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Chief Account Manager Joined over 8 years ago
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I fully agree with reconsidering the homepage and telling people about what the site does in a few words.
But also noticed:
use some more info graphics, for the kinds of food
all kinds of food should be accessible from the homepage, not like cheese, seafood, meat, and other.
rollovers, and all the front end effects need improvements of course.
I'd say it depends on if you can prove your expertise. If you have neither recommendations nor portfolio the clients would be hesitant about paying you anything upfront. And this is natural. In this case you could work either with no deposit (this is risky, but you'll get experience and smth to put into your portfolio), or use Upwork were client can deposit the payment and release it to you once the work is done.
Have you never worked for a company? If you have try contacting your collegues that you worked with. Or maybe your friends or acquaintances work in a team with some great talent. Ask.
The best recommendation and proof is the word of mouth, I think.
Our agency for example was started by 3 professioanls who were either friends or worked together in a team - Our story
I am not a designer myself, but I imagine that being one designer in a team might be hard at times. Because all responsibility on the creatives is on yourself. But we all are humans.
At Dizzain we have 2 designers on staff. Sometimes we need 2 different ideas for a logo or website style. One day we tried to ask one designer to create both (the other was pretty busy or on vacations so we had to). That was a fail! Our designer was pretty stuck to one concept and just could not think for smth completely different for this project.
So, an alternative viewpoint is great. Not only in the described situation, but overall.
As for analysis and ideas - one of our founders is a professional designer, so all design works are going though his and get a great deal of analysis and criticism at times :)
We updated our portfolio view not so long ago.
Still used the grid, but:
Here is what I am talking about - https://www.dizzain.com/portfolio/
For more or less complex interfaces we create a psd for tablet portrait and mobile view. As there is a team working on a project - designer usually consults the developer when creating mockups for responsive design.
This approach has been working fine so far.
Nice and minimal, and very focused on the portfolio works!
One thing - I think it is not very comfortable loading a new page when you want to look at work details and then clicking back to see next work. "Previous Work <> Next work" or smth like that might be very helpful here.
In our portfolio we have work details loaded in a lightbox window, and you can use controls on the sides to flip through from one work to another. Very user-friendly. See here - http://www.dizzain.com/portfolio/wordpress/tec-summit/
At Dizzain.com we are using WordPress for different kinds of websites. And we absolutely love it.
Big deal is that your client can manage content on web pages pretty easily. Really, lots of our customers who never worked with anything close to a 'CMS" before learned how to use WordPress admin panel quite fast.
And also you are not limited in terms of design style and interface structure for the front end. Website won't look 'templatish'. See here how different and unique websites may look with WordPress as CMS - http://www.dizzain.com/blog_customization.
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