The User Experience w/ Arianna Orland
around. I know that we're gonna bring our special guest on in a few minutes, but we do have time to just touch on some quick questions that came in. So maybe we could get your opinion quickly on a couple of these. Another one that came in from our Colbert. Seven people voted on this one, and people want to know about content quality in considering the presentation of a digital portfolio. Is there a preference amongst potential clients in regards to seeing the creation process? I e the before and after of a piece or just seeing a final finished product in high quality? Any opinion on the love that question that is such an important question. I'll tackle a little bit on that bit lighter, but in essence, uh, yes, yes. It is beneficial to have content under the content quality umbrella to show your process. And sometimes we forget many people don't do that. We spend hours and months and days, you know, crafting this present, this beautiful work, the solution. And then when we presented to ...
someone, often we get the reaction. Oh, that's cute. That's really cute. I spent my whole life not cute. you know, way needed to be seen in terms of the depth. So how do we do that? Well, show your process. Photograph your process video record your process. Show the depth in the interaction off those pieces again. We're gonna get out into this in the next segment, but, ah, well, probably leave it there, but because I'm gonna touched on this in greater detail. So before we bring on, that's OK, but if if we could bring an Ariana all and who's going to talk about the user experience of a portfolio? But before I do that, I will just have my handy little bio that I've typed up. So Arianna is a business leader, strategist, designer and educator. She's had over 15 years experience in the field, and she was previously the senior director of global brand and consumer marketing at Zynga, well known up company there. And at the moment she's consulting for several well known Silicon Valley companies with a focus on building brands, and finally, she is also the founder of Paper Jam Press. It's a let it let a press poster in apparel company so that further ado, let's bring on Arianna, Poland thank you very much for coming. Let's take seed here. All right. So today we've been talking about personal analysis, and now in this segment about the importance of the customer analysis. So just for clarity, it is about the employer there, the customer. And it's not a crazy journey, but there are a couple things I think it that you be able to expand on for us. The first question I have for you is what are two or three practical tips that you can give to the audience watching as well, when they're in the planning stages of creating a portfolio. Yeah. I'm so glad you asked that. So, um so for me, um, I made the classic error that I think if for those of you in the audience who are about to put your portfolio's together, that gets made a lot, I thought that I should put everything that I ever worked on in my portfolio like everything I ever worked on. I was so proud of each of the projects that I had done, and I started in production, and I moved into graphic design and so each and everything that I designed like a receipt for WalMart. Um, we had to figure out where to put, like the walmart dot com advertising on a receipt, like a little note like check out walmart dot com and I was so proud of it. Or, you know, a credit card stuffer, which, which is a absolutely fine project, but maybe not my best work and nothing that showed off any expertise other than maybe the ability to use the tools. Um, And so I put every little thing in there, and I had I had started in production, and then, um, there was a creative director I really admired at the company that I worked for. And then it was the doc Home crash, and everybody went to lots of different companies. And I went to his new company as a to interview as a designer, and I was so nervous, and I put everything in my portfolio and I was like, sweating and you know, the whole thing. And, um and he was so nice. And he listened to me talk about all the projects. And then he said, You know, there's something that I have to tell you, and, um and I said, What He said you didn't get the job, but But I really want you to know this because we were actually friends from before. But But he let me go through the process of the interview. Um, and you know, he said, you have to come in with a point of view. He said, no more than 10 projects. Think through the work that you're presenting, you know, understand how I'm going to receive it as your audience. And, you know, your you have to you have to do you have to edit, you have to edit yourself, and often that can be really hard. Yeah, I love that, you know, common comment problem, isn't it? You know, and Jen from the own anti brought up earlier. But, uh, I've found that if you have five strong projects with five pieces within it, sure. And if there's quality in those rather than 15 or 20 projects with so much stuff, well, a lot of the times, if you don't, if you have your your average work, they're gonna detract from your hero pieces. So it's always better. Yeah, really going on and not to be scared. Yeah. Yeah. And I think you're totally right. I think you know, if you don't have 10 strong projects put in the five, that's absolutely fun. You know, you you want toe represent yourself kind of in your best light, but you don't want to over sell, and you don't want toe. Um, create a portfolio that really isn't representative of your work in your ability, because that won't serve you well either. Yeah, Yeah, totally agree. So another one is, um, invest in good photography. So, you know, if you're a print designer and you have beautiful business cards or brochure, some print piece that you did and you're not great, you know, taking your own photos, hire somebody to do that for you. It's really important that your imagery is strong, that the imagery that you choose to put in the portfolio you can have a lot of, you know, documentation of the thing. But back to the kind of kitchen sink approach. You're not gonna