Page T1.1 . 07 April 2004                     
ArchitectureWeek - Tools Department
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Designing a Digital Portfolio

by Harold Linton and Laura Clary

For many generations, the design portfolio has been an essential tool for students seeking scholarships, graduates applying for jobs, and professionals competing for commissions. The need for good design and clarity remains constant while fashion trends and presentation technologies change over time. As portfolios migrate from paper to the Internet, it's important to know how and when to apply venerable design principles to digital media. Editor

There are two basic approaches to the planning and production of digital portfolios. The first consists of a choreographed, preset presentation, which the viewer experiences from beginning to end without opportunity for interaction. The second choice, interactive and viewer directed, requires the viewer to make choices that determine the order in which information is presented.

The choreographed presentation occurs in a linear format, which can be created with slide-show software such as PowerPoint and Macromedia Director and burned onto a CD-ROM. The presenter has control over the timing, sequence, and cadence of information in the presentation.

This software allows you to add animated text and graphics, make graphic transitions between slides, and create cinematographic effects and sound. It is relatively easy to learn how to use and offers opportunities for projecting the presentation on a wide screen in an auditorium. You should create transitions that are fluid and consistent from frame to frame, and be sure the transitions are subtle and do not detract from the content. As with the physical portfolio, the digital portfolio should, above all, communicate.   >>>

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This article is excerpted from Portfolio Design, Third Edition by Harold Linton, with permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company.



ArchWeek Image

A CD-ROM portfolio includes an accordion fold inserted into the front of a jewel case.
Image: Travis Scott Fleming

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Steve Valenta's architectural design Web portfolio offers introductory pages of interactive sequences and basic animation to pique the viewer's curiosity.
Image: Steve Valenta


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