ID Portfolio Feedback

Hey everyone,

My name is Matt O’Connor and Im currently working at my second co-op and have some time to rework my portfolio before heading back to school. Im going to be starting my senior year of ID at Wentworth Institute of Technology in January and was looking to get as much feedback as possible to strengthen my portfolio. Please don’t hesitate to comment or ask questions, any and all feedback is welcomed, good/bad/indifferent.

I really appreciate it and here’s the link to my portfolio.



I’ll just kind of mention things as I think of them:

Solid model making skills. This is very evident in your portfolio! And definitely the key strength that is exhibited in what you’re showing here. All the projects are very nicely crafted and you definitely have skills.

So the next step, show me some more process work- I want to see what problems you encountered during the design process and how you solved them using sketching and other techniques. Give us some more process work.

The children’s toy- maybe make it more clear what it’s purpose is, I skimmed through it and couldn’t figure out the usefulness of it or how it will get kids to play more. It looks like a form study to me.

For the intro to the basketball shoe the blurry image is distracting, maybe find another way to show motion or just show a nice crisp image of a shoe
I like the sketching and photoshop renders but the final image is lacking- on the final design page the reflection fades out nicely but in the magazine print ad it’s just as strong as the actual shoe, making me think there’s actually two shoes, not a shoe and a reflection

Liking the Photoshop renders.

Give the sketching page some ooomph! It’s boring because none of the sketches have value, and they’re all a uniform size. Give the page a visual hierarchy- so one sketch should be the first thing that catches my eye (Whether it’s by size or by use of colour or value), then your second most important, and lead the viewers eye around the page. Add some spice. Same goes to the work in progress page.

Good luck!

Thanks Skoshbox for the feedback. I really appreciate it a lot. I agree that the sketch pages could use a little oomph and i think your spot on with the intro page for the basketball shoe.

Once again thanks for the feedback and if anyone else is up to taking a look i’d be pumped.

Thanks and happy sketching


Hi Matt,

I think you’ve got a good frame work here to build on. For me I don’t want to see your page count go up, just to re-adjust what you have already.

Skoshbox kind of summed it up for me: “some ooomph” is needed across your portfolio. It feels very black and white and because of this little grabbed my attention.
A lot can be done graphically, take a look at some cool graphic and layout stuff on the web for inspiration. Think about icons or interesting graphic elements that can communicate your research and thinking effectively. Make stuff look cool!

There may also be a chance for you to explore some branding within your ‘Children’s Toy’ project, which for a kids project should SHOUT fun! I’d also try explain what type or play is this for? What learning stage? What benefits should the child (or parent) get from it? It wasn’t until I got a few pages in and saw the image of a girl speaking into it, I realised it was some kind of megaphone?

I’ve seen it done a lot, but personally I’m not a fan of a final product image used to introduce your project. This should be held back to ‘reveal’ the outcome of your project. How about one image that sums up your project? Park bench = people sitting together in a park. It could even be one of your research images?

Great start, I hope this helps, it would be great to see some improvements!

Hey guys, i kinda fell off the map the last few months with this forum. Ive been swamped with studio but ive made some changes to my portfolio based off the comments and swapped out a few projects. Ive been contemplating splitting it up into a footwear and a product portfolio since the page count is getting up there, but havent been able to make up my mind. Maybe just eliminating a project or two. let me know what your thoughts are, any and all comments are welcomed.

Thanks in advance!

Hi Matthew

Its a great portfolio exhibiting most of your skills.

On the outdoor public seating, sketch page, Why is it written OUR ? it makes me think there are other people sketches also if its a group work.
If you have made the mockup, why not make some green patch for grass instead of going digital. The render is just pulling down the mockup beside it. Use human figures on one of the mockup. It would be great to see the process of you working, assembling the seats etc…(as said before above)

It would be good to see how many hours/weeks/months you took to develop your projects.

The PU Foam Blue colour mockup looks interesting, I think that should go fullscreen in one page to show the explorations.

I just realized there is lot of blank/white space on top and bottom, why not make your folio much slimmer, how transportation designers do to show their process ! Its a suggestion

For the Bird feeder project, the cover page you have not shown a teaser of the final product like you have done for other projects. Try to keep the layout and rhythm consistent.

For the footwear project, if you say ‘What can a basketball shoe do for you?’ Im curious to look for new innovative solutions. Where as its just styling. The quality is good. It would be good to see some annotations to justify what material, why this, why this feature etc…
For the final design, place the render in the center and enlarge it. Put the colour option at the bottom of the page. Because all 4 designs are the same anyways! and the ground reflection is almost half of your shoes, try keeping it 1/4 so that our eyes focuses in the center !

In the end there is no use of putting rendering and sketching page, because its clearly visible in your folio through your projects.
Instead you can have a page showing different medium and technique, eg/ ballpens, markers, colour pencils, charcoal…

All the best !