It was about time to start rebuilding my personal-portfolio-website. My previous one didn’t seem to comply with my aesthetics and needs.
A few weeks ago I asked myself several questions.
1.What is my goal? My goal is to create an online presence that represents my personality, people can easily browse my previous works in detail, read articles or watch videos and contact me easily.
2.What problems am I trying to solve? I can’t use my current website as a blog/portfolio as it’s not convenient to add details in my projects.I can only add some images and links to them. I have to rethink my needs, and the things I want to show. I want a better connection with people in the web.
3. What about some inspiration? Yes, inpiration is always great but I shouldn’t let other websites be all over my head.
I have to create my own ideas based on the things I like. In that way I will present my own personality.
Research: Personal sites with an aesthetically pleasing design (in no particular order)
Research: Things I must not miss to include in a personal portfolio site * At least some basic info about myself * Links to my works * A way (or more) for people to contact me * Social platforms
What do I really want to show? As I stated earlier, I want to showcase my personality, I want to give details about my works and the projects I ‘m proud of. I want to share my knowledge through articles and videos. I want to connect with people and make it easy for them to reach me.
To whom am I referring to?
To answer that question I decided to think as UX designer building a new product. I had to make some personas.
User Personas represent real, living and breathing people who will engage with your product. While individuals featured on a persona are technically hypothetical, the information on the document should not be hypothetical. - by Xtensio
In this part I am not going to get into a lot of detail... I decided to have three types of personas based on who would browse my website. * An employer (a developer manager, a hiring manager): This person wants to get some quick information. She is busy, has a lot of meetings, emails and calls. She certainly won’t have the time to view in detail all of my projects and posts. Probably a manager won’t spent more than a few minutes on my site. * Someone searching for a specific project/post (like an article, a tutorial, a video): This group of people is interesting for that project and that post, not for my bio or my most recent video tutorial. If they find me interesting they will read more, if not they will close the tab. * Someone who randomly found me: (maybe she googled my name, found me on twitter/youtube and wanted to learn more). This person is going to search my bio, my projects and posts. She could spend seconds to minutes browsing the site.
Time for decisions
Custom design VS using a template
That was a tough one. I would love to create and code my own design and have a unique portfolio but it’s not a current priority. A template/theme, using a CMS (Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal), is a quicker and easier solution. Since I already have a drupal-website, installation and configuration should come pretty easy.
On the other hand, I wasn’t going to let a template define my website. Based on what I was looking for, I designed a simple prototype.
My theme should be a clean, modern, elegant design, with plenty of room to display the portfolio and the blog posts.
Choosing a theme
I don’t remember how many hours/days I spend searching for the “perfect”, free or paid theme. I opened a lot of tabs to compare them more easily. After a lot of browsing, I found the “one”, meeting my criteria and pleasing my aesthetics.
The “one” is called “mdeal responsive business” and is supported by Drupal 7.
Installation, configuration and filling the pages
After installing the theme, I configured the blocks, the panels, the pages and the css classes. I must have spent 3-4 days to make the theme look like my prototype.
Ι spent almost a week to organize the menu, header, prefooter, footer and the main-part of home, about, portfolio, post and contact page.
You can watch my short video about how I made my online portfolio website.
1.I am still writing my projects hence I am aware that portfolio section looks kinda empty.
2.My site is currently under v1.1, if you have any recommendations, please do share.