Show DN: Trying to land my first full-time design job. Critique my new portfolio

over 4 years ago from

Hey DN,

I just finished revamping my portfolio in anticipation of applying for a buttload of design jobs. I'd love to get some feedback from my fellow creatives before I send this thing off into the wild.

I'm interested in hearing about whether I should condense certain passages of text within the case studies, clarify certain thoughts, emphasize or deemphasize particular aspects, or state what I did in a different way. Also, of course, any bugs or visual peculiarities you come across.

I haven't had time to make the site responsive yet, so it's best viewed on desktop. Hoping to change that within the next week!

Check it out: kyledecker.me


  • Shay Anand, over 4 years ago

    I had to sign up for DN just so I could comment and tell you how awesome your portfolio looks. The typography pairing is fantastic and the colors are great. I have to second Calum's point that the link at the bottom does seem like it's going to open a mail client. Didn't click on it till I read the comment here. The Catnap process is great... would love to see the process for some of the little things too. Good Luck!

    16 points
  • Aaron CalzadoAaron Calzado, 4 years ago

    I really dig your portfolio. You got a ton of personality and really stand out from many portfolios I've seen.

    12 points
  • Calum SmithCalum Smith, 4 years ago

    Until it is responsive, I'd definitely take out the viewport meta tag, as it's preventing zooming out on mobile. Also the "Say hi! More about me." CTA at the bottom of the homepage is kind of unclear on what it's going to do—I had to check the link to make sure I wasn't about to email you.

    All in all, though, really fun, well put-together design.

    7 points
    • Kyle Decker, 4 years ago (edited 4 years ago )

      Solid points, thank you.

      The "Say hi!" CTA actually did link to an email at one point, but some peoples' moms get pissed when Outlook opens unexpectedly and they can't figure out how to close it. ;) I'll change the verbiage.

      Edit: The viewport meta tag has been removed for the time being. Scale away. Edit 2: 'About' CTA text has also been clarified.

      1 point
      • Jacob TaylorJacob Taylor, 4 years ago

        but some peoples' moms get pissed when Outlook opens unexpectedly and they can't figure out how to close it.

        Be prepared for a lot more of this when you land an actual job. You'll be designing for the lowest common denominator, and this sort of stuff will be a constant consideration.

        3 points
        • David McGillivrayDavid McGillivray, 4 years ago

          I get pissed when an email client opens and it's not been clear it was going to do that, and I'm no-one's mom.

          Also, my mom is not the lowest common denominator.

          2 points
  • Wes OudshoornWes Oudshoorn, over 4 years ago

    Amazing work. Would hire you in a second :)

    3 points
  • Adham DannawayAdham Dannaway, 4 years ago

    Great work Kyle, I like the illustrative style and the detailed case studies. It's good to get an insight into the process behind designs. Would be good to see a few more detailed case studies too if you have time. Looking forward to seeing the responsive version as well once it's done.

    2 points
  • Diesel LawsDiesel Laws, 4 years ago (edited 4 years ago )

    Love it. The icons and consistency across each project stood out. Keep in touch.

    EDIT: Not on Twitter?

    2 points
    • Kyle DeckerKyle Decker, 4 years ago (edited 4 years ago )

      Never got into it. @kdeckr on Dribbble and Instagram. And I have a Tumblr but that's mostly for reblogging dumb things that make me laugh.

      0 points
      • Jacob TaylorJacob Taylor, 4 years ago

        Instagram is where it's at now anyway. I'd grab you're Twitter username if possible, but you shouldn't be expected to use it.

        0 points
      • Diesel LawsDiesel Laws, 4 years ago (edited 4 years ago )

        I think you're missing the point of the platform.

        I can't directly talk to you on Instagram without sending you an image first - it's not designed for that. Dribble isn't a discussion platform either. Same with Tumblr. The closest is Facebook, but that's odd with new people as a message will go to your "other" inbox and possibly never be seen.

        The best place to send someone a quick direct message (for example, 'hey, we should catch up and get a drink') is Twitter. Note: A DN discussion thread is not the right place for it either ;)

        It's really not a big issue, but that's why (I think) Twitter exists, and why I mentioned it. You're potentially missing quick interactions from people who are fans of your work which could lead to job opportunities.

