This is a long time coming for me, but my new *better than ever* portfolio is being built and launched. It's an iteration on what I find to be one of the odd necessities of working in the User Experience community. I'll save the comments about creating a personal professional brand for another post, but here it is: a new portfolio site for me, Eric Hansen.
I consider it a bit strange that UX professionals are required to create personal storefronts for their work/life. Many of us, myself included, tend toward introverted analysis. We're prone to UXing ourselves out of or into things. It puts us on the same level as (some) artists, interior decorators, and architects. While what we do might be considered similar to those fields (yes, we're picking colors and placement and forever thinking about open floor plans), a lot of what we do is in some "agreeable grey" conference room brokering peace between a business person and a developer. Also, in many cases, our best work doesn't make it live.
My unease with creating a "this is my work life" site comes from a few angles. Firstly, I'm not primarily a web developer. I've learned how to do some web development as a result of my present employer, but it's more that I'm now literate in HTML/CSS/jQuery than actively developing things. This can always change, but my language has been Axure and Sketch. Creating a display of work should reflect one's best work, which wouldn't be something I cobbled together from stray bits of code. Secondly, I don't think of myself as an artist. Not trying to be humble, but when I put together a page or a flow, I am typically creating this from an established set of reusable parts. That's one of the things I (believe I) excel at - combining the right pieces at the right times to create the best experience possible. Thirdly, that other reason.
Creating a display of work should reflect one's best work, which wouldn't be something I cobbled together from stray bits of code.
So, how to create the right portfolio experience to communicate my skill set? I settled on using WordPress with a theme called Semplice. I could have gone with a Squarespace and been done with the exercise. However, I liked the idea of a system that provides some building blocks that I can fine tune. Semplice seems to offer the level of customization I'm looking for right now. We'll see how this goes.
Some would say that I shouldn't launch this site until it's further along. I view this as an MVP with plenty of room to grow. This shouldn't be a static piece of perfection; it should be something I make better every day (or at least take another pass at each week). As I learn new things and expand or deepen my skills, I can come back and further refine.