.: 19 March 2016 :.

Who did you design your portfolio for?

Did you design your portfolio for nobody in particular, hoping to attract everybody?

Did you design your portfolio for yourself? Did you optimize it to your favorite browser? Did you make sure it looks great on your screen? Tested loading times on your strong internet connection? Selected your favorite projects? Picked a theme that you liked?

Did you design your portfolio for other designers? Are you pushing the boundaries of design and development just to show off your skills? Are you applying the latest visual design trends hoping to get your portfolio on Dribbble’s homepage? Is the only thing you care about the number or viewers on Behance?

Did you design your portfolio for your dream visitor? The person that visits all of your pages, reads all of your lines and watches all of your concept videos? The person that shares your work online? The person that takes the time to search for your contact form and reaches out to you?

Did you design your portfolio for an audience you think you understand? Are you making assumptions about their expectations, motivations and behavior?

It’s quite a simple question I am asking today. Who did you design your portfolio for?

Honestly, I don’t care who you designed your portfolio for. I just want you to be intentional about it. I want your portfolio to serve it’s purpose. A purpose for an audience that you have defined.

I don’t care who you designed your portfolio for. I just want you to be intentional about it.

Don’t expect to attract clients with a portfolio that is supposed to impress other designers. Don’t expect to land jobs if you designed your portfolio merely for yourself.

Only once you have defined your audience you can create a portfolio that serves their needs. Not your needs. After defining your target audience, make an effort understanding them. Don’t assume that you do already.

Only once you have defined your audience you can create a portfolio that serves their needs.

Gaining an understanding can be done in many ways. It doesn’t have to be formal. It doesn’t even have to be scientific. Start by looking in your circle of family and friends. Do you happen to know anybody that fits your criteria?

Approach them. Discuss your ideas. Show them your portfolio and capture their responses. What are they looking for? Is your portfolio giving that to them? Try to get into their heads and make design decisions based on that.

Better understand your current visitors by collecting data. You can complement the qualitative insights you gain from talking to your audience with quantitative data that you collect using Google Analytics.

You can complement the qualitative insights you gain from talking to your audience with quantitative data that you collect using Google Analytics.

Is the project with the most views the one you highlighted? Did you optimize your portfolio for the browser that most of your visitors are using? Did you design your portfolio based on the average visiting time? At what page do most visitors exit your portfolio?

The data that you collect will challenge your assumptions. Combined with a better understanding of your intended audience you can better serve their needs.

Who did you design your portfolio for?

© 2018 Martijn van den Broeck
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