• Sridhar Rajendran

Day 9 — First dig at creating a portfolio

Updated: Aug 23, 2018

A designer is only as good as his portfolio

Image credit: Pexels

Creating a portfolio is like a coming-of-age ritual for designers. It is what separates the wannabes from the actual doers. Once I chose to stick to Medium for posting my case studies, life becomes so much easier. But then I blog occasionally about other topics and even comments get listed as posts in Medium. The only way to curate and display only certain articles was to create a Publication and add the case studies to them. While Medium is a good place to discover and share content, there weren’t many options to customise the look and feel of a Publication.

One downside of using Behance or Dribble is, projects by other creators get displayed alongside your projects. This is like showing the recruiter showing the exit map. They might end up hiring some other random dude who can do better stuff than you for the job. I know this sounds petty/trivial but trust me, people are easily distracted. Look there, Goldfish!

I decided to use Wordpress to create a portfolio site. It is simple to set up and there are plenty of themes available. I purchased a domain name like Firstname+Lastname.com. In retrospect, I find this works well for people with short names. Plus points, if it rhymes. But Indian names, such as mine can be long and tongue twisting. I later purchased another domain that would be easy to spell- http://sridhar.design/. However, I launched the first version of the portfolio on sridharrajendran.com (the domain no longer exists).

Remember how I have repeatedly discussed my aversion to graphic design, I had a tough time selecting and customising themes. I was so overwhelmed I almost burst into tears. I know it sounds silly but it was quite panic-inducing at the time. I took Reid Hoffman’s advice literally:

“If You’re Not Embarrassed By The First Version Of Your Product, You’ve Launched Too Late”

My portfolio site was a set of links with some images and text. More like the 90s websites coded in pure HTML. Who needs CSS anyway? Plus a true UX designer should not be bothered with the frills and whistles. 🤦‍

I added three case studies that I had done and just ‘shipped it’. In a way, it was good because it removed the fear the word ‘portfolio’ conjured in my mind. I sent it to a couple of friends and they said exactly what I thought — it really sucks, don’t ever share this with anyone.

After acknowledging the obvious and coming to my senses I realised I need some serious help in setting up a portfolio.