Responses by Dino Balliana, designer and developer.
Background: A portfolio must reflect the progress made in your work. I put together my old one about two years ago; since then, many things had changed, and I had learned many new things. So I decided to redesign it to house my newer work—made in collaboration with Milan-based design firm Lettergram—with a new concept. As the target audience mainly consists of developers and agencies, I opted for an unusual approach for the design that would speak to someone familiar with graphic design and web development. My goal with this site is to start new connections and collaborations.
Design core: The site’s concept is entirely centered on the idea of bugs, or the soft errors that I encounter every day in my work: the mistakes that most often make you go crazy, but over time, you learn to appreciate. It forms an important part of what programming is: a continuous attempt to communicate with a machine.
After deciding on this, I tried to find beauty in what could arise from these errors. I’m not a big fan of microinteractions and supercontrolled animations that are very trendy on the web these days, so I let the machine destroy almost all of the components of the site in a completely random way. I find the result very interesting because it combines a punk attitude and an artistic approach with the cold feeling of digital media.
Process: The most complex part of the site was combining technical and design experimentations with user-friendliness. Working without obligations let me think about all aspects of my site without worrying about deadlines. Of course, there comes a time when you need to stop, publish your work and watch the result, but I never consider a project permanently closed. I’ll continue to work on it mentally. Right now, I’m working on giving more depth to deconstructed images with 3-D graphics and user interactions.
Navigation structure: The goal was to have a page with an unusual, uninterrupted navigation of the user experience. This is why I chose a scroll on the z-axis that takes the user to different worlds related to the clients of the portfolio. From these worlds, it is possible to look at my work without any interruptions.
Technology: When I can, I try to write my code from scratch. Almost everything on the site is written from scratch, which lends itself well to creating beautiful bugs! I used a plugin only for real-time image distortion—a fairly complex technique.