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Need Portfolio Crit

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I already had this posted over on Core77, but didnt get much feedback.


Being a recent grad, Im struggling to find a position. I've been sending my samples out, but to no response. What do I need to do differently? Any opinions would help me greatly. Thanks.



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First off...

-Your home page is UNDERWHELMING.

-Unfortunately, your site layout is far more interesting than your 4 products you have on there...

-Your text on your portfolio pages are hard to read, you need to think about what the crappies computer monitor someone might have. So that you know at least 90% of the people can easily view your site.


Your 4 icons on the home page are not in the same order as your tabs on the right ... FIX IT


-Design your resume!

-Look at example resumes online, its not just text, its designed: layout, positioning.

-Implement Graphic Design into your resume. DOES NOT MEAN TO ADD GRAPHICS AND FLORAL PATTERNS!

-As much as you are selling yourself with your portfolio, you need to sell yourself with your resume too!

-Your Resume is a Complete mess... take a class if you have to.

-Far too wordy, not-designed... no one want to read an essay.


For example: http://www.tomruff.com/common/images/PageContent/resume2.gif

(not a very good example, but im not gonna do the research for you, look it up yourself)



Multi-touch integration...

+First off, environment in use pages are great.

-Reorder the pages: the final rendering should be at the end, and all the research pages should be together

-Need more ideation pages to communicate how you got to your design

-Ideation page notes are not readable.

-There is a DISCONNECTION between your concept > sketches > final product

-General Design Questions you need to ask:

1) Who is it for

2) What is it

3) Why do you need this

4) Why is it designed like so: '?'

5) Where will it be used

6) How is it solving the problem?

7) What is the solution for that problem.

-You answered some of these questions while some are still unanswered.



Sample pages & Portfolio pages...

-FireHydrant Questions you need to ask:

1) Why is it cheaper to manufactur?

2) What are the firefighters concerns? and how does it resolve them?

3) Why does it look like that?

3.1) Where did you get your style guide from?

3.2) Where did you get your color choices from?

3.3) Where did you get the form factor from?

-None of it is clear why you created this product!

4) Bondo and foam? is that your mockup materials or what you suspect your Product materials will be?

(Ive looked through your portfolio pages, most of the Qs above are answered, but still refer to it for other projects)



-Apposit Q:


1) If on purpose... WHY? There should be a reason why its spelled in that way.

1.1) Otherwise, people will assume that you cant spell.

2) Is it really low-cost materials? How do you know that? Where is the research telling us that?

3) Is it really easier to make? How do you know? Where is the research telling us that?

3.1) Im curious as to How you know that steelwood - 85$ and 5hrs, geometric - 6.5hrs, etc

4) Basically, if you are gonna state something, there better be some research backing it up.



-Aeon Q:

1) Why is it departure from the conventional toaster?

1.1) Because it is a different form factor? Or the fact that it can toast more than just bread? or Maybe something else?

1.2) Good job at identifying material / cost / finishes but label the page as something other than just 'research' what kind of research is it?

2) You should have research showing what the conventional toaster is like and what it does, so you can further prove that yours is different.

3) Again, why does it look like that and how did your concept get to the final stage.

4) You chose Kenmore as your brand... so i ask WHY?

4.1) Lacks research on why you chose that brand and how it matches your product.



As a product designer and as a graduate.

You should fully be aware that PD are problem solvers.


So these basic parts should be shown in your portfolio.

That you are able to:

1) Identify a problem

2) Research the problem

3) Provide a variety of ideas

4) Backup your ideas with research

5) Provide the solution for the problem


Also one crucial thing that lacks in all your products... BRAND


I notice you placed brandnames on your products... but why?

I dont see the research of the brands you used.

How do You or I know that you know what your doing?

How do you know if that brand matches your product?



In a wrap:




Finally dont take this as Harsh or Mean.

Just Learn from it and fix what you have to.

Im not sayin you will agree 100% what i said, but if i spent my past 30min or so looking through your stuff and care to comment you should as well take the time to listen.




GOOD LUCK and if you update your site, feel free to let us know and we will try to help you out as best as we can.










Are you an Industrial Design GRAD?


Cuz your photo stuff is far more interesting... HEck im not a photo major by a Long shot... and i have no idea what makes a good photo versus a bad photo...

But i find it more interesting than your product........



INFO page:

Get rid of the "where do i fit in"

I personally feel that it is unnecessary, but that's your call

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Thank you so very much. That is exactly what I was looking for. I have (obviously) desperately been needing to be ripped apart. Now I know exactly what to improve. I have been struggling with showing everything that I want to say, which is a major part that i need to work on. When showing my portfolio in person, I always fill in most of the questions you had while going through it.


Now, to answer some questions:


I am not a web designer, nor do I know how to code much. I plan on updating the homepage to add a little but of interest to it. I do know that the text on portfolio pages is hard to read on some monitors. However, i used that size to fit the smallest resolution monitor. After analyzing the visitor trends, resolutions range from 1024x768 to 1920x1200. On the small monitor, it should fit well, however the larger the resolution, the smaller the files will appear. I dont know if I want to shoot for the middle in terms of size because it will become a pain for the smaller resolutions to view.


Yes, my resume needs a lot of work. I am in the process of bulleting points, so it isnt an essay. Also I am not very good a graphic design, so I dont want to try and get too over the top, as it will get even worse I fear.


The fire hydrant project is made of cast zinc, rather than iron. It uses a thinner wall, meaning less material. Also, by using symmetrical halves, only a single mold is required in manufacturing (rather than the 3 in current designs). This cuts mold costs, as well as production times. I have about 6-8 more pages of materials and manufacturing research, so that if this question were ever asked i can open the research book for reference.


Apposite is a word, defined on the title page as 'suitable; well-adapted; pertinent; relevant; apt'. I used this term primarily due to its ability to be suitable in a variety of decor genres. The materials are low cost, as is the manufacturing process. I worked in custom furniture, and worked with the production manager of the shop to come up with reasonable time/cost estimates for the piece. The numbers are a reflection of what the shop estimate would be (I always mention this when going over my portfolio in person).


Excellent suggestions on the toaster project. There are obviously several things that I need to add to the project. I chose Kenmore due to their price point of similar products, and it was aesthetically modeled off a line of theirs.


And yes, i did just recently graduate with a BS in ID. However, my program was discontinued halfway through. This created several problems from a students perspective. The biggest problem was the after sophomore year, I never got a professor that had much experience in design. I basically had to learn everything on my own, which is why I have had to reach out to others for their insights.


I thank you very much for taking the time to help me out. I plan on fixing the problems that you had brought up, and will le t you know when it is updated.

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Guest Gringoire

I may be a rookie compared to you... but one thing I know for sure is that I have big imagination and creativity... what seems to be most interesting is that thing called "digirati"... I really think it's a good future perspective... try to focus on that thing... right now... I see it a bit "rigid" and "square"... try to make it flexible... ultimately... you have to think flexible in what you are doing... Best wishes!

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