put everything in there. Um, if you're doing interface design work, you know, make sure that you're Photoshopped files or the files, the cops, the design mock ups that you're that you've created. Show what you want to show because, you know, I've done a lot of interface work in the past, and I think depending on who's looking at your work, they're gonna be looking for for foundational elements in your practice. And it's gonna be obvious to them if you show a mock up of a u I that doesn't work. Like, you know, you can't actually like, find the task in the page and do it even though it might look great functionally it's gonna be obvious to the person who is revealing it that that it's challenged. And, um, you know, depending on where you are in your design practice to, I find that, um, sometimes the mock ups don't get made you know you might like For if you're handing off work to a designer, you might are, uh, engineer. You might actually only do like the landing page and then another representative page. But if you're really trying to demonstrate a comprehensive flow or you're trying to demonstrate a certain aspect of the work, you have to take the time to do the mock up that you didn't get paid to Dio to put it in your portfolio to tell the story. I think that's also really important. Yeah, There's so many great tips there, Arianna sharing. And, uh, one of them is photographing your work. Of course, I actually have a bonus material on how to set up your your piece and photograph it with basic materials at the very least, because again, I don't want to limit you to think that look, I don't have 500 bucks for, you know, to our photo shoot. Some people don't, But if you can reach that level and so would be the money for that, it's gonna be such a huge investment, therefore for you, But But again, some of you guys that are just starting out might not have that. So there are ways around that as well. Yeah, I think you're absolutely right. And I don't mean to say that now you have to start saving a photographer. I think that to the best of your ability, whatever that is, if you happen to, you know, be decent with your IPhone and you think you can get a polished photograph out of it, that's totally fine. I think the end goal is really to be deliberate about the work that you're putting in and make sure that that you're thinking through each piece and to the best of its execution. Yeah, you're totally right. The second question, um, we have a question for Sierra. Let's let's let's take your question. We're wondering about the photograph in your work, and I want to know your thoughts on, like, three D renders. Or like Photoshopped actions to have, like, a similar look. Oh, so what kind of work do you dio? A digital graphic? Didn't you do digital graphic design in some I transition April printed digital. You are? Yeah. You know, I'm not really familiar with reviewing three d work, so that's a tough one for me to answer. I don't know. You mean give me an example of 11 piece that you'd like to. Okay. So safe Or is it like a book cover? There's, like, photo shop actions that will take that to a dimensional and no, make it three d. So I'm here like it's an actual book. Yeah, I see what you're saying. OK, so I have a point of view about that. Um so I think it's really important to show work institute, if you can. So it's one thing to design a logo. It's another thing to show that logo on a business card if you're designing a stationary system and to show how your contribution is actually used or implemented is something that I really care about. So I when you look at a book jacket, I mean, it could be a mural on a wall. You know, like when you're looking on the computer, you have no idea of the scale and how how that thing comes together. So I would love to see the jacket on the book. Whatever best represents the function off that is always going to be the best solution. So a common one is, Oh, but I found this really cool set off free PS days where I just have to basically plunk on top my branding design off the stationary right coming. But would it be better to actually print your pieces market up and tell a story in another way? Make it uniquely yours because there's at least gonna be a couple 100 people using that same PSD. It's straight out of a look around the old notice that there's like a lot of stock images of like a person holding a poster, you know, and it's just a blank, um, white rectangle and then you condone Throw your design onto it and I can tell you it's really handy. And I think that Tandy for presenting to clients. And if you don't have time to put a person you know you don't have a friend who's willing to go stand there, use down there had her friend do it again. I think it's about presenting the work to the best of your means and ability within the time. Yeah, and there's a couple things there. Of course, I would still go the stock image of someone holding a post up, then the flat file off the poster. Okay, so the environment that it should be seen in is crucial, but again, its key would hear relevance. Make it relevant. Annabelle. Yesterday we got time for one more for new vinyl. Go ahead. You guys always have a lot of experience. And just for anyone else in the audience, somebody who doesn't have as much you know don't have 10 or even five, maybe projects. What's your opinion off Putting things on an online portfolio that haven't actually being produced, that you haven't actually worked on the your ideas, development or whatever. But you're putting things out there on the Internet that are then free for other people to take if they haven't been used already. What's your opinion? I actually cover that in a later segment in detail. But, Arianna, we love your thoughts. I say go for it. I mean, you know what I mean. Eso So I say go for it. Because, um, I want you to put your work out there, and I want I want, um for the fact that the work hasn't been published or made not to be an obstacle for not getting the portfolio done because I know all about making obstacles for for not sorry. But I will also say, like, right now I'm on my portfolio. I have, um, one of the things locked. Um, so