Portfolio Analysis – cherwinkler.com
What are the criteria you are going to use to “judge” effectiveness of design? Aesthetics? Functionality?
The website’s purpose is as a portfolio site for my abilities and potential as a content writer. I want to use the website as a digital business card and interactive resume. I need the design to focus on highlighting my content portfolio. I will need to have a menu section devoted to examples of my written work/portfolio. The aesthetics of the site should also be clean and easily navigated. I want the audience to be able to tell right away what kind of website this is and be able to find all pertinent information easily without much effort. I’m not looking for a flashy website. I want a soft color palette, primarily white or cream background, and dark text. The criteria I will use to judge the effectiveness of this design will be whether or not the site is: easy to use, visually pleasing, and straightforward, intent is quickly clear.
Who are possible audiences (name three – with some detail)?
1) Potential employers. It can be prohibitive to carry around a packet of information about yourself to job interviews, so with this website I can send one link and all of my information is easily accessed by potential employers. My content also needs to be SEO friendly so I can appear in the first page of search engine results. Having a digital presence with an URL in my name will show a company that I am serious about my career.
2) Networking. I can include a link to my portfolio on my business card so that while attending networking events I can hand out all my information and not just a 2 line blurb about who I am. I also believe that if a website is attractive it can lend well to the content held within. First impressions are everything. If people come to my website after receiving my business card they might stay a while and read through my portfolio which can lead to more opportunities.
3) Exhibition venue of skill set. I know I have the potential to succeed as a content writer, but I keep running into the chicken/egg conundrum. No one will give me a job without experience, but I can’t get any experience without a job. This portfolio will serve as concrete evidence of my writing samples on a digital platform. It is no longer necessary to wait for the professional approval of the industry to take action and publish your work. I can exhibit my work on my website, design and implemented by me, and thus push my own agenda.
Find at least possible three competitive sites; explain why they are competitors. What are design or content ideas you want to borrow? Avoid?
1) http://www.concisecontent.co.uk/ – A competitor in the same industry I’m looking to enter as well as being a successful freelancer. WordPress website that is very straightforward. The homepage in big, bold font declares “Hello. I’m a freelance web copywriter and editor. I create concise, accessible copy in plain English. Nice to meet you.” The creator has their own logo, quick contact information in the right sidebar as well as the most recent posts. The design in addition to the talent focused content lend well to the profession. I think the theme used is a little too simple for my taste, at times it can feel like the website is just lines of text.
2) http://www.scrollwithit.com/ – This website is a local content writer and thus a competitor in the same city I am looking to work in. The site itself seems static as there is no menu bar and the link to his resume brings you to LinkedIn. You have to scroll down a lot to get through his portfolio which can be tedious. I do like that his background image/logo stays within the screen even as you scroll through the content. I also like the idea of having an email address based at the same URL, this is something I want to look into having.
3) http://www.philgable.com/clients/gablep/nav/splash.shtml – This website is less a competitor and more a person to whom I would look to for inspiration or comparison. Splash page is unnecessary but might have its own niche with his audience. I like the square site design with everything centered on the page. He gives the viewer the ability to choose “larger text” which can be a useful accessibility tool. When rendered in Firefox the image enlarger opens a cumbersome image viewer which I don’t like. I like image viewers that materialize inside the frame and don’t completely block the content behind it. I do like the idea that regardless of which menu option you choose most everything about the page stays the same except the content to the right.
4) http://www.timelesscontent.com/index.html – This website is for a local content writer and thus a competitor in the same city I am looking to work in. It is also the perfect example of how I don’t want my website to look. She is using it as a portfolio and company website and this makes the navigation difficult. The blog opens a Blogspot page instead of rendering within the site itself. The use of outdated clipart graphics isn’t aesthetically pleasing and when you look at the page all you see is paragraphs upon paragraphs of information. Some of the main font on the website is also very small and hard to read. In addition, headings are underlined and highlight like they might be hyperlinks but are not in fact clickable. Overall a mess of a website.