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Would appreciate some feedback!

Postby cdesign » June 5th, 2016, 8:04 pm


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Hey Core77,

just graduated and looking to get some feedback for my website and PDF portfolio before I start applying. I've posted on here before and really enjoyed the feedback, and once I get some experience in the field I hope to return the favor to some young designers. The website has just been put up so content on the blog is limited, but I plan on using that for design book reviews, my thoughts on design, maybe an outlet to show my other creative works, etc.



You can download my PDF portfolio here:

http://docdro.id/Rwma26D

Thanks!
Last edited by cdesign on August 30th, 2016, 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Would appreciate some feedback!

Postby gilchristjames » June 7th, 2016, 5:22 pm

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Hi Casmir,

I've just managed to have a quick look but just a few small things to pick up.

- About Page: Signature is a nice touch, but I can see the background which is a bit tacky. Stick it in photoshop (or even powerpoint) and remove background colour and reupload.

-I would name your URL pages instead of having 'pageid=xx', It will look better and help with your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

-Your portfolio content is uploaded as a photo. When you have time, I would recommend using real text instead of text on images. Again will be much better for SEO, but also will scale nicer.

-Have a think about how your website deals with mobiles- Tons of hits these days are on mobile. If you don't have your smartphone to hand, grab your browser and reduce the width to 6cm or so (about mobile size). See how it looks- when I did it, the content didn't scale well.

- I really like the little background brush stroke to give your sketches a timeline- nice touch!

- Must admit, didnt really understand the ELLIPSIS page.

- Tupperware project seems pretty neat. I've have some experience of food products for millennials so it is a point of interest. One thing I think you could improve is how you talk about your insight from research. Saying your discoveries are: 'millennials are social' and 'are adventurous' I would reply 'no shit, sherlock' (I may be biased though). You've broken bread with your target market, so you've done the hard work, try to find some real insight, things that maybe other people haven't picked up on. Maybe it's a quote from 'jane' who said 'nothing is better than sharing a cool beer after reaching the top of a climb, I always keep one in my backpack' which could show how the food/drinks acts as a sense of reward... Research sayings millennials are adventurous is going one level deep; strive to go deeper. Empathy is probably the most vital skill for a designer, master it and you will go far!

Hope the above helps. The site has good content, but as they say, theres always more work to be done!

Keep up the good work,
James

Re: Would appreciate some feedback!

Postby mcpbowman » June 8th, 2016, 3:04 am


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Hi Casmir,

Thanks for sharing your work.
Ive had a quick look though your website and generally I am pretty impressed with it.
I think you have showcased a well thought out and diverse range of products and shown different techniques which is great for a potential employer to see.

I think the stand out project on the website is the Tupperwear project, it shows the complete cycle of the design process, from the initial idea, further development and final product.
I was tempted to say you could add more text to allow the viewer to read through the stages of the project, but I actually quite like the minimalist layout and explaining the process though images - I'm sure you could then expand on this in an interview situation.

I was about to say show some more sketching work, and then I opened your portfolio - I would 100% add those sketches into the projects on the website, I initially thought that you had left them out on purpose because that might not be a strong skill of yours, but your sketches are great so get those in :)

I would also like to ask why the content varies quite a lot between the website and portfolio? There are a few projects that are common to both, but I think the two mediums have a very different feel to them.
I'm not saying this is wrong, I am just intrigued.

I have to agree with James, I didn't get the ELLIPSIS page either - to be honest, the lack of images put me off (I am lazy and a visual based person :P ).
Maybe expand on this project, or perhaps add in the Suvan Decsk project instead?

Overall, a very good body of work and well laid out - good job :)

Re: Would appreciate some feedback!

Postby cdesign » June 8th, 2016, 9:08 pm


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Thanks you two! The input is so much appreciated as I get gearing up to start applying for jobs.

James, your feedback is great. I definitely see what you mean by how skin deep I went with the research, perhaps I will address this soon.

mcpbowman, thank you so much and hope you enjoyed it. I have a question for you (and anyone else for that matter), do you think the fact that my projects vary so much a hindrance more so than a strength? Through school, my personal taste was "design everything and anything" to see what I was passionate about specifically designing (including taking an architecture studio, even), but I really really just enjoy the design process because it's never the same and love applying it to anything and everything.

