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  • Portfolio critique

    Hello all,

    I'm posting my portfolio here in an attempt for other designers to tell me what I might be missing. I've previously been successful in landing work but since becoming unemployed almost five months ago due to a contract ending, I have been unable to get any interviews and am curious if it might have to do with my portfolio and not just the economy.

    Here's my portfolio:

    Also, since I assume you're all graphic designers, could you please post what resolutions you viewed the site, with what browsers and if there are any problems? I'm trying to get an idea of what my target audience would be viewing this site at. I designed it so that it could be viewed at 1024x768 but looks best at 1440x900, a widescreen resolution.

    I'm interested in any constructive criticism you might have, good or bad. But try not to be too brutal.

    Finally, since I just redesigned this site, I do know the blog section needs posts. This has been a bit of a work in progress as I compile material but nonetheless I do intend to add to it regularly.


  • #2
    You have very nice work, but to be honest, I got so lost in your portfolio the minute I landed on it... it was like an information overload.

    Here's what's bugging me.

    My eyes kept pulling away from the important content to your header, particularly the upper right corner.

    Having to scroll so much made me not want to stop and focus on anything until I found the bottom of the page.

    It wasn't until after I took a few minutes to understand what was going on, that I was then able to focus on your beautiful work.

    Looking at your work, I had no desire to click on anything, because everything looked so permanent like a magazine layout. Instead of clicking on your pieces, I kept saying to myself "I wish I could make these pieces bigger." For a good second, I thought I was looking at a pdf.

    Having your website so tall, your visitors will go through a lot of work themselves. Clicking is a lot easier for me than scrolling, and I also find myself running too far from your navigation bar to use it.

    I think you're an amazing graphic designer. Your work proves it, but I got confused on your website.
    Last edited by Markasin3; 02-06-2010, 05:31 AM.


    • #3
      Thanks for your comments.

      What's funny is I feel like to a degree I was successful in getting you to go to the bottom of the page, which was my intention with the design: to see all my work in one fell swoop. Before this design, it took more than three clicks to get the user to see anything, and every thumbnail had to be clicked on. I felt like so much clicking was a chore and interfered with potentially very busy and tired designers / art directors / HR people (those doing the hiring) to be able to get a quick sense of me and my work.

      But depth is also there and offered in the text and meaning of the brand. Also, you can click on the pieces to get an enlarged look through Lightbox, or didn't that work for you?

      I agree that the header is problematic. What resolution is your desktop set to? I haven't been able to test it at very high resolutions but it seems to display more of that "graphic noise" as I call it as well as to go behind the navigation at much higher resolutions; resolutions that I believe designers who keep their resolutions above 1440x900 might notice.

      I had thought of making the navigation scroll down the page but wasn't sure how to do it. I'll have to research this.


      • #4
        My resolution is 1440 x 900 on Safari.

        Now, that you put it that way, the scrolling makes a lot of sense cause employers do look through portfolios super quick.

        Okay, now you have me laughing at myself... I guess it is a smart design after all. It is just very different from other portfolios I've seen. There was only one other portfolio, I remember, that made the visitor scroll so much like yours did, but his portfolio was designed in such a way that the scrolling wasn't so obvious.

        The lightbox worked for me, I just didn't know the option was there at first. I'm so used to clicking on square-like icons for enlargements.


        • #5
          Some things I initially noticed;

          Include a "back to the top" button for every piece rather than just at the very bottom. Even if you think it helps by making the user scroll, people will get frustrated.

          The header of your Web site is a bit over powering, IMO. My eye immediately goes to the right of the page away from all the content with that design you made. I also feel like the navigation is hidden with all of the other elements going on around it.

          Other than that, I think it looks pretty nice.
          Last edited by Shawj; 02-06-2010, 11:25 AM.


          • #6
            I agree, I think I will implement the "Back to Top" for each section. I wonder, though, how I can lessen the header but keep it interesting.


            • #7
              I really like the scrolling layout and I disagree with the concept "Clicking is better than scrolling." And I like the header. BUT...
              If visitors stumble across your site it maybe a little bit too much text. I don't think your customers will read through the text.

              And it took me a while until I had the idea to click on one of your artworks. Like Markasin3 already wrote, it has the look and feel of a PDF and the possible interaction is not obvious.

              Do you know Browsershots? It's an easy way to test your site on any given browser...

              So I really like your site and adore your work, just some nitpicking...


