Julius Tarng's New Portfolio - Feedback?

Hello all,

I just wrapped up my new web portfolio that I’ve been working on for a few weeks.

I am eschewing the common portfolio format of thumbnails with little narrative. My new format is based loosely on Rene Lee’s, and is focused on telling a compelling story for each project. I show three projects, and hope to show depth and breadth with projects in ID and IxD.

Please let me know what you think, if anything doesn’t work (and let me know your browser), or if you’re interested in talking to me about anything (a job, perhaps? :smiley:).

My portfolio is located at: http://tarng.com.
For the optimum experience, please enable Javascript (although it does work with JS disabled).

Note: I have not tested the website in Internet Explorer or Opera. I hope it isn’t a total disaster on either. I did design and code the whole thing with HTML5, CSS3, and JQuery.

Thanks!

The website looks awesome. Everything functions as it should and don’t see any hiccups. Your personality comes through very well and who doesn’t like Belgian Ales. Overall I really like the website.


For some criticism and hopefully this makes sense.

One thing that I find myself doing though, is just scrolling through your work and not really reading anything. Maybe its cause I’ve seen it already. But something about it makes it a tad bit awkward.

It could be the large amount of white space. Rene Lee and Andrew Kim usually have a border defined around their slides. Rene does it with a dark background and Andrew uses subtle grey-to-white gradients. This kinda frames the work a bit better and lets me understand the boundaries of the slides. Also, they have pretty distinct page dividers between each image. This lets me know when to stop scrolling and lets me look at the slide as a whole. Right now some of your project pages are blending together and it throws the visual hierarchy of your presentation a bit off. So the pages blending together have me scrolling a bit too much trying to figure out where one slide begins and another ends.

Hopefully that made sense. Also, again it might just me me, but its something that I noticed.

Sain: it’s not just you. I think that’s the biggest issue my portfolio has right now. Note taken and will improve on it tonight. Thanks!

EDIT:
Done and doner… what do you think now?

First quick glance from a iPhone screen- awesome. I want to look deeper, which alone is a great plus. I’ll be back for more in depth comments but overall fantastic job!

It more than passes the 10 sec that most portfolios I see deserve to be looked at.

Cheers

R

Hi Julius,
Really like your work - think the website works really well on Chrome. Only immediate feedback I see is there is a big gap between Work, About, et and then the first project. Its not separated by the white bar and seems as if the page was dropped down too far. Hope that makes sense. Otherwise love your work and layout style.

Also my first reaction was to click on the picture of the project not look for the button?! dunno maybe me but it seems simpler as the grey of the button is similiar to the background.

Julius,

Looking good, I enjoyed the usability of the site. I would like a button that takes me home when I get deep into one of the projects though.

Also, since you are marketing yourself as ID + IxD, you might want to showcase another or a different IxD project besides the trip collaborator one. I’m finding it has a similar emotional appeal and aesthetic to project Modai - so it’s not necessarily showcasing your design diversity. Since you are only showing 3 projects, I’m not as sold as I know I could be with your work skill set and ability to tackle a wide range of markets.

Never the less, solid work and good luck.

Ryan

Julius,

Looks great!

Quick feedback:

Really like the blog feel, layout is nice and really lets the work come forward.

This may just be me, but I think I would prefer seeing content separated on different pages and not just one continuous scroll. Work goes to a work page where you can scroll, about goes to your about page, ect.

Also in terms of type and spacing I think you need to push the hierarchy of the type size, too much variation in size, and the spacing I think needs to be tweeked for flow. I also think you can make your logo bigger so it can be a dominant image when you get to the site.

Overall awesome stuff, really like how you integrated process into your story telling.

Goodluck!

