User Experience Professionals Association of Los Angeles Message Board › How Much UX have You Put into Your UX Portfolio?
Santa Monica, CA
How Much UX have You Put into Your UX Portfolio?
by Alison Lawrence, Didus
This isn’t news that will surprise you: the UX job market is hot right now. New opportunities are popping up in every major (and minor) market. No matter what your UX stripe, you are most likely getting contacted nearly every week with some new enticing role. And, although the demand for UX talent far exceeds the supply, the competition for top roles at the most interesting companies is pretty fierce.
Hiring managers have high standards, and in order to respond quickly and effectively to the dream roles that cross your path, its critical to maintain a solid portfolio that you can share at a moment’s notice.
As someone working every day with UX folks who are looking for a new opportunity, I am continuously surprised by the number of bad portfolios that cross my desk. I understand you work on UX all day, and the last thing you want to do when you get home is even more of it, but if you want to take your career to the next level, it’s a necessity. Just as the cobbler’s kids have no shoes, UX designers don't always design their portfolios for their users.
How many UX directors do I know who want to wade through a pile of attachments or dropbox links? Grand total: none.
So, What Makes For A Solid Portfolio?
Your portfolio should ably demonstrate the relationship between your process and your deliverables. To showcase only the final deliverables tells only a fraction of the story. Today’s UX hiring managers want to know how you work through a design process—often more than they even want to see the end result.
You need to turn your user-centered design lens on your own portfolio
Not only that, to truly convey your design process to your viewer/user, you need to include narrative in your portfolio. Take it back to basics: a little show and tell. Show me your work while you tell me about your process. You shouldn't have one without the other.
Get All UX on Your Portfolio
I know, UX is not a verb, but you need to turn your user-centered design lens on your own portfolio. Before compiling your work, first ask yourself who will actually be looking at this portfolio (who are your users)? What is the goal of the portfolio (what do the users want)? What’s the easiest way to get that result to them (design for use)?
There are typically four key pillars for a well-built portfolio:
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