For my final media project, as vaguely mentioned before, I created a self portfolio website. This website acts as my very own platform to showcase the work I have done throughout my years at University and give people a little snippet of who I am. laurenarmenta.com was made with the sole intention of online exposure and getting noticed. As a designer we are constantly fighting to capture the attentions of audiences.
As mentioned in Austin Kleon’s book Show Your Work!, creatives thrive in what is referred to as a Scenius– what this means is a collective group that contributes ideas, makes connections and start conversations. Sharing ideas can lead to a snowball effect of even greater ideas. In today’d world, we join the world’s biggest scenius- the internet. This new form of media has allowed us to share ideas and contribute feedback on many people’s ideas. In a few clicks we can be anywhere in the world, creating conversation. Need an example?
His name is Tony. A guy in my graphic design graduating class decided to try for a Dribbble account. This online platform is one built and made of designers, all type of designers showing their ideas, work, and answering other designer questions. Tony (residing in California) has a client in France, Paris due to their connecting on Dribbble. This new form of media allows for connections like this to thrive from all over the globe. Tony putting his work online and becoming apart of a scenius has allowed him to be discovered.
So lets talk about techne. What tools we use and what tools we should use.
For my final I made a website for myself showcasing my portfolio. For designers and even non designers, here are a few extra elements to add to get your site interactive and things you can do to get noticed online.
If you go to my website, the first thing you see is a gif-a format for image files that supports both animated and static images. A gif can be a good way to capture the attention of your audience.
On the right hand side I have a static line of social media buttons. Having social media allows you to connect on multiple platforms and join multiple sceniuses. You never know which clients have what kind of media, so if you are connected on multiple, odds are you can make more connections that way. A primary platform for professional contacts is Linkedin.
More interactive elements of a site are simple but effective features such as rollovers. Rollovers, surprise and engages the user to click through or view the rollover and its contents.
Navigation is also a huge factor in keeping a user focused and driving them to the content you want them to view. Static navigation is best because it allows the user to direct themselves to what they want to view and not get lost in the website and leave. Another useful tip is try to not outsource as much. the fewer clicks the better and you always want to grasp their attention to your content. It is great to hyperlink to other resourceful elements but for the most part stay focused on the important content of your site.
Other popular navigation includes the hamburger navigation. Click on the hyperlink, the graphic you see in the top right corner is a great example of a hamburger nav. It allows the user to browse freely and hide or show more content.
Combining navigation, rollover features with the use of color is also another engaging tactic. The use of color makes it easy to separate content, draw attention and add some personality to your website. For some helpful color psychology and design, check out this great book.
There are many components to add to a website to get a viewers attention. However, the most important part is drawing them there in the first place. As discussed in previous posts, putting yourself on the online map is a great way to gain exposure. But as a designer, join a scenius. It’s good to put yourself on the grid, but sharing ideas, forming connections and starting conversation is what will really get you noticed.