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Best way to present a portfolio

Discussion in 'Portfolio Board' started by Anastasi55, Mar 6, 2020.

  1. Anastasi55

    Anastasi55 Member

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    Like anyone else, I'm keeping my eyes open for possibilities.... What is the best way to build an online portfolio? Do you A) build a Wix/Wordpress site with all your varied skills - maybe separated by subpages per concentration? B) use an online portfolio site such as Behance for the same purpose? C) use a few online portfolio sites for each skillset? D) Build a website from scratch (or Dreamweaver) to promote oneself as a coder as well?
     
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  2. James Anderson

    James Anderson New Member

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    Hi thr...

    Instagram is the best way to add all your work..

    Free and easy...

    And people can send you messages etc and ring you directly....
     
  3. eahicks

    eahicks Magna Cum Laude - School of Hard Knocks

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    Behance is a great online tool as well.
     
  4. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    If you're in the Adobe ecosystem use Portfolio. Takes a few minutes to get used to the interface but it's fairly intuitive. Simple and slick. No coding, no trying to fix janky code, no worries regarding responsiveness. It just flat works.

    If you want to showcase your prowess with coding build a site from scratch. Dreamweaver is okay, but I found it has issues when trying to build a bug free responsive site.
    In the realm of being responsive I found Bootstrap based pages to work no matter what. Not sure if they fixed the code for carousels yet. Had to add a line in there somewhere to get it to work correctly all the time. Headers caused some grief too until I figured out the solution was counterintuitive.

    Honestly though I hate coding with a burning passion. It is not as simple as math. There are a dozen or more ways to do things and they all work. Depending on your popint of view the same code will be perfect to some and jacked up to others. Your goal is 100% functionality. Not worrying what someone says is or isn't "correct".

    Problem is code is fluid and it's always changing which throws a wrench in the works.
    If you are not going to code on a very regular basis forget about it. If you are going to code then get your head wrapped around Bootstrap and use Brackets to compile/test code, CSS, etc... All the fancy software does is induce bugs that you have to find. Oh, and there are all kinds of fault check site out there and they will drive you bats#!t crazy with the idiotic crap they pull out of your code.

    Almost forgot. Down and dirty? You can make an interactive PDF with Acrobat. InDesign has this functionality also.
    Point is you don't need a flashy website. You're selling your designs not your ability with cascading style sheets.;)
     
  5. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Wix is real easy to use and makes good looking websites
     
  6. Notarealsignguy

    Notarealsignguy Member

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    If you're promoting yourself as a coder, using something like wix or any other online builder seems a bit self defeating. What are you after and what are your skills? This will dictate the best method.
    Tech people are a different breed so maybe I am wrong but as a low tech employer, I wouldn't want to hire someone that has a permanent online portfolio for a few reasons. First, nobody wants to hire someone that never stops looking for another job. This is akin to keeping your resume up on indeed all of the time. It costs money to hire people, train them and lose them. Second, I don't want my companies work plastered all over the internet if I am not the one doing it. Third, the line between pride and ego is thin. If this is standard industry practice for what you are looking for or are seeking freelance work, than this wont come into play. If it isnt, you run the risk of looking like a potentially difficult person to work with.
    A friend of mine does web development and blogs about it a lot. It seems a bit pompous but he can showcase his knowledge in a way that helps others. It also never appears that he is looking for a job and he can point any potential employer to his blogs to showcase his abilities.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    I did my website on wix, cheap, easy decent looking, no one ever visits it lol
     
  8. Anastasi55

    Anastasi55 Member

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    RJSsigns, Portfolio does look like a good free option - especially since I'm paying for it already... I did make the mistake of posting on their Work In Progress board not realizing it was as temporary as Snapchat...

    I see what you're saying regarding building a site from the code on up. In a sick way, I think coding is fun, but then again, I'm not as adept as your average 19-year-old who's going for a "developer" role..

    Texas_Signmaker , visual800, I have a co-worker who loves Wix and is using it to promote himself...

    Notarealsignguy, I don't know about the employment situation in your region, but in the NYC metro area, everyone I know keeps their resume updated and has their eyes open for other prospects as well as side hustles. I was in magazine production for years and every young writer/editor was working their blogs or books. If a company wants to hold on to someone, they make it worth their while to stay around...

    Again, I'm also wondering about the structure of what I want to post: All my skills on one site sorted on subpages, or a site for each specific skill depending on what type of position for which I'm applying..
     
  9. Notarealsignguy

    Notarealsignguy Member

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    The problem with that s*it attitude is that its 1 way. Life is a 2 way street and employers would be more loyal if employees would do the same. Honestly, most are humble and loyal. I absolutely cant wait for the job market to loosen up some to root out this entitled you need me attitude. No employee will bend me over a barrel, Ill work 100 hours a week doing their job and mine before I play that game.
     
