Getting Started with Structure and Design
Just as you do with when you approach a major writing assignment, you should begin developing the structure and design of your e-portfolio with extensive planning. We recommend mapping different possible structures in site maps.
To help generate design ideas for your e-portfolio, you might look through the student e-portfolios linked from this site and on the following sites of other colleges and universities. Keep in mind that some of the e-portfolios on the other sites were created using platforms other than WordPress, that some are not focused on writing, and that others focus only on work created in a specific class.
- DePaul University’s First-Year Writing E-Portfolio Showcase: https://depaul.digication.com/fyw/Portfolio_Showcase
- San Francisco State University’s E-Portfolio Gallery: http://eportfolio.sfsu.edu/gallery.php
- Penn State University’s E-Portfolio Gallery (e-portfolios created using WordPress): http://portfolio.psu.edu/gallery/
- La Guardia Community College’s E-Portfolio Gallery: http://www.eportfolio.lagcc.cuny.edu/gallery/
Although the WordPress theme you choose will determine most of the design, you should carefully follow principles of good design when creating the elements of which you have some control, such as layout, color scheme, and types and placement of images. Here’s a website that shows examples of the four design principles of contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity (captured in the acronym CRAP). Here’s a YouTube video that similarly explains and illustrates these design principles.
You should additionally consider concision as a design (as well as style) principle; keep the design clean and simple, and make sure you have a sound rhetorical reason for adding any design element, from images to Widgets.
For more about common design pitfalls, see this article by Sean Hodge in Smashing Magazine: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/03/04/creating-a-successful-online-portfolio/.
For specific suggestions about structure and design components, see page 2: