Probably the most important thing for a Graphic Design student to leave university with is a fully working, functional and well presented online portfolio. For this reason I wanted to get straight to work on my new website.
Very much like the branding work I had just started to play with for myself, I wanted the finished site to be clear, functional and professional. I listed all of the things I definitely wanted/needed on it so I could begin the design process.
— Homepage/landing page (slide-show? show-reel? animation?)
— Work page to work as a menu to navigate through all available finished work.
— Individual work pages to present the chosen briefs I have completed.
— About page to cover contact details, who I am, what I do, who I work for, etc.
— Blog page to keep any visitors that are interested in what I am doing, up to date.
My next stage was to find a hosting service that allowed me to get what I want in a content management system without the hassle of coding the entire website.
While I was looking on https://niice.co, there was an advert for squarespace. I was interested as to what it was and it became clear that it was the website package that I was looking for.
I read through all of the information and it seemed almost too good to be true, but as there was a free two week trial to allow you to build up the website you wanted to, I thought it was worth a try.
I signed up to the account and found that it was far more flexible than I imagined it would be. You could use a template and add your content, change a template, start afresh or even code within it to change more advanced features. As I only had two weeks to get it done before getting charged, I decided to pick a simple theme and then modify it to suit my needs and wants using the built in feature builder and custom css.
The content management system was so intuitive and allowed me to freely change and amend anything I wanted to. This was a great feature as I didn't have loads of time to code from scratch so amending things was a lot less work.
I used the template Marquee which worked with dynamic scrolling, a feature I wasn't at all interested in. The reason I chose it was because of the menu formatting which suited my needs perfectly.
After two weeks of amending and changing elements to suit my needs in-between other briefs, I had my finished professional website. I bought my domain through Google as it allowed me to have option to get custom e-mailing for only £3 a month and show professionalism.
The navigation of the site consisted of the branded animation in the top left corner with the page buttons in the right. All body copy on the site was set in Fira Sans, the supporting typeface within my branding for when DIN was not appropriate.
The home page worked as a slide-show of one image from each of my works which works as a little teaser of what I do.
On the work menu, the projects were presented in a single column that took up most of the screen to work appropriately on all devices and let the work speak for itself rather than have captions.
The footer was designed to present my latest tweet, my last ten instagram photos and the links to my external networking sites.
The about section has everything you would expect to find, a paragraph about myself with a supporting manifesto, my work experience, my contact information and my social links.
My blog would allow viewers to get an insight as to what I was working on or doing at the time, this would also give me a place to state my availability should I be away at any time or freelancing for several weeks, etc.
The whole site has been designed to be absolutely responsive for big screens, laptops, tablets and as small as smart phones.