Wow, we made it to the end! I can’t believe the semester is done already! Someone in class mentioned a few weeks back their brain was still stuck in week 5 and honestly, it still feels like that. I think it’s a combination of what a weird year it’s been coupled with the fact that I’m not at school to physically feel the stress of finals season (but don’t get me wrong I’m definitely stressed).
Anyway, I thought I would make an additional process post to informally reflect on my progress throughout the class.
Well, I think it suffices to say that my website has drastically improved since the first week of classes, especially considering one didn’t even exist! However, I also think there are a lot of ways I can improve going forward. I would also like to take a minute to thank the incredible teaching: Suzanne Norman and Jaiden Dembro! While this semester definitely had some major challenges you were always kind and encouraging about our websites and the process.
Here are a few things I think I did well, and a few areas I still want to work on.
Case Study Content: I think I did a really good job of trying to show the process for each portfolio piece. I put a lot of thought and effort into the presentation of my work, to display it in a thoughtful and meaningful way that would illustrate design thinking. From my initial research, portfolios with no explanation were highly frowned upon for giving no context to work. Especially as a beginner, I want to illustrate that while the work itself is not up to par with industry experts, I have the potential to learn and grow my process to become better. I really wanted to position myself as curious and motivated to grow as a designer. That being said I think a lot of my case studies are too text-heavy with the descriptions, people scanning the site may not be able to pick out the most important details quickly.
Selection of Work: This is one of the things I knew I would immediately struggle with. As a beginner, I don’t have a vast array of portfolio pieces I am proud to promote. In fact, toward the end of the class, I definitely struggle to find adequate content to continue posting. While I understood this when creating the website something that stood out to me in week 9 was that virtually all the projects I have are apart of school-based assignments. I believe I only have two personal projects implemented throughout my entire portfolio. The lack of self-motivated content shows a disconnect between who I say I am and my actions. Am I really passionate about design or am I motivated by school/job? I’ve grown to learn the importance of personal projects and hope that over the holiday season I can create some that I feel passionate about!
WordPress & Themes: This is something I have consistently struggled with throughout the semester, easily reaching the limits and constraints of themes and WordPress itself. Something as simple as changing the colour was drastically difficult to achieve, to a point where I just saddled with the current colours. When I started the class, despite writing a whole post about working on content rather than appearance, I still had hoped that I would be able to customize it into something that I loved. While I do like the website I am not in love with it. Simply put it achieves its purpose but has aesthetic value. My wonderful TA Jadien (hi Jaiden!) was thoughtful enough to give an in-depth review of the website and agreed that while my content is good, it is limited by the presentation and theme. I hope to use this as an interim portfolio while I work on a more creative, personal and unique design. I am debating if I should practice my coding experience and attempt to build the site myself or rather use a more tailed website builder such as Squarespace or Webflow. I am still working on figuring out my ‘style’ as designers call it since the biggest part I’m missing is personal branding! I can’t even decide on a logo yet!
Despite all the achievements and the many flaws, I am proud of myself for taking a leap and at least getting started. Even though I used PUB 101 to light a fire in myself to be consistent, I am still proud of the case studies I managed to work on and the mini-assignments I completed. Cheers to the end of the semester! It might have been very different from what we were used to but turned out to be a success anyway!