Portfolio Layout Review (UPDATED LAYOUT)

Hey Guys!

I’ve been working on my website, and I was hoping to get some feedback. I’ve layed out one project completely to get an idea if I’m on the right track before I move on to the rest. Give me any input you have, and please don’t hold back! I can take the tough criticism!

I have a few concerns of my own, but I will bring those up after I get everyone’s opinion first.


please click on “work” and select the “defiance wheelchair” project

Thank you so much for your time,


The good: Very easy to navigate, straight forward and as expected. Simple to see the idea.

The bad: There seems to be a lot of ‘noise’. Maybe remove the back ground images in the menu bar. Your font sizes are all over the place as well, some bold, some italic. Try sticking to something a little more uniform Also, I dont know how I feel about the 3d logo as well. Why not include any sketches? Maybe it is just me, but seeing a ton of individual renders doesnt do a whole ton for me. And why did you chose to have that light grey/blue-ish gradient in the frame? I think keeping it white would help keep it clean.

Pretty sweet dude. Some cool work too. My only crit on the format is the rounded rectangle outlines. Our professor told us that was old in 2004. I think it’s kind of an ID standard but I don’t think that means its good. I think that’s what they were making fun of when they said too much formatting here. Core-Toons: Portfolio Tips! - Core77

Good start, but I agree with the above. Just saw this posted on twitter. I think you could take some layout and typographic inspiration from this site (minus the flash animation if you want) http://www.drill-design.com/

Thank you so much for all the responses so far! This is exactly what I needed to hear.

Joyride: Looking at the fonts now, I completely see what your talking about, they’re all over the place and definitely adding to the cluddered busy feel you were talking about. The menu bar was something I always went back and forth on, so I think it’s time I axed it and went with something simpler and less distracting. I added the gradient to the back to try and bring a little more focus to the main area, but I think that was because I was completing the menu bar to start. As for the sketches, some were shown on the ideation page, but it’s probably a good idea for me to include them in the final gallery as well.

robertcj: thanks for the compliments, and I know where your coming from with the round corners haha. Sound like I’m getting as cliche as using grey and orange for everything haha. Maybe I will play with a couple different aesthetics and post them up to see what people think

bennybtl: I’m definitely going to be simplifying the layout and the typography. Thanks for the link!

Thanks again for the responses so far and please keep them coming! This is extremely helpful

nice detail on the design, I like how you considered being able to shift the rider’s weight to pump.

I just spotted a spelling mistake on the photo of the kids using the chair “perseption” should be “perception”

Crutch: Thanks for the compliment and catching that spelling error. Theres actually a bunch of issues with the copy in the gallery. I threw most of it up last minute, but spellings never been more strong point either haha. I’ll definitely be going through and revising it when I edit the site!

I (and many other designers) have a huge thing against portfolios in flash, but whatever floats your boat. Just beware that some employers look at portfolios on the go (i.e. iPhone, iPad which do not support Flash), and Flash slows down systems (especially Macs… for some reason) and is clunky overall. Updating/making changes is going to be a pain, especially when you add more projects. With one project right now it’s ok, but it’ll be a HUGE headache (also a huge load to download) for people. Just some caution/words of advice from someone who used to do websites in Flash.

The transition between slides in the gallery is really distracting. It gets bigger during the loading screen, then gets smaller depending on the size of the photo. Make all the photos the same size so this resizing doesn’t happen. The next/prev arrows moving is bad thing for usability (you’re making the user reposition the mouse every reload).

As said before, it’s really cluttered and lacking in typographic hierarchy. Buttons/tabs don’t seem like buttons/tabs (sort of minor, but maybe something you could think about). So I don’t know what I should be clicking, so I end up trying to click a lot of stuff. Some buttons don’t have mouse_overs (like the return to project summary arrow bottom left thing). Also, I don’t like how everything reloads every time I click something. It’s not a very smooth transition.

On a project page, the Full Gallery and Design Process buttons don’t feel like buttons (hierarchy! use colors, shapes, etc), and the placement is sort of weird (why is design process sort of indented? why does the link that come up first take me to the last part of the design process? This part is really confusing for me (the logic is).