        0 points
        • Kyle DeckerKyle Decker, 4 years ago

          Fair enough. I just haven't felt the need for that, really. Ask me again in a few months and I might have a different response, though.

          0 points
  • Victor TranVictor Tran, 4 years ago

    I like the illustrations!

    2 points
  • Jon DarkeJon Darke, 4 years ago

    Great work, wouldn't change a thing. If you ever fancy living & working in the UK, let us know ;)

    2 points
  • Dominik SchmidtDominik Schmidt, 4 years ago

    Check your mail, please :)

    2 points
  • Taulant SulkoTaulant Sulko, 4 years ago

    You will have no problem landing a full time gig.

    2 points
  • Kyle BollingerKyle Bollinger, 4 years ago

    Mad props dog. You are certainly the superior Kyle. ;)

    2 points
  • Mahdi FarraMahdi Farra, over 4 years ago

    I think this is one of the best portfolios I've seen in a while! Dude! you're awesome!

    2 points
  • Mick LarchevequeMick Larcheveque, 4 years ago

    Great content and the whole thing makes sense. One of the best I've seen in a while. And if on top of that quote Hermann Hesse, bravo!

    1 point
  • Mitchell Garcia, 4 years ago

    Your portfolio is amazing! You'll get a great job offer in no time. Good luck.

    1 point
  • Laura McCartney, 4 years ago

    It's really sweet :-) You have excellent content.

    1 point
  • Florin Diaconu, 4 years ago

    Nice folio and illustrations. well balanced overall. for some reason I like the fact is not responsive yet :P

    1 point
  • Eli Bozeman, over 4 years ago

    Great work. Just sent you an email about an open design/front-end position we have in NYC.

    1 point
  • Po RithPo Rith, over 4 years ago

    Luv it, Kyle. Thanks for sharing

    1 point
  • Sean GeraghtySean Geraghty, 4 years ago

    I love it Kyle, having recently been in the same position as you, I can safely say my portfolio doesn't even stack up against yours in terms of clarity and character. Great work on both the copy on the site and the illustrations/colour choices. I can see you scoring a job almost instantly! Good luck man!

    1 point
  • Alex KetchAlex Ketch, 4 years ago

    Looks good and appreciate the curated selection of main content, so I won't repeat what's already been said.

    One thing I'd suggest would be to switch the order of the 'My Role' and 'The Challenge'. I was very confused as to what the Wintr.mx role section ->

    Design, develop, and mix every element from scratch.

    was referring to without the context of the challenge.

    In my mind it makes more sense to set the context first then state what part you had in it. Second, why not make the entire color blocks on the home page clickable as well?

    Keep it up!

    1 point
    • Kyle Decker, 4 years ago (edited 4 years ago )

      Perfect, I didn't even think about the role/challenge order but you're 100% correct. I considered making the color blocks clickable but was worried that users on mobile would accidentally click into a case study when they meant to scroll. I'll give it another think. Thanks!

      Edit: Swapped the role/challenge order—thanks for the feedback!

      0 points
  • Alexander Haniotis, 4 years ago

    Great portfolio! Don't forget to add overflow-x: hidden to body :)

    1 point
  • Kenny ReyesKenny Reyes, 4 years ago

    Awesome portfolio. I like the the depth & layout of your case studies, as well as how you handle smaller projects!

    1 point
  • Rick LanceeRick Lancee, 4 years ago (edited 4 years ago )

    I LOVE the look of the site; the illustrations look amazing, and the work page is sick!

    Since i got nothing to add on the design now on the front-end nitpicking :)

    I see you're using animate.css (i love animate.css :D). If you only use a couple of animations from animate.css consider including only those from the css instead of the whole file.

    You can save a lot on the homepage alone: http://i.imgur.com/PYv0n2m.png

    The markup is nice! :) i love seeing itemprop, and proper classnames. Or is this kirby generated?

