Portfolio Site - Need Feedback Please

Portfolio Site - Need Feedback Please
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I’m currently in the process of applying for jobs, and I want to make sure I’m putting my best foot forward. I was hoping to get some more sets of eyes on my portfolio site for feedback, since that in my GitHub are going to be the two things I have to showcase to potential employers as actual development work artifacts. I’m working on a few more projects to add, but my intent has been quality over quantity which is why I haven’t included my smaller projects on the site itself. Perhaps this is not a good idea - not sure.

Anyways, I’d really appreciate some feedback. The site is here: https://jeffbloom.io/

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Good job! Also, I like all your projects linked, especially the SendBird Chat project.

I would recommend putting screenshots of your projects above them, so they can see what it’s like, but I think it mostly looks good enough. Also, I would recommend putting background-attachment: fixed in .container in Hero.module.scss. That gives it a nice background look when you scroll.

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Awesome feedback - thank you so much! I really like the idea of adding the screenshots - I felt something was missing and I think that may do the trick. I’m also going to make the background change you mentioned. Appreciate you taking the time to take a look!

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Wow, man! amazing job on your portfolio!!
I would suggest a better font – like Optima or Avenir.
Also, I would like to see the images of your projects on each tile.

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Thanks for the super nice message @ConnerOw1115! I am terrible at selecting fonts and have never really been happy with any of my font selections, so I really appreciate that input! That Optima font looks really nice - I think I’m going to take you up on that suggestion. And liking the x2 feedback on the project images.

Thank you for taking time out of your day to check out my portfolio and help out with suggestions!

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I basically automatically use the “Open Sans” font in my projects. :laughing:

AWS (Lambda, API Gateway, IAM, Amplify, DynamoDB)

Looks like you like AWS, all those projects use it. :smiley: They all use AWS Amplify.

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That’s a good point. Do you think I should not call out Amplify specifically? My line of thinking was that it was good to have there because, while each project does use it and it’s repeated, it might be good to show I’m then that much more familiar with deploying FE interfaces using Amplify. I also get where it might dilute attention on the other less-utilized AWS solutions though. Hmmm…food for thought… Thanks!!

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I love it! Very slick how the hero image seamlessly transitions into main content.

I agree with others that project thumbnails are a good idea, even if adding them might detract a little from the minimalist style you have going on. Personally I’m not a huge fan of partial opacity on that fixed navbar (do we still call it navbar if there’s no navigation there?). It sticks out a bit because all other elements on your page are in solid bold colors with high contrast. I’d try making opacity 0 so it looks like only linkedin and github icons are up there. Alternatively, remove the navbar entirely and stick the icons in the footer. I’m being nit-picky here though, you got a beautiful site :slight_smile:

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Pretty cool.

Could do better on the UX aspect:

  • The apps can open on target="_blank"
  • List your site sections on the navbar (this will quickly let the user know what he/she will find on your site)
  • And that image, does it have a purpose? “Anything on the UI that doesn’t serve a purpose is decoration” --Joe Natoli
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I don’t know about AWS stuff, I haven’t learned it or even touched it.

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Awesome feedback! Totally agree on the navbar. It seems a bit overkill for two icons and more of a “Contact” section at the bottom might make more sense while also giving the hero a bit more of that minimalist impact. Thank you for the comments and compliments Artem!

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Thanks for the feedback and taking the time to look things over!

I really like the idea of opening the apps in new windows. Definitely going to do that. The image doesn’t have a purpose other than decoration. To be honest, I tried going the route of just having a minimalist landing page (no image, just toying with colors, borders, etc.) with a logo for myself, but my design ability has room for improvement. Given that, the image seemed like a relatively painless route to fill in some space before the main content while also looking (in my opinion) decent. I’d like to get better at design, and really appreciate anyone with an eye for good design. For example, I love sites like this that don’t have anything extra but still have something that make them aesthetically-appealing (https://overreacted.io/, https://alligator.io/js, etc. - these are just blogs, but you get the point). Thank you so much for the feedback - I really appreciate it!

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I know how you feel.

But never put something just to fill out the space.

Remember, if you ever have that need, then you’re not structuring your site well and/or your design needs improvement.

You’re welcome to check out my site for ideas: click here
Still dealing with some bugs (on safari mobile specifically) but it should behave well on all browsers.
I recommend viewing it on PC so you get the full experience.

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That’s a really good point. I may go back to the drawing board a bit with my site design using inspiration from yours. By the way, I absolutely love your site. That’s exactly the kind of aesthetic I would like to build a better design sense for. I think minimalist, functional designs that are still appealing are awesome, and also more challenging because you have to work to do more with less. You should be super proud of your work man! Thank you again for the feedback and inspiration.

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I do like AWS, but admittedly it was the first cloud provider I tried because I had some past professional experience. I haven’t messed with GCP or Azure, but have heard good things about Azure. I mostly like AWS because - once you get used to its quirks - it’s super easy to deploy stuff that is only billed on an as-used basis. I also use Serverless Framework quite a bit. I started off by having everything on a dedicated server (EC2), and that got expensive real quick for personal use. Using Lambdas, API Gateway, DynamoDB, etc. cuts my costs down to about $2/ month - including hosting my domain through Route53. If you’re interested or have any questions on AWS, I’d be happy to give you some pointers.

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Me neither, but I use Firebase as a free backend with lots of features (though I only use a few of them).

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Greetings, Jeff.

Looking at it from a strictly user’s viewpoint, I see a lot of vertical space and movement in the images and the font choice. Personally I like the font choice, it says swiftness and accuracy.

The opening image is impressive. A lot of mass in the image, and it towers over the viewer, like something William Mortenson would have in a photograph a long time ago. Commands the viewer looks, doesn’t just ask.

To me personally, the text and the project presentations just seem a bit too large, making it a bit forceful. though it can be said there are times that is required . I’m getting cross-browser, mobile-first, and responsive from it. Technically very strong.

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Thanks for the feedback Dwayne! I like all these different perspectives. I think that’s a good call out on my project presentations. I like the idea of having cards, but my current implementation feels almost “cartoon-ish” to me, whereas my goal is something minimalist but also sophisticated. The text you’re referring to - is that my About section specifically, the title size, or the text within the project cards? I could see a case for all of the above, but I’d like to hear your thoughts on that a little more.

I specifically wanted to cut down my About section more - and I have from the short book I had written previously - but I also think that’s the section where I can differentiate myself a bit and capture attention hopefully with my background. Of course that’s in my mind and I’m biased, so I’d love opinions on that thought!

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Thank you for the compliments but let me stop you with inspiration from my design.

Why? Because what you see it’s a solution to MY business needs, not the process I went through to achieve this.

Think about the message you want to give to your visitors.
What’s more important for you that they have to see? Why should they care? What value can they get from it?
Are they getting what they came for when visiting your site? How will you make sure they get to the value they want?

A bit of UX never hurts. It helps a LOT with deciding what content is going to be on your site and how it will be presented.

And remember, you’ll never find inspiration by looking at other sites, you’ll be looking at someone else’s solution to someone’s problem.

Best wishes!

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Hello Jeff,

Thank you very much for listening to my opinion on your site . I have to again say that I really like what you’ve done.

I was thinking about the about section, and my impression would have been to opt for project cards at about 3/4 the size there. However, I am keeping in mind that my perception is subjective, my preferences are not everyone’s.

I love the way you open the site- it is very powerful.

Regards,
Dwayne Brock

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