13

Ask DN: First or Third Person on Personal Website

over 3 years ago from , Independent Developer

I'm working on my portfolio and running into little bits of copy like this:

Edward enjoys long walks on the beach.

It could also be:

I enjoy long walks on the beach.

The same thing applies to the projects I've worked on:

Edward worked closely with the client to develop the design for this application.

Or

I worked closely with the client to develop the design for this application.

Any thoughts on which is more appropriate? What do you do? How do you decide?

34 comments

  • Account deleted over 3 years ago

    First. (as in first-person, not me being the first comment)

    The whole "pretending to be an agency" thing was a trend... be honest, humble and never go third person unless you are a collab/partnership and use "we" instead.

    But that's just Ben's opinion...

    ;-)

    34 points
  • Ken Em, over 3 years ago

    First person. Third person is too pretentious.

    9 points
  • Wyatt CampizWyatt Campiz, over 3 years ago

    I have always used first-person. My reasoning behind that is because I felt like it was more true to myself, more personable.

    5 points
  • Joel CalifaJoel Califa, over 3 years ago

    Joel does third person ¯_(ツ)_/¯

    5 points
  • Dustin CartwrightDustin Cartwright, over 3 years ago

    First person - Especially for individual portfolios. It may make sense to use third-person for agencies, but even then they typically use a mix of both by referring to the agency itself as the main entity.

    4 points
  • Art VandelayArt Vandelay, over 3 years ago

    Most comments here say first person cause third-person seems "pretentious", etc.

    I'd say go third, for one reason - The people reading your site are not you.

    Imagine you're a potential client and they read your site copy:

    Version 1 : "I enjoy long wants on the beach". Client is technically reading this incorrectly as they do not enjoy that, but the sites author.

    Version 2: "Bill enjoys long walks on the beach". Client is reading this correctly and it correctly depicts the sites author's interests.

    4 points
    • Ken Em, over 3 years ago

      "I enjoy long wants on the beach". Client is technically reading this incorrectly as they do not enjoy that, but the sites author."

      I'd like to think the client would know that if they are reading someone else's website, there's a good chance that the site is about that someone, not them. ;)

      6 points
      • Art VandelayArt Vandelay, over 3 years ago

        While you're probably right, it does make an assumption on the end user. Probably not a bet worth taking if you don't have to.

        0 points
    • John Moore Williams, over 3 years ago

      By this logic, anyone reading a memoir or first-person short story is "technically reading ... incorrectly." Which is surely an untenable argument.

      3 points
    • Phil RauPhil Rau, over 3 years ago

      I have to echo the other commenters here: If I want the reader to identify with a sentence, I will use the word "You." E.G. "What do you think?" or "You should check this out."

      No one reads the first person and says, "Hey, I don't enjoy long walks on the beach! This sentence is lying to me!"

      1 point
    • Ix TechauIx Techau, over 3 years ago

      This is wrong on so many levels.

      1 point
  • Jason RodriguezJason Rodriguez, over 3 years ago

    I literally wrote a post about this a while back: http://rodriguezcommaj.com/blog/whose-website-is-it-anyways/

    +1 for first-person. Worry about being honest and showing off your best work, not about artificially inflating your sense of value.

    2 points
  • Jonathan BrodheimJonathan Brodheim, over 3 years ago

    These are all opinions, just like you have your own opinions. My advice, look at design portfolios you admire, and figure out what's best for you.

    1 point
    • John Moore Williams, over 3 years ago (edited over 3 years ago )

      Would agree with this—the choice matters most in terms of how you want to present yourself. First person will likely feel more personable and approachable, while third-person might feel more professional and serious to some readers. So really it boils down to how, and to whom, you want to present yourself.

      That said, when you're talking about personal experiences, 3rd-person just sounds downright weird and dissociative.

      0 points
  • Davide PisauriDavide Pisauri, over 3 years ago (edited over 3 years ago )

    First person if you are writing about yourself. Third if you hired a ghostwriter to write about you.

    Davide wrote this comment to help you because he thinks that you should go for first person. To use third person to talk about yourself looks so stupid.

    1 point
    • Simone Simone , over 3 years ago

      What Davide said. Funny how most Americans just can't make peace with the English language.

      0 points
  • Ollie BarkerOllie Barker, over 3 years ago

    I went third person on my portfolio (http://olliebarker.co.uk/profile).. going to change it fairly soon. Feel like it portrays me as a bit of a dick now!

    1 point
  • Robin RaszkaRobin Raszka, over 3 years ago

    First

    0 points
  • David SimpsonDavid Simpson, over 3 years ago

    First person, fo' sho'

    0 points
  • Stuart McCoyStuart McCoy, over 3 years ago

    I went with first person on my site, largely because I find it weird to refer to myself in third person.

    0 points
  • anthony thomasanthony thomas, over 3 years ago

    First for sure. When you speak in third person you sound phony and removed from your experiences like a broadcaster calling a boring sports game.

    0 points
  • Dana (dmxt)Dana (dmxt), over 3 years ago

    coughDaniel portfolio

    0 points
  • renato campanarenato campana, over 3 years ago

    first, always.

    0 points
  • Joey BrennanJoey Brennan, over 3 years ago

    Just make a plugin to convert from first to third person. Then add a switch on your site for the user's preference. You'd be the first to do it!

    0 points
  • Rachel MerskyRachel Mersky, 3 years ago

    I'm always interested in hearing what other people choose and why. I prefer first person, because its friendly, humble and honest... but there is something to putting thoughts in peoples' heads ("Rachel Mersky is a great designer...Rachel Mersky is a great designer...Rachel Mersky is a great designer"). So I opted for both.

    0 points