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Create Content List

Create Your Content List

The content list breaks down assets into a list consisting of all the content pieces. These are things that you expect to put into the Web portfolio based on the concept statement.


The pieces must be created, developed, recorded, animated, and then collected for arrangement into a hierarchical structured outline.


This structure will be the skeleton of the Web portfolio. The Web portfolio should be content rich. When the content becomes massive, it is hard to manage. The task of keeping track of everything that will go into the portfolio is simplified with asset organization. Confusion and mistakes are lessened by following a structure.


Now it is time to create your detailed content list. In this stage, you write down all of the tangible assets that you will need to gather, write, create, or design.


This allows you to begin to see the scope and volume that your content will represent. Also, you can begin to get a sense of impact your Web portfolio will have on the user. The user wants content. You want to engage and persuade the user. Are you giving them content? Will the content persuade them to act accordingly in your desired goals?


The content list will provide some justifica- tion to these questions. Making a content list is an important task in the Web portfolio development process. It requires you to brainstorm and list every asset and text piece into an informal list. This list consists of raw materials. Don’t be too concerned with the organization of the list right now.


Be sure to use the concept statement as a starting point for developing the content list. Later, you will take the content list and assemble it into a comprehensive outline. You can use a word processing program such as Microsoft Word to type out your list.


It will save time and will be editable later on. Once the list is typed, the pieces of information can be arranged to help you better understand the site concepts and components. If the document is electronic the text can be copied and pasted into the right spot. Or you can do it the low tech way. Write it out and type it out later.


Whichever method you prefer and is most comfortable for you is best. I’ll describe the process using the old fashioned way. Take a sheet of paper and make a line down the center.


On the left side, write “Graphical Assets” and “Multimedia Assets”, and on the other side write “Text Assets”. List every item that you want to put in your Web portfolio on either side. Now keep in mind, this is a brainstorming exercise, so some items that make this list may not make the Web site.


This is due to a variety of reasons. Some items you may label as outdated or not worthy. Other items may not be complete and still need additional work before posting to the site.


This list helps you think out the content. Next, you will organize the content and weed out damaging items. Remember, this list is being used to get you started. You can always, and should always be posting new content to your Web portfolio. The portfolio is all about content. The more content, the better the user experience.

Create Your Content Outline

Now, you have a rough list of content. You need to refine it.


To do this, we create a content outline.


The content outline will have category headers that represent main navigation  Sample content list Graphic and Multimedia Assets Text Assets Photo of me Syllabi in Word Introduction animation Personal statement CV in PDF format Office hours  the appropriate asset from your content list. In the last exercise we took a general approach to listing information.


Now, we will manipulate our informa- tion into a more precise structure.


To create the content outline you must first list out your main navigation header categories — refer to the concept statement for your previous ideas (I used about/portfolio/design lab in my concept statement). Under each header category, you will place appropriate sub headers and then list items from your content list. Place the appropriate item under the main or sub-navigation header.


Here is an example of how to start: About — main navigation Photo of me Curriculum Vitae — sub-navigation CV in PDF format Contact — e-mail link Notice how about, is main navigation.


This means that about it at that of the hierarchical structure. Curriculum Vitae and contact are sub navigation. You want use this structure to develop the content list fully so that it reflects all the components of your Web portfolio. Once you have the headers filled in, put a number next to each header to signify its importance in the hierarchy of your site.


For example, if you think that your biography is most important, make it number 1 (my sequence is about-1- , portfolio-2-, design lab-3).


If you feel contact is the least important, make it the last number in your sequence, or make it a sub-navigation if it sits below a category in structure. I did this by making “About” a main navigation and contact a sub-navigation component sitting under “About”.


The Web portfolio is built to be nonlinear in design. This means that the user can pretty much go anywhere in the site from no more than two pages deep.


Rather than a linear site that requires the user to go through the site in a predetermined sequence. Your navigation will be nonlinear, but it still needs order to be represented consistently throughout the Web site.


The numerical order will help you to establish a perceived order for you to follow and will create a consistent point of view and navigation order. What is of paramount importance is that categories (headers) are clearly defined so they do not have any overlap which could confuse communication (Kristoff & Satran, 1995).


This structure allows you create a literal page by page outline of the Web portfolio. I realize this process is difficult. But it is so necessary to gain organization and truly grasp content.


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