Individual Project Proposal

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I can't decide on which type of interactive book I'd like to create. I'm deciding between 2 ideas, and they're rather different genres.

Option 1: Cookbook
My aunt recently put together a cookbook of my Nana's recipes. I feel that the audience for this would be more for family members, due to the sentimental value of the recipes. However, it could also be available for anyone interested in them. I feel it would be innovative because I want to include memories and/or interviews of my family members. I'd want to include stories from Nana about where she got the recipes. To be honest, I don't know where they're all from. It would be a way to learn more about the recipes I grew up eating whenever I visited Nana and Grandpa.

I like the idea of also including videos. These could include family members talking about the recipes and/or memories attached with them. Videos and/or multiple images could be included with each step of the recipe, especially when certain baking/cooking techniques are being applied.

Challenges I foresee with this project involve the audience. It seems rather small since it focuses on my family. I would also want to include interviews of my Nana, but I also see several problems with this. She lives in Cleveland, so traveling to see her may be an issue this semester. She also hates having her picture taken and/or being filmed. So as much as I like the cookbook idea, I'm sure that it is the best choice.

Option 2: Interactive Portfolio/Resume
Part of the requirement for our MAPC degree is to create a portfolio that showcases certain skills we've developed throughout the program. I very much like the idea of creating an interactive portfolio that showcases certain deliverables from the program. With this portfolio, I would also like to include reflections on the process I went through to create different items and which skills I learned doing each.

The audience for this would be prospective employers. Thus the end goal of the portfolio would be to show employers what I am capable of when creating an e-book and also showcase other skills that I've learned. I feel the innovation in this is how my portfolio is presented. It won't just be a resume. It won't just be a portfolio where I've put multiple things I've created. It will utilize a non-linear and interactive approach to my work and my thought process. I would hope this innovation is that it is not how other applicants present themselves.




The cookbook would definitely be cool and fit the requirements of the project, but the portfolio would be more useful in the long run. It might not be as easy to add in videos and images, depending on what you've done, but I think in the long run it might be more useful. You could always learn the techniques through your portfolio and then create a cookbook later. Also, if your family doesn't have an iPad or iPhones, they wouldn't be able to access the cookbook. Just something to think about!

Will's picture

Which to Choose?

For both of these ideas, there is the problem of access. For the portfolio, will you have to do another version of the portfolio later? Gathering all the information and thinking about your projects would be a good exercise though. For the cookbook, will the audience be able to use the cookbook or have access to the recipes in a digital format? Both of these ideas are limited by their personal nature and medium. I think you should go with the cookbook idea because although iPad's are popular, only certain employers would even be interested in looking at an iBook portfolio. So... who's going to be seeing this portfolio? The answer to that question should guide you to which project you should do.

cmmayberry's picture


Abby, I like both of these ideas and see the interest in doing either. While the cookbook provides your family and others interested with treasured family recipes, the latter may be more useful in the long run. I like the idea of creating video that depicts how you went through the process of actually creating the portfolio, that could be an interesting way to differentiate your portfolio (and yourself) from the competition. But, if you're digging the cookbook idea, I support it!


If you're hoping for a future job in digital publishing or publishing of any sort (because, let's be real, everything has a digital component nowadays), then I think the portfolio/resume is an excellent way to go. I know a lot of job hopefuls say on their resumes that they have experience in Adobe Photoshop or InDesign or whatever--and they might--but oftentimes they count what little experience they have as a qualification simply to land the job. A portfolio/resume already in ebook form proves that you have experience with InDesign, iBooks Author, and the like. Obviously you'll need a paper resume too when it comes to applying for jobs but I think having a digital version is sleek, creative, and professional.

Abby's picture

I actually just spoke with my

I actually just spoke with my adviser, and he mentioned a position that is looking for experience with e-books, specifically for iPads. Based on that conversation, I'm thinking that a portfolio e-book would be a great way to showcase my skill set. I still plan on having a traditional resume, and I'll also be making a portfolio website in case I interview for jobs that don't emphasize e-book design.