The reason the content on the portfolio and the site is slightly different is because the desk isn't done yet, while it's a functioning desk, I didn't like the gray legs so am sanding and polishing it off by hands and it will have a just natural, honest aluminum look to it. Additionally, packaging is being designed to showcase the flatpacking nature of the desk. Additionally, the Explorer Shirt is being added to the site as we speak.

Right now I am going to finish a few projects I think some of my favorite design firms are going to really enjoy, apply to the small list of firms I'm really passionate about, and letting the adventure continue.

Thanks guys! Additional feedback is greatly welcome!

Re: Would appreciate some feedback!

Postby mcpbowman » June 9th, 2016, 4:00 am


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I don't think showing a varied body of work is a hindrance.
Some people might disagree and say you should tailor your portfolio to the job you want, but if its more of a consultancy role that you are looking for then I don't see it as an issue at all.

As you have said, its about applying a process to a project and if you can show that you can do this for a wide range of product types, then happy days! :)

Good stuff, I will look forward to looking through it again when there are some more updates

Re: Would appreciate some feedback!

Postby ralphzoontjens » June 9th, 2016, 5:29 am

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Nice work overall! Your site is nice and clean, at times you are a bit generic in your descriptions. You can improve it by making it more recognizable by giving a more specific story about yourself related to your professional development and your views on design, and adding a logo or tagline next to your navigation as you do in your pdf portfolio. You are describing what you have worked on in a good and succinct way though you are not really grasping my attention a lot with what you tell about your projects. Look for what makes the projects unique and important and see to convey it in a few lines.

Your designs do speak, especially the onelunch, chime and bike project. It is great that you take your projects towards semi-well finished functional prototypes. With Chime you show that you can implement elegance and simplicity in a design however it is rather unclear how much you did your own design thinking and evolution. I would liked to have seen you taken it further by for example integrating it into a garden light, a desk light or as a kitchen timer. The OneLunch project shows cleverness in thinking and execution, although lacks a bit of aesthetic refinement and integration and recognizability as a Tupperware product. Also, sushi has to be eaten with chopsticks. Ellipsis is totally illegible as a design project. I would say the rental bike project is the best project you did - it is a nice unisex design making good use of materials and based on what seems to be solid underpinnings and user testing. Customization / users leaving marks or stories regarding to products they have rented is a strong opportunity for design to facilitate. I love the remote classrooms for Mongolia - all I am missing is a critical analysis on the performance of your built prototype. Sol is in itself a nice exploration to add to your portfolio. To me only the last image with the materials arranged on the ground speaks so the rest could be minimized or omitted - it triggers ideas and stories and it reminds me of Richard Long's work.
http://www.designsoul.nl
Designsoul - Product Design & Visualisation

Re: Would appreciate some feedback!

Postby yo » June 9th, 2016, 12:07 pm

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Casimir,

Welcome to the boards.

What type of design do you want to do?

Is there a resume page on your site somewhere? I was expecting it in the about section.

In group projects, make sure you highlight your individual contribution.

I'd like to see higher fidelity sketching and modeling with more complex and controlled surfaces.

Just opened you PDF, you PDF is much more successful in showing your abilities in my opinion. You should close the gap between the website and the pdf.

Re: Would appreciate some feedback!

Postby cdesign » June 9th, 2016, 2:21 pm


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mcpbowman wrote:I don't think showing a varied body of work is a hindrance.
Some people might disagree and say you should tailor your portfolio to the job you want, but if its more of a consultancy role that you are looking for then I don't see it as an issue at all.

As you have said, its about applying a process to a project and if you can show that you can do this for a wide range of product types, then happy days! :)

Good stuff, I will look forward to looking through it again when there are some more updates




thanks! I will be updating it in the coming weeks, can't wait for you to check out my new, improved site soon.



ralphzoontjens wrote:Nice work overall! Your site is nice and clean, at times you are a bit generic in your descriptions. You can improve it by making it more recognizable by giving a more specific story about yourself related to your professional development and your views on design, and adding a logo or tagline next to your navigation as you do in your pdf portfolio. You are describing what you have worked on in a good and succinct way though you are not really grasping my attention a lot with what you tell about your projects. Look for what makes the projects unique and important and see to convey it in a few lines.

