In the past 1 year, I have redesigned my portfolio site several times (some major and many minor revisions) – partly because my skills upgraded every few months. However, the main reason is that every few months, I would redefine my goals and I needed a website that would most accurately portray my goals. Needless to say, every major revision has been significantly better than before.
The most challenging part of designing a personal website is deciding what the focus should be – what message the website should convey. My earlier website had a clever (?!) illustration of a fish jumping from “development” to “design” jars. However, I realized that the kind of development I was referring to was software development, which will not be clear to everyone. Also, what I was doing before is not of primary interest to my potential employers. For a beginner, the portfolio must highlight what you enjoy doing now.
The next challenging task is planning the website – content, navigation and overall look-and-feel. I liked how I had the portfolio as the primary content and with primary navigation. The secondary navigation had “Blog” and “Resume”. I preferred to add a few brief “about me” lines and contact information in the footer. In my last portfolio site, I had a page dedicated for every project. To view a project, one had to click and get to a new page every time. I decided to have categories in the new website and added only 4 projects in every category. Adding few selected projects is better than adding all the projects. Adding categories is helpful when you have a broad range of skills.
Many well designed portfolio websites have a theme that is closely associated with the website owner. For example, a web developer who likes to hike and climb mountains can have mountains as the theme. I was inspired to have Shoreline, Mountain View as my theme. I go for runs on Shoreline. I wanted to add the lake, Amphitheater, NASA, etc in my landscape, but was falling short of time (I finished this website in 1 week). So I just added some clouds and a plane.
I will be revising my website soon. So here are a few screenshots of my most favorite portfolio – version 3 -
- Portfolio redesign – version 3
- T-shirt design – Hack the Future 2
- Load time for my home page using Pingdom
- Whitehouse.gov web accessibilty evaluation
- Pirate game dialog box design
- Portfolio redesign – version 1 to version 2
- June update
- Bookworm – shopping cart application demonstrated
- Linkedin – Google Maps mash-up