6 cheats to make your portfolio look redesigned – without actually doing anything
by Tobias van Schneider
A good portfolio is a current portfolio. But undertaking a full redesign every year feels daunting. Thankfully, that’s not necessary.
The world moves fast. What was in style or considered beautiful ten years ago is not the same today. Likewise, your own taste and goals change with time too. Which is why it’s important to keep your portfolio updated.
I’ve had the same base design for my portfolio for years now, but I’m in there probably every other week making tweaks and updates. I can jump into Semplice and make quick refinements that make it appear as if I've done a complete redesign.
Here are my favorite “cheats” you can use to make your site look completely different in just a few minutes.
1. Change your navigation
Your navigation feels like a small element of your site, but it can be defining. It’s the first thing we see upon landing on your homepage. It sets the tone with typography, color and style before we even scroll. So changing your navigation can instantly change the whole feel of your site.
In Semplice, we give you presets you can customize to fit the design of your site. You can choose a base navigation with a click and adjust as needed. If you’ve been using a standard top-bar menu for a while, try a four-corner navigation. Or make the text in your nav gigantic. Or upload a custom burger menu. Or just change the color.
Take a minute to swap your nav and you set a whole new tone for your site.
2. Customize or change up your homepage grid
Changing your grid is essentially redesigning your page, but without touching any projects or interior pages. Try it:
Change the thumbnails in your grid to different sizes.
Or increase the padding between thumbnails.
Or add a hover effect to your thumbnails.
With a fresh, new grid, people will land on your page and think you've launched a brand new site. We won't tell anyone your secret.
3. Add a Coverslider
Enable the CoverSlider feature, link it up to your projects and boom. Your homepage will now feature a full-screen slider of images that preview your work. You can tell everyone you labored over the custom code for hours.
4. Use the Advanced Portfolio Grid
The Advanced Portfolio Grid is an instant homepage redesign. More bold and interactive than a traditional grid, it uses your existing thumbnails and projects to transform your homepage.
Choose from a vertical-panel grid, a text-based grid or split-grid design and adjust effects, typography, color and more as needed.
It gives a new life to the images and projects you had before, without actually adding anything new. You clever thing.
5. Change page transitions
A custom page transition is another easy refresh.
Page transitions shouldn’t be intrusive or distracting, but they can have some personality. The right, snappy page transition can make your site feel like an app. A branded transition between projects can make your case studies more personal and thoughtful.
Play around with transitions like “Reveal” in Semplice and you’ll see how a simple page transition can change your whole site experience. You can see some of the possibilities here.
6. Add some motion
We do this often on the Semplice.com site itself. Taking our existing page design and adding subtle hover on images or features, making text reveal into the page, creating a slight floating effect on certain elements.
Animations are often considered more advanced, technical and time-consuming, but the new Semplice animations editor changes that. You can add a preset animation to certain elements, like paragraphs or headlines, on a specific page or site-wide with just a couple clicks. And while your visitor might not immediately notice the difference, they will feel it.
For more portfolio tips and inspiration, read these: