Anti-portfolios and website topic division.

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sixeyes
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Anti-portfolios and website topic division.

Post by sixeyes »

Hi!

I'm starting this thread as a contrast to the Do you know any good portfolio sites? thread, i hope people don't mind. This is something i've been thinking about for a while but didn't have a place to discuss it.

I must admit that my website IS a portfolio of sorts, in that it's basically a pile of things that i've made, but i don't want to think of it that way. And i'm not digging the "division by medium" scheme! For now there's a music section, an art section, a code section, and so forth. Predictable! Efficient! And pretty boring, to me. But how else to divide things up? This is the question. (To be clear - i don't have anything against portfolios, thats just not what i want to create)

For me, i'm thinking something along the lines of "Creatures" (like, an OC gallery and some stories), "Places" (photos, maps, writing), "Semiotics" or "Forces" maybe for worldbuilding/philosophy (as if lol). But then it quickly falls apart. I want things to be interdisciplinary but then where do i put the chiptunes? Should visitors have to search for that in the caves? And so on. I've yet to find something i want to commit to.

So, i'm wondering - what are some cool ways to structure a site? Have you thought about these things, or stumbled upon something cool? Please post any ideas or links.

(I'm thinking recently about a site that had a bunch of "shrines" to various concepts/characters/shows (iirc) that the author created/enjoyed - that was cool. (I don't have the link since i'm posting from work :p but ill add it once i get home - and if i can edit posts here lol))

EDIT: HERE's the site with the shrines!
Last edited by sixeyes on Fri May 13, 2022 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Anti-portfolios and website topic division.

Post by keerifox »

sixeyes wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 9:01 am And i'm not digging the "division by medium" scheme! For now there's a music section, an art section, a code section, and so forth. Predictable! Efficient! And pretty boring, to me. But how else to divide things up?
oh I like having some amount of order where stuff is organized in a tidy way, with at least some sense of what to expect from each section and where to look for specific things, but I felt that "nooo this is too boring and efficient" a few times too

my "music i like" section originally started as a collection of made-up CD's in a section called "music cds" but later it turned into more of a place where music exists in a digital format before select pieces make it into recordable discs

instead of "tutorials" and "fun tools" I have a workshop which is kind of like enchantment kind of place. so.. there aren't really any guidelines, it's more of how you want the place to be like


sixeyes wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 9:01 am Should visitors have to search for that in the caves?
the things that I really want to share are usually on the front page or a single navigation away, but if you don't mind that a visitor will likely miss a certain section, you can put it a little deeper navigation-wise
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Re: Anti-portfolios and website topic division.

Post by juette »

i kind of like dividing stuff by topic/genre/general vibes... its a bit hard for me to explain but like.... instead of dividing by format (as in images, sound, etc) it would be more by subject, so idk more like ocs, real-life animals, etc.and you can make more subdivisions to narrow down to very specific things..... but that might not be necessary lol

i feel like having a sitemap is useful if you have a lot of pages organized in a slightly 'weird' way. this way it makes it easier to find stuff (even for yourself when you're looking at your own website lol)
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Re: Anti-portfolios and website topic division.

Post by youngsterj4y »

It's a bit difficult for the end-user, but I've been having a lot of fun hiding pages in thematically-relevant graphics. A page about my favorite music behind a gif of Hatsune Miku, a page where I practiced javascript game coding behind a gif of Porygon from Pokemon, etc. Though, to be fair, I don't share a lot of things that I've made on my site, so it might be a bit annoying if you're trying to get the things you've made really out there.
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Re: Anti-portfolios and website topic division.

Post by sixeyes »

keerifox wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 11:55 am my "music i like" section originally started as a collection of made-up CD's in a section called "music cds" but later it turned into more of a place where music exists in a digital format before select pieces make it into recordable discs
Hehe yeah. I like these kind of gradual changes. Things become other things. I try to keep screenshots of some parts so i can follow it over time.
keerifox wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 11:55 am
sixeyes wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 9:01 am Should visitors have to search for that in the caves?
the things that I really want to share are usually on the front page or a single navigation away, but if you don't mind that a visitor will likely miss a certain section, you can put it a little deeper navigation-wise
Hm! My thoughts more often go "where does this fit" than "where would this be visible". Thats a good angle.
juette wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 12:30 pm i kind of like dividing stuff by topic/genre/general vibes... its a bit hard for me to explain but like.... instead of dividing by format (as in images, sound, etc) it would be more by subject, so idk more like ocs, real-life animals, etc.and you can make more subdivisions to narrow down to very specific things..... but that might not be necessary lol

