Choosing an organizational structure for your web portfolio

To create an effective web portfolio, you must organize it effectively. Before delving too deeply into your portfolio, make sure you know what organizational structure you wish to use. You can organize your web portfolio several ways, but the following two approaches work well: Home Page > Description Pages > Projects or Home Page > Area of Emphasis > Description Pages > Projects.

Home Page > Description Pages > Projects

In this organizational strategy, you'll create a home page that sets up your portfolio. Underneath the home page in the hierarchy are pages describing projects you're showcasing. Underneath each description page in the hierarchy is the project itself. These project pages, however, may not appear as webpages, but as PDF files or files in another appropriate format. You will merely link to these projects, then, from the corresponding description pages. The graphic below illustrates an example of this structure with the linked projects appearing in ovals.

Typical Electronic Portfolio Organization Structure

Home Page > Area of Emphasis > Description Pages > Projects

This organizational strategy mirrors the previous strategy with one exception. You may have several areas of interest that you want to showcase. In this case, breaking the portfolio into segments based on interest makes sense. For example, say you're double-majoring in professional writing and journalism. You may not want to mix your professional writing descriptions and samples with those from journalism, opting to keep them distinct and separate. This approach allows for such grouping. Likewise, you may want to showcase electronic documentation and printed documentation, and this format would accommodate that decision, as well. The graphic below illustrates an example of this structure with the linked project pages appearing in ovals.

Sample Electronic Portfolio Organizational Strategy

Whichever structure you select, avoid adding too many levels of complexity, for people don't like digging through navigational systems to locate information.