Watch Your Language - Shandar Junaid

Watch Your Language - Shandar Junaid

Esha Mehta

06, January 2021

A new portfolio trend has emerged, fancy images. But are they really necessary? Can a loud gradient and distracting image be of any help or is minimalism the key?

“Use clear and sharp images,” advises Shandar Junaid, the Design Specialist/ Strategic Development Manager of Adobe XD. His forte lies in seeing things from a pixel point of view where quality and design merge to form a unique user-experience across all platforms and media. Having seen the rise of UX and shifting design trends, he brings a unique differentiator in terms of design thinking and an overall approach for user-centered design.

“You don’t want the images you include in your portfolio to be too large because then the problem of sending it across to the recruiter comes in,” says Shandar. “If it’s a website, it’s going to load too slowly and if it’s a PDF, it may get rejected from your employer’s mailbox.”

The design brief is a must. It assists the recruiter in judging how far you have come in solving the problem. It should be crystal-clear and shouldn’t get jumbled into the lengthy research that follows. But there’s just so much work you want to add to the portfolio and for that, there can be two streams of work, professional and personal.

Oh, how much hate buffering of a website just like a long monotonous text which just doesn’t seem to end. Portfolios need to have minimal text, crisp and clear. We throw the ball out of the court by just one typo or one grammatical mistake. Smaller sentences have a lucid voice and a better impact. Hanging punctuations and sentences like tongue-twisters can be howlers and draw negative attention. Shandar remarks, “Be precise, and at the same time be concise.”

So, here’s a trick! Think of a sentence in your mother language first. See whether you’re making a mistake or you’re articulating too much because if that’s the case, you’re missing out on the point.

But there’s something other than typo errors that are taxing and confusing for the eyes. And it is the two-column approach used while writing resumes. While in print, it may have looked impressive, but on a screen, it makes you scroll down and up and down again which can be quite tedious.

Well, a bit of exercise for a sedentary lifestyle can be good but having to tilt your head at odd angles trying to squint and read angled text is an unpleasant way to work-out. It is another feature best-suited for print and not digital media. For print, you can explore alignments and placement of text but on a digital medium, such experimentations can be trouble-makers.

A certain sloppiness creeps in when it comes to aligning all the comprehensive research and this where vigilance is called for. A 5-pixel gap to left and 10 to the right — you might miss it, your sharp-eyed recruiter won’t. Another thing they’ll make note of is fake personas and user-flows. They just don’t work. What works alternatively is authenticity and correct use of grammar.

The tone of voice of your sentences conveys much more information than you think. Capitalization of letters, sentence formation, consistency, spell, and alignment check — all of this matters. Putting a lengthy list of skills won’t garner more appreciation. While doing this, we forget that a smaller skill is already part of a larger skill-set like iconography is part of UI design. A portfolio is essentially a showcase of your work. And your personality should reflect in the kind of work you’ve done, in the kind of colors you’ve used, or the language you’ve used to explain the project.

Esha Mehta

Esha Mehta

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