Show DN: New Portfolio Site

over 8 years ago from , Design Director at Chronic Ink


Hey guys, I'm in the middle of updating my portfolio site and I'd love to hear some of your feedback.

Right now I'm struggling with the headline on my homepage (I wish copywriting was easier.)

Background: I'm a UI / UX Designer with a focus on responsive websites. I want my intro to tell people what I do in 4-5 words or less.

Stylistically, I'm trying to go with something that's very clean and simple. Ultimately the focus is going to be on my work and I don't want anything too busy.

I redesign the site all the time (AKA it's never good enough—designer syndrome). So I'd love to create something that lasts more than a year this time around.

Again, any feedback is greatly appreciated! Thank you so much.

Cheers! P

PS I'd also like to thank the lovely team over at Semplice for creating such a wonderful tool / WP theme. It's never been easier to update my website.


  • Joel CalifaJoel Califa, over 8 years ago

    Hey, I like the general aesthetic, and the work itself is really great, but I'll keep this to critique. Please don't take it the wrong way, I don't mean any of it as an insult. You have the potential here for a really nice portfolio.


    First, at the size my browser is set to, this is the first thing I see.

    big text

    Kind of disconcerting. Also, I scrolled down expecting a lot more content considering the size you gave your header, but found that about 50% of the homepage was the header. I think that's way too much space for something as generic as "I design beautiful websites." This is a personal pet peeve, but I'd also change that copy, considering everyone else has more or less the same thing on their sites.

    This same thing goes for your about page. I don't need to see my screen filled with the page's purpose.

    The fullscreen headers in your project pages don't bug me as much but I'd still make the type smaller.

    Hamburger Menu

    You have so much space here to put "work" and "about." I'm not sure why you chose to go with a hamburger menu, as you could probably fit both of these easily into a mobile header. You have social links at the bottom after not that much content so you can probably do away with these.

    The font size here is also huge.

    Font Size

    Actually the text size everywhere is way too large. A recommended size for body copy is about 16px, and yours is set at 28px. I'd substantially reduce this.


    The title fade in you have on the portfolio items on the first page are great. The title fade out should also be smooth, but currently don't have a transition on them.

    The page fade outs and the new page loads take way too long and make your site feel very slow. I'd do away with both or at least make them much much shorter.

    Project Switch

    Way too much of an animation to toggle between two projects. Also as someone unfamiliar with your work, the truncated project titles mean nothing to me and it'd be better without them.

    way too much

    It's a good start but could use a lot of work. Good luck!

    4 points
    • Matt SoriaMatt Soria, over 8 years ago

      Great feedback! I definitely second your thoughts on the header and the menu!

      1 point
    • Paul L, over 8 years ago (edited over 8 years ago )

      Wow Joel, thank you for taking the time to critique my work. I really appreciate it. Great feedback!

      I'd like to start off by saying you haven't offended me in anyway. I'm used to having my work picked apart by hovering Art Directors.

      Headers The large image doesn't bother me so much. Users are going to scroll down either way. Perhaps it will be more impactful after I've added 3-4 more projects so there's more content.

      I agree about the copy. I'm looking for some better ideas. Maybe it would be better if I just said "Paul Lapkin, UI / UX Designer".

      Hamburger Menu I went back and forth on this one a bit. Although the Hamburger menu is prettier (IMO), I agree—listing "Work" and "About" in the navigation is a lot more functional. You're right. I'll change it back.

      Font Size Yep. Not much to say here. You caught me. I set all the body copy as Headlines to make up for my lack of content. I'll revisit this.

      Fades I'm not sure why it's doing that. Might be a problem with the Semplice Theme. I'll look into it. Thanks for pointing this out!

      The pages load really quick on my end. Maybe it's all of the images on my project pages? I'll look into compressing them some more. Nice find.

      Project Switch You're right. The project switch isn't the greatest thing about the Semplice theme. I might disable them and add another portfolio grid in the footer. That would create a better user experience.

      Again, thank you so much for all of the feedback! I really appreciate it. I'm going to take everything you said here to make the site even better :)

      0 points
  • Paul L, over 8 years ago

    Edit: Accidentally posted the wrong link.


    3 points
  • Varun VachharVarun Vachhar, over 8 years ago

    Not sure why the Paul Lapkin UI/UX Designer needs to be an image: http://paullapkin.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/PL-UI-UX1.png

    In my opinion, you could easily do this with CSS. The image gets blurry on desktop.

    1 point
  • Ariel VerberAriel Verber, over 8 years ago

    you're a very good designer, your works are very well presented. good job.

    i want to ask about semplice - is it just me or is it starting to look generic? it must be good for clients, since it really makes you go "wow..." when you see a website made by semplice, but as a designer i feel like it's starting to look all the same. you can tell a site is made with semplice the moment you see it. anyone agrees?

    0 points
    • Paul L, over 8 years ago

      Thanks Ariel. I appreciate it :)

      I see what you're saying about the "generic" statement. I could argue that SquareSpace and Cargo Collective do the same thing. My main audience would be freelance clients, so I suppose it accomplishes it's purpose?

      0 points
  • Ramis KhawajaRamis Khawaja, over 8 years ago

    Hey Paul,

    Love the visuals of the site and the interactions. I do wish you put in more written content for you detail pages, so that visitors can learn a bit more about how you tackled different projects.

    In terms of the headline for the home page, I personally like to introduce my self and say hello.

    Hope that help

    Good luck :)

    0 points
    • Paul L, over 8 years ago

      Hey Ramis,

      Thank you for the feedback :)

      I haven't had much time with the written content for my portfolio yet. I'll try to provide some insight into my process when I have a chance to revisit it.

      I introduce myself and say hello on the about page. I'm wondering if I should switch them around at this point. I.E. Home (Who I Am) and About (Philosophy).


      0 points
    • Joel CalifaJoel Califa, over 8 years ago

      Definitely agree with the more content part. Currently it reads like a visual design portfolio, but it looks as though you're trying to sell yourself as a UX thinker as well.

      0 points
      • Paul L, over 8 years ago

        Thanks Joel.

        This year has been so hectic I haven't had time to write anything up. I'd love to share my ideas and thinking process with whoever browses the site.

        Do you think it would be beneficial to share my wireframes as well?

        0 points