12 Standout Examples of Web Design Portfolios
As a web designer, building your portfolio is a massive undertaking that will shape your professional future. Make sure your web design portfolio looks as good as these examples.
A web designer’s portfolio is an exhibition of their greatest and most promising projects and case studies to present to prospective clients or companies. Portfolios play an important role in the web design market since they give designers their first chance to introduce themselves, their character, their artistic style, their professionalism, and so on. Live websites, sample projects, case studies, web design templates, and even smaller-scale assets like typeface design, graphics, logos, etc. can all be included in a web designer’s portfolio.
Now is the time for us aspiring web designers to learn the ins and outs of web design portfolios and the strategic planning that goes into making a portfolio that will help us get ahead in our professions.
In this article, we’ll outline the essential elements of a successful web design portfolio and draw lessons from some of the most effective portfolios we’ve seen.
Why Do Designers Need a Web Design Portfolio?
To put forth one’s best foot forward and land the web design jobs one has trained for, every web designer needs a stellar web design portfolio. Not only will this help him build his own reputation, but it will also make him a more attractive candidate for high-quality jobs.
Reason #1: Online Portfolios Make You Searchable and Accessible To Clients
Google is the centre of attention, as is common knowledge these days. Employers who are on the lookout for a web designer might find qualified applicants by conducting targeted online searches based on criteria such as the candidate’s location or industry expertise.
If you’re a Seattle-based freelance web designer, you may expect clients to conduct searches for terms like “freelance web designer in Seattle” or “freelance web designer Washington” to find you. You’ll have a better chance of winning that design work if your portfolio is optimised for search engines like Google.
Reason #2: Online Portfolios Demonstrate Your Expertise
Clients are mostly interested in the actual work that an independent web designer or a design agency is capable of creating when looking to hire.
It’s true that clients have a laundry list of questions they want answered before they hire you, including the software you use and the field of design you focus on. However, what they care about most is viewing samples of your past work. When they see what you’re capable of, they’ll have a better idea of whether or not your design skills, aesthetic, etc., are a suitable fit for what they’re looking for.
This implies customers expect to see examples of completed work by creative people. Clients are interested in seeing how you come up with solutions to their problems and how you would apply your creativity and design talents to translating their ideas into visual material. They are looking for someone that can take a clean slate and create something special that accurately represents who they are and what they do.
Reason #3: Clients Are Short on Time
There is an operational advantage to using project displays and case studies when hiring designers. Customers who are looking for web designers receive dozens, if not hundreds, of portfolios and resumes. The clock is ticking, the deadline must be met, and people need answers right away.
People who are pressed for time are less likely to appreciate reading through several pages detailing your background as a designer and why your experience is valuable. Instead, clients can save time by looking at your previous work to determine if your skillset is a good fit for their needs.
Reason #4: Let Clients Get To Know You
In order to have a fruitful design process, there must be a strong connection between the designer and the client. It’s not simply about establishing a rapport between the designer and the customer about what the latter wants and what the former can provide. There is talking to be done and a “click” between individuals to be established. Because of this, when reviewing your portfolio, potential clients will want to learn more about you as a human so they can get a sense of the sort of person they would be hiring and the kind of energy they can expect to add to their team.
The About page is a great place to enable visitors to your portfolio learn more about you and get to know you on a more personal level than the traditional “About Us” page seen on most business websites. Subsequently, we’ll examine this section of the portfolio in further detail.
Creating a compelling About page is only one part of introducing yourself to potential customers. It’s all about figuring out what about yourself you want to highlight, such as your daring sense of style and talent for eye-catching colour palettes, or your eloquence as a writer, which comes through in the titles and descriptions you use throughout the portfolio. Photographs of breathtaking landscapes, modern artwork, images of you hard at work surrounded by mind maps on the wall, and so on are all acceptable options, but remember that the images you choose can also serve as a representation of who you are. The mic is now in your hands.
Reason #5: Define Your Design Niche or Specialty
As seasoned web designers, we are aware that designers like to self-identify according to the industries and websites they have the most experience with and interest in. E-commerce platforms, online news outlets, and specialty service providers like personal trainers and therapists are all examples of possible design specialisations. It’s important to show prospective customers that you have experience working with projects like theirs, and that you have a firm grasp on the intricacies of their industry, from both a business and consumer perspective.
Web design styles and trends are also part of the design niches that exist alongside traditional business sectors. Business owners that want websites with video backdrops and sophisticated motion effects, for instance, will want to know if you have experience with these tools.
