More Than the Sum of Its Parts3:16 with Devin O'Bryan
A portfolio is more than a collection of individual works. It’s all of those entries working together to create a whole. We’ll discuss in this video the importance of a holistic view.
[MUSIC] 0:00 Perhaps you've heard someone say that something was more than the sum of its 0:04 parts before. 0:09 The concept came from Germany in the 1920s, and 0:11 the word they created to represent this idea was gestalt. 0:14 More formally, the term came to mean 0:19 an organized whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its parts. 0:22 Gestalt can be applied across a number of disciplines. 0:27 However, we're looking through the lens of selecting work for your design portfolio. 0:32 As such, we need to consider the impact of the selected works, 0:37 as well as how all the pieces fit together. 0:42 Meaning, if you choose ten entries to show, 0:47 then each of the ten entries needs to be strong on its own merit. 0:50 But they should also feel like sort of a family. 0:54 Let me show you the site of a former intern of mine, 0:58 a product designer at Facebook by the name of Zay. 1:00 Zay has ten works that she's showing off, and they're all connected, 1:03 whether visually or conceptually. 1:07 For instance, you'll see a combination of screen-based works, 1:10 letter-pressed posters, art installations, book designs. 1:14 And even a YouTube link to a fashion show that she co-produced. 1:18 While the work is diverse in meaning, 1:23 the collection of content is an accurate representation of what she cares about. 1:26 It speaks to her skills and 1:31 accomplishments, and is presented in a way that depicts her personal sense of style. 1:33 If you want to considerate creating a sort of checklist for 1:39 your content, then I have a recommendation worth looking at. 1:42 There's a insightful article written by Suelyn Yu, a designer 1:45 who's famously worked at the consultancy Frog, as well as Hillary For America. 1:50 In this article she defines a checklist of what is expected in a design or 1:55 development portfolio. 2:01 For instance, she talks about the necessity of basics, like contact info, 2:03 how your process fits in, excluding work that you aren't proud of. 2:08 But the part that I'm really excited to point out is what she calls out regarding 2:13 the actual work. 2:18 Suelyn recommends showing a small number of works, three to five case studies here, 2:20 where she defines parameters like shipping a product, 2:26 showing variety across mobile and desktop. 2:30 Defining your user research, and giving a breadth of industries or end user. 2:34 If you're sticking with a single medium like web design, 2:41 then Suelyn's recommendation of three to five projects will work well. 2:44 Although if the projects are smaller, 2:48 then I would err on the side of five rather than three. 2:51 If you're spread across a variety of media, 2:54 then eight to ten would be a smarter amount of projects to show. 2:57 As you choose these works, you're looking for what joins them all together 3:02 to create that wholeness, that gestalt sense of family. 3:06 In the next video, 3:10 we'll talk about identifying missing parts of your portfolio's gestalt. 3:11
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