With millions of portfolios available to your potential clients online, two factors set work to distinguish your portfolio – Quality of your portfolio and the UX while your clients browse through it. Your portfolio is the repository of your best work.
It puts across your exceptional skills to the audience and should ideally give them a vision of your potential. UX, on the other hand, will make sure that your target audience can enjoy your work as you intended.
Your portfolio is your secret weapon. Improving the UX helps to sharpen its impact on the viewer.
You know your portfolio the best. So, you are the best candidate to showcase your portfolio and optimize your UX. You don’t need an expert; you need these pro tips to boost your online portfolio.
Think Like Your Audience
According to a study by the Nielsen Norman Group, on average, users read 20% of the text on a web page. You want that 20% to say what your audience would like to hear.
When you are finalizing the website menu, or uploading your online portfolio, step into the mind of your customers. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the need that is bringing them to your website?
- How many options have they explored?
- What is the one thing that will keep them interested?
- Will they be able to see it with the current design?
- How much time will they have?
When you start thinking like your customers, it will become effortless for you to create a UX that is straightforward and delivers a good experience for your customers.
You want your customer’s experience to be smooth. They may be in a time crunch, overwhelmed by the information available on the internet, or recovering from a bad service experience. You do not want to add another woe to their list with a hard to navigate website. You want to put your best foot forward. Don’t build up to your best work; show them what you got as soon as possible.
Give your customers what they are looking for, and they will stay to find out more.
Don’t Overdo. Simplify.
On the internet, visitors usually scan and hardly read. Gerry McGovern’s study found that only 1 out of 15 participants could spot a specific piece of information placed on a page that 32was not optimized for scanning.
You should make sure that your navigation menu is easy to follow and uses prominent buttons to take the users where they want to go. The left column is a particularly active area of a website, so place the most important items here. Your logo should be on the top left, your local navigation should be on the left of the screen, and so on. People read left to right. So, you want to place what makes them stay on the left and what makes them take action on the right.
Make menu categories that immediately make sense to the client. Most industries prefer 5-7 menu options and one layer of navigation to keep it simple. You can arrange your menu based on your different skills, clients you have worked for, type of projects, and so on. Play on your strengths. If you do not have a big portfolio, showcase your different skills and place one project under multiple categories. If you have an extensive portfolio, place your biggest clients on the top and work down from there. Figure out the best approach for your portfolio, and present it well.
Tagging is Key
Proper organization brings clarity. So, if you have a vast portfolio, there is a high probability that your potential client won’t be able to go through it all. To ease their search, tag your portfolio. When you use simple tags to identify different pages on the portfolio, your visitors can directly click on the tags and reach the item they are interested in.
Your tag strategy can be the game-changer for your online portfolio, as it will make the online search much easier. Take time to come up with all the tags for your portfolio
- Use the conventional industry jargons
- Words that naturally come to you when you define your work
- Conduct competitor research to find out the tags they are using
- Use keywords that your clients are using to reach your website as tags
- Don’t make spelling mistakes
- Don’t repeatedly use different versions of the same word
A straightforward and well-thought-out tag strategy makes it easier for your clients to find what they need and drives up your conversion rates.
Recommend to Retain
From Amazon to Facebook, every big company understands that recommendations make the customer stay and spend more time on a website. With your online portfolio, you can acquire a similar strategy.
Once your visitor visits a specific part of your portfolio, engage them with recommendations for other similar work you have done for another client or using different skills.
For instance, if a particular visitor is looking at your portfolio related to shoes, you can direct them to other projects you have completed.
This will ensure that the visitors stay longer on the website and help them quickly find similar work. Since they will get their hands on multiple samples pretty easily, it will make it easier for them to make a decision.
You Need Good CTAs
You have to curate an excellent portfolio to engage your potential clients, but you need good CTAs to realize the potential. You may want to keep the conversation strictly online to attend to more queries with bare minimum resources. You may want the client to place a call or visit your office directly. You can direct your visitor as you wish. But, whatever the call to action, you have to keep a few universal tips in mind.
- The CTA should be straightforward. Do not overcomplicate a CTA, tell the client how to proceed forward if they want to purchase or get in touch
- Make it easier for the clients to get in touch with you by placing CTAs on every page of the portfolio and pages where the visitor is likely to spend more time
- Keep the tone of the CTAs friendly. For e.g., Say “Share your email ID to get more interesting updates about my work” instead of “Share email ID to receive updates from me.”
Decide what you want your customer to do and design your CTA to achieve it.
Put your best work forward with your online portfolio. Make it shine with an optimized UX design.