Every week we take a look at a new website and analyze the design. We’ll point out both the areas that are done well in addition to those that could use some work. Finally, we’ll finish by asking you to provide your own feedback.
Today’s site is Doofyme, the personal portfolio of Chris Kinsey.
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“My name is Chris Kinsey, a 26 year old Interactive Media student from Bridgnorth in Shropshire. I am currently working towards a BA in Interactive Media at the University of Wolverhampton.”
Here is a section of the homepage:
Immediately I can tell that, from a design perspective, this is going to be a positive review. The page is quite attractive and really nails the basics: Contrast, Alignment, Proximity and Repetition. This is no small compliment, many or even perhaps most of the sites we critique fall very short on one or more of these areas. Great work Chris!
The portfolio is only a single page and contains just a few sections, this will be a quick critique but should be packed with great design advice as always!
The header is definitely my favorite portion of the site. I like the illustration of the guy behind his computer, it instantly communicates that the site is about someone with a technological lean and supports the message on the right.
The headline is an excellent little typographical lockup. The script is easy to read and not overdone and goes well with the all-caps condensed font. This lockup uses a strong left alignment, text size/font variation and color differentiation for emphasis. He’s using all three typographical tools (size, font and color) in a reserved way, I love it. Note the repetition of these two fonts together throughout the page.
The work section is divided up nicely into clear vertical sections with strong proportions (feels like a grid system). I like the simple inclusion of instructions and the fact that there are multiple places to click to see the work. This may seem a bit redundant but it really makes the site easy to use. I also like that we’re seeing the emphasis color from the headline repeated here.
I do think that the spacing in “Recent Work” seems a bit off. Bring the two words a little closer to each other so it doesn’t look like a double space between them.
When you’re just getting started, I’m all for using school projects in your portfolio. You need something to display and if that’s most of what you have, show it! I think that the long-term plan should be to replace these assignments with actual work, which will make you more employable, but for now this is fine.
Now, with that said, I don’t quite agree with the strategy here. Assuming that this is an attempt at a professional portfolio meant to earn the designer clients, I think posting your grades is a little cheesy. Let the work speak for itself unless it won any notable awards or competitions, in which case you’re increasing the impressive factor.
Also, I would toss this assignment completely.
I’ve been super nice to Chris so far about his excellent design talent so I think I can rail a bit here. First of all, the project isn’t very attractive and is in fact, pretty unpleasant to look at with all of the negative imagery. Far more important however is the picture it paints of Chris. Remembering again that my assumption is that this portfolio is meant to bring Chris clients, he should absolutely avoid telling people that he is a loud, lazy, binge drinking father (a remarkably bad combination).
Imagine you’re sitting in a job interview with a potential employer who asks you to describe yourself, is this what you would say in hopes of getting hired? If not, then don’t put this message on the site you’re using to snag clients.
The footer is a great conclusion to the site. I like the repetition of the torn edge from the top of the site and the large form fields. Again, if you’re looking to get hired, the photo could be better but I don’t want to go overboard with sucking your personality out of the site. Humor is great and I’ve written articles about how we need more of it in the web design industry, just always consider your target audience. Who do you want to see this site and will they appreciate the content you have?
Now that you’ve read my comments, pitch in and help out by giving the designer some further advice. Let us know what you think is great about the design and what you think could be stronger. As always, we ask that you also be respectful of the site’s designer and offer clear constructive advice void of any harsh insults.