Suzanne Hillman (Outreachy): Website and portfolio design

I’ve been slowly moving my website from the official pelican-based version to an in-progress Wix-based version. I learned interesting things around current web development while using the Pelican version, but I found it difficult to implement the kinds of design choices I wanted to make. I also found it quite difficult to get a responsive design that _stayed_ responsive when I made changes to the CSS file.

Wix is very nice for many design decisions, in large part because one can take a particular design element and put it wherever you want on the page. There is no futzing with the HTML or CSS, and no need to learn Python or Javascript.

Given that I want my page to be welcoming and easy to follow, easily choosing specific design elements is vital.

Tell a story!

One of the most important aspects of a UX portfolio is demonstrating one’s UX skills. This means walking folks through your process and making it easy to follow and understand.

One of my major challenges was (and is!) deciding how to structure my portfolio to offer the greatest ease of use without losing too many of the specific details. Upon the recommendation of one of the many recruiters I’ve spoken with, I’ve been adding an overview page to each piece of my projects:

<figure><figcaption>In this version, I offer an overview and links to more details of some of the pieces.</figcaption></figure>

If you compare this to the currently official version of my page, it’s a clear and huge difference in usability:

<figure><figcaption>This doesn’t show the overall goal, what my role was, or offer much guidance. It’s also not physically structured for easy reading.</figcaption></figure>

How to tell my story?

One of my major struggles is with offering too much information. Too many details, and too little structure.

I want people to know what I did! Unfortunately, if there’s not enough structure, they won’t read any of it. If there’s too much information, they won’ read any of it. So my major task is to take what I have and create overviews; not just for the main page of a project, but for sub pages.

This is unfortunately not quick or easy! As a result, I’m working on bringing the overviews back to my pelican site as I make them, with the eventual goal of fully transitioning. Sadly, I have been unable to convince my pelican site to let me stack things horizontally. My impression is that this is one of the major improvements to my Wix site, so even though I’ll bring some of the ideas back to Pelican, they are simply not as well-designed there.

I’ll be asking for feedback before I move over completely, of course. In the meantime, it’s pretty clear to me that my Wix site is just _better_. I’ll also be grabbing what I have at the Pelican site before ditching it, as I will worry that I’d lose information otherwise.

Other changes?

I’m also ditching the references to Cambio Buddies. It was a valuable and useful project, but I had very little guidance for what I was doing. I made a lot of mistakes, used techniques poorly, and am generally not happy with that project. Maybe it’s a mistake to remove my first project, but I just don’t like it.

Some folks have suggested incorporating the ‘current’ and ‘complete’ design projects into a single area. I’m reluctant to do this, since the current projects are still in process: I don’t want to be presenting them as if they were finished when they are not.

Similarly, folks have suggested getting rid of the design artifacts page. I’m not completely clear on why: they are in the Projects area, and it seems helpful to let folks get to a specific artifact quickly if they so desire.

One of my early bits of feedback for the Pelican portfolio was a lack of process. I’m still not entirely clear on what was meant by that, although I suspect that the lack of overview may have been part of it.


Source From: fedoraplanet.org.
Original article title: Suzanne Hillman (Outreachy): Website and portfolio design.
This full article can be read at: Suzanne Hillman (Outreachy): Website and portfolio design.

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