Principles of portfolio design

Principles of portfolio design

The best portfolios share three traits: unity, navigability, and simplicity.

Unity. The more unified the pages of your portfolio are, the more likely we are to stay there.

  • Come up with a basic design and background that is repeated on all pages.
  • Keep associated items parallel with each other from one page to the next.
  • Use headings for short blocks of text, and when you do need to use long blocks (like an essay or assignment), show clear links back to the root page.
  • Set up your portfolio so that when we visit linked pages, they open in a new window - so that when we close them, we automatically return to the portfolio.

An example: The page is called “My Design Projects,” and it describes four projects. Each project has a short heading, written in bold red text, followed by a short project description (just 3 - 4 lines long, in black text), and at the end of each description is a link, “Visit the project page.” Between each description is a solid black line to enhance separation, and the background is white so that all text readily stands out. Also, at the left of each of these descriptions is a small screenshot (also clickable) of the project page. Once we go into a specific project page, we see a “Return to My Design Projects page” and a “Return to my homepage” link at the top of the page. This basic form is repeated on other pages, and so we have a strong sense of unity to your portfolio no matter what pages we are visiting.