design: October 2008 Archives

This morning I spoke to high school students attending portfolio day at Friends University. I suggested to the students that, while a physical portfolio is essential, an online portfolio can be a useful way to leverage the work and help develop an online reputation. Useful when someone needs to see your portfolio right now, or when your portfolio needs to be in two places at once. Saves on postage, too.

An online portfolio tacitly shows that you're comfortable working in an online, digital environment. So start scanning, digitizing, photographing and writing, and get that work online. 

Using the SaaS approach (Software as a Service), you don't have to write a bunch of code to create an online portfolio. Host it from a click 'n build website or a blogging platform. Then link, link, link! Photos? Link to Flickr. Video? Link to Vimeo. Powerpoints? Try Slideshare.

Here are some of the other tools I talked about:, currently open by invitation, offers a well-designed online portfolio space. Currently in beta., online marketplace for selling handmade things., tool for presenting and sharing formatted printed documents online., currently in beta, allows you to create an interactive, online CV and post it in a searchable database., suggested by a student. International art community that allows you to upload your art, view art by category and participate in social activities.

Last week, my colleague Bobby Rozzell observed that blog design might matter for attracting new readers or occasional readers, but not so much for regular, ongoing readers.

He's right. Most readers first see your blog through an RSS reader. If they do click through, they're likely to see a familiar template from a popular blogging platform like WordPress, Blogspot or Movable Type. Templates are the great democratizers of online design. They make enough design available to all. If you're not a designer, that's a good thing.

And the other reason blog design isn't that important: it's the content, stupid. But you already knew that.

What do you think? Does blog design matter to you?

Here's a nice way to give life to formatted print documents online. Upload your PDF file to Issuu, and it becomes part of a social media sharing site with other print-based documents. The Issuu viewer preserves some of the modalities of print while delivering content online. Great for the online portfolio, for showing proofs to clients, for bringing some zazz to lifeless PDFs. And yes, it's free. The example, above, is One Small Seed, a South African magazine of pop culture.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the design category from October 2008.

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design: February 2009 is the next archive.

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