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Show DN: Lucian Product Designer Portfolio

over 3 years ago from , Product Designer

Hey DN community.

Just updated my portfolio (www.lucian.es) and would like some constructive feedback. I've built it on wordpress on top of Semplice (www.semplicelabs.com), a portfolio theme which I heavily customized.

Also, please check the contact form as I made something interactive with a fun animation at the end. Inspired by my girlfriend who works at www.typeform.com

Would like to improve it somehow but I'm out of ideas. Where do you think I should polish some more? Lots of thanks in advance !!!

Best, Lucian.es (:

48 comments

  • Stuart McCoyStuart McCoy, over 3 years ago

    Can we please stop with the "Product Designer" label? Dieter Rams was a product designer. You're a graphic designer who works on apps and websites.

    3 points
    • Lucian .es, over 3 years ago

      A lot of things around digital products are not related to graphic design. Thanks for your input anyway.

      3 points
    • Elliot EllisElliot Ellis, over 3 years ago

      Thank you, glad I'm not the only one who thinks this. I never understood this trend.

      6 points
    • Tom GurkaTom Gurka, over 3 years ago (edited over 3 years ago )

      Chill dude. Also: Dieter Rams was is a product designer.

      6 points
    • Daniel FoscoDaniel Fosco, over 3 years ago

      A chair is a product. Facebook is a product.

      Chill.

      9 points
    • Afnizar Nur Ghifari, over 3 years ago

      No, we can't. We designing product too.

      0 points
    • Dan Winer, over 3 years ago

      You're a graphic designer who works on apps and websites

      He might also be doing any or all of the following in addition to visual design: requirements analysis, ux design, prototyping, usability analysis, QA etc which would mean that he's involved in "designing a digital product". It's a very different role than somebody who, for example, does mockups of a single-screen landing page. And with regard to your comment about Facebook being a service…a service can be a product, the two are not mutually exclusive, the definition of a product is very loose and is basically anything that is made or grown to be sold or is the result of a process, that can include goods and services. I'm not sure where you got the idea that a product is exclusively a physical object but it's not based on any common English definition.

      0 points
    • Daniel Wolf, over 3 years ago

      haters gonna hate

      0 points
    • P GBP GB, over 3 years ago

      Why does it matter to you, Stuart?

      I don't get your aggression towards how people want to describe themselves. Not only is it oddly offended by the prospect of someone calling themselves something, you're also totally wrong.

      Digital Designers haven't called themselves 'graphic designers' for years, it's a different skillset. The Product Designer term has come about to try and explain the hybrid of 'Experience' and 'Visual' designer - if you don't do that you often find yourself in a silo where you're just asked to colour in wireframes or whatever.

      I'm fairly sure it's not up to you to define what is and isn't a product - unless you're the single global authority on the issue. I think it's pretty safe to describe modern apps as products. They're digital products, but 'Digital Product Designer' sounds a bit shit. It's like that bit in the Social network where JT tells him to drop the 'The' on facebook. It's just... cleaner.

      If I was you, I'd stop getting angry at people for things you can't control, it doesn't effect you in any way.

      5 points
      • Stuart McCoyStuart McCoy, over 3 years ago

        Graphic design is content driven user experiences. The way a brochure unfolds or the paper textures you choose all play a part in this user experience. When I work design print pieces, motion graphics, or web interfaces, the user is a part of everything I do. The length, pacing, and audio off a video is crucial to keeping a person engaged. The size, shape, length, and overall packaging of a printed brochure is crucial to getting someone interested and engaged with the product or service it's promoting (I see a blog post about this in the future).

        You could call yourself a graphic designer who specializes in user interfaces but you're still a graphic designer. The user experience is part and parcel of what we do. For some reason web and mobile app designers started splitting this function apart which tells me perhaps you really aren't graphic designers, but you're still not product designers because you're not designing products, you're designing web and mobile apps.

        2 points
        • Brennan Smith, over 3 years ago

          Stuart, you're selling yourself short.

          1 point
        • P GBP GB, over 3 years ago

          Oh sorry, you seem to have interpreted my reply as asking for a load of drivel based around your opinion of what or what isn't graphic design. I was more trying to work out why you care so much, you do what you do, thats great, why are you so fussed about what other people do?

          For some reason web and mobile app designers started splitting this function apart

          Well, it's pretty simple really - there a load of 'graphic designers' that decided to do digital, they don't do it very well. Digital specialists emerged, often called web designers. The web matured, and simply being a 'Web Designer' wasn't really an accurate reflection of what we do.

