Tuesday, April 5, 2011

E-Portfolio... in the design world, you need to have one!

The following is a Web Design Class assignment. We were to answer questions regarding E-Portfolios and list a few references.

An E-Portfolio (electronic portfolio) is a web-based site, which showcases design work as well as a resume, blogs and anything else you’d like to add. These portfolios are also known as an Online Portfolio or a Digital Portfolio.

This type of portfolio is used a lot by creative people such as graphic designers, web designers or freelancers to show their design work and achievements to colleagues, employers, clients, family, friends, etc. on the internet. Many Photographers, Writers, Actors, Animators, Interior Designers, etc. also use E-Portfolios. Depending on your field, it is good to have one.

Some people might sign-up for an account that hosts online portfolios through sites such as Coroflot, Behance, Carbonmade, DevianArt, etc. With these sites all you have to do is basically fill-in the blanks and upload samples of your design work, resume, etc. A good thing to having an account with one of these sites listed is you can join their forums and communities and make connections really fast.

Others, if they’re able to, will design their own E-Portfolio site. This process can take anywhere from about a month to a few months depending on how simple or how elaborate you want your online portfolio to look.

If you design your own online portfolio, that in itself is one example of your web design work. Your online portfolio can be one page or multiple pages. But of course, you must keep in mind that less is more and you don’t want to overdo it.

An E-Portfolio is also good for creative people who just want to network and to build business type relationships. In most fields it is necessary these days to have an online presence. For example, you never know when an excellent job lead might come up (even though you’re not looking for one) from one of your network connections. You can then e-mail your online portfolio to whoever it needs to be sent to or if you’re face-to-face give that person your portfolio address, preferably your business card which has the link on it. Sure you can write out your information on whatever piece of paper you happen to find at the time but, it is best to look and be professional.

No matter what, just like your resume, you should form a habit to always keep up your online portfolio. It is an ongoing process. Visual communication is very important these days. It’s your digital identity.

An E-Portfolio is designed to show your web site design work and/or your print work. And, if you have any, you can also show your animation work. Animation is not something you can show to its fullest extent such as with a book portfolio.

One way some creatives use their E-Portfolio is to find employment and/or freelance work. Besides samples of your work, an E-Portfolio can contain your resume which names/lists companies that you have worked for.

Depending on the purpose of your E-Portfolio and whatever it is you plan on using it for, in the end, you want to put just enough information on it where they will then want to speak with you further to find out more information about your design skills and goals. You want to get them to call you! It is all about promoting yourself… branding and identity!

Also, if you’re seeking employment and/or freelance work, it is good to have a separate e-mail account just for that purpose. It is also good to utilize your online portfolio link as part of your e-mail signature. That way, you don’t always have to type it in.

Once you have your site designed, hosted and ready to go, all you have to do is to add (copy and paste) your URL address (link) to an e-mail. Of course, the link should be posted on your business card too.

Should contain
• Full name
• Office/Business Address
• E-mail Address
• Phone Number (with proper voice mail message)
• Fax Number
• Site Name

Depending on how you are using your E-Portfolio, the following is
optional or should be listed

• Social Media Site Links: LinkedIn, Blogs, etc.
• Home Address (for freelancers if they don’t have a business address)
• Resume (if you’re searching for employment)
• Client or Industry List
• Services Offered (if you’re a freelancer seeking employment)

Page Layout
• Appealing
• Consistent
• Not Cluttered
• Good Navigation
• Organized Content
• Easy to Read Text
• Fast Download
• Common Header and Footer

Color and Graphics
• Consistent Color (throughout site)
• Subtle Color
• No More Than 3 Different Font Types
• Optimized Graphics
• Image Alt Tags

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DesignM.ag: Inspiration, 101 Awesome E-Portfolio Sites

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