Portfolio Projects for an Aspiring Web Designer
(That You Probably Already Have)
You’ve learned enough to start coding like a pro. The next step? Get hired.
If you don’t have any professional experience yet, it may seem difficult to build a portfolio.
There are many different things you can add to your portfolio that you probably have made already or can build in almost no time.
1. The ideal website (for your brand)
A simple project to start off with is to construct what your idea of an ideal website design would look like.
This gives you the chance to showcase all of the range you have in one project. Sometimes this project could be considered your entire portfolio website design.
There are many resources online that collect great portfolios so you can channel some inspiration.
Feel free to explore and be creative. But be sure not to confuse with the message you’re trying to convey.
The goal is to be accessible and unique, not confusing.
2. Redesign an existing template
Take a popular site and redesign it.
Simple enough, right?
It’s something you may have to do when you get a job, so you might as well start with it in your portfolio.
This can demonstrate your range as a website designer as well as your ability to modify an existing idea to improve it for user consumption. Also, there are tons of different options you can choose from for your redesign.
Deepina Kapila writes:
“I once interviewed a self-taught developer who learned to code over the summer and had redesigned the New York Times website on his portfolio. It was amazing. He thought through every detail – how it looked on tablets and mobile phones, what the app experience was like, how comments and threading worked in his solution and lots more. It was the only project in his portfolio – but of course it was so thorough and thoughtfully presented, it was all he needed to get the job.”
The other bonus to this project is that if you redesign a company's site, you may be able to approach the business later and sell the design. Or pick up a new job.
It’s a win-win.
3. Clone a popular site
Some online coding courses have a project that requires you to clone an existing website. It’s a great learning tool and not a bad thing to include in your portfolio. It may seem cliche and boring, but it’s a good learning experience. Moreover, it demonstrates that you’re capable of building something just as good as the site you cloned.
4. Build a small UI piece
A small UI feature, like a “contact us” form or a slideshow, is just as good as a website.
While these four projects are great examples of what you can include in your portfolio, don’t limit yourself to just these.
Use your instincts and remember to tailor the portfolio you’re making for what you want to accomplish: full-time employment, freelancing, etc.
And while you’re working on these portfolio projects, make sure to check out 9 must-haves for your portfolio.