          At some point in that timeline the notion of a UX designer appeared (previous similar roles to an Information Architect, for example).

          Then people started splitting UX and Visual design into separate disciplines. Thats fine, it makes sense from a company resourcing perspective, it’s easy for hiring managers to get their heads around. The problem is that some of us are hybrids - we’re at home defining scenarios, personas, flows and wireframes as well as executing polished visuals. Some do a bit of research too, others maybe a bit of front end work.

          Going into a company with that hybrid approach, into a world of ‘Visual’ and ‘UX’ designers doesn’t work. You often end up doing one or the other, and hybrid designers like to cover more areas to get a better understanding of what they’re designing and it’s scope, strategy, user goals and business goals. We needed a term for this role, so we could make sure we were talking to companies that worked in this way.

          Increasingly, lots of App’s, be that native mobile or web, were defining themselves as digital products. Often, the companies who saw their output as ‘Products’ were the ones that adopted the modern approach that hybrid’s usually fell into best. It made sense to go ‘well we’re designing digital products, we’re product designers’.

          It’s worth noting that at this point, the notion of digital specialists calling themselves Graphic Designers was long gone. Terms like Digital Designer, UI Designer and Visual Designer were by far more common for digital specialists to adopt. In the minds of lots of companies, they hire Graphic Designers to their communications department, while they hire UI/Visual/Digital Designers into their Product department.

          It’s vital you understand that this isn’t some trend thats come about because designers thought it sounded ‘cool’. If that was the case we would have lots of designers calling themselves ‘Product Designers’ applying for roles with different titles. While that still happens (it takes a while for companies to catch up), it’s pretty compelling that some of the largest companies in the world have adopted the title of ‘Product Designer’ and actively hire for it. (Just take a look at any digital job board).

          which tells me perhaps you really aren't graphic designers

          Absolutely, I’m not a graphic designer. Thats the entire point. Not from the elitist ‘you’re not a real designer’ approach that you meant it, but from the ‘Yes, I have an entirely different skillset’ approach.

          but you're still not product designers because you're not designing products, you're designing web and mobile apps.

          If your career has been focused in Agency or Ad Land, I get that this can be a difficult concept, but todays Apps are products. They’re digital, but they’re still products. If, in 2016, you’re genuinely diminishing the sheer scale of thought and work that goes into the scoping, defining, designing, executing, testing, researching and iterating that goes into ‘designing’ a digital product down to ‘You just do apps and websites’, then, quite frankly, you don’t have the first clue about the job you seem so angry exists.

          3 points
    • Kris KimKris Kim, over 3 years ago

      Hm, I'm still trying hard to understand why people are debating over this... Thing is, people have different expectations toward Graphic Designers and Product Designers these days, no matter what I call myself is. Lucian wouldn't probably look for 'Graphic Design' section when he looks for job. Would you say you're looking for Graphic Design position to the prospective employer when you seek to work on the web or the app?

      0 points
  • Randall MorrisRandall Morris, over 3 years ago

    Love the transitions and the way you're breaking down your case studies. What service/Service did you build it off of?

    2 points
  • Daniel Wolf, over 3 years ago

    superb!

    1 point
  • Jon MyersJon Myers, over 3 years ago (edited over 3 years ago )

    I love it. Excellent work and nice overall harmony.

    Let me write you a book here, I like it so much! :)

    If the elements and balance of your site were notes, clips and loops, pages were songs, and the summary of the site, a set in the early afternoon sun by the sea, it would be a deep house set kicking off at 122bpm and bringing in other songs (pages) at 125bpm, and taking the visitor into some moodier songs (pages) from time to time.

    "Is everybody ready, ok I'm gonna get this started" - Ohhh man... Glad we don't have to put our hands up.

    It has a low frequency vibration that makes your head nod. We got the beat, we got the rhythm, we're moving, we got this - but we can still think and talk.

    The general airiness and specifically, the monochromatic illustrations on the home page that guide visitors into the case studies are really well thought out. Those are things that people want to see and you have introduced them with a nice soft touch of theater first.

    I have a different take on color. The color grading is appropriate and balanced in most cases. It sets the atmosphere and tone of the site. The use of video with the overlays and how they're color graded is well done. It nicely softens the issue of having to lower the render quality of the video, and yet, lend atmosphere.

    Some constructive feedback

    The typography feels a bit inconsistent, page to page some times. The vertical height of some H2's in relationship to body copy can be inconsistent and is excessive. That may be a Semplice issue.