basically all the stuff is up there. You can click through it if you want, but one of the, um, case studies or project pages for lack of a better description is password protected. So that's one wayto to not have to go through like the elaborate state steps that you were talking about before making, like this printed portfolio and something that you know, you have to bring with you or male or whatever. But but, yeah, you you could put some stuff out, password protected, and then only share it with your potential client or something like that. So she pretty much just that said my mother segment. That's great. That answers that pretty much now on the head, do it Go for it doesn't have to be riel as a paid job that lose in the real world, there is absolutely nothing stopping you. And how do you make it transparent? You label it on the caption personal project yet? Really? You know. So Okay, so we've got to move on to the next question. Thistles. Good stuff. Those The second question I had for Arianna is in the past is a senior director for Zynga and also as an educator. Can you shed some light on your thoughts on the 1st 10 seconds that employers are looking for When they click into view and online portfolio, what goes through your head? I look at the pictures way. All look at the pictures. You know, um, I look at the pictures. I have my subjective reaction to the work, but the next sort of level of that, I think, is seeing how the person skills and abilities are brought to bear within the execution. So as a designer, you can look at someone you can look at one image that a person is showing in their portfolio, and you can say this person's great a typography or this person needs help with typography, or this person knows color where this person does not know color, you know, or whatever, those whatever their strengths, their weaknesses are. But but I look at them and just, um I just I know that might even seem ultra simplistic, but really, I'm like, Yeah, that's the reality of it. A lot of the times I see so many tiny thumbnails, you know, that is a hindrance right there, you know, show me at least two or three that I can appreciate that will make me want to see the rest of your work that will make me want to click what that project was about because it's a big one. Yeah, so images first. Then I read the content I want to see what the person did within the work. Um, I think that, you know, if you're making your portfolio and your straight out of school, hopefully, our it would seem that a lot of the work in your portfolio is going to be yours. You know, like you, their class assignments that you're presenting, and so your hands are on it. But if you are a little bit further along in your career, ah, lot of the work is very collaborative. And so you might have designed the logo, but not the business card. Or you might have designed, um, three pages of oven elaborate interface that, you know, six other designers were working on. So I want to know what what the person did. And then I kind of them reflecting back on the images to see okay, if their contribution was, you know, in in the u I or in the in the illustration part in these images of the work is that coming through? And then the last thing is feeling getting a feeling for if it's really integrated, you know, is this person saying that they're an illustrator? And is this the portfolio when I kind of zoom out and look at it. Oven Illustrator Is this person at the level that I that I'm looking for to fill this project or this opportunity? You know, Do they have the aesthetic that I'm looking for? Maybe I'm looking for someone who you know who is great in a more iconographic or flat way. And, um, the portfolio is they're really talented illustrator, but it's highly detailed and just not the aesthetic that I'm looking for. So it's kind of ah, superficial glance. Then you kind of dig in and a little bit of a zoom out. Yeah, now we were definitely touched on all of those points in the next segment. Eso I'm glad Arianna brought that up. You know about authenticity, integrity, and you're working you that you're saying what you do and that you're doing what you say, you know? How does that help? So how is that showing through the organizing? So we'll tap into that. Be more in the last question I have fire on it is parting words for the audience. If you had to pick just one piece of advice to create a knockout portfolio, what would that one thing be my pressure. Um, I'd say Emphasize your strengths. You know, you you have to put out there what it is that you want, and that's the kind of job that you're gonna want to get. Do you know what I mean? It's like if you feel like you should be positioning yourself more towards like, you know, you I designer, but you love visual design. It's a disservice to you to try to force yourself to be the thing that you're not, you know, And if you can let your personality shine through to you don't want it to be to kind of personality driven. But I think in reviewing the portfolios, everything's kind of neutral. And then there has to be this thing that grabs you. You know, whether it's the person's a great writer, and so their tone of voice comes through really well. Or, you know, the person, uh, is a great you I designer. And there portfolio has something that demonstrates that, you know, in a way that maybe haven't seen before. You don't want it to be gimmicky, though I think that that could be a trap. Yeah, so I'll definitely Yeah, I definitely agree with that. And, um, yeah, often that the gimmicky tops of portfolios become too distracting and takes too long to load and becomes complicated. So there a lot of things that but that's great. That final point is spot on on before we are. Send Arianna often and applaud her. I just want to direct your attention to Arianna all and dot com. Check out work there. It's great stuff. Also on Twitter. She is very active on her handle there, which is at Ariana Borland and her paper Jam press. There's also a couple social media platforms there, such as Instagram, so paper paper jam presses her handle for that. I think that right about something. Let's get around.