    -Performance junky

    ps. that were a lot of loves

    1 point
    • Kyle Decker, 4 years ago

      Kirby is the CMS but all the markup for the site was hand-coded be me. :)

      I will take a look at cutting out the animate.css classes I don't use, thanks for the tip!

      1 point
    • Matthew KosloskiMatthew Kosloski, 4 years ago

      What tool are you using that checks unused rules?! Awesome!

      0 points
  • Arifi Anas, 4 years ago

    The "hand picked" text has no side paddings, it makes it look odd on mobile. Apart from that great job !

    1 point
  • Russ BrownRuss Brown, 4 years ago

    Really excellent portfolio, great illustrations and case studies, well done!

    1 point
  • Ollie BarkerOllie Barker, over 4 years ago

    It looks really great dude! If I was being really critical I'd say I'm not a fan of the use of Peak Medium in the nav, looks a little to childish. Aside from that it looks really great :)

    1 point
  • Lauren HollidayLauren Holliday, 4 years ago


    1 point
  • Daniel CondraDaniel Condra, 4 years ago

    I've found my new favourite website!

    (Other than DN...)

    1 point
  • J FJ F, 4 years ago

    Looks great! Great consistency. I would take out the developer's note. It makes sound like theres something wrong with your site (maybe have it only on mobile).

    I would also either have speed up the delay on the animations or reduce the amount of them in general. I was waiting for some of the content. I think animating whole sections instead of each div would be a better solution.

    1 point
    • Kyle Decker, 4 years ago (edited 4 years ago )

      Well, being that I'm sending my portfolio to a bunch of hiring managers, I wanted to make them aware that I'm aware it isn't responsive, and I'm working to fix it. But I see your point.

      I'll take a closer look at some of the animation speeds. A good compromise might be triggering the whole section on scroll, but having the child divs stagger in on a delay.

      0 points
  • Jim RenaudJim Renaud, over 4 years ago

    Beautiful work, Kyle. I especially like that you can write and discuss your work, show the process and give a potential employer the skinny on what your involvement was on the project. So many design portfolios just include a screenshot and you have no clue what their involvement was or what they did. Very nice work. I may have to give you a call. Asana is hiring here in SF.

    1 point
    • Kyle DeckerKyle Decker, over 4 years ago

      Exactly. Context is key. Thanks for the referral, I will definitely be in touch with Asana soon!

      0 points
  • John JacksonJohn Jackson, 4 years ago

    I'm loving this, definitely! That's some great work!

    1 point
  • Matt RaeMatt Rae, over 4 years ago

    Kyle! Dude, this is a solid looking portfolio. Loving the flat look - quite well implemented. It certainly caught my attention when skimming through portfolios. Well done!


    1 point
  • Brandon Durham, over 4 years ago

    Really nice job, Kyle! You’ve not only made a nice, simple portfolio site, but you’ve also cracked the code on getting some early attention AND helpful feedback. I wouldn't be surprised if you got some nice leads from this thread alone.

    Good stuff!

    P.S. (from a coworker) — “The keyboard doesn’t work on his About page. :/”

    1 point
  • Edmundo SantosEdmundo Santos, 4 years ago

    Lovely website, man! I specially like the bright colours!

    Ps.: Jake the Dog is a great thinker! :P

    1 point
  • Ronan CostelloRonan Costello, 4 years ago

    Looking at your site it's really surprising to hear you're searching for your first full time design role. Looks really great! Fresh and light.

    +1 on the removal of the viewport tag until you have it responsive.

    1 point
  • Jahit JJahit J, over 4 years ago

    Love your website dude!!

    1 point
  • Julian LloydJulian Lloyd, 4 years ago

    The illustrations combined with the type pairing is great! Great work.

    1 point
  • Jacob TaylorJacob Taylor, over 4 years ago

    It looks great. It's much more polished than most other graduate folios.

    And this might sound obvious, but you have example of your work on the index! Well done for doing this.

    1 point
  • Florin Diaconu, 4 years ago

    Nice folio and illustrations. well balanced overall. for some reason I like the fact is not responsive yet

    0 points
  • Cody IddingsCody Iddings, 4 years ago

    Interested in San Diego? ;)

    0 points