    The use of the green Brandon H2s on the one case study feel jarring and out of place. You dropped the beat man! What happened!!! :)

    The display of design assets on case studies gets clumsy at times, and has render issues on retina. The assets on the Beezy case study are overwhelming and too verbose. The bit about 200+ Sketch Artboards at the end speaks to designers not those seeking to collaborate with designers.

    Have a look at what the incredibly talented folks at Instrument do with their case studies and how they present their assets.

    http://www.instrument.com/work/

    Additionally, note how Instrument uses less copy to say more. I would trim the fat off of your case study copy.

    About page help

    I have the same take on the About page as some have expressed and I'm going to take a long riff on it.

    This is one of the most important pages of your site, a critical inflection point.

    This is your chance to "end the set" - create a bit of theater, and exit the stage. The energy on that page feels flat.

    I get the sense you are internally conflicted and straddling the line between being a junior design employee at a company and a freelance design professional.

    I want to know more about who "you really are" - the real guy behind this site. I caught a peek with the skating. I got that - old school skate dude in the house.

    I want to know how you "really think" - I love the work of Tobias van Schneider because he let's himself out there, I can get an idea of how he thinks.

    Your work speaks for its self. The "Download Resume" feels more junior designer, old school and unnecessary here. Your work looks more professional, you don't need a resume download. It will likely drive the value of your work down with this approach. This is where you should weave in your Typeform magic after we get to know who you are.

    About page persuasion, be likable

    There's a book every designer should read, which I'll add to these points on the About page to drive the point home.

    That book is about persuasion (isn't much of our work about seduction and persuasion) - Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini.

    The author has identified Six Laws of Persuasion

    As designers, we often use these laws (knowingly and unknowingly) and they're woven into our work and language of our digital products.

    Some marketing clowns think they're clever and abuse these laws, particularly "Social Proof" - where they will barf that shit all over a page with little talking circle heads of illegible entities that appear to be human in form, next to some fake ass looking quote of praise. Scarcity is also abused - as some digital marketers run their digital properties like a TV informercial. Cheese.

    Ok, I let that steam out - now the Laws of Persuasion and how they apply.

    Remember I mentioned Tobias. One of the laws is Likeability - his work, his writing, his "About" makes him a likeable guy. As I said before, I sense the straddling of employee and freelancer and trying to appear "professional" - in this sense, you are overplaying your hand. Loosen up and let us see more of who you are and how you roll and you will naturally attract people you want to collaborate with - and filter out the bullshitters you don't want to fuck with.

    A last note on feedback brotha, I would remove the "Contact Me" from the top of the home page. You're going in for the kiss and she barely knows your name. Let the site reveal itself more and use a little more finesse if you're going to ask for the kiss.

    Again, I really, really love the work - just trying to be constructive.

    And, I'm the worst cobbler's son ever and have ZERO room to talk. Shit shoes, too busy making shoes for everyone else. So, there is that.


    Finally, finally, for reals - I suspect you may be knowingly/ unknowingly connected to some of my crew in Barcelona. I would be shocked if you weren't. Perhaps you have skated with Derek from Boston.

    If you don't know DC people (a community of entrepreneurs) in Barcelona, you should. Reach out to me and I will connect you. They roll how we roll how you roll. The people in the group are always looking for design talent who think like you do.

    And - if you are feeling really, really adventurous - and want to get in on the front-lines of a startup and digital product design movement, consider moving to Vietnam.

    The momentum of the next wave is here.

    That's right, Vietnam - this country is literally a startup and has to be seen to be believed. I riffed on this 3 years ago in this article that got really popular and since then, the scene has exploded.

    https://medium.com/digital-nomad-stories/bootstrapping-in-saigon-fc9744367386#.jg1l1hup2

    I'm currently working with a wide variety of players here (companies, venture backed startups, banking, you name it, etc.) - and in the region. Particularly in China, Shenzhen - where one of our projects we're contributing to will IPO in the fall.

    We need talent.

    If you have an interest in heading this way, holla - maybe easiest to hit me on Twitter and I’ll DM my personal details.

    Good luck and again, love your work.

    1 point
    • Lucian .es, over 3 years ago

      Humbled and really enjoying everything you've said. Going to reply as soon as possible. Thanks a looooot for taking your time to write this!

      0 points
    • Lucian .es, over 3 years ago (edited over 3 years ago )

      Hey Jon,

      Thanks a lot for the lengthy post. Loved to read it and the feedback is really valuable. I really get the electronic music analogies as I’ve been fiddling with ableton before I went full into design.

