Two potential routes for your portfolio

Kelly Martin
Assistant Professor
Department of Communication

In my previous post, I encouraged you to get moving on your portfolio.  Here, I discuss two potential digital ways to put the portfolio together.

PDF / INTERACTIVE PDF

I’ve seen people have the first page of their portfolio be their resume and then the following pages are articles they’ve written, photos they’ve taken, creative briefs they’ve pitched. This is a simple and elegant option as long as the file is not too large.

A more complex but versatile option, an interactive PDF, allows a student to insert a wide range of media — including Flash Player compatible videos, audio, buttons, and forms. Buttons are an exciting option because you can create a PDF file that essentially acts like a website where a viewer can click within designated areas to reach other pages. Adding the interactive features to a PDF does require Acrobat Pro (something that can now be purchased on a subscription basis from Adobe Creative Cloud: http://www.adobe.com/products/creativecloud/buying-guide.html).

WEBSITE

There are a number of options from which you may choose if you are not skilled in web development. Here are a few:

Using an HTML template (maybe in Dreamweaver)

If you feel fairly confident using Dreamweaver and you don’t mind using a template (less freedom in design and often have to give credit to designer) this could be a good option. Often it provides you with more freedom than using iWeb, Weebly or Wix but less freedom or originality than if you wrote your own code and illustrated your own backgrounds, etc.

Google Sites

This option is VERY simple to use and there are a number of templates. You might not have as much control as you like however and often these sites are not aesthetically pleasing (although I think it is possible to have a nice looking site if you keep your design simple).

iWeb

If you have a Mac, it is likely you have this software already installed on your computer. It is really intuitive and easy to use. One drawback is that most sites created on iWeb look very similar to one another and you have less freedom in design.

Weebly

Weebly is a site that provides templates that you work with online and makes it very easy to build a webpage. The drawback is that unless you use their domain and hosting site you cannot transfer your site to a chosen domain name (there are workarounds to this however). They also provide html editing within Weebly so it is possible to change design, organization, etc. You can only create one free website on Weebly. Also, if you use the free version of Weebly (and do not use their hosting recommendation) your site will have a Weebly favicon (not the end of the world, but may annoy you).

http://www.weebly.com/

Wix

This site allows you to create flash websites really easily but there is very little freedom in design and unless you pay a fee you cannot remove the Wix ads surrounding various parts of the websites. It does offer a convenient drag and drop editor that can create both Flash websites and static presentations

http://www.wix.com

WordPress

Many designers like to use wordpress for their portfolios. With this option you can know next to nothing about html (and it is free) but if you do know html you have the freedom to change many things.

http://wp.smashingmagazine.com/2009/04/29/ultimate-guide-to-using-wordpress-for-a-portfolio/

http://www.graphicdesignblog.co.uk/wordpress-as-a-cms-content-management-system/

http://www.brighthub.com/internet/web-development/articles/10179.aspx

Indexhibit

A web application used to build and maintain an archetypal, invisible website format that combines text, image, movie and sound. It was built with web standards in mind (no longer using frames for instance) enabling search engines and users alike easy access and indexing of work. Content flows to the edge of the browser, images can be displayed as thumbnails that can be enlarged etc., this is a break from traditional fixed layout design associated with print, and a move towards an interactive experience where the user creates their own viewing experience. This embraces recent interactive display methods. It is not as intuitive as the some of the other methods but has some interesting features and allows you to highlight your own work.

http://www.indexhibit.org/

Other portfolio hosting/building sites

http://shownd.com/

http://carbonmade.com/