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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Larry Alton

Business Consultant

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Published on January 18, 2019

Best 5 Language Learning Apps to Easily Master a New Language

Best 5 Language Learning Apps to Easily Master a New Language

Learning a new language is no easy feat. While a language instructor is irreplaceable, language learning apps have come to revolutionize a lot of things and it has made language learning much easier. Compared to language learning websites, apps offer a more interactive experience to learn a new language.

The following language learning apps are the top recommended apps for your language learning needs:

1. Duolingo

    Duolingo is a very successful app that merged gamification and language learning. According to Expanded Ramblings, the app now counts with 300 million users.

    Duolingo offers a unique concept, an easy-to-use app and is a great app to accompany your language acquisition journey. The courses are created by native speakers, so this is not data or algorithm-based.

    The app is free and has the upgrade options with Duolingo Plus for $9.99, which are add free lessons. The mobile app offers 25 languages and is popular for English-speaking learners learning other languages.

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    Download the app

    2. HelloTalk

      HelloTalk aims to facilitate speaking practice and eliminate the stresses of a real-time and life conversation. The app allows users to connect to native speakers and has a WhatsApp like chat that imitates its interface.

      There is a perk to this app. The same native speakers available also want to make an even exchange and learn your target language, so engagement is the name of the game.

      What’s more, the app has integrated translation function that bypasses the difficulties of sending a message with a missing word and instead fills in the gap.

      Download the app

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      3. Mindsnacks

        Remember that Duolingo has integrated gamification in language learning? Well, Mindsnacks takes the concept to another level. There is an extensive list of languages available within the app comes with eight to nine games designed to learn grammar, vocabulary listening.

        You will also be able to visualize your progress since the app integrates monitoring capabilities. The layout and interface is nothing short of enjoyable, cheerful and charming.

        Download the app

        4. Busuu

          Bussu is a social language learning app. It is available on the web, Android, and iOS. It currently supports 12 languages and is free.

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          The functionality allows users to learn words, simple dialogues and questions related to the conversations. In addition, the dialogues are recorded by native speakers, which brings you close to the language learning experience.

          When you upgrade, you unlock important features including course materials. The subscription is $17 a month.

          Download the app

          5. Babbel

            Babbel is a subscription-based service founded in 2008. According to LinguaLift, it is a paid cousing of Duolingo. The free version comes with 40 classes, and does not require you to invest any money.

            Each of the classes starts with with a sequential teaching of vocabulary with the help of pictures. The courses are tailor made and adapted to the students’ level, allowing the learning to be adjusted accordingly.

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            If you started learning a language and stopped, Babbel will help you pick up where you started.

            Download the app

            Takeaways

            All the apps recommended are tailored for different needs, whether you’re beginning to learn a language or trying to pick back up one. All of them are designed by real-life native speakers and so provide you with a more concrete learning experience.

            Since these apps are designed to adapt to different kinds of learning styles, do check out which one is the most suitable for you.

            Featured photo credit: Yura Fresh via unsplash.com

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