We are used to receiving grades. We have been getting Fs and As since our childhood and I believe that grades are pretty useful. They enable us to see very quickly and clearly who is who. I have decided to assess online photography portfolios highlighting their most common mistakes. Of course, “A” gets the one which has none (rhyme not intended).
I would give “B” to a portfolio with the following mistake – and it is not a scarce mistake – excessive verbosity. Whether commercial or a non-commercial project your photography portfolio is, if it is online, it should be the visitor, not you, who really counts. He or she has come here to watch your pictures, not to read about you. Limit yourself to only the most necessary text information and concentrate on your works. Here it is really that “pictures speak louder than words”.
“C” definitely gets a portfolio where baffling background music starts playing. Most people find it irritating, you know why? Frankly speaking, I don’t actually, but take it for granted! So, if you still want to include some background music, make sure the visitors can turn it on and off, when they like it.
“D” would deserve a portfolio where thumbnails are misleading. Many portfolios have thumbnails that do not give the same impression that the photo itself. Your online photography portfolio is not a comic strip where the visitor is supposed to have fun due to the mismatch with their expectation. As soon as they get tired of this, the site will be closed.
Graded “E” would be a portfolio without any contact information. Good as you are, you may get a lot of people interested in your works and if you leave them without any contact information, all your efforts come to naught.
“F” would get a portfolio with user-unfriendly navigation. Experimenting is a good thing until it is not effective. Make sure that the visitor has no problems navigating your site. Visit your site as a visitor, not as a creator. Would you like it? Is it convenient? Ask yourself these questions before realizing that you have failed to achieve all this. A good portfolio is the one where the visitor feels comfortable.
So, these are my grades, don’t be insulted if your portfolio has got a failing grade. Keep in mind, grading is always subjective.
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