As the demand for UX designers increases, there is also a growing number of professionals switching their career path into the UX design industry. If you’re one of these people, chances are you are still figuring out how to create a compelling UX design portfolio to land your dream UX role. Here we have put together the 5 best practices for building your UX design portfolio:
1. Tell Your Story
Your portfolio should give your potential employer an insight as to who you are, what your previous experiences are and how you ended up where you are today — this could be vital especially if you don’t have a background in the UX design industry. It could also be a chance for you to show them how you can fit into their company’s culture and values with your personality. Tell them what your motivations and passions are. Give them something to make them want to contact you and learn more about you but make sure that the information you include is relevant to the company you’re applying for.
2. Show Your Process
This is one of the most important elements you should cover in your portfolio. Focusing on your process when explaining your case studies will give the hiring manager an idea on how you work and solve problems. Particularly, you should include the problem, the tools you used, the process of how you approach the problem (i.e. research, user personas, user journey, low-fi and hi-fi mock-ups, and prototypes), and the finished project. This could be a good way to showcase your storytelling skills. Tell them the process of how you moved from one phase to another. Let them understand how your designer mind works and how you tackled the problems.
3. Be Visual
Make your portfolio visually pleasing to your future employer by adding graphics and photos. Include an image of your brainstorming sessions with sticky notes, sketches, and screenshots of your wireframes and prototypes. These will serve as visual evidence of your project and will demonstrate how hands-on you were by documenting your process. Just make sure not to overdo it and focus more on the content. In addition to this, keep an eye out on your font and colour palette and use the same style on all the pages of your portfolio. Consistency is key!
4. Leverage Your Strengths
A good rule of thumb for your UX portfolio is to showcase 3-5 of your best projects. There is no need to include every project or case study you have done in the past. Remember, only include those that are relevant to the company and position you are applying for. Know what your strengths are and use it to your advantage. For example, if the role you are applying for focuses more on research, then highlight your projects which have the most impact on research. On the other hand, if you’re more interested in design, then show projects with visually appealing colour palettes and typography. If you have other projects you are proud to present, you can mention it later on in your interview.
5. Test Your Portfolio
It is important that you user test your portfolio as hiring managers do not have the luxury of time to look at every detail of your projects. Grab your roommate, sister, friend or partner and practice presenting your portfolio to them. Make sure that they fully understand your portfolio and the message you want to convey is coming across. Get your audience to look for crucial information. For example, ask them how many years of experience you’ve had or the results of your project. Having this information readily available shows your potential employers your ability to present to higher level managers. Lastly, do not sound too rehearsed as if you’ve memorized a script. Be natural and confident.
Whether you’re new to the industry or a senior UX designer, your portfolio is crucial to prove your future employer what you can do for their company. Having a compelling UX design portfolio will not only help you advance in your UX career but it could be a chance for you to reflect on what you’ve done in the past and what you can do in the future.
If you are thinking of starting a career in UX or just diversify your skillset in general, UX Academy has several UX courses available to suit your needs. Get the chance to work on real-life projects and build your UX portfolio when you join UX Academy!