I am in the process of completing my portfolio for web design and development. Keeping in mind the purpose of the portfolio is to showcase what I can offer a potential client, I have been struggling with the format my portfolio gallery will take.
I was thinking of letting the user decide which gallery to choose (or to check out all three) via links or a form element. Would that be a case of overkill and I should just choose the one I like the best and not worry about accessibility? or would it be an effective way of showing the potential client the variety of things I can offer him/her?
Your comment “You’re always better off leaving the show pieces in your portfolio rather than being your portfolio itself” really hit the nail on the head.
I suppose it really depends how important your portfolio is in respect to communicating your services. Using a flash based gallery means you basically restrict your portfolio content to one page, and that’s only one search engine listing.
Apart from looking at screenshots potential customers do look for other information, such as the type of work you did on a site, eg design, build, use of PHP/mySQL, using a CMS, copywriting etc, and all that text content is good search engine fodder as well.
For Flash accessibility there are a few methods for providing alternative content that can be read by screenreaders, or for when Flash is not available in the users browser.
If you’re talking about stucture for a portfolio I’d always recommend thinking about categorising them, eg Ecommerce sites, Blog sites, Charity sites etc, then having a “detailed” page where you can post larger screenshots and descriptions.
Thanks for your reply. I agree that fancy features should be used only if needed. My problem is deciding the structure for my portfolio gallery. The rest of my website is very straightforward … no bells and whistles.
The main reason I asked is that I was going through some actionscript 3.0 tutorials on the weekend, and came across a really effective flash gallery. It is not too fancy, but the transition from thumbnail to full-size image is kind of neat.
You’re probably right … I’ll stick to a gallery using jQuery, I guess. That will make it easier to include information about each of the websites I want to showcase. This is only one of seven pages in my portfolio site. The others are pretty straightforward in terms of features.
At the end of the day there’s no right or wrong way, but at least you’ve given it some thought. Let us know how you get on!