i feel like having a sitemap is useful if you have a lot of pages organized in a slightly 'weird' way. this way it makes it easier to find stuff (even for yourself when you're looking at your own website lol)
Yeah, this is my realization too. Topic is better than format, which i guess is what makes it not a portfolio anymore. But i have a hard time finding exactly what those topics should be.... i must sort all old things into whatever new categories... it'll be a huge mess, so i want to be at least somewhat sure beforehand.
youngsterj4y wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 12:38 pm It's a bit difficult for the end-user, but I've been having a lot of fun hiding pages in thematically-relevant graphics. A page about my favorite music behind a gif of Hatsune Miku, a page where I practiced javascript game coding behind a gif of Porygon from Pokemon, etc. Though, to be fair, I don't share a lot of things that I've made on my site, so it might be a bit annoying if you're trying to get the things you've made really out there.
Oh i love this!!! It feels more like a "space", with its own inherent rules and aura. I clicked the aipom and it's a youtube video apparently. Yeahh!

And i mean; sure but the end goal of the website isn't for a visitor to find something external to it that i've made, i just want people to walk around in my overgrown garden a bit. The website itself is the point.... (is my goal anyway, which is why it must away from portfolio tendencies)
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Re: Anti-portfolios and website topic division.

Post by youngsterj4y »

sixeyes wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 2:13 pm
Oh i love this!!! It feels more like a "space", with its own inherent rules and aura. I clicked the aipom and it's a youtube video apparently. Yeahh!

And i mean; sure but the end goal of the website isn't for a visitor to find something external to it that i've made, i just want people to walk around in my overgrown garden a bit. The website itself is the point.... (is my goal anyway, which is why it must away from portfolio tendencies)
Thank you so much!! I really try to give my site the correct Vibes :D

Making different images and such link to different pages really gives that overgrown garden vibe imo- if the website in itself is the point, then you're completely free to do anything without regard for the end user, in a sense, haha. It makes it fun!
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Re: Anti-portfolios and website topic division.

Post by Sadness »

I constantly struggle with topic categorization and general organization on my website. I appreciate reading everyone's responses, because I too am torn between having a creative and unique navigation theme, and wanting things to be easy and intuitive (but boring). My favorite, though, is when people name their webpages after physical spaces (e.g., "living room"). I've even seen someone use doors as navigation icons for the different pages.
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Re: Anti-portfolios and website topic division.

Post by sixeyes »

Yeah, for me websites are defenitely "places". It feels like im "in" them, and i would use the same navigational skills i use in real life.

I thought a while about hey, why should navigation be instant? If two pages are thematically different, why not have there be some perceived distance between them? As in, you click the link to "page about hamburgers" and it just lands you on a bunch road/hallway pages you need to click through before you arrive.

But i mean, this is already what happens if you make good use of folder structure. And imposing it on top might just be annoying and confusing. Plus a hassle to maintain :p
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Re: Anti-portfolios and website topic division.

Post by DaGrandDragonn »

I like it when websites have hidden little goodies, but also have a directory page which shows links to all available pages too so I don’t miss anything.

The more difficult a site is for me to navigate, the more frustrated I’ll be as the end- user. As the webmaster, do whatever your heart truely desires, but I always appreciate when there’s a little something that I can reference from, yeah?

Like a little map to guide me around.
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There was this one site I visited a while back that had a very crypticly strange navigation structure, but I unfortunately don’t remember the URL. I’ll post it here if I find it. :P
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Re: Anti-portfolios and website topic division.

Post by juette »

DaGrandDragonn wrote: Sun May 15, 2022 9:23 am I like it when websites have hidden little goodies, but also have a directory page which shows links to all available pages too so I don’t miss anything.
yeah i really dont like when people have a sitemap but a bunch of pages arent on it case like. i WANT to see everything you have to offer but i dont feel like spending 20 minutes hovering over every single pixel of every single page to see if theres secret links
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Re: Anti-portfolios and website topic division.

