Brutal honesty appreciated!

Hello all,

I’m having a hard time making my online portfolio appeal to employers:

I’ve applied to consultancies and in-house design teams (toys, housewares, research), but from the lack of response, I know it is seriously lacking. So I would be really grateful for some brutally honest feedback.

Thank you in advance!



I think your work is amazing. Love the egg cooker for the toaster, the iphone cases and the layout of your portfolio site.

Keep knocking on doors. Remember that the majority of jobs are not advertised. I think your work would do well in an exhibition. Build your network and get it into as many people’s faces as you can.

Website is nice and professional. You do a good job of explaining your final products, nice craftsmanship, and you have experiences and internships. However I feel you are missing two things, process and identity.

When I’m involved in hiring someone all I care about is process. I want to see the problem or brief, often supported with research and then see all the options you came up with, shown in sketches, you could support this with mockups if you like. THIS is the most important part of your portfolio if you are a younger designer. I want to see all your ideas and designs, including the bad ones, and how you moved from one idea to the next. Why you stopped one proposal and moved to the next, how you refined the final design into the super nice pictures you have already on your website. I care less about the final design and more about how you got there. Every job I’ve gotten managers have wanted the same. They don’t even look at final models, just the ideation. Because in the end, you are hired for you ideation and process as a junior and mid level designer.

Look at your egghop project. It’s a great idea, and nice final presentation. But I have no idea how you arrived to your final design. I want see 4+ pages of sketch ideas and process.

Identity is something I look for in portfolios, and it is a bit intangible. Basically, I want to see who you are, what your are good at and what you care about. I want to work with people who “own their shit” so to speak. What do you want to do? housewares? crafty things? Cars? Bikes? Show me. What are you good at? show me.

I kind of get a feeling of your identity in the website, a crafty vibe with focus on execution. Maybe that’s true? But that identity wouldn’t appeal to in house design studios and consultancies. That identity would appeal to little design studios turning out specific products, like

So if you want to work at traditional ID studios or in-house design studios doing products, make sure your identity aligns with what they want. Or on the other hand, if your identity, and what you want to do is more this crafty, handmade things, apply to places that create those products. But either place is going to want to see your process.

My thoughts, hope it helps

Your quality of work, presentation, ideas and execution of projects are all excellent.

I’d agree more sketches and process would certainly help, but that being said, you’ve got a lot more showing that just final renderings, so personally I get a pretty good idea of how you think and what you could achieve if I threw a project at you.

Your work itself shows good diversity and the presentation is of reasonable depth and breadth. I was able to skim your site in a few minutes and come away very impressed with a solid idea of what I think you are capable of.

Do you have a more in-depth portfolio or project specific document you follow-up with? If I was hiring, I would certainly like to get a little more in-depth with your process and some of the nitty gritty problem solving following the first round of portfolio review.

Keep at it. Good work will get you far!



Hi Ying, This is not something about your design skills as they are excellent. I would like to see some more process and backbone behind your thinking but all in all you have everything you need right now to take along into a professional career. If I were you I would deepen out the story behind my design work to explain my thinking and future goals, as well as how it can link to business goals, in order to be able to convince employers of not only skills and a positive mindset but also the willingness and ability to commit to a possible long-term relationship with an employer.

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Thank you Azrehan, I will keep going! What kind of exhibition are you thinking of, example?

Thank you so much for all your feedback regarding process. I’ve added a slideshow of processes to my egghop project , and am intending to do the same for the other projects. Could you let me know what you think about it?

You’re really spot-on with building–block, I’ve been following their work.

Identity and focus is indeed something I’ve been struggling with when I am creating this portfolio, so it’s really good to hear what vibe you got from it. And perhaps I’ve been targeting my efforts in the wrong direction…

Thank you for the kind words and encouragement! I only have a pdf document version of what I have on the website in order to explain my projects in person, and occasionally with more dirtier process photos. But so far I have not gotten a chance to use it. I have updated my egg hop project with a process slideshow, and would love to know what you think about it.

Thank you for your insights! Do you think it would work if I place my projects in contexts of existing brands and how my project matches their philosophy and market? Would you be able to point me to a project that achieves this link to business goals?

Thank you Keno! I did think twice about the navigation… quite frankly I copied the floating navigation style from a graphic designer I like. I took out the visual diary component, I agree that it does not really add much given its contents. What do you think is the issue with the site title?

Which projects do you think seem ripe for kickstarter?

Also do you like the way I updated this project for the process (slideshow)?

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These are all really nice!

I particularly enjoy the playfullness in all these designs. They’re absurd, whimsical, and often impractical (particularly that super fat phone case), but all beautiful and joyous. They make me smile.


Keno, I see your point about the url & title etc being convoluted. It’s all because my name as an url is already taken and I don’t want to permutate it in a weird way, but I will work on simplifying them. Also would look into refining the notepad phone case design for fundraising, quite a few people told me they could see themselves using a version of that. Thank you again for taking the time to critique my portfolio!

Thanks Max! I’m glad they made you smile.