@j_lev: Good feedback! I will make it so clicking on the image also expands the project. Not difficult. Thanks!
@Rklinger: I was conscious of that. I actually redesigned Tripcollab JUST for this portfolio (as of two days ago I finished the redesign). However, the visual style suits the project and the idea of travel, just like Modai’s visuals suit it. Hopefully my site itself shows that I’m capable of different styles. I am open to both ID and IxD, but leaning more toward ID (wireframes get boring after a while). The best is a space where I’m ID but have some influence on the IxD in a consultancy.
@M3rik: I actually have to disagree with making the logo bigger, since I don’t want the logo to be the primary attention but more of a pleasant visual accent to the main message introducing myself. The spacing is something that will need continual refinement, but is tough to get just right. Thanks!

I just worked in a sketching section and also tweaked minor elements in design (like the Hire Me button is now done completely in CSS).

I graduate in May from Carnegie Mellon
&
I will work my ass off for you.

I’d never work my ass off :unamused: I adopted a more sustainable work-style. The chances to get rich quickly in this business are not exactly that great, so, you might have to keep on working in your profession and that’s a hard job without an ass to sit on :wink:

I use IE, infact our whole studio and every studio I’ve been at uses IE, maybe it is a british thing.

Overal nice, heaps better than the first one and the flamboyant text content has been towned down which Imho is a good thing. For us we’d rather see your personality in the design work. You can have fun with your projects and play it slightly tongue in cheek rather than write things like work my arse off, to me it comes of slightly childish but then maybe that is a culture thing.

The website worked fine yesterday (despite taking a ton of refreshes to load up, and infact after shutting it down this morning I cannot re open it, I’ve done a cookie dump and still no joy) Today however (when i could get on it) the allignment after clicking on the projects is slightly messed up. The story telling appears to one side of the project beauty shot (which means I have to scroll left slightly ) in addition the pop up navigation appears all over the story pictures because of this missallignment. All just a little bit fiddely. Yesterday however it was fine.

Now to the super criticial bit :

I’m left slightly confused as the type of designer you are, to me your graphics and UI are your strongest element by a country mile.

These 3 project’s imho are not enough to show case you ID side especially as my interpretation is that there are 2 UI projects and 1 ID project. (3 UI’s if you include the website)

Modai’s strongest element by a long way is the UI (superman thing is great). The ID side feels very secondary. I would say 75% UI 25% ID hence why I class this more a UI project.

In addtion to what has allready been said the UI’s you have (your website layout included) are also all very similar in style so I sort of get the feeling “I’ve seen this before” when browsing through.

If it were me I would focus on adding 1-2 stelar ID projects. Focusing on ideas I’ve never seen before and lead with them then drop in Modai halfway through and lead into the UI side.


Overall, layout good, UI good (when IE allignment fixed), work better than most but lacking that little something to make it stellar.

best of luck with graduation!

(on a side note I wish C77 would fix the dialogue box for writing replies, for long replies I have to write in word and copy and paste it, as the dialogue box wont scroll past about 15lines tres annoying)

When you say "I have designed for companies such as Kodak, General Motors, Nissan Motors, Radio Flyer, and Nokia. "

Were you actually hired by them as a designer, or was it Student competitions or internships…

Chevis W.

Clam: thank you for the insightful feedback. I actually received a reply from a prospective employer along the same lines. In the short run, I am going to assemble a supplementary ID portfolio on Behance to link to immediately, but I hope within a few weeks to put in more ID projects. Your suggestions are great. Thanks!

Chevis: combination: Nokia/Kodak were internships, GM/Radio Flyer were sponsored studios, Nissan was an integrated product development client.

Julius,

Not sure about other views but I would state exactly what you have above. The other more vague way leaves too much room for assumptions to be made. I have seen this done else where with the reasoning that “it sound’s better” along with “a class sponsored project is no different then a design firm being hired to do the same work”…

Chevis: that is a valid concern, but I wanted to be concise there, and my resume is right below and shows my involvement with each. I will try to have a concise way to phrase it so it’s not just inflating what I’ve done.

Overall nice presentation. My critique would be in the sketch section. The top two pieces, the illustration of the car and the cutout robots, do not reflect favorably on your talent. The bottom of the page images hit the sketch mark. The floating motorbike designs are nice renders, but would feel more at home in a game design section. Too fantasy based. Figure studies I’m not grooving on.

