We’ve done a lot in this course. But some of the most important stuff we need to cover is in this lesson. We’ve covered the skills we’ve covered the build...now what should we be doing with all of it?
Let’s get into that by starting with what we’ve done so far (so we can cover what we need to do). We’ve built out an entire homepage that’s tailored to respond to our user story. (As a business owner or hiring manager, I want to explore and validate the quality of this portfolio, so I can hire this entirely fictional person as a UX designer.) Then we used the CMS to organize projects that help Megan’s potential clients or employers validate her work by building out Collection pages (unique pages with designs that reference all that data...)
[Sara] Those data.
[McGuire] Those data. We built a contact page (which people can click over to from any page). We did our SEO and Open Graph settings to optimize for search, we redesigned our entire site which is now a light version. We created 2D and 3D interactions with various animations built on triggers like scrolling. We created a custom 404 page for when a page isn’t found, a custom password page so Megan can share stuff with her fictional clients behind password protection, we did an accessibility audit to improve the site experience for humans and search engines, we did a design review to ensure consistency and legibility, we published our site on a custom domain: garciaux.com. We set up Google for verification and indexing and analytics. We covered adding a new project or new client to Megan’s portfolio. And then we recapped almost everything we did, leading to this very sentence.
[Sara] What did we learn?
[McGuire] Follow the design.
[Sara] Yeah, okay, but, no, that’s not what I mean.
[McGuire] What do you mean—
[Sara] Do you realize what happens when you film without me here?
[McGuire] What happens—
[Sara] You confused the word “my.” "Working with Megan Garcia..."
[McGuire] We have a lesson...
[Sara] "Working with Megan Garcia..."
[McGuire] (whispering) Can we do this later?
[Sara] "Working with Megan Garcia absolutely changed BY business."
[McGuire] "My business."
[McGuire] Okay, we can fix that real quick.
[Sara] I already went in and fixed it. Why is the lamp shaking?
[McGuire] But our work’s not done yet. An effective portfolio is a living, breathing, constantly evolving thing — and we want to revisit it. And what we want to cover here as it relates to maintaining and growing our portfolios over time is focus.
And a common question we get all the time, especially for those who don’t have the types of clients (or types of projects) they want in their portfolio, is this: how do we get the types of clients (or types of projects) we want in our portfolio? Well, it goes like this:
By default, our instinct in many cases can be to add everything we’ve done (or at least everything we’ve done recently). But a lot of times, that means our portfolios are filled with the kind of work we’ve happened to do; not the kind of work we’re wanting to do (the stuff that inspires us or motivates us or introduces a new chapter — whether that’s getting clients, looking for a new job, getting industry recognition — whatever it is).
And what a lot of us learn here is that if we only feature the kind of work we’ve happened to do...and it doesn’t align well with what we want to do? We can get typecast in a role that gets us caught up in a cycle. So. To break that cycle, one extremely effective way to enhance a design portfolio is to do a redesign. Redesign or update or improve a design in a way that your work on that inspires you. Want to redesign apple.com? Great, you have the tools, you have the skills, and you have the ability to make it happen. App redesign, interface design — in our portfolio, we want to show — we want to highlight where we’re going. Write the next chapter, make the next move, focus on what’s important for you, and we’re here to support you each and every step of the way.
And for those getting into freelance and agency work (or if you’re looking to significantly grow your business in those areas), we created The Freelancer’s Journey. And this IS and always will be free on Webflow University. And it covers everything from getting clients (including pricing your work, client proposals — so much of what we’ve learned over the years in growing our businesses) And it goes all the way through the journey of this kind of work: an entire unit on content strategy, another on the principles of design, and going through the entire site build and launch for a completely different entirely fictional client... from the perspective of a freelancer. So. Check that out on Webflow University if you haven’t already.
But that’s the big idea: iterate, yes, but focus. Not just on the portfolio (that can sometimes be another trap — spending SO much time tweaking the portfolio design itself that we don't focus enough on the work we feature). Make a checklist of the essentials to focus on for you type of work. Sara’s done this since yesterday.
[Sara] You didn’t make the testimonials responsive.
[McGuire] Great catch. Fixing that right now.
[Sara] While you're at it, you also forgot to set the alt text on Megan’s logo. Why is this lamp shaking again?
[McGuire] See, that felt actually like you were making a threat. [Sara] A threat again?
[Sara] I would not make a threat again.
[McGuire] You know that was like four meters from the desk?
[Sara] Oh, I thought you did foots. Feets. Meters in Swedish.
[McGuire] How does 20 look? 19? 18?
[Sara] 20 looks great.
[Sara] The contract— Contract...
[McGuire] What's wrong with your contract?
[Sara] The contrast ratios...
[Sara] They’re a lot better.
[McGuire] Good, and we can get better over time. Remember, when it comes to ocus is just as much about saying no to non-pressing things so we can put our full attention on what matters. And in a portfolio, that’s usually the work. Whether it’s a redesign, client work, work for a past employer, or even an entirely fictional company (which, it might be a good idea to say something about that so people don’t Google this fictional company and find nothing at all...which would be...)
[Sara] Hilarious...no, just kidding.
[McGuire] Actually, it would be...hilarious. But our goal in this work (fictional or not), of course, is to convey trust and authority: two major components of client and employer decision-making that by the way, are just as critical for search engines.
So. With that in mind, only two things left to do: (1) Grimur’s going to walk us through adding our completed portfolio to the Webflow Showcase for increased visibility. And (2) we have travel back in time to the beginning of 2021 so we can release this course from the future, in the past...
[Grimur] Mmmm...no, it's the present. Yeah, just gotta think about it.
[McGuire] From our perspective...
[Grimur] So, this has gotten you in hot water before. This isn’t Back to the Future, it’s actual time travel.
[McGuire] The course will travel to the past without changing the past.
[Grimur] McGuire, you’re awfully cavalier about such an important topic. But let’s do the Showcase: How do we do it? Let me show you.
Actually, my laptop is still dead. And I haven’t plugged in my Apple-branded 96-watt adapter. But if my computer was on, here’s what you’d see, and maybe Stacy can help me out here by putting a screen recording of this over my face.
In our project, go to Project settings. And if we go down, we have our options for the Showcase. We have the flip the switch on, BUT, if your profile isn’t public on Webflow, you gotta do that first.
We can always click over to make our profile public. And from there, you can fill out your profile info — ours, of course, is showing the information for Megan (who, again, not real — she’s not a real person). Yours can be for you or your business.
Now. We want to make sure to flip the switch to make our profile public. Let’s save. And if we go back to our Project settings and refresh? Now we have the option to showcase this portfolio.
And once we go through that, all we have to do is put in relevant information about this site. But before we do that, let's publish our subdomain. Now we can type in our relevant information. Type type type, I really wish my MacBook Pro had battery.
Of course, we have the option to let others clone our project (maybe you want to show them how you made your portfolio) — that’s always an option, too.
And if I’m finished? Let's...showcase our site. And now it's showcased.
I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted after using my mind like that. But I feel good about this site, which is for an entirely fictional designer, you know, going out to the world.
[McGuire] Thank you, Grimur. For our last step, we’re going to end our 2021...by starting...2021. From the future. In the present.
[Sara] Okay, that didn't make any sense.
[McGuire] No, it did not. Except in the ways that it did.
[Sara] Okay. Good news, when I snap my fingers, we're done with this course.
[McGuire] Sounds good.
[Grimur] Yeah I'm ready. Let's— Okay, let's go.
[McGuire] Are you ever going to—