Whether you are pursuing a career in UX designing or still aiming for it, the first requirement for any recruiter is a well-defined UX portfolio to showcase the candidate’s skills. The job demand for user experience designers has a growth projection of about 22% in the coming 10 years. As of 2020, LinkedIn ranked UX design as one of the top 5 in-demand skills. The field has growing demands for dynamic skills and responsibilities in the user-driven world. Thus, with the expansion of the UX community, it becomes increasingly crucial for a designer to have a felicitous portfolio. Let’s break the topic down for a better understanding.
What Is A UX Portfolio?
A designer may forget the conventional CV but should definitely carry a definitive portfolio when applying for a UX designer position. UX is a game of visuals; hence designers have this responsibility to showcase the best of their work constructively and creatively. A UX designer portfolio is something that speaks for the projects and working style of the designer. And most importantly, a UX design portfolio reflects the designer’s personality and design process, like how the designer identifies and reaches a solution for user problems.
The vitality of UX designer’s Portfolio-
For starters, a UX design portfolio is an essential aspect that may win designers their dream job! A decent portfolio indicates that a designer has put effort into exhibiting relevant work and skills in a logical as well as aesthetical way. Through a portfolio, the recruiter cracks down if the designer has an understanding of a well-defined user perspective. Also, no recruiter will go through the entire portfolio and its details; thus, it should be appealing and easy to glance through.
Now, you must be curious to know how to ace that. So, let us explore the steps to build an awesome portfolio!
Steps To Build Portfolio For UX Designers-
Decide what you want to showcase- We often forget about our innumerable talent, therefore being a designer you should have a bird’s eye view of all the projects and tasks you have mastered. Jot down what you are good at, which part of UX design you love to do, and, what is your X factor. Following that, select the projects and UX chores you want to add to the portfolio. For instance, if you love to play with colors and layouts, present those layouts and mention their contribution to the projects.
Incorporate your successful projects as case studies- If you want to distinguish yourself, choose quality over quantity always! Although it’s never always about the numbers, you can add that as your multitasking skill if you have managed to achieve different tasks for multiple projects.
But, in case you want to grow for a single job profile, add case studies of your best project in the portfolio. Elaborate the tasks you were assigned, your specific role, your approach to the problem, what value the approach brought into solving the project problem and business, and finally, your takeaway.
Format- Here you get to do the fun part and tell your story! Your portfolio can be web-based, PDF/Slide-deck, or in the form of physical artifacts. If you wish to go with the standard web-based format, keep it simple and easy to navigate. The PDF portfolio format provides you the advantage of adding, hiding or removing templates of different projects.
On the other hand, physical portfolios make the designer highlight the design process with paper prototypes and sketches. You can also add the physical artifacts into your web or PDF portfolio to offer the hiring managers a sneak-peak into your working style.
Choose Appealing Template- After selecting projects to be on the display, create a simple template to present your portfolio cohesively.
Take Reviews And Try Innovation- It’s sometimes beneficial to have a third opinion. When you finish your portfolio, send it to people for a review, especially your peers who are in design. This will enable you to rectify the errors, enhance the appeal, and boost the usability of your portfolio. Also, try to incorporate the points your hiring managers suggest for the portfolio and then iterate accordingly.
Other useful tips to consider-
Add the images of the process- The recruiters stay more interested in the working process rather than the final result. Thus, try to showcase process images of your projects that highlight your specific skills, such as time management and fine communication.
Re-Create your iconic wireframes, prototypes, and design layouts- Modify and display your hit wireframes and design layouts; this will indicate that you have a lot to offer.
Internships- Hiring managers look for practical and real-time UX designers. If you’re a newbie, try to bag as many internships as you can to gain real-world experience.
Save time- Falling short of time? Focus on projects that display the depth of your work as well as your versatile pattern of working. For instance, the case study of a single best project may reflect your problem-solving skill and ability to tackle challenges--the main attributes UX hiring managers are looking for.
Portfolios are a crucial part of careers for people indulged in artistic fields. For user experience portfolios, the presentation of authentic work and the process of that work, like collaboration with the teams, the skills showcased as well as the tools employed play a concerted role. Also, designer portfolios may enlighten and motivate the designers themselves for the kind of work they wish to do in the future. Therefore, UX designers should continue to curate the portfolio they build and showcase the best of their abilities and strength to bag that dream job!