ePortfolio Tips

Have fun with your main ePortfolio! Experiment with designs, fonts, colors, and special effects. This is a great way to become proficient in those skills. But, when it comes time to create a Randolph ePortfolio for an internship, job, or application, you may need to be a little more polished for that audience. It may take you a little time to create a Webfolio that is easy to read and navigate, but still has a style that reflects some of your personality. Here is some advice from around the web.

Determine Your Purpose

Why exactly are you creating the ePortfolio? What is the goal of this ePortfolio – an archive, a job, an internship, an application? Clarifying the ePortfolio’s purpose is important to how you will organize, select, and present the artifacts. Sketch out, or create a flow map of the Webfolio first. Check the job advertisement or the application requirements to identify what is being asked for. Examine your main ePorfolio for the best examples of your work and experiences that you want to include. Make sure you are including only those artifacts that will highlight and support your claims in the cover letter, resume, or application. Too little information and they will wonder why you submitted the ePortfolio. Too much information and you could loose your audience or overshadow the really important information that makes you the candidate they want to select.

Design for the Viewer

Yes, all those fonts and effects are really cool, but unless there is something about the job that needs to demonstrate those skills, err on the side of caution. Some web designers recommend you accommodate people with a wide range of viewing capabilities (slow internet connection, vision problems, etc). Make sure the artifacts are digitally sized to be seen and to be loaded quickly. Your ePortfolio should be easy to navigate and easy to read.

Fonts: Use general use fonts like Arial (sans serif) for headlines, and Times New Roman or Palatino (serf) for areas of text. Serif fonts promote readability. Sans serif fonts low the eyes of the reader down. You want to capture the reader's attention with the headline and make it easy for them to read your text. Many designers recommend using only two fonts throughout a Webfolio - making sure their use is consistent on every new page that is navigated to.

Font Size : 10-12 point is good for text, 16-20 point for Headings or listings of bulleted items.

Backgrounds and Color: OK so white might be boring and overused. But when creating background, think soothing to the eye. White text on black background can be difficult to read. Generally lighter backgrounds with dark text are easier on the eyes. If choosing a background with a texture, like graphics or a picture, make sure that it is faint enough for your text to be easily seen. There is nothing worse than trying to read something that almost disappears or becomes part of the background. Choose a color palate for your ePortfolio - three to five colors, and stick with them. Consistency adds polish to a ePortfolio presentation.

Chunking: Chunking is a technique that organizes information into several pages, screens, or slides to improve readability and enhance visual appeal. White space can help to buffer areas between text, photos, or graphics. Limit the amount of information on a page by carefully organizing or grouping your information. Separate links might be preferable to a really long webpage full of text or multiple graphics or photos. If you find that you have lots of text, make it more manageable to read by creating bulleted points. Make sure your most important information is a the top of the screen. Designer's rule of thumb: your web page should be no longer than a screen and a half of text; and beware of orphans - text that gets lost beyond the bottom of the screen because the viewer is not aware there is more text to scroll down to see.

Font Techniques : Bold and italics should have defined proposes. For example, you can bold all headings to make them distinctive, or use italics to emphasize links or something significant. Italics can be harder to read on the screen, so do not italicize large sections of your text. Avoid underlining text, viewers might get confused and think it is a link. Avoid using caps in text. If you have to emphasize text try a larger font size. Caps are more suited for sidebar headings or headlines.

Pictures and Graphics: Pictures and graphics can create a lot of interest and make a statement on your ePorfolio page. They can also be a headache and inflate the size of the Webpage and slow down the page loading if they are not sized correctly.l Edit all pictures and graphics using picture editing software to adjust the size of the image.  Sometimes the original file coming off a digital camera is very large not just in digital memory but in actual dimensions 14 inches by 20 inches or something just as cumbersome. A photo e3diting program can reduce the size of the picture to make it more manageable within the web page. If you are placing photos of artwork, or pictures of an event, a short explanation of the photo is a must.

Remember less is more. Make sure graphics are relevant to the purpose of the Webfolio. Be consistent with your use of graphics throughout your Webfolio – this will enhance the presentation. Graphic images should also be free of royalties. Read the copyright usage information that is included in the Information Technology Resource Policy

Scanned Documents : These files become images after you have scanned them and should be treated as image files and resized as stated above.

Video Files : Should be kept as short as possible (no longer than 2 minutes). The longer the video the larger the file – which will require more download time for anyone viewing your Webfolio.

Navigation : If you have several pages, sidebar menus or navigational headers or footers should be on each page. Include a link that will return readers to the main home page of the Webfolio and previous pages. Create a title header on each page of your ePortfolio - something that succinctly identifies the contents of that page. Do not rely on graphic elements alone to symbolize navigation (back, next, etc.), include text. Sometimes more descriptive headers can help your reader, "Next, Work Experience."

User Friendly Links : Links should indicate to the reader where they are going next. Choose words that are meaningful. Make the link an appropriate length. One word links may get lost in the body of text, longer groups of words or sentence links can be difficult to read. If you are linking to another person's webpage, always seek permission.

Layout : Design experts recommend justified left, ragged-right margins for your ePortfolio pages. They are much easier to read.

Quality Control : Place a date on your pages. Whenever you make changes to the pages, update the date. Keep in mind that not everyone has a big monitor. You have the ability to set your ePortfolio settings so that your pages can be seen the same way on all size computers. FrontPage had a default setting for the smallest monitor, which is 640 x 480 pixels. View your ePortfolio on several different browsers. Colors can be lighter or darker, text can appear larger or smaller. Make adjustments accordingly.

  • Spell check! Have others proof read and critique your ePortfolio.
  • Make sure your information is accurate.

Sources:

Amirian, S. & Flanigan, E. (2006). Create your digital portfolio: The fast track to career success. Indianapolis, IN: JIST Publishing, Inc.

Web page design . Retrieved online November 28, 2006 from http://homepage.mac.com/alysson/intro.html

Questions?

Please contact the Help Desk at helpdesk@randolphcollege.edu with any additional questions.