Anyway, hopefully gave you some things to think about (esp about using Flash). Good luck

tarngerine: Thank you for taking the time to check out and review my layout in such detail. It was extremely beneficitial and gives me a lot to think about. I know there is a lot of downsides to using flash and many people rightful warn against its use. I have been creating this website using http://www.wix.com because I unfortunately have little background in webdesign. It has a lot of features which make it easy to update and work with, but also has many limitations.

My plan now is to go back and try and correct all of the issues within my control, such as typographical heirarchy, resizing gallery images, refining the navigation, and simplifying the aesthetic. If I can get that part worked out, but the limitations of flash still interfere too much with the site, then I may go with creating the site in html.

If anyone has any other comments so far please keep them coming! In the meantime, I am going to start making some refinements and post them as I go.

Thanks again everyone!



After all of the feedback I recieved, I went back and made some pretty big changes to the layout. Mostly simplifying, and trying to focus more on the important aspects of the navigation and how to bring the focus back to my work.

I tried to address the typographic hierarchy, though I do think this may still need a little more refinement. I also did not get a chance to resize the project gallery so all the images are the still different sizea, and there is still some copy that needs to be re-written.

Now I am wondering if having a “design process” section for each project is necessary, or if it makes more sense just to include sketches and images from research in the project gallery.

Again, please let me know what you guys think! I can’t thank you guys enough for ALL feedback so far!

Link is empty.

Edit: The link did not workon Safari, but did in IE.

My 2 cents- I did not come across a descriptive example of your thought process. The renderings are fine, the product great, but I want to know how you applied your design process to address the project. Currently it seems like there was an idea, then a CAD model. I would like to see a bit of iterative thinking.

I like this, it’s simple and fairly easy to follow.

I think one of the biggest problems for me is that under research and refinement the rollovers are not obvious enough. At first glance I would have no idea that by rolling over them a new text box would appear. The way that you organized the images is creative, however structuring the text boxes a little more might make a little bit more sense. I would also recommend using a different font that is simple like the one you have, but with not as much kerning.

Thanks for the feedback so far!

PackageID: Thats wierd that the link wasn’t working for you. I tried opening it in Safari on a couple different computers, and it seemed to be working for me. Hopefully its just a wierd fluke and more people won’t have the same issues.

Design61: I see what you mean about showing the “thought process”. I think I may be able to improve this by adding more of my sketches. Especially ones that had notes and call outs on them. I’m going to have to do some digging later tonight and see what I can find.

Kah: I definitely think I need to improve the layout of the rollovers as well as give some indication as to how they function. I will try and play with that tonight as well and see if I can improve it.

So far do you guys think the design process section is benefictial (aside from the refinements mentioned) or should I think about eliminating it and incorporating pics that show process into the final gallery.

Thanks again!

PackageID: Thats wierd that the link wasn’t working for you. I tried opening it in Safari on a couple different computers, and it seemed to be working for me. Hopefully its just a wierd fluke and more people won’t have the same issues.

That is strange. It’s working now. My computer must be like me, not wanting to work at 7am. :smiley:

:laughing: very understandable

Took another look, I think what you have done is a good step foward, other than filling in the other projects with similar progressions you are right there. I was very pleased to see your sketches represented and think they add to the story quite abit.

I would personally stay away from a 100% flash site… (even though I have it on my site it can still load fine on a browser not supportive of Flash… i will get rid of it soon, once I find time to edit the site )…

Flash sites are very…2001

If you have some difficulty coding a site look into Wordpress and Themeforest.net . ThemeForest is a great place to start for anyone on a budget. Please it saves 10x time.

Do you have a link to your Irwin project by chance?

Design61: I really appreciate the continued feedback! I’m still planning to tweek the sketchs page and add some heirachy and notes so that some of the decision making I made may be more clear. But I’m glad I’m in the right direction.

Kershaw: I’m planning to update my coroflot and link to that as a sort of back up if flash is unavailable. I understand where your coming from with the anti-flash website, but for the moment this is what I’m going to start with. I don’t have a link to the Irwin project yet but I will focus on getting that project online next. Hopefully I will have something for you to check out by the end of the week.
(P.S. I really like the way you have done your website!)