      Typography

      Thanks for pointing it out. I’m trying to find a balance here and I’m not in love also with the Brandon Grotesque h2s. It’s hard to work with fonts on Semplice.

      Design Assets

      The retina plugin I was using gives me a headache and can’t make it to work properly. Hope I will find something soon to fix this. As for Beezy, hope I can change it soon as it’s under some Intelectual Property and NDA conflicts and I can’t show a lot of stuff.

      THANKS a lot for the reference (www.instrument.com). Really enjoyed dissecting the case studies.

      About page

      Sadly I’ve had a lot of iterations on this one and found that users are not interacting like we think the perfect world should be. Most of them are recruiters or hr people that are quick scanning my about for experience and contact details..

      But I totally get what you are saying and agree 100%. I’m going to work on that.

      Page persuasion

      Interesting read. Looked over the six laws and ordered the book. Also, big fan of Tobias and I’m gonna try to loosen up and show more.

      Vietnam

      Read the article and sounds awesome. Would love to try it out soon and was planning to experience more adventurous and out of comfort zone stuff (tokyo, bangok, dubai, etc..)

      Also saw that you are into electronic music. Check out my first pics on Instagram :v

      0 points
      • Jon MyersJon Myers, over 3 years ago

        Hey man, thanks for the update.

        I'd love to hear from you here from time to time and see how this is going. Keep us posted.

        Yeah, music is also a second love here, as well. Funny, I grew up in the punk rock/ hardcore scene of the East Coast (US) straight edge (I was for a good ten minutes), emo, etc., etc., - and used to be in a lot of bands, and had a band house at one time, where we had shows. Good times.

        I've been playing with electronic music and more into electronic music for the last 8 years or so. Side passion. Going to UltraSingapore in early September and Above & Beyond are headlining! Looking forward to that one.

        I see music, the scene, skating the scene, a lot like design, and the scene. A lot of overlap.

        --

        I also purchased an instance of Semplice a while back. In general, given it's Wordpress, it's a nice product and you can tell they are doing what the best they can with it.

        When I was playing with it, I found the typography behavior a bit unpredictable.

        Type

        My suggestion, a better way to achieve balance in the type is rather than focus on the font, focus on the weights of fonts. You are looking for higher contrast, better symmetry, and balance. Also, your project titling font FFMetaBold56, specifically “Aerium: Simplicity through nature” - gets a little clumsy and top heavy. That title checks in at 900 pixels wide. Finally, the “READ MORE” is out of balance with the rest of the typographic scale.

        Design Assets

        Yeah, total nightmare. I “think” this may solve your problem. Have you considered a responsive image host? ex., https://responsive.io/

        About

        This is all positioning. You are likely positioning to the wrong crowd and people. I have a suggestion for getting business. Send three very focused, succinct emails to recently funded startups who catch your attention, every day. It should take you 30 minutes.

        Who has the money?

        You can see here:

        https://angel.co/companies

        Or here:

        https://www.crunchbase.com/#/home/index

        If you wanna step this up, set up a Feedly account, set up feed groups of blogs, track startups you like - and again, just make contact.

        Don’t go full on sales dude in your emails - “Hey, hey wanna buy UI” - go on LinkedIn - get the founders emails, Twitter @ them - offer an acute observation, and simply state you are available for collaboration - not I want a job.

        If you wanna go FULL ON BEAST - here is another tactic for making contact.

        Write articles (valuable, that show case your design philosophy and thinking) - and casually mention companies with a solid observation in a sentence whom you would like to collaborate with - when the article goes live, message their community managers and let them know of the mention. This opens the doors of communication for the future.

        Vietnam

        If you get over here, don’t hesitate to give me a shout.

        Cheers bud.

        -j

        0 points
  • emily carlinemily carlin, over 3 years ago

    Looks great! I love the form - and am an avid Typeform user! Just gave it a quick glance and noticed the following:

    Feedback:

    minor copy issues 1. "Aiming to keep ahead of technological and artistic trends I am constantly experimenting, learning and expanding my skills." -- this needs a comma after trends 2. Under the "Beezy" case study (and maybe all of them, I only clicked on that one) "Responsabilities" is misspelled - should be "Responsibilities." 3. Also, while it isn't necessarily "wrong" I found that repeating the exact copy "Aiming to keep ahead...." on the home page and on the "About Me" section felt a bit strange.

    general design 1. I think the Twitter section on the "About" page feels a bit wonky. The ellipses before you start is, I am guessing, a continuation of "Sometimes I like to capture my adventures and share them on Instagram" but they're so far apart on the page / the two sections are colored so differently that it the "....and post to Twitter" was jarring to me. Maybe make that section's bg the same as the Instagram piece? 2. Also on the "About" page, I think the built w/ Semplice seal thing should be at the very bottom. Feels randomly placed. 3. Don't think your number of pages warrant a hamburger menu. 4. Curious about the decision to only display social media links in the top panel of the home page. Maybe they should stay fixed / at least reappear in the footer?

