Just before this class began, I had made a portfolio website that defined my person in all its most fundamental, business friendly aspects that would allow for employers to get a good look at who they would (hopefully) be hiring. That being said, the contents of the website were relatively unactivated and were for the most part so dry that it would be impossible to differentiate my website from any other made using the same tools.
I wanted to make a more dynamic experience – one that would peake interest with folks who had seen plenty of portfolios before. Not only that, but I wanted to incorporate an element that would make folks return and see the changes in not only my portfolio, but the site itself – a living piece that retained my own works.
Phase 1: Define
The website will entail of a home page, four subsidiary pages for different categories of work I have completed in the past, an information/biography page, and the “living” component – likely a comic that I could return to and update.
The portfolio website itself will operate on a motif of a message box, which will also be the motif for the entirety of the comic. This gives a sort of brand to refer to when recalling the website, and allows for an easy source of consistency when placing images and text within each page.
Ideally, the portfolio and comic will be able to peacefully coexist on the home page, and perhaps, eventually, one may inform the other – i.e a piece made for the comic may appear as a piece within the portfolio, simply without the context that the comic provides. This could marry the two in the way where both are living, and would allow for an easy system for readers of the comic to see if there was a new piece of media within the portfolio end, denoting a new chapter within the comic.
Anyone who does not want to view the comic and is simply interested for business reasons will not have to nose their way into the comic section, and can remain on the surface level. So long as the portfolio website still performs its basic functions, individuals who are not explicitly looking for that experience will not have to endure it in order to see my works and decide if I’m a candidate for hiring.
Phase 2: Shape
During the process of developing the portfolio, certain things became clear in terms of priority. The absolute first of which is making sure the portfolio end itself is as impenetrable as possible, allowing for complete ease of use while being completely elegant. Any slip ups on the business end makes the comic seem like a cover up and will force folks away from ever visiting again, essentially an opposite reaction.
Every page of the portfolio should be entirely accessible at all times. Any clunkiness or unnecessary clicks should be removed at all costs – streamlining takes priority over aesthetics 9/10 times.
The comic element operates, but should command enough attention on the main page such that interest is peaked, but not immediately. The portfolio is always the priority.
The site does function, but POLISH IS KEY.
Phase 3: Make/ Prototypes
The beauty behind the portfolio site is that the prototyping tools alone are often enough to cover 95% of the aspects within the site. Not only that, but since the comic is predominantly text and image based, neither end requires further development beyond what is present within the prototype outside of specific links and animations should I want them.
From the paper prototype, I learned the exact flow of operations that I wanted out of the website. This translated well into the site, but the strict need for menu streamlining was accentuated and later corrected.
During the process of the digital prototype, I was directed towards the need of certain elements of polish, such as an individual page for an image when it is clicked. Certain visual elements were also tested at length such that I could use more universal representative imagery without causing confusion.
When an aspect of the prototype needed to be updated, I would implement it and then form a series of questions to assure that the aspect was functioning properly, and was doing its job as efficiently and elegantly as possible. If it failed to do so, I would update it until it came to standard with the rest of the site.
The comic end went over well, but often required a closer look in order to assure that there were no typos or grammatical errors, and that justification of each text box held up. Images were also excellent treat to viewers, and should be used not liberally but more often in order to act as visual landmarks.
Phase 4: Launch
Launching is simply a manner of finding a proper host website that will allow me to update the content of the website to keep the comic and portfolio content fresh.
Marketing would likely be maintained through social media as well as when my portfolio was given to individual employers.
Any sort of hosting service will do, so long as I can use my own google domain with them.