Project skills: Camaleon CMS (Ruby on Rails), SCSS (BEM), Foundation, Heroku
Designing and developing my own portfolio was something I have been willing to do forever. Indeed, creating this site from scratch was an amazing opportunity for me to test and challenge myself while providing a tangible evidence of my skills - both visual and technical.
Creating this portfolio was a very long and experimental process. It was the first time I had complete freedom for a website, working on my own and with my own content, and I had no idea where to start. I wanted this portfolio to showcase my developing skills obviously, but also prove to myself that I could design a website I would be proud of, with intuitive user interactions.
It also meant writing and creating personal content about my projects and my life in general, and deciding which tone to use to present myself. Basically, this project needed to reflect my personality while presenting factual information about me in a way that I would be proud of. Needless to say, my expectations were high.
Preparing the project
One additional requirement for my portfolio was that it would be sustainable and user-friendly for the administrator - me - as well. I decided that all the content would be added and edited from a simple CMS and to achieve that, the development would take the form of a theme, with different templates dynamically adapting to the content provided by the administrator.
This made me decide that my portfolio would be an open source project, in the sense that all the source code is available on GitHub, and anyone can now use it to create a website with their own content and assets, all managed in a user-friendly way from the admin.
From there, the first step was to define what pages my portfolio would have. It came pretty quickly that I would like it to stay as minimalistic as possible, and thus it would feature a page about my projects, and one about me. The whole challenge was then to design these pages to fit in all the desired information in a nice way.
Designing and developing the site
Because of the freedom and the high expectations I had for this project, both designing and developing meant experimenting a lot with the form and content of my pages. A lot of my the features have been reworked and redesigned many times, while many others never made it through the development phase.
This was a really exciting adventure for me, but it also meant spending much longer time than on a professional project with a clear goal and schedule. In the end, I decided to push the site live when everything satisfied me to some level, because I recognized that this porfolio was going to be a project without an end, always more room for improvement.
From the practical persepective, I believe both the look&feel of the site and the technologies I used in this portfolio were greatly inspired by my work at Agency Leroy, where I developed numerous beautiful and intuitive websites by collaborating closely with designers.
This portfolio is built using Camaleon, a Ruby on Rails CMS that I had been willing to experiment with. In fact, Camaleon provided out of the box custom fields and internationalization, which were two of my initial requirements for the project.