              • #8
                I love your portfolio, what you wrote and all the designs. You really put "yourself" in it.


                • #9
                  First of all with an uncommon name like FRAKTURE, don't cut it in half on the top an then filter it like crazy. It's hard enough to read with out all the drama.

                  Second, don't think writing in the 2nd person is a good idea. True it's easier than starting every sentence with I.

                  Third and most important it's too much text to get an employer to read it.

                  Pretty nice layout.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CMYK girl View Post
                    First of all with an uncommon name like FRAKTURE, don't cut it in half on the top an then filter it like crazy. It's hard enough to read with out all the drama.
                    Could you clarify what you mean here? I don't know what you're referring to. Do you mean the header?

                    Writing: The writing is supplemental, as is the blog. I don't expect the designers and art directors who don't read to read it, but for the ones that do, it's there and explains the depth of the brand. I think it's better to have text and not need it than to need it and not have it. I wanted the design to demonstrate both my left- and right-brain skills, even if employers think I won't use the left very much--communication and writing skills are undoubtedly listed on every job.


                    • #11
                      Yes the header at the top is cut off on my view, Sarfari. Then the shattered look under it.

                      If you're job hunting, it's too much text to figure out. Employers have over 200 resumes per job to read through. If you're trying to find clients it's better.


                      • #12
                        I feel like the portfolio is nothing more than a hustle. Felt like I was being hustled right from the get go. The type treatment in the header, the dash line, the insidious use of quotes, etc.. In short - it tries way to hard - over designed to say the least.

                        Why all the drama?

                        And no, I didn't scroll all the way to the bottom.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Grfk Dzgn View Post
                          I feel like the portfolio is nothing more than a hustle. Felt like I was being hustled right from the get go. The type treatment in the header, the dash line, the insidious use of quotes, etc.. In short - it tries way to hard - over designed to say the least.

                          Why all the drama?

                          And no, I didn't scroll all the way to the bottom.
                          Thanks for the honesty, even though it feels a bit hostile.

                          The site is a hustle. It has an objective to sell my work because I had doubts with how passive my previous version was (essentially three pages of small text with a page of thumbnails). I wanted this to be straightforward with the work, so that it has two speeds, scroll through fast and see the work or read through slowly and get the ideas behind the work. If that's "overdesigned," lobotomize me. And insidious use of quotes? How so?

                          I've always enjoyed drama, particularly indictments on culture. It's a theme with me because it's how I operate and I think it's one of the most effective ways to get a point across: create a narrative and illustrate around it. And FRAKTURE has an inherent sociopolitical message that I felt I should explore because it seemed appropriate at the time, even if it exceeds what some may feel the gamut of design is. I'm not one who can just put work up without an explanation supporting it. I try to give design an elevated context like how it sits with me personally.

                          And if this all looks as though I tried too hard, I probably did. This wasn't easy to carve out and put forth a message as dense as this; I took some risks. But intuitively it felt much better than to simply emulate what other designers were doing with boring, minimalistic layouts and an emphasis on cleanliness and staying mute. I thought the whole point of design was to be interesting.


                          • #14
                            I like it. I was confused at first not knowing where to click or what I was looking at. Plus, to be honest, I still do feel a bit confused. I don't know what I am looking at (although it looks good - great work!). It doesn't feel as if it is split into sections. Maybe if you had headings at the top of each sections or a scrolling heading that said "digital art", "product design" etc so I new what I was looking at. Like another poster said, I would like a back to the top link as well.

                            I think the design is lovely, I love the way you've placed the images with the text and the angles some of them have been placed at (3D like). I also like the dotted line linking everything together. How did you do those? Did you have to make a background image for the whole page or did you just do dashed borders or something?

                            I'm not sure about your heading, I don't think it goes with the nice feel of the page. Maybe it's the font, or the colour. I do like the fact it spans my whole window those but the rest of the page is smaller.
                            My portfolio.


                            • #15
                              From the top to the bottom (which I did scroll down to ) the home page appears to have been designed for you--not for potential employers.

                              If you're attached to the home page, and don't want to change it, then I think you should add a link to "Porfolio". That Portfolio page should be straightforward, logical, easy to navigate, with a short description of each piece.

                              I could be wrong, but I think your site is either scaring away potential freelance clients or irritating people who are trying to review a stack of portfolios and resumes.

                              I agree with others that your actual design work is very nice.






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