5 Lessons I Learned Building My Portfolio

Are you a perfectionist?

Are you struggling to build your first portfolio?

Do you feel like you're spinning your wheels and not getting anywhere?

STOP! Right where you are. Save yourself wasted time and effort by learning from my mistakes.

Here are some revelations I had while working on my portfolio:

Set realistic expectations for what your portfolio should look like based on your current abilities and experience as an instructional designer. If you are new to the field, aim to demonstrate your proficiency and understanding, instead of skill and expertise.

While the portfolios of experts and leading industry practitioners are great sources of inspiration, your portfolio will likely not look like theirs. As a novice, you do not have the experience to create a portfolio equivalent to the portfolios that took others years and sometimes a decade-plus to work up to.

Here are some examples of what your first portfolio website might look like:

Christine Prince

Bonnie Lou Davis

...

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Finding Your Design Identity

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you read these two words: design identity?

If you are thinking this is just an alternative way of referring to your brand or brand identity, you’re wrong. 

Here’s why:

Your brand is how people perceive you.

A brand is the recognizable feeling a product or business evokes...They live in the minds of everyone who experiences them.

---Brian Lischer

 

Your brand identity is how you want to be perceived and what you create to influence that perception (logos, color palette, etc). 

 

Brand identity is the collection of all elements that a company creates to portray the right image to its consumer.

---Deanna deBara


Your design identity is who you are as an instructional designer. 

 Know, first, who you are, and then adorn yourself accordingly.

---Epictetus

 

To discover your design identity is to undergo self-discovery without the pressure to live...

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