Revelation from my creation

Working mainly in the print and news industry throughout my career, I have mostly adhered to old ways of doing things in the past decade, where printed resumes and portfolios were the norm for a working designer. It still is, although to a lesser extent for designers in this digital age. I came to realise in recent years, the increasing number of online portfolios, showcasing the best of a person’s work. Seeing and experiencing these change of times finally woke me up. I told myself… It’s about time to get out of my shell.

I cracked my brain open and recalled my early days in college, how I would tinker with Adobe’s Dreamweaver software, cutting up pages into buttons and panels in Photoshop for quicker loading in a pre-broadband era. Linking images and videos by inputting addresses and links in the assigned button parameter. I was cutting and pasting huge chunks of HTML code just to setup a web page. It was a mammoth task for me back then, as it was tedious to look through code I don’t really understand and it was equally cumbersome to create different panels and flash based objects for menus and interactive visuals.

That is not how most people do it nowadays, it is in fact made much simpler in the advent of Content management systems (CMS). It’s pretty much a non-coding designers dream come true. CMS like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla turned a coding intensive work environment, to a more visual friendly environment through their system. Although some coding is still needed, it was made minimal and only used for more advanced pages and functions. It also requires quite a bit of systemic thinking.

More than a decade has passed since I have built a proper website and I thought I never could again. After having been exposed in recent years to UI/UX design, designing interfaces and websites. Managing posts and placing up digital assets on website and app. It felt familiar as it hearkens back to my college days doing multimedia. I decided to roam the world of CMS and teach myself the intricacies of building a website using it.

A review on top portfolio website designs from Flux

First thoughts while learning was the ease of use using preset themes and frames, not having to build one from scratch. It was like a simplified version of Dreamweaver. Not to say it was easy, but it was easier than what I learned in yesteryear. About half a year ago, I started reviewing the portfolios I have seen online. Trying to see their approach in UI and UX for creating their portfolios. I’ve seen the great ones who created unique, animated, and highly dynamic, impactful sites. I have also seen some of the common ones bearing similar frames but with different visuals. I noticed a formula they have been using, often showcasing their work and client logo with large aligned photos smack right in your face from the home page. I thought to myself…is that what I want? Smack people in the face with huge pictures. Should I make another generic website that has similar formulas or should I think outside the box? Being me, I just had to explore. To get one step closer to the great ones I have seen, I decided to be different.

In terms of the UI, I looked back upon ideas from recent printed CVs (Curriculum Vitae) I had. A secret elite agency with classified personnel resumes wrapped in an envelope. I built my website upon these concepts. Brown paper envelopes, brushed metals. Mysterious dark grey and orange colour schemes. It is minimalistic yet it shows complexity through my displayed work. Something that looks compact and not overwhelming on the computer screen and the phone. In terms of UX, the use of sliders and masonry panels provided ease of viewing and navigation. Basically… I provided a lot of art and design works for people to see with options for viewing, catering to those with short attention spans and those that pay attention to every detail. Contact can be made with ease and access to portfolio visuals is a breeze. Perhaps this approach will work wonders…but as a disciple in the world of UX. I probably could improve it over time.

Although certain pages are still in construction at the moment, I will get there soon enough. I aim only to show my best work through them and nothing less of me will do. Meantime…stay tuned.