Creating an Online Portfolio - Layout
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You will present your online portfolio to potential clients and employers in a single link. You don’t want to ask contacts to visit your portfolio and then give them seven different links to use to view your work - this totally defeats the purpose of creating the portfolio in the first place. The single link you offer for your portfolio will take contacts to a page full of links.
That’s right -- the main page of your portfolio is really a links page. For every single piece of work you display, you’ll offer a corresponding link. The links may take traffic to online articles or pages you’ve created for other employers (external links, taking traffic to pages outside your site), or it could be an internal link which displays a Web copy of work you’ve completed in the past.
It’s difficult to make a long list of links look attractive or professional, but this is your goal when creating an online portfolio. Pages of links are very commonly seen on Web sites, and this design acts almost like a title page for your body of work. Traffic can easily select the titles of projects which grab them, picking and choosing what they’d like to see in a very simple, straightforward way. The online world is very much about ease and simplicity, so make sure your portfolio lends itself easily to this concept.
However, simply offering a list of links, one after the other, doesn’t present a very pretty picture -- or a very pretty Web page, for that matter. Make sure you categorize your work, grouping similar projects with each other. Separate each grouping with a clear heading to denote the topic or style that you’re presenting in the groupings. For instance, a photographer might create groups called Black and White, Color, Still Life, Portrait, etc. Creating these groups adds a natural separation which will make that page of links much easier for others to read.
Every heading should be in the same color and format. You want to maintain a consistent look throughout your main portfolio page. Avoid distracting backgrounds and images which might take away from the links themselves. Try to give each project a distinct and different title (as opposed to Picture 1, Picture 2) to make your portfolio more interesting. Clients and employers will more easily identify with titles (Forest Scene at Night, for instance) than they will generic descriptions (i.e. Forest Picture 1).
Arrange your links and groups attractively, keeping the same format throughout the entire page. It is also appropriate to include your contact information somewhere on the page, and/or to offer a brief description of who you are and what you do.
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