Process (n.) - a series of things that are done to achieve a particular result
I need to tell you about my design journey you to be to understand the context and my problem space. 13 years ago I attended a web design class when I was in middle school. I have been working as a designer since then. I am from Turkey. First I moved to NJ and CA and then Hawaii. if you wonder how far is it, let me tell you. It is right on the edge of the world. Along the way, I gotta work in many different design industries to survive and move on through Silicon Valley and then heaven.
The biggest challenge was how to tell a visual story of my design work, which makes sense. I love all my work but putting them all together increased the cognitive load in my portfolio. I couldn't solve it for a while.
Designing a portfolio homepage many times to figure this out. My structure was not matching with what I want. I want to present all my work together clearly and understandably. It was like trying to solve an equation with many variables.
The mentorship was a game-changer for me. I am a mentor myself but everyone needs mentorship at some point.
The first suggestion was that "Don't start from the Homepage", which was mind-blowing for me. As a designer, I was so emotional about my work. It was a blocker for me to start writing down my process and design decisions.
Pete Hotchkins was one of my main mentors. I am grateful, he kept track of my portfolio progress. The biggest lesson I have learned that commitment is the foundation of great accomplishments. When he said, let's check your case study notes next week, I felt responsible for this. Please find something or someone to commit to to reach your goals.
Now I stopped thinking visually for a moment and started writing down everything that came to my mind as a note. All the research process, ideation, define and visuals, design decisions, critical changes, challenges, etc.
1 - Organized all the notes in a logical order and refine them.
2 - Designed visuals
3 - Found my voice/personal touch, which is minimal design, interactions, and emojis.
4 - Talked to my mentors
5 - Iterate the case study content
6 - Sent it to content editor for proofreading
7 - Sent it to content editor for proofreading
8 - Made a to-do list of features
9 - Made a to-do list of features
10 - Talked to mentors to get a feedback
11 - Designed concepts
12 - Planned the interactions
13 - Made another to do list to complete my portfolio
14 - Talked to mentors to get a feedback
15 - Planned the interactions
16 - Started developing the front-end
17 - Ready to test 🎉
I gotta kill some of my projects and select the ones that I proud of the most.
Always start simple and just write down something.
Iteration is the key
Even if you don't want to work on it, push yourself 30 mins - 1 hour every day, you will get a portfolio after a few months.
Note: It took three months, an hour every day at least.