2 min read

Don't overthink your portfolio site

What is the point of a portfolio site? It's for you to convince people that you can do the job they're hiring for.

Does making your portfolio site gorgeous to the last detail help achieve that goal? Not really -- these days, anyone can download a template and make their site look great.

What's the best way to achieve that goal? By telling clear, engaging stories about the work you've done in your career, and the impact it had.
This is an absolute must on your portfolio site for Jr to Mid-level designers.

As you progress through your career, something interesting happens: For Sr. designers and Sr. leadership, case studies can be overkill in the early stages. If you've worked at well-known companies on well-known products, that should be enough to convince people that you can do that job, and all you need is a deck to pass through the later hiring stages. Of course, you still need to tell clear, engaging stories about your work and its impact, but it becomes less necessary to do so at an earlier stage in the process.

However, your actual portfolio site can be a Google Doc with screenshots if you have great stories to tell. Trust me; a hiring manager will not care and possibly even prefer the Google Doc over a website that is hard to follow.

The specific platform you use to talk about your work doesn't matter. The work is what matters. Honor the work.