I think you can make a stronger impression by editing the sketch section.

Hey Shaw, thanks for the advice. I reorganized the sketch section a bit, though I don’t agree with the comments on my concept art stuff. It shows my sketching abilities pretty nicely, and is something that I’ve received complements almost every time I had an ID interview (also the marker illustration and robots).

I also added a supplemental section with additional ID work under http://tarng.com/supplement.php. Nothing special, just there to show I can do more.

I’ve decided to work on another personal project that’s more explorative, experimental, and show off some more aesthetic form giving skills, as well as tangible interaction. I’m thinking about studying sleeping/waking/morning rituals people have when they wake up (a redo of the one-week alarm clock project here: http://tarng.com/2010/alarm.html, but less phallic/sexual).

Some thoughts after checking it out more-

UI

  1. The links at the top, work, sketches, blog about, resume I think get lost. because of the format, you always have a tendancy to scroll down. I didn’t even know those sections were there until someone mentioned sketches, and I thought “what sketches?”. Maybe have them on the side, and follow the scroll, like the top of page link. That way they would be ever present.

Also a bit strange that sketches are the only section that is not “inline” everything else when clicked takes you down the scroll. Work, Resume, About. Either make it more consistent and put sketches in the roll, or rethink perhaps.

2.I was a bit confused about the “hire me” button. People might not want to click it fearing they will be forever locked into a multi-million dollar contract with you. J/K, but really, it’s not clear that it’s “contact”.

  1. The animation of the projects zooming in from the bottom L seems a bit odd and buggy. Maybe a straight slide in from the side or bottom?

  2. You have duplicate “Next project” buttons. One above the project with Prev (should be “Previous”) and one to the side with the Hide Project, Start of Project links. Not that clear what does what and where you are.

  3. Quite a few times I got really confused where I was. The behavior seems a bit inconsistent, when projects are left expanded, when the aren’t, how to go forward. I like and get the general idea of what you are trying to do, but feels like it needs streamlining. One place for UX buttons, more consistent meaning (ie. you have a single arrow that means next project, but the one facing the opposite way is start of project and I would expect it to be previous project. Hide projects don’t really hide them, but expand them, and the button to view and hide are so dissimlar in style and placement it is not clear one is the opposite of the other.

Also, since you have the same white bar separating different images within a project and between projects it’s not clear if a project is expanded and the next image is the next project or part of the same one.


CONTENT

  1. I do agree somewhat with the comments that the two UI projects are visually similar. It’s not that bad as it’s a nice style, but maybe one other project graphically different would be good. Point stands even further given your own website is so similar in style and fonts to the projects as well so some may read it that you can only do one style…

  2. I’d also like to see a larger logo, maybe floated off to the Left that sticks with the viewer even when the scrolling happens. It’s so small, it’s hard to read what is is.

  3. Actual content of all project is super strong. Love the wireframes and loose process sketches!!!

  4. I’d agree you come across as much more UX than ID.

  5. I really dig the sketches you have, with a few exceptions. I’d say ditch the more fine art TT marker rendering and whatever the foamcore robot thing is. They read like high school portfolio applying to ID type work. The concept art robots are fine, and anime are good but not great, and everything else is excellent. I’d suggest to mix up the order a bit. You need to scroll pretty far to get to what I think are some of the better sketches (ie. watches, lawnmover, robots) and some of the top ones are bit too much of the same (scooter, etc.).

Overall, nice stuff!

R

Great feedback, Richard. I’ll definitely rethink some of the navigation (probably remove the next project link at the beginning of the project, and just have the one to the side). I can’t really control the way the projects appear… it tends to change depending on your browser. I may try a if() else () slideUp slideDown… see how that works out. I did slip in a “See more work/see sketches link” at the end of the projects right before the “About” section, but maybe it’s not noticeable enough?

I guess I need to rearrange the sketches again.