You can read an extended version of this article on Smashing Magazine.
The humble screengrab, staple component of a million personal and agency portfolios can now retire with thanks for years of sterling service showing a snippet of work done for a particular client or project.
It always reflected a mythical state in time where the website looked just as the designer intended it, now what the client ultimately did once they designed their own promo banners or added their own corporate stock photography.
At work we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to display the full extent of our involvement in the work we currently show quite lazily in our portfolio using a couple of screengrabs in a jQuery slider and some bullet points that don’t really do justice to years of work (more often than not behind the scenes) so in our new website, we’re focusing on 3 or 4 projects and art directing case studies for each.
We learn more from studying the thought behind the design vs just the visual design.
It’s noticeable that more and more agencies (and therefore clients) seem to be open and are sharing more background, process and actual results of their projects and the decisions and reasons for some choices. It’s hugely helpful seeing the reasons for a choice, not just the polished end result out of context.
Case study detail
There are some truly great bits of work out there at the moment and they’re now being backed by ever more detailed case studies instead of screenshots and bullet points. Here are some great ones to read:
- Fantasy Interactive’s range of case studies
- Daniel Mall’s Crayola.com case study
- The thinking behind the new Disney.com
- The story of the new Microsoft homepage / Trent Walton’s write up of Paravel’s project involovement
- Puma redesign by Viget
- Circle App – Behind the scenes
- Freeagent redesign
- The all new Squarespace
- Matt Berridge’s extensive write up of a recent NHS project
- David Bushell’s write up of the Passenger Focus site rebuild
Next time you’re adding a project to your portfolio, perhaps consider writing it up in a bit more detail and turning into a case study fellow web folks can learn from and understand why the result is what it is.
Seen any good case studies recently? let me know or leave a comment.