A Note on Headers
Keep the headers in the same order on each page. The numbering will help you remember the order.
The user can go to any link they want. The site is non- sequential, but you will use a numbering system to track the pages. The more ordering you do at this stage, the easier it is to make a flowchart in the next phase of development.
Make sure that you descriptively name and number each item. Categorization, grouping, and listing are important here. When you complete the content outline, you have a nice checklist for you to keep track of your content items.
Keep the content outline handy so that you can refer to it when you are creating your Web portfolio site.
Many times I have seen students get confused and literally lost while creating a Web portfolio without using their content outline. What typically happens is they eventually get so frustrated that they must get back to basics and prepare the content outline again. After that, they usually listen to my recommendations to use content outlines liberally.
You can never have too many organizational tools when you are creating a Web portfolio. I provided samples and thorough description of how to develop, on paper, a list of content items which will be used in the Web portfolio. Now you should go through the process of creating a content outline.
Refer back to the entries you wrote in on the content list you created earlier. Put the items in a simple order as shown earlier. You may want use a pencil if you are going to use a low- tech method such as paper. You want to make changes easily — and there will be changes. This is a difficult process because you need to get your thoughts together and then simplify them so that they are clear.
With a content outline you want to develop a roadmap for guidance as you begin hunting and gathering all of the assets that will be part of the Web portfolio.
The ordered list you create will help in the development of a flowchart. With the flowchart, you will execute the critical step of information design.
The design of information is what gives the Web portfolio its technical structure and narrative impact. If the information is presented in such a way that it does not provide a basic narrative about the author, the connection with the user will not be as strong and ultimately appearance, persuasion, and effectiveness will suffer.
The Web Portfolio as a Content Management Tool
The Web portfolio serves a dual purpose when it comes to content. As we realize that the Web portfolio acts as a presentation platform in a communica- tion media, we should also understand the value of the Web portfolio as a content management tool.
As a content management tool, the Web portfolio provides a place for information storage and retrieval.
The storage and retrieval features provided by Web portfolios are valuable because they are portable.
This portability allows the author or his or her clients to access this content management system simply by using FTP passwords. File transfer protocol (FTP) allows access to the Web portfolio host fileserver and any allowable files. By accessing the fileserver anywhere, the Web portfolio acts like a portable hard drive.
Personal or client content can be stored in hidden folders not accessible to the public. This off-line storage is valuable archive for content.
As server space continues to go down in price and up in capacity, the Web portfolio becomes more and more attractive as a content management tool for dynamic storage and retrieval.
Obviously, the accessibility to network comput- ers must be available to make this concept real.
As we have seen, wireless technology and high-bandwidth access have provided a network solution to consumers in most technology savvy regions in the world.
Hopefully, areas of the world that are slow to meet the expectations of the information society will leapfrog towards connection sooner than later.
When that happens, the Web portfolio will offer the advantages of using itself as a content management tool to users who may not have local hard disk storage capabilities and stable residences.
The Web portfolio allows virtual storage combined with global presentation.
Review and Conclusion
Before we move forward, let’s briefly review where you should be at this point.
You have learned that a Web portfolio is a communication tool that helps someone create a positive appearance by providing a platform for presentation of skills and experience through text, graphics, and multimedia.
The goal of the Web portfolio, as you have learned, is to persuade the audience members who are also known as users.
Our goal as Web portfolio authors is to create an experience which fosters action by the user.
The action will hopefully result in work for hire.
In the information society, the Web portfolio will become more important in success for people of all disciplines, backgrounds, and occupa- tions. In the Web portfolio process, so far you have defined your user and the goals of the Web portfolio.
You have brainstormed to create a concept statement, content list, and content outline.
At this point, you should be ready to take this base information and refine it to give it hierarchal structure that can be translated into a Web site. We will now go forward and examine information design.