CommonLounge Archive

How to make a good UX portfolio

October 24, 2017

Here are a few tips to help you get started with building your UX Portfolio:

Build your portfolio website, not a PDF

Even though emailing a PDF is convenient and easy, it is not the best way to feature your work as a UX professional. Building a portfolio in web format allows you to present your projects in-depth in an interactive way.

A web-based portfolio allows you to include links, embed videos and include working prototypes of your work, which will sell your expertise much better than a static document.

And as a person working in the UX field, you can also use analytics data from your web portfolio to make it better!

Make it interesting

How can you stand out among the dozens (or hundreds) of other applicants? By telling your story in your own unique way.

Get inspired by people who succeeded in creating an amazing story about themselves, such as game designer Robbi Leonardi who created a resume in the form of an actual video game: Link

Start by asking yourself these questions:

  • What is unique about me?
  • How did I get into UX?
  • What am I really good at?
  • What are my interests and passions? How do they relate to the UX field and experiences?

Be yourself, but remember to keep it professional. Be careful of including any social media links if you are not comfortable sharing such information with a potential client or employer.

Practice what you preach

As a UX professional, your online portfolio is a reflection of your expertise and attention to detail. If your design is not up to UX standards, it will speak louder than any project you feature on your portfolio.

 Although you don’t need to make it overly complicated, you should make sure that your design is sound and consistent throughout your site:

  • Fonts, colors and layout should be consistent on all pages
  • Design should adapt to mobile devices
  • Content should be easy to read
  • Buttons, menus and links should behave the same way everywhere
  • Text should be proofread for typos and grammatical errors

Put your best projects first

Feature first the projects you are most proud of. This way, they will attract more attention and are more likely to be mentioned during an interview. 

If you have a large number of projects, then you can also create a separate section called “Featured Projects” where you can add more details for those who really highlight your expertise.

Add project details

Don’t drown your readers with pages of information and dozens of unexplained screenshots. Instead, decide what information is most relevant and interesting to a potential client or employer. 

As a UX professional, your focus should be on explaining the process:

  1. Purpose of the project
  2. What you accomplished (tasks, deliverables)
  3. Challenges (what didn’t go well and why, how they were overcome)
  4. Approach (step-by-step)
  5. UX Process (explain in condensed form):
  6. Research (reviews, analysis, interviews, surveys)
  7. Ideation (brainstorming, personas)
  8. Wireframe (sketches, test results, iterations)
  9. Design (initial design, test/feedback, iterations, final design)
  10. Prototype (user testing, iterations, development)
  11. Date and duration of project
  12. Group members and your role in the team
  13. Links (prototype, data source, etc.)
  14. Final product showcase (high level, overview only)

Know your audience

You may want to adapt your style depending on the nature of the job, or of the portfolio project. Highly visual portfolio can be effective for projects that were developed successfully. However, a more case-study focused approach can work very well for projects that might have seen a lot of challenges that needed creative solutions.

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