Cameron Nielsen - 2016 Update in progress

Hi all,

Fast forward 5 years since the last update to this thread in 2011! This is the first time in my career I’ve had way more work than I can show, and also I am struggling to know if I should include some old strong student concept work to help balance out all the speakers or make the jump to 100% professional work this time.

Currently you can go to my URL above and download a 40 pager.
I know the story flow is disjointed right now.
All feedback welcome.

I found your website interesting enough to have a look at all of your projects (what about that last one?). You definitely care about the important details, constraints and engineering issues. Thumbs up :slight_smile:

Hey Cameron, the below may seem a bit over-critical, so take it with a grain of salt.

Your process is good, although you should give me more of a reason to care about your designs. You’re not selling it right now. It’s like “I made baby keys just because I have a baby now”. What was the insight you had from your observations as a designer that makes this project worth while? What’s especially frustrating is that some projects only have two slides, and it’s an annoying usability issue (more on that later).

You also don’t answer your initial problem statement in the Logitech project. You’re talking about a nomadic, portable lifestyle, but the form I see at the end is anything but portable. Still cables, an awkward shaped taper in the back that looks nice, but wouldn’t fit in my backpack comfortably.

The IKEA folded stool is also a difficult project for me. It seems you are designing for lowest cost, etc, which is all what IKEA is about, but then you come up with a design that wastes so much space in the packaging box (you even render a view where we can see how much space is wasted with the long handle). Also, the sketch you have right before showing your concept shows a handle that folds into the stool, which I thought was your final design, but is not.

The Clamshell trash project was the most interesting for me. I would’ve liked to see some user testing with a final concept model. Also at the beginning you say it’s an ethnography project, yet I don’t see any ethnographic work. Yes, it looks like you did a survey, but ethnography is more than that: it’s about talking directly with users to understand issues, and really feeling some empathy.

I might consider scrapping the Whimsy project unless you’re planning on working for Umbra. It’s really not that strong and doesn’t go with the other projects. (I would also say the same about the baby keys, unless you got around to reworking that project so it’s more than 2 slides).


Now, to some interaction/critique about the actual portfolio:

  1. Your navigation links at the top don’t really go with the flow of the site. You start off on the portfolio page, but why is that link awkwardly near the middle? It would make more sense to be on the left so the user feels more like there is an order to viewing these things.

  2. Download page should not exist. Each of those links belong with their respective categories. e.g. link to download folio in portfolio section.

  3. Why Design? page is really long, and maybe it’s just me but I don’t want to read it. It probably has something to do with the way you typeset it with a tiny header on each section (I feel these reasons should be bigger), and the line length of the body text is too long to comfortably read: Readability: The Optimal Line Length – Articles – Baymard Institute

  4. Ok, I JUST noticed that there’s text under each project slide. It’s an issue with its position that is RIGHT under the fold (In web design, the term “fold” means the line beyond which a user must scroll to see more contents of a page (if it exists) after the page displays within their browser.) so I don’t know it exists. Adjusting the height of the slides to show more of the bottom text would fix this issue.

  5. Your slides are difficult to use. I don’t want to click those tiny thumbnails in the bottom left. I want to be able to click the big slide itself.

  6. Project index link on project slides is weird. It’s basically a “back” button of sorts, which users are accustomed to being near the top left (see web browsers, iOS). This is not a gigantic deal, just nitpicky.


I hope this critique is helpful. I don’t mean to be harsh or insult you as a designer. It may just be your communication about your designs is not clear which is causing misunderstandings. You already have an internship, which is great! So keep at it :smiley:

Disclaimer: I’m aware of the web site usability issues. I just put differently sized portfolio images in the web site, and I haven’t updated the interface yet. I’m going to eliminate the captions below the images. You can download the PDF if you like. Thanks to Tarngerine for the specific advice on how to adapt to the new image content. =)

I thought the intro page told the story? Babies don’t want to play with their toys, they play with real products. Aftermarket metal keys can be unsafe for a baby to put their mouth on, so I did a weekend project designing a family of metal baby keys.

My intro/research page must not do a good enough job communicating the story? There were several existing platforms to design for. I selected the largest/most powerful to design for users who want a more quality audio experience when at home, but want that quality audio to seamlessly integrate with their mobile device. I’m waiting to re-render the speakers before I add back in some explanatory graphics like bluetooth, etc. How would you better communicate this story?

Agree on the sketches. I need to update that page still.

Maybe I should rename the subtitle? It was based on personal observation, and then validated with a survey and the models. I’m addressing trash take-out, since other aspects (bag storage and installation) have been dealt with extensively.

Do you find the idea or the execution lacking? I love the idea, the execution is still in progress.

Julius, I’ve made most of the interface improvements you suggested. This should be a good temporary fix until I do a complete revamp. I’m using kind of a hybrid squarespace/custom CSS/html approach. I have a few javascript plugins, but I borrowed those from a web designer who did it. Do you have any suggestions or links for those large arrows on the side of the image itself?

Thanks again for your advice.

Cameron, love that you jumped on the feedback so quickly, I’m seeing some weird overlapping text issues in your titleblocks.

Thanks for the notice IDiot. My hybrid coding/template approach can be wonky sometimes. I’ve adjusted the margin a bit. Anyone else, please let me know if this happens.

Anyone else want to chime in? I’ll have a new version in a few weeks, but feedback now may help the next one be even better. Thanks.

Im also getting the same overlap as IDiot on safari.

I feel like at this point you should just start on the new one an post progress as you go.

hi Cameron, I like your teaser/sample portfolio - will the main version follow closely to this (in styling and/or content)?
I think most of your projects bar the speakers could do with some more work included maybe a minimum of 4 or 5 pages per project or at least include all the information that the speaker ones contain.
I like the layout and think its worth sticking with. Also on some title pages there is an opaque box around the text - is this deliberate as it is not on the Ikea logo.

I’m reworking mine at the moment so a lot of this thinking is at the forefront of my mind at the moment and I think most of my projects are around 7 pages for the full version; mainly due to more detailed sketch pages.

On a sketching note really like your style.

Bumped 5 years later for feedback. =)
The website just has placeholder thumbnails for now. You can download a bigger PDF at my web site.
Currently the flow and content are a bit disjointed as it is still a big work in progress.

Solid stuff man! It’s fun to see the progress from the initial portfolio back in 2011. The Striker Pro is super clean and a great looking headseat, I have a few friends in the office who have scooped it up and have nothing but good feedback.

Below is some basic feedback based on your PDF:

I would like to personally see a bit more hierarchy in the sketches (some really rough thumbnails —> Renders) and some loose concepts without any color or value… just basic lineart.

The projects seem to be a bit scattered, Perhaps group them by brand or year of release?

I know professional it is difficult to show full process, but I think one of the projects at Sound United would benefit from showing a bit more. If anything just “Who” you are designing for and what some of the CTQs are you are trying to accomplish. (i,e The Striker Pro is designed for “The avid gamer” who needs a sleek, stylish high end headset that immerses his in the game).

It may only be personal preference, but I tend to stay away from any first person text.

Thanks for the feedback Jim.
Definitely that organization, flow, and sketch pages are the main issues right now.
A lot of compelling story is untold as of yet at this point since some of it since there is so much content to filter. =)
Stay tuned. I will work over the next week and post some updates.