Creating a UX Portfolio

I’m astonished at how quickly my experience at BDW has flown by and with graduation rapidly approaching we are starting to think about job searches and life after BDW. One thing that is very different from my past job searches is the need for a portfolio, in addition to my resume. Here’s how I approached creating it.

Research

Who am I building this for? What are they looking for?

This was first question I had to answer.
My target audience is recruiters and hiring managers. They are visiting my portfolio site to see if I might be a good fit for their organization. Similar to a review of my resume, they are generally spending less than a minute reviewing my portfolio. Questions they want answered:

  • Do I communicate well?
  • Does my personality seem like a good cultural fit?
  • Do I understand user needs and create quality work?
What to include?

Once I knew who I was designing the site for, I needed to decide what to include. In my research, there were hundreds of articles on creating a UX portfolio that included examples of great portfolios. While there were common themes in the articles, the examples of great portfolios were often contradictory.

Quality vs Quantity

With a typical review lasting a minute or less, the quality of the work chosen was critical over the quantity. Between 4 and 6 examples seemed like the correct balance. I chose projects with different briefs to highlight different approaches in problem solving.

Structuring Projects

One common theme I heard from the recruiters I talked to and the articles I read was PROCESS. Describe my process and thinking as I approached the problem. Questions I wanted to answer in my case studies:

Summary
What was the problem I was solving? What were the business challenges? A brief paragraph to give the reader some context for the project.
What was my role?
I was part of a team in every project, so calling out the areas I was responsible for was important.
What was my process?
The projects I’ve worked on have been very different, so each has a different process and tools used to get to the end result.
Reflections: What I’ve learned
What are the key takeaways from the project and how would that change my approach to my next project.

About Me

Surprisingly very few articles mentioned this, but it was something the recruiters were passionate about. They were interested in getting to know me as a person. What would I be like to work with? Would I fit with the company culture?

Resume

The majority of the portfolio sites I looked at for inspiration didn’t include a resume. However, as my primary audience was recruiters and hiring managers this was a key piece of information they would need.

Results

Feedback on the site has been positive. Interviews are starting.


I am currently a student in BDW’s 50 week graduate program. Learn more about the BDW program.

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