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March 30, 2016 - No Comments!

MVP’ing my Portfolio

As a designers we are trained to create beautiful, useable and delighting work for other people. After overcoming initial hurdles, confusing requirements and communications issues, it's just a matter of time and effort to get the work done. However all of this falls out of the window when you try to design something for yourself.

I met a lot of designers who have been struggling with the same problem to get their own portfolios, logos and pet projects out of the door only to mumble the same excuses why we haven't done anything about it.


"I'm never satisfied with how it looks" we keep telling ourselves or "It looks unfinished or something is missing" is another one or "I'm just too busy and there is so much to do, so many ways to do it, so many options to choose from, waaaaaaaahhhhh!" So we keep not doing anything, until it becomes too embarrassing to have work on there that is so outdated and does not represent the way we have grown as designers. Sounds familiar? That's what was going on in my head every single day.


At the same time I have been dealing with a lot of issues that were holding me back and one of them was my lack of focus. I wanted to do so many things, try so many options and dream about so many possibilities that I felt like I was going nowhere until I picked up a book called 'The Organised Mind'. In it the author describes the way our brain works using a fine balance between storytelling and scientific facts that resonated well with the way I see and understand the world around me. One chapter on focus and 'getting into the flow' really hit me because it described all the things that I had been doing wrong.


Unlike popular belief 'multi-tasking' and juggling many things at once is not a virtue but the greatest sin you can do to yourself. It's better to focus and finish one thing well, before you move on to something else, in order to get more done. So one book led to the other each stressing the need to focus, choose ONE thing, get it done first, to set goals, to plan and reflect, to just start doing little steps everyday, until all of a sudden I ended up with a new portfolio.


Even though I don't feel that it's done (pretty obvious when most of your work has a coming soon under it) but at least I have made one more step towards my goal of getting the new portfolio out there and growing myself as a designer in the process.


If one thing I have learned working at an agile software development agency, taking part in startup weekends, events and preaching the idea of an MVP and Lean is that it's ok that your portfolio isn't perfect, just put it out there, get feedback and continuously improve it every day even if it's just changing the colour of that damn arrow.


To paraphrase all the books that I have read and the things I have learnt:


"It's better to take tiny steps every day than planning the big one, just to end up not doing anything at all."


So don't hold back and tell how and why I should change things on my portfolio. I look forward to feedback however painful it might be, because in the end without feedback how can we and our work get any better?

Published by: Alex in Reflection

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