Werkstatt is a funky little creative portfolio theme designed to showcase your work in a modern and exciting way, and it does this with flying colours. It showcases the overall work using a slick masonry layout, allowing for portfolio items of different sizes, and these fade in smoothly when the page first loads – a nice touch. Each item has subtle hover effects, and the whole site is within a coloured box – a cool idea and slick design element. However, we don’t love the green… Clicking on a portfolio item loads it full-screen, using AJAX so no pesky reloads here, and this usually features a large hero image at the top of the page. To ensure the menu is always readable, a background element slides in on hover; again, a really nice touch.

Parallax effects are used throughout Werkstatt, and this results in a really modern feeling site overall. The mix of full-width elements along with padded content blocks helps to break up the screen, and it’s a very pleasurable theme to browse around. The menu folds away nicely when the user scrolls away from the top of the page, and it is revealed again using a large slide-out sidebar which works well and looks slick. One element that seemed unnecessary, for us, was the addition of fake mouse-click sounds when interface elements were interacted with. While it could be argued that this increases the interactive nature of Werkstatt overall, it wasn’t much of a fun experience and had us reaching for the volume control pretty quickly. This might be one to avoid, UX designers, as we can’t imagine the positives outweigh the negatives on this front.

The fullscreen map on the contact page was a nice use of this element – making the map a feature of the design, rather than just a “thing on the page”. As a functional element, asking clients to suggest their project budget is a nice touch, and something that could help qualify potential leads quickly when sorting through enquiries.

Overall the site was a really nice piece of design, and we’d recommend checking out the demo here. Take a look at Werkstatt, as we’re certain there are going to be lots of elements you’ll be back looking at again and again.

What we liked:

  • So much...!
  • Great typography and sizing of elements. Good use of space with full-width and padded content.
  • Great carousels and sliders throughout.
  • Nice AJAX between pages and items, and excellent use of the static menu with some funky animations.

Not so much:

  • The green. Oh the green. It might grow on us... but the green.
  • The clicking sounds. Stop it!

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