5 Tips for Creating a Design Portfolio That Gets You Noticed

5 Tips for Creating a Design Portfolio That Gets You Noticed

For freelance designers, finding work is all about being able to prove yourself to potential clients. One thing that plays a key role in this process is compiling a digital portfolio.

How can you make sure your portfolio stands out amidst the thousands of others online? Start by doing the following 5 things:


1. Use the Power of Contrast

Your portfolio – not just the work in the portfolio – needs to make a visual statement. Do something unique, don’t just paste images on a web page and slap in a header that reads “My Portfolio.” Get creative and use your skills to design something unique.

This portfolio from Website It Up is a fantastic example. Notice how they use the contrast of a grey background to help their designs stand out. The header is also unique, featuring jagged lines and clean breaks.


2. Be Selective in What You Feature

You have complete control over your portfolio, so don’t get pressured into including things you don’t want. “I’ve found that what you put in your portfolio for people to view, you get in return,” says designer Liz Grant. “So if you don’t want a certain type of client, don’t show that type of work in your portfolio. Also, show the best of what you have, you don’t need to show it all. People have short attention spans, especially on the web, so show your best first – don’t make them dig through tons of projects to find it.”

If you do want to show a lot of work, start with your best at the top and then gradually fade out with your less impressive work. Most people won’t make it to the bottom of your portfolio, so it’s a waste to put quality work at the end.


3. Show Diversity and Flexibility

While you should never include a design that you aren’t interested in replicating, it is a good idea to exhibit diversity and flexibility. Clients want designers who can take on a variety of projects, as opposed to needing multiple designers for each project they have.

You can study a great example of this by checking out Studio Schurk. As an animation studio, they produce a lot of different types of work, and they aren’t afraid to feature it all for prospective clients to see.


4. Feature Case Studies

A picture is worth a thousand words, but that doesn’t mean you need to cut out the text altogether. In addition to featuring images of your work, it’s a smart idea to include a couple of case studies. These case studies can explain the scope of the project and provide tangible data points that exhibit the return on investment the client received. Large businesses find case studies especially valuable, and you can increase your credibility by featuring them.

5. Rely on Quality Over Quantity

As is the case in just about every aspect of business, quality is preferred over quantity. If you only have five designs, but two of them are terrible, don’t feel like you have to include them all, just for the sake of filling up space. A client is much more likely to hire you if they see three high-quality examples, as opposed to three high-quality examples and two terrible examples. More is not always better. It’s often worse.

Let Your Profile Shine

Your design portfolio is supposed to show prospective clients your best work and highlight the various skills that you bring to the table. Make sure you’re doing yourself justice by compiling a portfolio that’s compelling and worthwhile.

Any investment in this aspect of your freelance career will benefit you in the long run.

More by this author

Larry Alton

Business Consultant

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Last Updated on July 10, 2019

11 Brain Training Apps to Train Your Mind and Improve Memory

11 Brain Training Apps to Train Your Mind and Improve Memory

Whether at work or at school, people these days are under tremendous pressure to perform, perform and perform! Stress and pressure can have adverse affects on the well-being of a person, and need to be controlled.

Now, this doesn’t mean you make a dash to your nearest therapist. There are a number of wonderful and smart apps that you can use on your phone. These brain training apps have been scientifically designed to target specific areas of the human mind and control harmful emotions such as anxiety, as well as to improve memory and sharpness of the brain.

Here are 11 iPhone apps that you will not only enjoy but also find useful in keeping your mental health balanced at all times.

1. Lumosity

This app consists of games that focus on improving the user’s memory, problem-solving capability, attention span, and thinking. There are three games in each session, and they challenge the brain by changing every time. The user has to complete the games while playing against a clock.

Free of trial. $15 per month for the full version.


Luminosity Mind training apps-Lifehack

    2. Fit Brains Trainer

    This brain training app has 10 sets of games that work on different areas of the brain and improve memory as well as concentration. A user is required to finish a particular task from each category on a daily basis and the app tracks the progress by a color coded graph.


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      3. CogniFit Brain Fitness

      Developed with the help of neuroscientists, this fun app improves a person’s cognitive abilities, which includes memory and concentration. The progress made by the user over a period of time can be tracked. Users can also play challenge rounds with their friends. The app also modifies the difficulty level to suit the profile of the user and provide recommendations based on the results. Spending 20–30 minutes a few times every week can give measurable improvement in the performance of a user.

      First four games free, then $13 a month.

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        4. Brain Fitness Pro

        The makers of this app claim that it can improve the IQ of a user, and improve intelligence and memory. The app is fun and is user friendly, and 30 minutes a day can fetch you results in less than three weeks.


        Buy for $3.99.

        5. Happify

        If nothing else makes you happy in life, this app will. Well, this is what the developers claim at least. This app comes loaded with lots of quizzes, polls and gratitude journals, which work on the fundamentals of positive psychology. The app also helps to control stress and emotions to make you feel better.

        Free to use.

        Happify-Mind Training Apps-Lifehack

          6. Clockwork Brain

          You will like the little gold robot that comes in every time to explain the next game you are going to play. While the games are not much different to those offered in apps such as Luminosity, the look and feel reminds me of a workshop from old times.



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            7. ReliefLink

            Initially created as an app for suicide prevention, it has found its use as a great app for tracking the mood of the user by taking measure of all things relevant to the user’s mental health. In case the user experiences high emotional stress, the app has a coping mechanism that includes voice-recorded mindfulness, exercises and music for relaxation. There is also a map that informs the user of the nearest therapist and medical facilities for mental health treatment.

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              8. Eidetic

              Eidetic is a memory enhancement app and uses a ‘spaced repetition’ technique to help users memorize information such as important phone numbers, words, credit card details or passwords. It also notifies you when it’s time to take a test to see what you remember, so that you retain information in your long-term memory.

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                9. Braingle

                Braingle helps to maintain the sharpness of the brain and improve the reasoning ability of a person through riddles and optical illusions. It is different from other brain training apps that employ memory and reaction based tests. You can also compete with your friends and family members in figuring out the fun riddles.


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                  10. Not The Hole Story

                  If you have a penchant for solving hard riddles, then this app is a must-have for you. Filled with exclusive riddles along with a simple-to-use interface, the app gives you riddles that you have to solve through a book. You will be given hints along the way, and when you give up, the answers will be revealed. This app will encourage you to broaden your thinking and put your mind to a challenging test.



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                    11. Personal Zen

                    This fun brain training app follows the journey of two animated characters who travel through a field of grass. Personal Zen is a nice app meant for reducing anxiety and trains the brain to focus on the positive aspects. The developer’s advice is to use the app for 10 minutes a day to see the best results.


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                      Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via

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