This week in Editing for the Web, my assignment includes building the basic structure of my Media Communications Bachelor of Science (MCBS) Portfolio site. Before that is built, research is needed to investigate what is going to make that site effective in pulling in potential clients or prospective employers. One of the resources that Full Sail University offers students is the Diigo Resource database. From this resource I selected the following articles to help me research the structure and design of my website.
The first tip listed in 10 Essential Tips For Creating That Killer Portfolio is that my portfolio is my story. My portfolio is not simply about displaying my projects, but it should also tell my story in an engaging way. My portfolio should display projects that tell the story of my passions, strengths, and goals, as well as display elements of my designs in a cohesive way. Other tips listed in the article include keeping the number of projects between 8-10, keep projects current (no older than three years for most), and to keep in mind the purpose of the portfolio as it relates to those who are viewing it (knowing my audience). The site needs to be well designed and routinely updated as well.
Your Portfolio Site Sucks, Here's How to Fix It discusses that creative people are not typically master strategists when it comes to marketing. The most brilliantly designed website in the world "sucks" if it doesn't bring clients. discusses strategies to turn my portfolio site into a "client magnet." Knowing my audience and what their problems, goals, and what they really want is the first step. Having a high impact home page and a logically structured architecture for the site helps people viewing my portfolio site to be inspired and drawn in, and then be able to easily find what they want. Again this article stresses the importance of telling my "heroic" tale while remaining approachable. Projects should be limited in number and the best quality.
Why the Contact Us Page Always Goes Last takes this concept a bit further by giving people a chance to find the information they want and take action on their own time. The contact us link should be displayed last, but be available any time the visitor to the site is ready to take action. Providing people with what they are seeking in my website builds a sense of trust and allows them to initiate contact when they are ready to. As opposed to acting like a salesman that abruptly approaches a customer with a deal before they have had a chance to browse.When I was in high school I had the opportunity to work at a high school radio station. In commercials, liner notes, public service announcements, and other programming the phone number was also listed last. The last thing said tends to stay with people the longest. The article
Showcasing Your Work, in an Online Portfolio addresses an area that many job seekers struggle with when creating their resume. It is a place to display a "consistent, online record" of accomplishments. The use of an online portfolio even while employed can present my work and ability to meet the needs of my customers and employer. Consideration should be given to maintain confidence and protecting proprietary information. Creating a portfolio, even while employed can be useful not only to recruiters for future opportunities, but to current employers in reaching out to customers by showcasing what I can do as part of my organization.
All four of the articles emphasize the importance of telling my story, engaging people with relevant content, displaying my work, and solving problems. Each may have a different take, but they all build on each other in much the same way that a good portfolio site should. That is a solid start as I move forward in building my portfolio site.