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Portfolio/Case Study Cheat Sheet

It’s important to show your previous work and achievements on your website. It helps add context to your services for your visitors and helps illustrate how you may be able to solve their problems with your proven skill set. It’s also a great way to showcase any well known clients you may have helped which can be a great credibility builder and help build that all important trust.

People visiting your website are looking for an answer to their problem. Presenting case studies of how you’ve solved previous clients problems is a great way for you to demonstrate your thinking, your approach, demonstrate how your services helped others overcome their problems and the benefit to them after the problem is solved.

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the term ‘case study’. For many it immediately conjures up the image of a huge tomb that would be prepared by a large corporation. But that doesn’t have to be the case at all.

When it comes to the web, people don’t read. Think about the way you use the web. People scan on the web and use sign posts to direct them to the information they are looking for. Only then do they do any detailed reading. While in research mode, very little detailed reading takes place. Visitors are scanning for the highlights in order to make their comparisons to other website’s content they have scanned.

Knowing this, we can present our portfolio section and case studies in a way that plays to this scanning behaviour. Knowing this we can strip out the unnecessary and present the details that really matter to a visitor in research mode so that the benefits of your services, thinking and processes can be easily gleaned, even by the lightest of scanner.

In order to play into the behaviour of the scanner, we need to to deliver the highlights in a well signposted way.

The key things a visitor will be asking themself when visiting a portfolio or case study page is:

● Who is the client?
● What was their problem?
● How did you approach the problem?
● What was the solution?
● What were the results?
● What did the client have to say about it?
● If I like what I see, what do I do next?


Adopting the ‘don’t make me think’ approach to web design, we really don’t have to stray too far from this thought process when putting the case study together. Infact, let’s understand that these are the questions being asked by the visitor and simply lay it out for them.

Let’s break these questions out into Heading (signposts) and answer them in context to you the portfolio item you are presenting.

Here is a suggested case study framework:

The Client
The Challenge/ The Problem The Approach / The Strategy The Result
Client Testimonial
Call to Action

Obviously you can tweak the wording of these headings to fit with your business and target audience, but these sections will make it very easy for the visitor to understand the benefits of the services you are offering, your experience, your thinking and how the client benefited.

Keep each section short and to the point. Bullet points can work well if appropriate. If there are quantifiable results as a result of your solution, be sure to include these.

I hope this cheat sheet helps make the process of creating a valuable portfolio section for you website a little less daunting.

Please feel free to share your results or roadblocks with me by email on hello@lovedadesign.com

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