Seven considerations to help ensure your portfolio is as user-centred as you are.

Icons from the series Flat Shadows by Shannon E. Thomas on toicon.com.

As designers, we spend our days obsessing over the needs of our users, representing their voice in the business, and advocating their needs. It’s second nature to us to put users first when it comes to our product, but why is it so often overlooked when we’re designing our portfolios?

In most cases, your portfolio primarily serves as a tool for the job hunt. Dozens of people will be reviewing your portfolio in the weeks to come, and it’s important you make sure their…


As we continue to grow our design team at Moneyfarm, we’re also developing our process to ensure our users are at the core of every decision made. We’re exploring how a different approach to user testing can help us to discover the blocking stages for our target market. We’re treating our user tests as an experiment in itself.

Finding the right test participants

First we defined company-wide personas, outlining our target user’s motivations, concerns, and behaviours to build empathy. We also mapped each persona to some key drivers for the company — wealth, technology familiarity, and most importantly, investment experience.

Moneyfarm’s target users are not…


For a single design position, it’s not unusual to look through a hundred candidates’ portfolios and résumés just to get to five interviews. Even with strong candidates, making the step from serious candidate to full-time hire can still be an intimidating decision to make. How does a company decide that a person has the right skills and a process that will work with the rest of the team? We decided to create a design test to better analyze the candidates we like to make sure they’re a good fit for us…and that we’re a good fit for them!

Not all…


Many people who’ve worked with me know that I’m extremely passionate about the quality of internships. When I was studying, I had worked with mentors on all ends of the spectrum — engaging designers who gave me real-world experience, demanding directors who barked for personal errands (you think picking up coffee is bad?), and much in between.

As The Artificial grows, I’m taking on more responsibilities — one of them being mentoring our new intern (yikes, sounds so formal). Needless to say, I want to make sure I pass on only the best from my previous experiences.

Internships are often…


It’s important to know your goals with prototyping in order to determine which tool best caters to your needs. Prototypes can be used for clarifying interaction models, demonstrating concepts and functionalities, or presenting the product’s animations. Some tools may handle one requisite brilliantly, but lack the functionality to accomplish your targeted goal efficiently.

We compared seven prototyping tools to help guide you to the appropriate tool for your specific challenge.

We selected these seven tools because of their diverse range of qualities and methods.

InVision A web-based collaborative program
Pixate Google’s native mobile prototyping tool
Principle Created by a former Apple engineer
Form


During the past year, I’ve learned an incredible amount from working at The Artificial, a digital product design agency based in Amsterdam. New processes, terms, and techniques have transformed me into a more user-focused designer, but the pivotal moment in my career was when I learned to embrace existing interactions.

My background is in print design, and I had graduated from a program that valued idiosyncrasy and the idea of embracing the unfamiliar. I loved this so much I designed my thesis project with intentional ambiguity to force the audience to make their own connections. …

Carol Liao

Product & Service Designer | carolliao.com

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