An online design portfolio is essential for every freelance graphic designer, illustrator or web designer, and the thumbnail gallery is the heart of your portfolio. For professional buyers, who are visiting literally thousands of design portfolios, the navigation of your thumbnail gallery becomes a make it or break it thing. Your thumbnail gallery has to be dead simple to navigate, and it should entice to explore more.
The first minute or so your only goal is to get the visiting creative director, art director, editor, small business owner or other potential design client to read/watch the 2nd page, then the 3rd page – to get to know your artwork basically. Any other goal, like contacting you, comes later.
Now and then I stumble upon some nifty navigation features. Today I want to share two of them:
Thumbnails with “View Bigger” or “More Details” Option on Hover
Provided the thumbnail was big enough to attract initial interest (your choice is big or bigger – never small) the next logical step is pretty much always either to view the artwork even bigger, or get more details about the project. Being presented with those very option on hovering the thumbnail is a real delight.
Head over to Ateb Designs, run by freelance graphic Aoife, to see such a thumbnail in action.
Scroll Right Back Into the Thumbnail Gallery
To organize the project details in a scroll down fashion is a delight in itself – no tiresome clicking. However, the real nifty thing is to repeat the thumbnail gallery just below the project presentation.
When scrolling right back into the thumbnail gallery again, you almost can't help clicking one more portfolio piece. This is exactly what you want the visiting creative director, art director or editor to do.
No need to head back to the thumbnail gallery page, just dive into the next project! Remember, every unnecessary click counts!
Click through to designer/art director Anders Højland Mikkelsen's portfolio to see this in action.
More Portfolio Tips?
Want to know what more professional buyers of design services want from your portfolio? Head over to Design Portfolio: Top 4 Things Professional Buyers Want from It.
That’s it, designers! Please feel free to comment below and/or to sign up for my newsletter!