I have previously worked in an advertising agency as a web developer – so working on web sites is not a strange thing for me. On the other hand, I am a photographer and a retoucher, and I have yet to find a venue to host my work. I keep asking myself “Where can I present my pictures?”. I usually don’t answer, because talking to myself would be crazy.
Yesterday, Adobe announced a new feature to Adobe CC users – ADOBE portfolio. Now, I have a huge amount of confidence with Adobe’s product (even if they screw up here and there) so I wanted to test this new platform and see if I can use it for my portfolio platform.
So far I was always disappointed by portfolio providers, and could not find the one that will quite fit my taste. Now, I’ll admit that I probably did not test all the portfolios on the market, but I did test quite a lot. Well – Adobe has some experience in the field: both as the top dog for image editing software, as well as a having a strong presence in the web development arena on the other. Lastly, Adobe are Behance, so they should know something about portfolios and presentation.
Everything above the jump, was my thoughts. The rest of this review is written in real time as I experience the platform.
“Introducing Adobe Portfolio: Beautifully Simple Creative Portfolio Websites“
With this sentence, Adobe launched their blog entry. OK. Here I go. Let’s see how easy it really is and how fast it goes. The time now is 8.55.
I opted for the “Lina” layout, where I can choose from 5 different templates. Oh – after I entered my Adobe ID, I even got a photo of mine as the background appears – this probably came from my Adobe cloud. Very nice, I already feel at home.
The next thing I realize is that everything is edited “inline”, so whatever change I make is immediately reflected in the website. The individual elements can be clicked and changed. Then I can inspect my changes immediately.
As a web developer, it was nice to discover that the designation of the controller corresponds to what I learned on CSS many, many years ago.
It is now 9.06 clock (11 minutes after starting), I loaded my logo in and filled the page with content. Here I would love to see the photos first. The layout editor has many options – but I do not feel overwhelmed, everything is very tidy.
Of course, I try to add my non-scaled pictures, and the editor supports asking for them. It works, like many other features on the site, with a drag and drop interface.
Ok…. I guess I need to use smaller files (would have been RAD if the thing actually made the scaling for me and kept the large file online somewhere…..)
Ok, smaller photos….
Sadly, while running, the image processor on my gallery, my Chrome becomes unresponsive. I am not entirely sure this is related to the Adobe Cloud. My Chrome is running tricks on me lately, so I am going to let this one slide for now.
It is 9.16 now – the upload runs without any problems.
Now, you can call me a fan boy, but I was really happy that I was able to select “Retouching” as my creative field
Well, the images are all in, and as expected, I spent the first 10 minutes pointlessly clicking around and tested various options. The trivial stuff… You know – making the background 80’s green, using various sizes, and so on… So, my conclusion: One can certainly make an insanely ugly portfolio using the platform. Most of the tools for extreme ugliness are there – the only one that is really missing is the Comic Sans font (THANK YOU ADOBE FOR THAT!)
AS long as we are talking fonts, there is a link to Typekit so you can select the fonts that you want.
It is now 9.31, and I want to finally get the page online. So I quickly insert the imprint (German must) and the obligatory link to the mother site on the side menu. That’s kinda easy, the menu forms itself. Just before warping up, I decide that I do not like the Lina layout and switch to “Matthias“. It works flawlessly and my menu, text and actual portfolio are still there and look amazing.
Nice! Going To preview now. You can choose desktop, smartphone and tablets. I am not sure if this is “super awesome hot new feature” or just standard for web design online platforms. I love it so far and I find it super hot.
So, a short break we continue. It is 09.42 and I quickly enter the correct web address where I want my portfolio to go (you can also use your own domain), added my Google Analytics tracking code and title of the page
I am done
My personal conclusion (9.45 – totaling in 50 minutes of work)
I have seen the service for the first time about an hour ago and it is alive now. Even if not perfect it is definitely good enough to be sent out, while I refine it and add or remove photos as I gradually expend.
And the best part? The service is part of the Creative Cloud, so if you are already subscribed, it does not cost a penny extra. (OK, not the best but definitely cool)
Do I recommend it? Well – I definitely find it more professional than a link to the Model tab on 500px or to a Flickr album, or (worst case) a self-made website with dire display errors. So the answer is: Yes, well done.
My first version score is high, wit the only caveat that I had to render the photo to a smaller size myself.