It can't just be beautiful.
It also has to function. I've been marinating in this thought a lot lately as I've begun to revisit some of the most important things I've produced or bought in the past couple of months. Anyone who follows my Facebook page will know that I've been creating like crazy. In May, I was booked solid with fantastic story assignments. My mind was also in overdrive at home, searching for anything around the house I could improve (total decor obsession) and any way I could make my work-at-home life more pleasurable (hello, ergonomics!)
I've also had restless moments on the business development side of things, specifically with the usability of my new portfolio site. I absolutely love the site's design. But the portfolio template company I'm using to house my site design doesn't offer a zoom feature. I'd like to know how a company that specializes in portfolio sites would think allowing the user to get a closer look at someone's material (in my case, even read the material) in image format, wouldn't be a necessity. But I digress. The bottom line? A writer's portfolio, however gorgeous, does her (and her potential clients) no good unless visitors can read her work.
Thankfully, I discovered an online publishing company called ISSUU that turns my stories into online flipbooks (with a zoom feature!) that I can embed right into my existing portfolio site. Thanks to ISSUU, I won't have to commission a redesign of my portfolio using a different template at a significant cost.
The bottom line? I lucked out, big time. When the site was originally designed and I signed off on it, I failed to consider, not only the beauty of it, but the functionality of it as well. I should have looked into the capabilities and limitations of the template company I went with before embarking on a design process. Thankfully, that misstep didn't cost me my shirt.
Lesson learned: Consider function first, then create beauty around it. Your overworked mind and wallet will thank you.
To view the upgraded zoom feature, check out my latest story, published in Farm Life magazine this month, on my portfolio site.
Now, if I could only get my living room arranged properly around that brand new coffee table ...