Portfolio critique needed for Masters application

Hi All!

I am an engineer looking to move to the world of Industrial design. I have a year of experience with a design research firm, but ID is a different change. I am looking to bring my research and reasoning skills, tech knowledge, and origami skill to the application.
I am applying for M.F.A., M.A. and M.ID programs, with more focus on the 3-year programs.
I really need feedback on this portfolio, please note its just put together with more of a focus on submitting to slideroom, where I write descriptions on the side.

Please advise me as to the content, variety, quantity and layout, as I am sending out applications later this week!

All the best to the rest of you applying!

Hi oswalakhil,

Off to a great start! This looks much better than my first attempt at a portfolio.

Here’s my notes:

Keep a consistent page count and possibly think a little more about the tabs in the top right. Would the portfolio suffer if you removed them completely?
Think about order of projects. The suitcase is OK to lead with, but I feel the “automotive design” pages shouldn’t take precedence over the TEDx (nice!) or web app pages.
It might be nice to try and group the Unbox projects into a continuous thread, it would help demonstrate your array of abilities across multiple disciplines in a common corporate context.

Condense the origami to a couple pages. This might be difficult, it’s apparent that you have a talent with paper. Perhaps you can group a few favorites with the “Artwork” spread in the back? In terms of composition, my favorite photos are of the bull and fish.

The Automotive design section shows that you are familiar with hand sketching, Photoshop, and paper/sketch models. Are there other examples of this you could include and combine into a “general skillset” section?

Best of luck with your applications!


Hi Oswalakhil,
Welcome to the forums.

Here are my initial impressions:

  1. First off you should have a cover page.
    For ex. John Doe, Industrial Designer
    This will help your viewers understand where your skills and interest lie.

  2. Secondly, every single one of your projects has zero design thinking. For example, with the first project, suitcase project. If you look at the sketches and final design, it seems like you fell in love with the treaded idea for going up and down stairs and just ran with it. As a designer, you should exploring a number of different ways the problem could be solved… not just one. Also I would like to know the pros and cons for each concept, and see mockups of it of you trying to pull it up and down the stairs. The mockups could also show how it might actually be made in the real world and is it cost efficient?

  3. This is related to point #1, but after going through your portfolio, i have no idea where your focus is. You start off with an industrial design project, its then following by transportation design, then I get a mobile app project, then website, and even origami. Its very confusing for me to know what you are interested and where you want to take your career. I think if you had a website, you could maybe put all of these in your blog… but for a portfolio i would recommend you taking just the ID projects and turning them into a portfolio. In which case, if you want a career in ID you will need a lot more ID projects to pad your portfolio.

  4. This is a great 1st attempt at a portfolio, and I commend you for sharing it with us. I urge you to be an active member on this forum, so that you can improve your skills and continue to refine your portfolio, also it will allow us to get to know you on a more personal level :wink:

  5. Personally, if it were me, as it is, I would not send out this portfolio.

Thanks a lot for the feedback, really appreciate it! I’m taking up and working on the suggestions and shall post an updated version soon!

@Corey :
-Thanks, thats very encouraging, I do know about the layouting issue, clearly I need to work on my graphic design skills :slight_smile: Am losing the tabs and trying for at least a slightly more consistent layout.
-As for the order, I tried to group it by skills - product followed by automotive, followed by 3 UX research + UI projects (Bird recognition, finance and BI), then to origami and installations and ending with web. I do take your point on the precedence by importance of industrial projects and I’ll rearrange that, grouping UnBox makes sense.

  • I will lose a couple of pages off the origami section, I just have made a few and can select 2 of which to send, it is my core skill but I understand its overbearing.

@Sketchroll : thanks for that very insightful critical feedback! From what I can work on within the space of the application :

  • The cover page with skills, interests, and future interests is essential and I’ll create that, maybe that’ll also help resolve some of the general lack of focus from the work

  • The suitcase page as I see now, seems extremely linear, I did do an evaluation of possible pros and cons of other ideas and made a 3-4 rough sketches of those, but havent included them. No prototypes yet, I can showcase the other (rudimentary)ideas and their problems, maybe that might show a bit of the process?

  • I get the lack of focus…however being from a different line(electronics engg) and moving I had very little ID to showcase…so I kept this more as a skills & research experience portfolio- many 3 year programs(with the foundation year for non-design backgrounds) ask for portfolios that display design aptitude and interest, more than expecting ID - but I do see your point and will try to add another ID project and lose some of the extras within the deadlines.

Definitely an active reader of the forum and would love to become an active member, will work hard on this folio and get back with a new version soon for more feedback!

Thanks a lot again!

Hey guys. Looking for some more feedback on a second draft. Please take a look and let me know, if possible quickly!!

I’ve disabled the navigation system and the description section for now, and it isn’t responsive yet. But please comment on the other things!



All I see is full screen color backgrounds at the moment.
@ launch, ORANGE BG COLOR and thats it…

It’s working for me.

I actually haven’t looked at your work, but straight up I’m not a fan of the way it scrolls. Its stopping me from scrolling through quickly and easily jumping back through pages.

Question for OP:
Why don’t you just use Behance, Squarespace, or other similarly portfolio ready services?

Got the page to load by removing the “/portfolio.”

Website Comments:

  • Confusing navigation…
  • Images behind the text makes the text hard to read… I would get rid of the image behind the text, once you are in one of the expertise groups (UXD, Web Dev, Artwork, About Me)
    User Experience Design
  • What you are showing is mostly User Interface Design… Missing a lot of things to label it as UX, personally, i would change it to UID for now.
    Web development
  • Feels too similar to the projects shown in UXD. I would show other projects here or better yet, combine the two.
  • It would also help if you had links that linked out to the actual project if it is live.
  • I think this is the strongest on your website. Most interesting to look at…
  • Problem is, you need to up the quality of your real work.
    About Me
  • Get rid of the clipart graphics…
  • Nothing lines up to anything and theres no consistent style…

Hey Sketchroll, sorry for that inconvenience! I’ll see why the site didnt work for you…please don’t look at artincrease.com as its not really the portfolio but was a really old under construction. But thanks a lot for pointing this out…in case it doesn’t work for them and they try artincrease.com I should set up a redirect or a landing page ASAP!

Andy, I’ve just hidden the navigation panel on the left, which allows to browse through the projects, because of a JS bug I’m sorting out. I understand its impossible to navigate without that, so please bear with me till thats fixed.

I urge you to look at https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0mRhPPqcyHoUEdMc01uNDVKdHEzek4tYVpCajc4Z21SblZr/view?usp=sharing till I fix this in a few hours, supplemented by

which become a part of the projects.

Again sorry , I’ll work on the site, will update in a couple of hours. Please see the projects and give me feedback on the PDF till then. WIll matter a lot