I have scouted and scouted and still haven’t found anything that lives up to my needs & wants.
It seems like every designer of so-called portfolio themes insist on overcomplicating or overdesigning the themes.
I honestly believe the time where super special creative “I’m unique” themes were a thing has passed and then some.
Every early 20s kid are using those “creative” themes trying to be the next special and in turn ends up looking like everyone else.
Portfolios were NEVER about a nice wrapping. Think about it… why are printed portfolios still a thing today? Because it serves two purposes:
- Ease of use
- It doesn’t distract from the contents.
The photographers and videographers who need all the flashings are mostly in-experienced and in-secure creatives, who in their insecurity need to compensate. Ironically, almost all of them would be better off not using a flash portfolio theme.
Another issue is that design around and outside of a product, is often to try and elevate the product. If the product is good, it can elevate itself…
So here’s what I’m missing in a great them:
Ease of use; if you end up selling it by showing a nice demo… include the freaking demo. I mean how hard can it be. There’s nothing that creates the lack of incentive to visit a theme seller again, as a theme that doesn’t live up to the demo 1:1.
Come on… a lot those who purchase these themes aren’t webdesigners. We are small businesses who would love to set it up ourselves. So enable us to more or less, drag & replace.
Keep… it… simple… go open a printed portfolio. How does it look? How does it work. Yes, you are right… there aren’t any side bars or pop-ups or animations and so on. And NO, we don’t use descriptions to all our photos, tags etc… BUT, no thank you to masonry and edge to edge photos.
Video… with the same ease and simplicity as photos.
And most importantly: I CANNOT rely on plugins that constantly needs updates, licenses and other BS.
I just bought a theme, only to realise that I needed a plugin license as well… what a load of crap.
I don’t think these are too much to ask really, if anything the above criteria must make it so much easier to make a theme.
Being creative is about understanding your clients goal, and so far, I think most designers have completely misunderstood the needs and wants of content creators like photographers and videographers. Atleast the availalble themes say so.