ah teaches web design & development (Being the Unicorn lecture)

Being the Unicorn

Lecture outline

Portfolios... just portfolios. Lecture slides will be made available on the day of the lecture (June 28).

P2: Company

Becoming a Unicorn

Step 1: Apply waffle cone to forehead

What makes you different?

  1. Who do you want to work for?
  2. What 'makes you unique' (but employable)?
  3. How do you reconcile all these years of us telling you to be programmers, but designers, but artists, but content strategists, but makers, but animators, but sound designers, but cognitive scientists, but architects, but creators of virtual worlds, but game designers, but storytellers, but video editors, but photographers, but creative entities, but researchers, but ...?

Creating an Ethos

This week's labs

A(n) ethos is the understanding, characteristics and definition of oneself as a ____________.


Who are you visually?

Let's look at a couple of examples:

Showcasing Your Work

Help us understand why it is good

Ensure your project overviews cover:


Speaking like your professional self

The process analysis allows us to guide potential employers through our process. It should:

Process Analysis

A process analysis:

  1. Describes the project
  2. Analyzes the process
  3. Identifies problem(s) and solution(s)
  4. Reflects on the solution(s)

Step 1: Describe

  1. How would you describe and explain P2?

Step 2: Analyze

  1. How would you describe and explain P2?
  2. What might be some 'problems' encountered?

Step 3: Evaluate

  1. How would you describe and explain P2?
  2. What might be some 'problems' encountered?
  3. What did you learn?

Let's Analyze

  1. How would you describe and explain P2?
  2. What might be some problems you encountered?
  3. What did you learn?
  4. How would you explain them to our audiences?
The professional, lay, and disciplinary audiences we need to consider

Potential audiences of our portfolio

Why Should I Care?

Industry and learning

Portfolios are all about reflective practice, and learning well always involves self-reflection.

P3: What Do They Want?

How employers approach applications

How employers approach your application:

  1. Skimming the cover letter (5s): Well written and custom?
  2. Look at the resume (10s): Well designed, clear branding, good typsetting?
  3. Read the resume (20s): Have skills and experience relating to job?
  4. Look at web portfolio (30-60s): Want custom URL, non-templatey website

Care of "Burn Your Portfolio"

An Extreme Do-not-do Example

Let's head over to The Worst Portfolio Ever.

The Work Never Speaks for Itself

It's just that awesome

What does this one say?

Dark room dance performance photoDark room dance performance photo #2
Dark room dance performance photo #3Dark room dance performance photo #4

More coming soon!

This slide will be up shortly.


Make that framework less framework-y

"I'm sick of seeing the same damn buttons. I'm sick of seeing that same damn toolbar up top. It's driving me crazy."
"Customize Twitter Bootstrap to Not Look Bootstrap-y" by Antonin Januska


Identifying how you want others to see you

How might you communicate that you are 'efficient' without using text?

Code Plagiarism

Be wary

You are allowed to use frameworks (ie. Bootstraps or Foundation web UI frameworks), JavaScript libraries to make working on the site easier, but the final design must be your own work. All materials must be cited.

When in doubt, ask the TA or instructor.


Be wary

If you have a pre-existing portfolio that you are revising or redesigning for this project you are required to provide a URL to the original by July 5. This just helps us ensure that there is no self-plagiarism occurring in the project.

Self-plagiarism will result in grade of zero. No exceptions.

Identifying employers

Remember every website has an audience, in this case your potential employer is your audience. Hence we'll be having you identify who you might want to work for in the future, to help you focus your site.

Employment exercise

Keep it real

For the employers you look at and the job descriptions you find, please be realistic.

P3: Portfolio

Next week's lecture

The Coding Quiz

This entire lecture will be our time for completing the coding quiz.