    Anyway, nice work! Looks great, on the whole.

    1 point
    • Lucian .esLucian .es, over 3 years ago

      Hey Emily,

      Thanks so much for the feedback!

      Copy:

      I was fixing the typos. Somebody pointed that out on twitter :V Going to work on the about text over the weekend and make something different for the homepage.

      General design

      1 . It would be too much to have the same bg color. Too much blue for photo content. Still working on this one.

      1. If I don't get featured on the showcase, probably I will move it at the bottom (:

      2. Not yet, going to add more stuff and wanted something that can scale

      3. I don't want to push a lot of people to my IG and twitter because I post a lot of skate and surf stuff thats not related with digital products.

      Probably I will add a footer as a lot of people suggested that.

      Thanks again for taking time and pointing this out. Really helpful

      0 points
  • Petra Sitaru, over 3 years ago

    Awesome!

    1 point
  • Maxime Viktorovich, over 3 years ago

    Love your background video.

    1 point
    • Lucian .esLucian .es, over 3 years ago

      hehe.. Thanks, I was thinking of changing it as I feel it's too much barcelona / skating and maybe add more frames that represent "designer"

      0 points
  • Michael Schofield, over 3 years ago

    This looks great! I don't know if others have a similar response, but the initial images before the hover effect -- under selected projects -- are really hard for me to see. I had to squint to see the little vectors.

    1 point
  • Dan Winer, over 3 years ago (edited over 3 years ago )

    Really nice, you did a great job. I like everything about it.

    1 point
  • Dan BurzoDan Burzo, over 3 years ago

    Looks great! One small issue: in Firefox, clicking on Contact Me will open a new, blank tab.

    1 point
  • Connor HassonConnor Hasson, over 3 years ago

    Great Site. A few things I noticed. Under your selected work "Medtep" You show an Apple Watch in the call to action, but once you click into the project I see desktop and mobile work. I didn't see anything related to the Apple watch. I would recommend that the call to action image represent what you're going to view.

    1 point
  • Michael RurkaMichael Rurka, over 3 years ago

    Love the way you're telling a bit of a story from top to bottom. Nice personality!

    0 points
  • Daniel FoscoDaniel Fosco, over 3 years ago

    Like the overall structure, but the color palette and photos are quite bland.

    I can't really see the images well with the opacity, and honestly they don't communicate much about the projects (seem like stock photos). Resolution seems low as well.

    I would suggest finding colors that pack more oomph and getting better images.

    0 points
    • Lucian .es, over 3 years ago

      I'm really into this "bland" color palette, so probably it's something subjective.

      Related to resolution, the @2x assets are not working because I'm having problems with a retina wordpress plugin.

      Thanks for the input.

      0 points
      • Gareth LewisGareth Lewis, over 3 years ago (edited over 3 years ago )

        I like using a single prominent colour, maybe complimented with another colour sparingly. I think it helps build brand identity. I like your work by the way, and really enjoyed reading your case studies. All too often, we are just shown some pretty pictures and don't appreciate the research and planning that goes into it.

        P.S. Did you create the illustrations and is all your own photography/videography or is it stock?

        1 point
        • Lucian .esLucian .es, 3 years ago

          Sorry for the late reply. DN sent me to a 404 page when I wanted to check my notifications.

          Everything is made by me or with my input (clearly I can't film myself :P, yet). Thanks a lot for the nice words!

          0 points
  • Gregory Wolanski, over 3 years ago

    Lucian,

    Seven things:

    1. Good first impression.

    2. “Scroll for more”… is it essential?

    3. I was surprised that the “Journal” link in the menu a) leads to a different website, b) opens in the same tab, c) looks like other links in the menu.

    4. When I click one of the selected projects with the CMD button, it doesn't open in a new tab.

    5. Did you think about preparing short versions or summaries of your case studies?

    6. 3 pages for a resume is a lot.

    7. I like your style of wireframes. How do you make them?

    0 points