8 tips for creating a stellar UX portfolio
For better or worse, having a portfolio as a UX professional has become industry standard.
Yes, you might not be a visual/UI focused creative, but regardless, your portfolio is the first thing most prospective employers will want to see. Creating your UX folio can be a really tricky process, as you’re basically trying to show a highly technical process within a simplistic, visual format. But it can be done in such a way that your portfolio itself becomes a valuable extension of your experience and skills. Here I’ve collected some of my top tips for creating an eye-catching portfolio.
Process, process, process
You can have the most visually stunning portfolio, but none of that matters if the person viewing it doesn’t know how you got to where you got to… each project needs an end to end outline that highlights what problem you solved, how you solved it, and, if possible, what the outcome/ROI was for the end user.
Long story short
That’s a lot of detail to give, and you haven’t got long to give it. If your notes aren’t clear & concise, they won’t get read. Anyone reviewing your portfolio wants to be able to quickly understand your process & involvement without having to dig for it. In short, don’t employ extraneous, convoluted verbiage in what could potentially be perceived as a fundamentally futile endeavour to elevate your seniority…
Take (and give) credit
A lot of projects are a team effort – if you were responsible for everything your reader is seeing, then tell them that. If not, own what you did and be honest about it – otherwise you might be unintentionally taking credit for someone else’s work.
Link with caution
By all means, link out to your work – but only after demoing the stage the project was at when you left it. The project/URL could change, or be taken down, and you’d have nothing to show for all that hard work!
PDF portfolios are sooo 2012! Hosting your folio online is the standard. If you’re sticking to a document folio for confidentiality issues, look into workarounds like blurring logos. Worst case, you can always password-protect restricted projects (but this should be a last resort).
Don’t fall at the first hurdle
Your portfolio site itself is as much a part of your portfolio as any project in there, don’t just dump your projects online and call it a day! Here you’ve got a great opportunity to really flex your technical muscles, so use it.
Quality over quantity
You don’t have to host every single project you worked on. Try & provide a good cross-section of the work you’ve done that best displays the breadth of your skillset. You can always provide more specific examples at a later date, your portfolio should be more of an introduction to what you can do.
Keep it current
Creative styles & design thinking are ever-changing, and it’s surprising how quickly projects can look dated. Make sure to have a cull of old projects and an update with new ones every 6-12 months.