Your designs do speak, especially the onelunch, chime and bike project. It is great that you take your projects towards semi-well finished functional prototypes. With Chime you show that you can implement elegance and simplicity in a design however it is rather unclear how much you did your own design thinking and evolution. I would liked to have seen you taken it further by for example integrating it into a garden light, a desk light or as a kitchen timer. The OneLunch project shows cleverness in thinking and execution, although lacks a bit of aesthetic refinement and integration and recognizability as a Tupperware product. Also, sushi has to be eaten with chopsticks. Ellipsis is totally illegible as a design project. I would say the rental bike project is the best project you did - it is a nice unisex design making good use of materials and based on what seems to be solid underpinnings and user testing. Customization / users leaving marks or stories regarding to products they have rented is a strong opportunity for design to facilitate. I love the remote classrooms for Mongolia - all I am missing is a critical analysis on the performance of your built prototype. Sol is in itself a nice exploration to add to your portfolio. To me only the last image with the materials arranged on the ground speaks so the rest could be minimized or omitted - it triggers ideas and stories and it reminds me of Richard Long's work.


Thank you for noticing that I tend to make the products I design. I have a belief in making things, because when I make things, I tend to think deeper about how something will be manufactured, and the beauty of making something with my hands tends to be a good feeling.

I see what you all are saying with ELLIPSIS. For the Lexus Design Competition, our (me and two others') design process was literally going to different coffee shops after studio and talk about the idea. We believed it to be a concept-heavy project, whereas the designing wasn't pushed as far. It got shortlisted, because I think the judges saw the potential, but wasn't chosen because it is too open ended. This is actually one of the projects I am working on right now to get a functional prototype down and to put into my portfolio.

And thank you so much about Sol! It is really a project I am proud of. I always like finding inspiration from other sources and taking that design studio taught by a really talented architect was an amazing, amazing experience. I was afraid of putting work not related to industrial design into my portfolio and site, because I feel like really industrial-heavy firms may be turned off of my work thinking I am an artist and not a designer that will make real commercially-successful products.

yo wrote:Casimir,

Welcome to the boards.

What type of design do you want to do?

Is there a resume page on your site somewhere? I was expecting it in the about section.

In group projects, make sure you highlight your individual contribution.

I'd like to see higher fidelity sketching and modeling with more complex and controlled surfaces.

Just opened you PDF, you PDF is much more successful in showing your abilities in my opinion. You should close the gap between the website and the pdf.


Your first question is really something I ask myself almost everyday. I don't know. I know what designers and designs I enjoy and am passionate about and take inspiration from, but most of those tend to be in heavily craft-oriented countries... Sweden, Japan, Italy, Netherlands, etc.

I understand what you mean by moeling with more complex an controlled surfaces... many of my designs form-wise are pretty simple, but I have a question for you. Is this necessarily a bad thing if the idea and function behind them is really well thought out and executed? Is simple and functional the way to go for a lot of people?

Re: Would appreciate some feedback!

Postby cdesign » July 17th, 2016, 1:55 pm


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I've been networking a bit and reaching out and asking for a lot of opinions, and it has led me to ask this question to you, Core77:

Do I have too much process work and "fat" for each of my projects on my site? Stuff that people that would hire me won't necessarily care about unless they ask for a portfolio?

Re: Would appreciate some feedback!

Postby KenoLeon » July 17th, 2016, 3:54 pm

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Hi Casmir:

I just checked your portfolio, this is my impression.

I get a sense that the work is there and it is not awfully presented at least in the technical sense, so it passes the 5 second read.

The main issue I see is that you might be lacking focus, so as a reader I am lost after the first 5 seconds.

The way I see it you can display your talents in 2 ways: sections or projects. In the section approach you just focus on something (3d,sketching,ideation,process, design thinking etc,etc) an trow the kitchen sink at it in one block ( so very little hand guiding is needed) , then you complement that with your secondary skills in the form of projects.

The other more common way is the project based, in this one you have to briefly and concisely present a project and your contribution as a designer( something along the lines of problem,ideation, prototypes, iteration, final product, etc), I believe you might be failing here because you believe your audience will have the time and interest to explore your site and piece it together.

I would also suggest you review the use of photos/blog sections, if they are not directly related to ID I am not sure they help.

I also recommend 2 books:

"BREAKING IN: Over 100 Product Designers Reveal How to Build a Portfolio That Will Get You Hired"

"Sketching, Product Design Presentation"


Best,
Keno
Eugenio (Keno) Leon
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"We are surrounded with objects of desire, not objects of use.” Don Norman


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