Every so often, change is a good thing. I’m constantly learning, and the more I learn, the more I want to go back and re-evaluate my own personal site. Unfortunately, it usually takes a backseat to client work, but how you present yourself through your personal portfolio should be one of your highest priorities as a designer.
These are the steps I took in preparation for the redesign:
Do your research.
Before you get that sketchbook out or fire up Photoshop, get inspired. Think about the portfolio sites you've seen that you really connected with. Take a look through some of your favorite design galleries to get some fresh inspiration. Make notes on sites you like and what it is about them that makes them work.
Determine your objectives.
Decide what you need to include in your site, and how each item should be prioritized.
Don't be afraid to let your personality show.
We're talking about your personal portfolio here, it needs to convey your own personal style. Most of your site visitors will be first-time users, make them feel welcome. Just as with in-person introductions, you want to make sure the visitor's first impression is a positive one.
Present only your best work.
Your portfolio should include your best work, and your best work should be reflected in the design of the portfolio. Be sure to continually revisit your portfolio as you complete projects. Is it something you're proud of? Put it up!
You might feel like you have to play it safe when designing for a client, but you have absolute freedom with your personal website. Don't be afraid to explore elements in the design that you haven't tried before.
You have to be your harshest critic when it comes to your own personal site. Go over everything with a fine-toothed comb. Make sure your spacing is consistent, zoom in on your design and use the guides.
Remember: you are your own client here. This means you have nobody to criticize the design other than yourself. Get the opinions of other designers you trust, it can't hurt.
Don't rush it.
Again, remember that your portfolio is supposed to be reflective of your absolute best work. Have patience, it'll take time to get the site just how it should be.