How to show themselves on the own website: tips and trends
Two rows of little description, perhaps a small postage stamp size photographs and a resume in pdf format to download: the now classic “About” section of our site, so simple, almost bare, no longer enough. Now we see all around us and provide as much information as possible not only on what we do, but also and especially about who we are.
New personal sites, especially as regards the portfolio of designers and creatives in general, are developing an amazing new trend: if before, the previous works and educational background, appeared in the foreground, now, in this new stage, the player of your website are you.
Perhaps because of social networks, that have managed to dissolve psychological boundaries and taboos of privacy and intimacy, or maybe it’s just a new trend of design: however the show of themselves on the own websites has some advantages, especially if our goal is to sell on the internet our products and our expertise.
But what is the best way to ask the web? How should we present visually our person to potential customers who visit our web site? What is more appealing, and what are the trends?
The classical section “About”
The classic “about” section is without doubt the best choice and perhaps professional. The photo usually gives confidence to users, who can visually connect the website to a physic person. A formal pose, a hint of a smile politely, a ordered dress: nothing excessive and extravagant.
Classicism, professionalism, seriousness: the general message is that of a person who prefers simplicity against creative excesses and this, especially if you’re looking for a stable employment as an employee, may be a good card to play.
The photograph effect is now too old and the risk is that to show little imagination and originality. Advice? Use a picture as possible spontaneous: the forced poses are not very attractive and can attract the user’s suspicion.
Let’s show ourselves…. but not quite
Another fashion of the moment is that to insert a part of our body, still hiding the main features with different graphics devices. These “tricks” prevent visual recognition of the person and, in addition to enriching the aesthetic layout, have the power to intrigue you.
Intriguing and original solution that undoubtedly attracts the attention of those who surf the site.
Users who prefer to “look into the eyes” the designers, to whom they entrust their projects (especially when dealing with freelancers, in distance) can be a bit reluctant to trust those who somehow do not fully expose on its website .
Own photo inserted into the layout
Another aesthetic choice that can greatly enhance the graphics of a portfolio or personal website: insert a photograph (full length of the face or little change) has a functional value – to present yourself visually on the web site to make it clear that behind there is a real person who can interact (this seems obvious, but yet the primary reason why the person chose not to rely on an experienced freelance web designer is the distrust in virtual cooperation) but also a graphic value (in this regard the image must be as much as possible in the underlying layout style).
Working with special effects on the images (crop, use of artistic photos, maybe black and white, etc. ..) the aesthetic wil be remarkable compared to more traditional thumbnail. A nice photo is also index of professionalism: if it proves to invest in my image will be easier to motivate my clients to do likewise.
Purple hair, piercings, ripped jeans … the look of the creative people is not always well regarded, especially if those visiting the site are a little old thinking and associates some clothing (or hair cut) to a risky and irresponsible behavior . It looks ugly and superficial, but also for a freelancer the freedom of expression must have a limit on the basis of mainly good taste. So, if you normally go around dressed like Marilyn Manson and makeup, perhaps is the case not to include photos in your site, you might give the wrong idea about you and your professional skills. The image first of all, let us not forget that the eye wants its part.
Own photography as part of the layout
Hands holding the layout, heads peeking out from behind the contact form. … in this examples, the image is no more any accessory element, but becomes an active part of the layout, interacting with various graphic elements: without their photo the graphics would not exist, or otherwise lose much of its aesthetic effect. The result is engaging, original and decidedly outside the usual patterns.
This type of solution is often very creative and visually pleasing. In this case the photo is included for purely aesthetic reasons, in a sort of graphic experiment. The results, besides of course the originality can be really beautiful to see.
This type of graphics on the other hand may appear less serious, less professional and the final effect may be chaotic, confused and grotesque. Remember that the main focus must remain at your work and that the user, above all, must understand that you are a capable and reliable person, not just creative.
Finally, who still feels embarrassed to blurt out their image on the web but still want to represent, more or less realistic, may opt for a good illustration. There are different types, from the comic to those “charcoal effect”, handmade in the rough, very realistic and well designed.
The perfect choice for colored sites by modern graphics, web 2.0 and those who want to overshadow his own person to design the layout. The results are obviously very nice, and highlight the creative skills and imagination of the designer.
If inserting your own pictures on the site allows users to make eye contact with you, illustrations accentuate even more the virtual, replacing human traits to those of cartoon characters, mascots and colorful graphics. A good compromise? The website Front-End Design, which in the authors’ description page, alongside of the stylization which the author illustrated, also the respective photo: creativity and reality in a single page.
In this showcase you’ve got the opportunity to see the different ways in which is possible integrate the image into a website with the classic thumbnail, placing the photo in the layout, integrate actively inside the design and, finally, through an illustration more or less resembling our real image. Which of these methods to choose and why ?
In tutti questi anni abbiamo ricevuto centinaia di richieste di approfondimento sulle numerose tematiche del web design vissuto da freelance. Le abbiamo affrontate volta per volta. Ma ci siamo resi conto che era necessario fare qualcosa di più. Ecco perché è nato One Year Together, un vero e proprio master per web designer freelance che apre finalmente le porte al mondo del lavoro.
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