Post by mayaland »

I recommend Hypertext Gardens about this! It helped me stop thinking about my site in terms of "how can I make a splayed dissection of all the content here" and start thinking more in terms of "how do I arrange the content so people can traverse it in paths that work for them and me".

To me, it's okay and good if people don't consume absolutely everything I have up on my site -- I optimize for making it easy for people to ignore and pass by the parts they wouldn't like. Like the angelica vestis notes are a Little Much to just have as a top-level thing that anyone might click on, but linked from the subpage death, it helps make it so that the person who will get there is the person who might get something out of it.

Has anyone ever come across a website with a library classification system to organize it? For some reason I think that'd be really cute, even if just for a sitemap or something.
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Re: Anti-portfolios and website topic division.

Post by juette »

mayaland wrote: Mon May 16, 2022 3:36 am Has anyone ever come across a website with a library classification system to organize it? For some reason I think that'd be really cute, even if just for a sitemap or something.

i would absolutely love to see it if anyone made one. maybe i should make a sitemap based on the UDC for fun.........
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Post by mayaland »

I sort of found one! Infinite Shoals has this page with a library conceit halfway down. (And isn't the art to die for?)
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Re: Anti-portfolios and website topic division.

Post by sixeyes »

I adore the library idea, (or any pre-existing classification system, but libraries are particularly cool institutions and already have my favor). Decimal one seems fairly universal, we don't use it where i live yet but i learned on wiki that we are in the process of switching to it.

Speaking of books, i've been topic-hunting (question of how to partition the website pages) and one method for this was to look at various lists of things. The wiki page on Prospero's Books (1991) has a list of those books, and.. there's something there i think. Mythologies/stars, geometry, end-plants, language. Maybe they're not for me, but i would love to stumble over a site about these topics.

(I also like to think that the listed titles are the actual titles of the books, not just a description of them. A Harsh Book of Geometry. *shudders*)
mayaland wrote: Mon May 16, 2022 3:36 am I recommend Hypertext Gardens about this! It helped me stop thinking about my site in terms of "how can I make a splayed dissection of all the content here" and start thinking more in terms of "how do I arrange the content so people can traverse it in paths that work for them and me".
Very intriguing! I'll go it more thoroughly later (busy busy) but what i gleamed really resonates. The limits of structure in particular, yes, yes!
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Re: Anti-portfolios and website topic division.

Post by juette »

sixeyes wrote: Tue May 17, 2022 6:30 am I adore the library idea, (or any pre-existing classification system, but libraries are particularly cool institutions and already have my favor). Decimal one seems fairly universal, we don't use it where i live yet but i learned on wiki that we are in the process of switching to it.
which decimal system are you going to use? or do you not know (sorry i just. love these kind of systems)
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Post by Squid-Died »

if i ever manage to properly make my own site im prolly gonna have a thing where its just categorized by themes but i might also have an area thats more navigable for ppl that just wanna look at my art on its own XD
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Post by sixeyes »

juette wrote: Tue May 17, 2022 5:02 pm
sixeyes wrote: Tue May 17, 2022 6:30 am I adore the library idea, (or any pre-existing classification system, but libraries are particularly cool institutions and already have my favor). Decimal one seems fairly universal, we don't use it where i live yet but i learned on wiki that we are in the process of switching to it.
which decimal system are you going to use? or do you not know (sorry i just. love these kind of systems)
Libraries here are apparently switching to Dewey. I didn't realize there were multiple!
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Post by juette »

sixeyes wrote: Fri May 27, 2022 9:31 am Libraries here are apparently switching to Dewey. I didn't realize there were multiple!
in belgium we use the universal decimal classification which is based on the dewey decimal system! im sure theres more different ones but i dont know them
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Re: Anti-portfolios and website topic division.

Post by theymightbefoxes »

I kinda dig a tagging system as a way to separate topics without having the divisions be something that really matter all that much -- have all site content just be "items" with "tags" on them listing attributes. Categories would then be ways of looking at all the items tagged one thing rather than rigid boundaries. It basically leaves it up to the user to figure out how they want to organize the big pile of stuff that is your site. I don't know the specifics of what this would look like in practice but conceptually it sounds cool.
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