A couple of weeks ago Apple announced iBooks Author, a free mac app that allows you to create and publish books to the iTunes store with relative ease. I thought I’d check it out to see if you could use iBooks to create an iBooks portfolio, allowing prospective clients and employers the opportunity to download onto their own devices.
The app itself is great – it pertains to the simplicity of the iWork series, with the drag-and-drop intuition throughout. There are a variety of templates to suit the various styles of book that can be created, all customizable and editable to allow for almost any layout.
Apple claim that there are a multitude of options for further media, such as interactive images, 3D, HTML and video, but I am yet to move beyond the basic images for my requirements at the minute. I can only imagine how good motion design portfolios could be with the options available – the HTML options being especially interesting for those who can code.
The actual publishing to the iTunes store is through an additional app called “iTunes Producer” which also requires a Connect account to be registered. Overall, it was very smooth, and my book appeared within 24 hours online. Unfortunately for me, it was available for iPad only, which I don’t have…yet. Nevertheless, on screen, the book appeared nicely. It was clean, clear and showed my work in a way that I would present to a client or employer, more of a summary rather than a detailed view on each piece of work.
At this stage anyway, I think that any potential employer within the design industry would be impressed with a job applicant submitting an online portfolio, available in the iTunes store. Personally I would have a physical one to be sure, but an email with a web-link to the portfolio is worth the extra effort. There is no doubt that it would stand apart from the rest of the competition.
It’s hard to say if this will take off (my bet is that it will) but there is no harm in designers opening themselves up to new methods of presentation. What do you think? Will designers start to use iBooks for Portfolios, or stick to the traditional methods?