Creating a Great Design Portfolio: Digital Versions

In my last post, I touched on what elements make up a successful print portfolio. Print portfolios are hugely important for in person interviews and interactions, but in this day and age, we all know physical representations are no longer enough. Having a digital portfolio will help you to build a solid digital presence and makes your work accessible to any curious parties. Digital portfolios make it easy to build connections with other artists and potential employers.

These are the essentials to a powerful digital portfolio:

Easy Navigation

In an ideal world, your portfolio of work will be a singular portion of your overall website. Your website should include several major categories: Home Page, Bio (this can be on the home page), Resume, Blog, & Portfolio. All of the categories should be easy to navigate via a header menu, or drop down menu. Try to keep it classic, and avoid the controversial hamburger button if you can.

When it comes to the navigation of the portfolio itself, you’ll want to make sure that you are displaying your work in most effective way possible. Make sure that:

  1. All of your work samples can easily be seen at a first glance of the portfolio page.
  2. Navigating from project to project isn’t cumbersome.
  3. URLs are seo friendly and clean – use the name of your project in the URLs.

Branding & Good Design

As a designer, you will have undoubtedly established your own personal aesthetic. Build that aesthetic into your personal brand and the design of your site. You want all portions of your site to have a similar look and feel. Set yourself apart, but make sure the design and features of your website don’t detract from your work.


Portfolio Categories

Just like categories are important for an overall website, they are important to the portfolio as well. This is especially true if you have a large amount of content that you want to share, Separate work into categories that make sense for you and your work.


Your Best Work

It’s okay to put some works-in-progress on your digital portfolio, as the digital realm allows you far more freedom and space than the physical/printed portfolio will. But, be very conscious of the “finished” work you choose to post.  Make sure it’s all work that you would be happy to show any potential employer.


Need some inspiration? Check out these gorgeous portfolios from fellow designers:

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