Having a good portfolio on the net can make a difference in getting interesting customers. Obviously, without a few quality projects in your background, it is difficult to sustain a portfolio, but if you do not properly present your work, no matter how good your designs are, they will be unnoticed.
The basics for developing an Internet portfolio, do not differ from those we use for developing any website: accessibility, being user friendly, navigability, clarity, consistency, etc.; elements that are determinant for a bank as well as for a creative site.
However, portfolios have their own characteristics that set them apart from other types of sites, such as “creativity”, a relevant feature that can differentiate us from the competition.
Our portfolio requires a level of originality that is not usually feasible in other projects, but be careful as this “originality” should not adversely affect the above mentioned basics of web design.
Originality is not at odds with knowledge, we would rather say that is part of it, and therefore we believe that keeping abreast of main trends is important, not to copy them, but to learn and adapt our project to get our own identity in the network. We will try to unravel some of the ideas and processes that revolve around the most creative portfolios that we have seen in recent years, to try to uncover concepts that if well understood and applied can make the difference.
Therefore, we will not talk much of “design trends” as minimalism, grunge, or Web 2.0, but as we said before, we will look for the concepts that lie behind this design, from which it is much easier to innovate and develop something different, because in the end, a good design should be the result of a complex creative process and not the mere repetition of a fashion style.
Social extension of your work and yourself
Personally, I’m tired of hearing all the talk, over and over about “social networks“, but they are a reality and we cannot escape their power nor ignore them, especially when it comes to promoting our own work. Not along ago a nice blog within our website, where we occasionally upload some interesting news, was enough to try to draw new users to our main web page. But this is not enough anymore. If you want to promote your work on the net, you have to “deeply” integrate the content of your professional work with your social activity in it. Besides you can also use social networks to show your projects and attract potential customers. Either on Twitter or Facebook, or LinkedIn, etc., you have to take care of both the presentation of your work as well as yourself and your ideas. Obviously this must be approached from a professional point of view, as it is not feasible to have the same Facebook account for your agency and your friends. You can also go one step further and do something revolutionary, as the site of the American agency Modernista! has done, if it can be labeled as such, and to understand why I think it should, I think the only way to find out is to visit it
“The way that they play with multiple web services and social networks to showcase their own content is amazing and innovative. We had never seen anything similar, in fact, rather than a website as such, we should speak of an interactive menu that moves us from one service to another to show their content. We must recognize that on this occasion they have set themselves apart from the rest with a new milestone in website development.”
Telling a story
It may sound strange, but the narrative context of your agency if its well built and provides relevant content that enrich the presentation of your works, can radically differentiate you from competition. It is a factor that demonstrates originality and capacity for abstraction and without which it is difficult to be a good creative. When it comes to storytelling is not about writing a story, but inserting our work in a specific universe within which it is easier to perceive and understand the nuances that it has. The atypical portfolio of the dutch designer Coen Grift would be an example to highlight.He turns into it his own interactive experience of browsing his web as the best sample of his work, with no need of telling anything else.
This is a fun web page that invites us to lose time, laughing with its characters and interact with them as well as with the different elements that make up the page, converting it into an experience in itself.
If you are able to condense everything relevant to your work on a page, its useless to be annoying with thousands of words and examples that do not contribute more than what has been already said. Many have recently opted for this alternative based on the simplicity and simplification, with excellent results. There is no need to be afraid of summarizing and focusing, but such portfolios requires the ability to choose and properly submit the contents that are really worthy.
Reinventing the interface
We are so accustomed to certain ways of browsing and interacting on the Internet that we believe these are the only ways to do this. But the truth is that we constantly find alternative solutions that distinguish the quality of a portfolio and discover exceptional operational proposals. Being different is not a matter of experimenting, but of innovating by implementing appropriate interactive resources to show our works, so that they acquire an added value.
Sense of Humor
We should not underestimate the power of humor and irony when used properly. This can let us directly connect with potential customers and break barriers through empathy. Obviously their use should be respectful and coherent; their function is to creatively and amusingly illustrate our work, not telling trivial jokes outside of the content of our site.
Humor can be transmitted not only through words, but also through any design element or by adding an allusion to our website interface that attracts the interest of the user and positively predispose them to want to know more about us.
It works out even better if in our campaigns and projects humor plays a key role. This is the case of the Spanish agency La Despensa, in whose website irony is perceived in both the works they present as well as in their comments. This way the customer knows who they are dealing with and what they can expect.
An Added Word of Thanks!
If you like this post and the other great content from Fuel Your Creativity then make sure you thank Zendesk for all of their support. Zendesk is an awesome online service that creates a virtual helpdesk for your company. This customizable on-demand support tool allows for your business, no matter the size, to answer all of your customer care needs, easily and effectively. Customer support has never been this manageable, but Zendesk has changed all of that by crafting this wonderful web 2.0 tool for businesses to extend their reach out to their customers, and to help organize all of their comments and concerns in a user-friendly environ.
As writer for Fuel Your Creativity Spanish, Enrique is an experimental web and graphic designer, expert on new technologies and their creative possibilities. He spends most of his time browsing all the content that deserves to be known.