Ask Scott Belsky what he thinks of the creative industry and you’ll get a frank response. “These are the people who make our lives worth living. But the creative world is probably the most disorganized community on the planet,” he says. Add to the disorganization a lack of transparency as it pertains to project attribution, and you have the impetus behind Behance, the online platform Belsky and cofounder Matias Corea founded for creatives to showcase their work. “We bootstrapped for five-and-a-half years with a mission to help organize and empower the creative world,” he says. “We’ve tried many things over the years--some of the things have thrived, some of the things we’ve stopped doing." But the one consistent thread all along has been growing the platform. And Behance’s platform has recently undergone a significant restructuring to better deliver on its mission.
The Explore Tab
Starting Tuesday, Behance members will be greeted with a new landing page featuring the Explore Tab. Users can filter projects to granular levels, sorting talent by creative field, location, tools/software used, what’s been most "appreciated," and more. So, for example, if you want to see all the work created using a certain kind of camera and desktop imaging software and originating from a specific country, you can. “This has never been done before,” Belsky says. “The ability to sort and also cross it with the quality of the work of what’s been appreciated--when it comes to hiring people, there’s now no better way to sort the world’s creative work than this.”
The Activity Feed displays what’s new and what’s buzzing in the Behance community from the people you follow. “So in real time, this is a way of exploring the creative world through everyone you know as a curator,” Belsky says. “I think it’s pretty powerful when suddenly every person you know in the creative world becomes a curator of creative work for you.”
In addition to its ProSite feature that allows users to build a customizable site for their portfolio, Behance’s turnkey service of powering sites such as the School of Visual Arts’ online portfolios has given members a broader audience for exposure. But if your work is on numerous sites, accessing its performance by way of what’s been “appreciated” and commented on and where was once a guessing game. Behance’s new Statistic tab gives users detailed analytics of how much traffic their work is getting wherever it’s being featured.
As part of Behance’s restructuring, other elements of the site have been pared down or eliminated altogether. Belsky says his team has removed nearly all banner ads and have done away with underused features like discussion boards in order to further shift the focus of the site directly onto the community’s work and more transparency. “There’s really a lot that’s getting in the way of what I like to call creative meritocracy--this dream of matching the best talent to the best opportunity based on people’s work,” Belsky says. “And so that was our number one vision for the future of Behance--making sure everyone’s work is seen by as many people as possible.”