Adobe Flash. Mastering Flash is not trivial. It has recipes for frequently used interac-
tive elements, but you'll still need to learn a little ActionScript (Flash's internal pro-
gramming language). But if you're willing to put the work in, there is almost no limit
to the things you can do once you've mastered Flash.
If you create your portfolio to work within a standard browser, you can main-
tain the same design and navigation for both a website and a portable portfolio ver-
sion. Don't just copy one to the other, though. It doesn't make much sense to send a
CD if you can send an email that points to your URL. Instead, take advantage of the
many pluses of a disc portfolio (see Chapter 4) by adjusting your presentation to pro-
vide full-screen renditions of your video and animation, increase the size and quality
of your still images, and provide extra material for personal presentations.
If you are dealing primarily—or exclusively—with video or animation, you'll
probably have to separate the web and disc portfolios. Although your design concepts
for the two should be related, the contents for each will be optimized differently, and
may even run at a different aspect ratio.
You will face technology decisions every day as you design and produce your
portfolio. But once you gather your materials and whatever software you'll need, your
focus should shift. If you are creating anything beyond an instant portfolio, you'll
need to find the ideal way to sequence and group your work, and then the very best
way to “wrap” it. As you'll see in Chapter 10,
“Designing a Portfolio Interface,” you should always
start with grouping and arranging, because the way
you create your categories can and should influence
your design concept, which will in turn affect the look
and feel of your site.
We look for work that begins with
an idea, is developed deeply and
with a deft touch, and is presented
simply and with honesty.
A metaphor can be a useful way of thinking about your portfolio structure. A
metaphors can be a powerful tool to help you visualize your digital portfolio—a hazy,
virtual collection of megabytes—as a concrete form. It provides a framework for an
appropriate organization and interface. A metaphor implies that your portfolio is orga-
nized in a certain way, and is like something we know in the real world. Once your site
is up, it also helps to provide the visitor with a familiar frame of reference for your
navigation and mapping decisions.