What Should a Web Design Portfolio Include?
Fundamentally, there are five questions that should be addressed in a web designer’s portfolio:
- Who you are
- What you do
- Your location
- The work you have to share
- How to contact you
Getting straight to the point is essential in web design portfolios, as this is how you’ll be able to satisfy the most common concerns of potential clients who are investigating your work and services. The best way to ensure that your portfolio fully satisfies the needs of your site visitor is to dedicate a specific part or page to each of the inquiries they may have.
Homepage: A Brief Introduction
You can conceive of your design portfolio’s homepage as having a similar purpose to any website’s homepage: providing an infrastructure and understanding that will allow the website visitor to traverse your site. In the case of design portfolios, the site will often feature a 2-3 phrase brief bio that summarises “who you are” in a nutshell, as well as indicating where you’re based. If a potential customer is headquartered in Barcelona and is only looking to hire a designer who’s based in Spain, he’ll want to know right away whether you fulfil that criterion.
Alternatively, many organisations are open to hiring remote-based designers, so if you’re open to working remotely, it’s great to indicate that as well. Don’t forget to include your offerings, though this information can also be found in your “About” section (or both). It is crucial that site visitors know what you focus on and whether or not your services are suitable for their needs. Many web design portfolios will have a dedicated page labelled “Services” that details the many offerings available from the designer or business.
About: Who You Are
This is where you get to share something truly unique about yourself with the world: your story. Questions like, “What made you interested in design?” and “Why is design important to you?” and “How can you use design to make a difference?” are good ones to be prepared to respond. You should try to stand out from the crowd by doing something unusual (while still adhering to the rules of convention on some level). Employers seek seeking designers who can demonstrate initiative, self-assurance, and dedication to their craft. It’s clear that this is the message you wish to send.
You may also compare your About page to the process of applying for a job. Answering questions like “What makes you special in your design work?” “How can you contribute to a company?” and “Describe a difficulty you had and how it made you desire to be a designer.” In the end, your “About” page should convey a sense of the kind of person you are to deal with and how you can foster fantastic results by designing the client’s website.
Work: What You Have To Share
Here is where you should give some serious consideration to which of your web design projects best showcase your abilities, experience, and personal taste.
It’s helpful to outline the steps you took to arrive at your final design, including the software and hardware you employed. Include a link to the prototype or the actual website.
The value of testimonials cannot be overstated, and you should include them in your portfolio, either on the Work page or elsewhere. Prospective customers are interested in reading glowing evaluations written by people who have already used your services. These factors contribute to a pleasant working connection with your boss, something that is always appreciated by people who are hiring.
Contact: The Best Way To Get in Touch
One of the most crucial parts of your online portfolio is the “Contact” tab. Without it, potential customers would lose interest since they couldn’t find a way to contact you. However, your Contact page may be the simplest to create of any of your pages. Since this is essentially simply a landing page, simplicity is key.
A large image (preferably a headshot or candid snapshot of yourself) and a straightforward contact form are both highly recommended. A social icons bar pointing to your most popular profiles is also a nice touch. In this way, it won’t be an inconvenience if a possible employer opts to contact you via social media. Putting the needs of the consumer first is of utmost importance.
12 Stellar Examples of Web Design Portfolios
1. Robert Bürgel: Using Motion Effects To Showcase Your Talent
The hero section’s opening design of this visual communication agency completely blew us away. Robert Bürgel uses Elementor to create a website that makes him and his agency recognised, but does so in a refined, elegant fashion. Simply put, the swimming fish motion effect is mesmerising, and it’s evident that this Düsseldorf, Germany-based graphics business is brimming with originality, skill, and imagination.
2. ZORiN: Emphasizing Your Personal Brand
Russian web designer Roman Zorin demonstrates a clear knack for using Elementor to inject originality and ingenuity into the standard design portfolio format. The designer’s thought process and design workflow throughout a project are revealed on his website, as we discussed earlier. The homepage conveys all relevant information in an organised fashion, down to the design software he typically use.
His professional brand guideline demonstrates his level of expertise and sophistication as a designer.
3. Ueno: A Portfolio Showcasing Products, Brands and Experiences
Ueno is a top-tier branding agency that provides services including logo and product design, website development, and more for some of the most well-known companies in the world. Their online portfolio resounds with the company’s values—relationships, humour, innovation, and top-notch design—and each page gives you a feel of who they are as a brand in an instant.
