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Approach towards building a portfolio

  • # April 20, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    Hi,

    I just registered and I am looking forward to being involved. I am beginning to get into web
    design and this website and forum has definitely been a great resource.

    My area of interest is animation and I was keen on building a portfolio based around application of css animations/transitions to build a good interface. Would this fall in the area of front end engineering position or more in the area of ui design ? The reason I ask this is that I am not sure if as a next step I should learn visual designing(design theory,photoshop,illustrator etc) or learn javascript because only demonstrating html/css skills wont make a complete portfolio isn’t it ? That way I can make a road map in terms of what I can pursue and not feel lost.

    Thanks,
    Dev

    # April 20, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    I suppose it depends on what you want to do. What do you want to showcase, your design skills or your developer skills?

    A few years ago I was trying to be good at too many things and I ended up just being mediocre at everything. I stopped focusing on design and moved all of my focus and learning towards front end development.

    # April 20, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    A few years ago I was trying to be good at too many things

    I was the same way. I think many people try to be a “jack of all trades”. You’re better off specializing in a specific area, not only for yourself but to educate others as well.

    # April 21, 2013 at 1:04 am

    To expand on what the above folks said, if your portfolio is going to show a ton of animation using css transitions and javascript and focuses more on the movement of the elements as opposed to their aesthetics, then you’re probably leaning towards front end development.

    If you like designing stuff (how it actually looks) but don’t really care to learn the technical implementation process, then you’re probably leaning toward web design/UI design.

    Also keep in mind that a javascript engineer is not the same thing as a front end developer.

    # April 21, 2013 at 1:07 am

    If you like designing stuff (how it actually looks) but don’t really care to learn the technical implementation process, then you’re probably leaning toward web design/UI design. – @theacefes

    You have a misunderstanding of what design really is.

    # April 21, 2013 at 1:16 am

    @chrisburton, I don’t really think the rudeness is necessary – I attempt to help people on here just as you do. I think that there is a need for people that call themselves designers to have a basic understanding of what can and what can’t work for the web medium but that doesn’t necessarily make them a front end developer.

    Regardless, I’m simply giving input from my own experience in the field. I should say up front that I am not a designer myself.

    # April 21, 2013 at 1:28 am

    @theacefes I’m not one to be randomly insolent. To put it simply, what I meant by the above statement is that design is more than “how something looks”. I was stating a fact based on your misunderstanding.

    # April 21, 2013 at 1:33 am

    Yeah. Perhaps my general statement was too vague/broad and I didn’t intend to insult any designers out there or demean their work. Again, I’m a developer, not a designer. I’m handed a project with mockups and I make it work. But certainly there were better ways to have pointed it out if you felt offended by my statement.

    But we’re railroading OP’s question. Maybe you could give him/her more specific input, since you seem to be very versed in what design is and isn’t. And that’s not me being passive aggressive – I’m serious. But if you’re here to argue semantics, then hit me up on email because that’s not fair to this poster.

    @Dev_N, I tried to do the ‘jack of all trades’ thing and it landed me with an amorphous job title and way too many hats.

    # April 21, 2013 at 1:42 am

    @theacefes Where do you see in my replies that I was offended? I’m not offended. I’m simply saying that your definition of what design is, is wrong. Design is about solving problems. It is technical. It’s not simply about “how something looks” as you stated. Honestly, I think you’re misinterpreting what I’m saying as negativity.

    Edited:

    But we’re railroading OP’s question.

    Forums are about healthy discussion and this is relevant as @Dev_N (and yourself) mentioned design.

    [..] But if you’re here to argue semantics, then hit me up on email because that’s not fair to this poster.

    You have this mindset that the way I wrote my initial reply was with attitude or arrogance when it wasn’t. I don’t think I can change your mind but it’s important you read that.

    # April 21, 2013 at 4:04 am

    Hey guys thanks for the replies. Based on the discussion it does seem
    perception of design is based on one’s individual experience.

    @theacefes, I feel I would lean more towards movement and timing of elements
    so I suppose going the path of front end development makes sense. After all it is
    a process of discovery so I will see.

    Once I do have some work I will certainly share it here to get critique. Once again thank you all for your viewpoints.

    # April 21, 2013 at 4:33 am

    This is a good article on the subject.

    http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2011/08/24/design-solving-problems/

    # April 21, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    @chrisburton, Thats a great link. It makes me realise that a portfolio shouldn’t be just about eye candy. A demonstration of good problem solving ability would make it far more interesting.

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