  10. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Are you a coder, have you used web languages or are you going to learn as you go and hopefully be able to do coding as well, use Electron for app development as well?

    If you are just now learning, I personally would not use something that handles important aspects of the process from you. Things like auto correction, completion etc. That's great when further along (and IDEs are fun to use (I'm a huge fan of Atom, which is an Electron app as well)). Most of my apps are either based on electron or python. I love it, even create web based games, but I digress.

    Use a simple text editor. Not as fun, but it will also enable to you to do things on many different machines that may not be able to handle the more powerful programs as well.

    Another thing that I tend not to like about WYSIWYG type of editors is that the coding that is done in the background (unless you use code view) is not the most efficient. It just isn't. It's quicker and easier most times to do it yourself from scratch.


    As far as responsiveness of sites (if meaning across multiple devices), that is easily handled in CSS. Something like:

    Code:
    @media only screen and (max-width:566px){
    
    <--Mobile CSS here-->
    
    }
    
    
    Is all that it takes.

    Bootstrap, stay away from it. Makes the CSS easier, but it also makes your site look like every other one unless your willing to go through and customize it a great degree.


    Animation can easily be handled with CSS. Can actually make something fairly robust with just HTML and CSS (the 2 easiest of the 3 main web languages) and not depend heavily (or at all) with javascript. People tend to overuse JS (and I love JS), when it can be accomplished with CSS by itself which leads to a lot of the "bloat" that is out there.



    That's because it would be jacked in some instances. Yes the code may work, but if you code isn't "DRY", then that JS (especially) is going to really slow down your site and that's why there is a trend to go back to basics and do more static sites and only use JS when needed.

    Also bare in mind, that even though the functionality may work initially, if it's more or less hard coded and not more dynamic and handle new items on the fly, that's going to limit what you can or can't do. So yes, hard coding in say 5 lines of input may work if you only ever need 5 lines of input, but if you want to have a button that says "Add New Input" and every time that's pressed it adds a new input and that new input is then treated like all the others in functionality is very hard to do when it's hard coded for 5. So there is a need for dynamic code, not just for code "to work" in of itself.

    Adding in extra libs, be it for CSS (bootstrap) or for JS (jQuery) also adds "weight" to the site as it's having to read everything and even with minified versions of those libs, or even if its a CDN, can still bog down the site.

    Do not be afraid or unwilling to go back and refactor code to improve efficiency. This goes directly with user experience and may even be severe enough to lead them away from your site.


    I do like to code (although I can understand why some wouldn't), a lot of fun things that can be done with it as well. Even a lot of efficiency improving that one can do with it. Computers are a big tool in our workflows, improving the efficiency of those tools helps out in the long run with workflow(of course, programs would have to have the ability accessible to users, akin to DRAWs Macros that one can create). The nice thing with the higher level scripting languages (JS and Python for instance) are also very human readable which make it easier to learn.

    Just stick with it and actually do the coding, not using a program that tones down that aspect of it. That would be akin to someone that is just starting out with DRAW/Ai and only using Power/Live Trace. Missing out on a lot (with the exception of extra nodes, that type of process gives plenty of those desirable things). Especially if you are wanting to promote coding as well.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2020
  11. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    Portfolio works to be separated according to genre/style. Show your best work and not too many pieces per page. Visual clutter is the enemy. You also want viewers to be able to see what you're about without having to dig through your site. It's a sure way to make them lose interest and quit your site.
    About page, 2 or 3 pages of your best work with thumbnails with informational footers. Thumbnails need to expand to full page when clicked, Page with downloadable PDF of your skillset/education, Last page is contact info. All pages should have your social media radio buttons no exceptions. Social media should contain Facebook, Instagram, Behance and Twitter at bare minimum.

    This is the latest from when I was finishing my degree less than a year ago. I also tell students to do the same. Less pieces, but the best pieces and be able to talk about them using correct terminology when asked pointed questions. This applies to web sites or presenting in person. Someone will be asking questions. Matter of fact its Portfolio Week on campus. Every semester students have to present to their instructors and anybody else that happens to drop by. Like the dean. It prepares them for what they will experience on the "outside".
     
  12. Anastasi55

    Anastasi55 Member

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    Except in my experience, employers have to learn to be loyal to their employees. I've been in places where I was expected to work any amount of extra time (often with no warning) as if I was one of the MBAs trying to get parnership status - except I would never get that reward. Frankly, where I am right now wouldn't know what to do without a designer on site - but every single project turns into mayhem because there is no organization and I have no power to create any kind of structure. Ergo, I'm building my portfolio to get out, and possibly have my own clients as well...
     
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