4. Adrien Gervaix: Sharing Your Product Design Process
Currently headquartered in Lille, France, Adrien Gervaix works as a self-employed Product and UX/Ui designer. While presenting his outstanding portfolio, Adrien keeps his presentation understated against a striking blue backdrop. The moving paper aeroplane on the site, the navigation scheme in the header, and, most notably, the “Values & Process” section that lays out his design methodology and how he handles each project are just a few of the distinctive design features that Adrien employs to elevate his portfolio.
5. Buzzworthy: Portfolio Meets Personality
Digital agency Buzzworthy, based in Brooklyn, focuses on creating unique WordPress themes and plugins. The design of their portfolio website is unparalleled; we’ve never seen anything like the vertical navigation bar that runs down the middle of the page and links to each of their projects. This is one of the many design features that makes it so appealing to us.
6. INAKI SORIA: Building Client Relationships Through Remote Freelancing
Freelance designer Inaki Sorai is based in Barcelona but works remotely. In his biography, he stresses the significance of open lines of communication between himself and his clients. The visual representation of his work is also of the highest quality, with carefully selected images and easily navigable screenshots.
7. Komini Media: Using White Space Wisely
Komini Media is a marketing firm located in Gothenburg, Sweden; their site was designed utilising Elementor. Aside from the content, the varied font sizes and strategic use of white space on the homepage were very impressive. If you look at the menu bar, you’ll see that the menu items have some very cool and attractive hover effects.
8. BALLSY MEDIA: Portfolio Meets Personality
Northumberland is the most northerly county in England, and it is also the location of BALLSY MEDIA, a digital marketing agency (bordering Scotland). Designed with Elementor 3.0, this agency’s website stands out as a design portfolio because its colour scheme reflects the agency’s unique location in the Arctic Circle. The agency has decided to use this quality as part of their visual identity, therefore the choice of the deep blue that reflects the boundless, surrounding sky, the rugged, mountainous scenery, and the interactive night sky. In the end, this portfolio shows how powerful it can be to employ a defining characteristic of your own personality to steer the aesthetic direction of your portfolio.
9. SANJOO: Using a Content-First Approach
K Sanju Singha, a digital marketing freelancer in India, uses Elementor to power his portfolio site, SANJOO. Although his site consists of only a single page, it is rich in content and constantly evolving in appearance. We like how clicking on the menu button brings up a popup menu and a contact form in one convenient place.
10. Elegant Seagulls: Communicating Your Identity Through Design
As a digital creative agency, Elegant Seagulls calls Marquette, Michigan home. In our opinion, this portfolio excels at communicating the designer’s or designers’ stated goals. Their “strategy,” “concepting,” “refinement,” and the like are all over their About page, which is linked from the homepage. Their case studies are featured on a sleek “Portfolio” page, highlighting the significance of including such work in a design portfolio. When you click the case study thumbnail, you’ll be taken to a website that prioritises the content, with plenty of white space and clean photos showcasing their well-executed UI designs.
11. Codepuffin: A Colorful Portfolio That Stands Out
Amy, a New Zealand-based developer, runs her web development company, Codepuffin, as a one-woman show. Amy’s portfolio, created in Elementor 3.0, is striking in its use of colour and contrast, as well as its use of a custom font in the logo. Amy’s site offers a novel element in the form of consumer testimonials, along with a link to her Instagram page. The testimonials phrase flows well into the page design, which features legible, blue writing on a white background.
12. Studio 081: Always State Your Value Proposition
Located in Montenegro, Studio 081 specialises in both online and graphic design. Here we see yet another example of a professional or business using Elementor to create a website that presents the brand as being in perfect harmony with its value proposition. By taking this approach, site visitors and potential customers may learn more about the benefits they can expect from collaborating with these designers and specialists. Their social media icons are prominently displayed, their contact page is simple to use, and the thumbnail images in their portfolio gallery do a great job of showcasing their work.
Show Us What You’re Made of
As we discussed here, putting together a portfolio of your design work is a great way to get the attention of potential employers. You’re taking full advantage of the opportunity to demonstrate (and perhaps even prove) your skill, highlighting exactly where your expertise as a designer lies.
Portfolios that lack focus or originality send the idea that the designer lacks confidence in their abilities and has no clear vision for their work. Finding the sweet spot between strictly adhering to standard web design portfolio practises and injecting your own unique flair can pique the interest of potential clients and make them want to learn more about you and hire you for their next project.
Don’t forget to show us your work by adding a link to your portfolio in the Facebook group and telling us about it in the comments.