Are you a fledgling designer? Just graduated from General Assembly or CMU? Well, I am hiring. But wait, I don’t want to hire you yet. You don’t know what you are doing. Here is a challenge to help you get off the starting blocks.
I want you to design your site to be as good as any of those. Feel free to copy styles or even HTML/CSS. Just make your site as cool as theirs.
The work you show should be whatever you have, but make the site a wonder to behold. Show you know how to make something lovable and great.
Second, Redesign Google Analytics.
On your site, you can put Google Analytics for free. Then use the service. (Still free). This is one of the most popular business intelligence systems in the world. It’s not spectacular, but it is rich in terms of functionality and interesting tidbits.
I want you to redesign it. Redesign as much of it as you can. Put the results on your site. Showcase your process and the resulting designs.
Why do I ask these two steps?
I will absolutely judge you, fledgling designer, by what I see on your site. You are the product and I am the user. I want to know you can create an experience for me, the user. Additionally, I want to see if you know how to design something. Google is a great free example of something that is complicated, yet extraordinarily powerful and popular. This will fill out your portfolio with something “real world”.
Lastly, this will show you can take a challenge and make it happen. Attitude is half the battle. You can get in the door with these two steps. The rest is up to you, but at least you have a chance. And worst case scenario, you should learn something through the process of design.
Let me know how it works. Put your designs of the above in the comments.