arises.
When you teach someone to always follow the same steps, you are forming a habit that is hard to break….
Here are a few tips to help you create a standout portfolio:
Be clear and concise: Make sure your portfolio is easy to understand and showcases your best work right away. Use clear headings, subtitles, and bullet points to communicate your message effectively.
Add interactive elements: Adding interactive elements to your portfolio, such as animations or prototypes, can make it stand out and provide a more engaging experience for the viewer.
Highlight your accomplishments: Include any notable achievements or awards you've received in your portfolio. This will show potential employers or clients that you are a talented and accomplished designer.
Show your versatility: Include a variety of design projects in your portfolio to show your versatility as a designer. This can include print design, web design, branding, or any other type of design work that you have experience in.
Use storytelling techniques: Consider using storytelling techniques to make your portfolio more engaging and memorable. This can include incorporating a narrative structure, using humor or personal anecdotes, or incorporating interesting statistics or data.
Show your personality: Your portfolio should not only showcase your design work, but also your personality and style. Incorporate personal touches, such as a unique design layout or color scheme, or use language and tone that reflects your personal brand.
Consider the design of your portfolio: The design of your portfolio can also help it stand out. Consider using a unique layout or color scheme that reflects your personal brand. Yes, you should always consider yourself a product or a brand (more on that in a future post).
When joining a real design team and dealing with real-world briefs and projects, designers need the ability to improvise. Research budgets are not always available; user journeys are not always necessary. The ability to improvise is one of the skills that differentiates good designers from great ones.
This is where we see most designers fail and or, where most designers separate themselves from the crowd
Adding the outcomes of your project to your portfolio can be an effective way to showcase the impact of your work and demonstrate your value as a designer. Including outcomes can help potential employers or clients understand the real-world results of your design solutions and how they can benefit from working with you.
Highlight the results: When including outcomes in your portfolio, make sure to focus on the results and highlight the impact of your work. This could include metrics such as increased engagement or sales, improved user experience, or positive feedback from clients or stakeholders.
Use case studies: One effective way to showcase outcomes in your portfolio is by using case studies. This allows you to provide context and explain the problem you were trying to solve, the design process you used, and the results you achieved.
Incorporate visuals: Visuals can help to reinforce the impact of your design solutions. Consider including graphs, charts, or other visuals that illustrate the outcomes of your projects.
Quantify your impact: Where possible, use numbers to quantify the impact of your design solutions. This can help to demonstrate your value as a designer and make your portfolio more compelling to potential employers or clients.
By including outcomes in your portfolio, you can show the real-world impact of your design solutions and demonstrate your value as a designer. This can help you stand out from other designers and win more work.
Creating a standout portfolio takes time and effort, but it's worth it in the end. By focusing on your unique strengths, showing a range of work, providing context and process, using storytelling, and showing your personality, you can differentiate yourself as a designer and make your portfolio stand out from the crowd.
Remember, you are unique and so should your portfolio .
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