The Meta Stuff

About This Site

The Problem (of the old site/portfolio)

  • Trying to sell too hard. With the intention to showcase my marketing background, I treated myself as a brand & commodity of the job market. Did not sit at ease with who I truly am. Did not speak to my personality. In other words, it’s a means to a pragmatic end and not something that I was proud of sharing with my friends. The original design was not unlike that of a product landing page.
  • Not scalable, hard to update. Too much customization for each case study.

The Vision

What this site should be: my little corner on the internet, a representation that’s true to myself. Defining by what it is not:

  • It is not a mere collection of work. Portfolio is but a part of the site, not its entirety. A book of me that reflects how I live, think, and play. It should contain my broader interests and values.
  • It is not a one-off job-searching tool. It should be a garden that I continuously tend with. It should be, at least partially, reflect who I am as a person more than the identity of a designer.
  • It does not have an end state. It is fluid, constantly evolving and serves as my personal project of learning, a playground where I can experiment with new ideas and technologies.

Design Direction

  • Mood (based off my personality): quiet, mysterious, deep, abstract, insightful, gender-neutral, self-effacing.
  • Style: clean, minimal, timeless, with a focus on typography and layout.
  • Sweat the details, should not leave edges unattended. It should make people feel the care from the designer through the quality of it.

New Approach to My /work

Who’s the stakeholder of the portfolio?

  • Primary: Recruiter, hiring manager — to get to know my work in a short amount of time
  • Secondary: Me myself — document work and learn web development

What’s the purpose of the portfolio?

In the long term, documenting work > finding a job. In the short term, finding a job > documentation.

What kind of work do I want to do in the future? Building for the web—so I should show more websites/web app design than mobile app design.

What kind of company do I want to appeal to (work at)? Design system is still something that I am interested in (the intersection of design & code), generally the direction is design + development + storytelling. Things I want to try:

  • Software tool-making company, especially productivity/creative tools
  • Digital design + development agency
  • In-house brand/marketing team (web design focused roles)

What’s the role of the portfolio? What do I want to show in case studies?

  • A teaser, not a treatise. It’s a preview or trailer of my work – not a deep dive of the process. It’s something that get my foot in the door, an entry into the interview process that involves the actual talking and portfolio presentation.
  • Outcome > Process. Therefore, a case study should cover the basic context of a project, giving visitors a sense of “what I have done”, leaning more towards the outcome.
  • Also, Visual > Words. It should demonstrate my design craft, storytelling ability (and maybe a little bit of my thought process) to pique recruiter/hiring mangers’ interest to learn more about me or my work.
  • It’s certainly not an artwork in itself. Even though it should demonstrate my taste and skills (the medium is the message)—it should not overshadow the work. The form should support the content, not eclipse it.

Building the Portfolio

Work iteratively in three phases:

Phase 1 — Utility (January)

  • Goal: have something to show so I can get the search rolling
  • Priority: focus on building out the invividual project page and have them displayed on /work
  • NONE-priority: fancy structure of /work, interactive motion

Phase 2 — Improvement (Feburary–Mar)

  • Goal: flesh out my career persona
  • Priority: adding more content to /work (visuals, side projects etc.) and redesign /work page
  • NONE-priority: visual polish

Phase 3 — Polish (Mar)

  • Goal: demonstrate the craft and quality through design details
  • Priority: fix all rough edges, add motion and moments of delight