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How to create a UX portfolio from scratch

One major piece to being a UX designer or creator of any kind is showcasing your work. Creating your portfolio from scratch can seem daunting but it is worth the time you take when you finally see your work shine. Structuring your portfolio clearly with the most crucial information will certainly set you up for success. Here are a few structural tips I personally use that I hope you find value in.

Typically for each project I decide to show, I want to make sure I cover:

  • An overview of the project or client I worked with
  • The problem I faced
  • Who I worked with and how we collaborated
  • Any tools I used (doesn't need to be just software)
  • Any processes I used to solve the problem (research, user testing, prototyping, etc)
  • The final result and what I learned about the experience

The important thing to remember is to show your best self, your best work and to show how you think.

Is there anything you make sure to include when beginning to create or iterate on your portfolio?

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  • Avatar
    Rob Whiting

    Hi Kayden,

    Portfolios are a really tricky aspect to get right but can be really important in landing your dream UX role. My own personal advice would be to make sure you always keep notes/images/quotes/etc. throughout a project life-cycle to make it easier to put your portfolio together. Leaving this until a project has finished often means missing out on important aspects, or forgetting key information that helps build your portfolio.

    I've also found the following resources useful in regard to building a good UX portfolio;

    https://medium.com/@userfocus/how-to-wow-me-with-your-ux-research-portfolio-2867001aec18

    https://www.creativebloq.com/portfolios/design-winning-ux-portfolio-61620753

    https://uxportfolio.design/articles/

    Interested to see what advice others might have in this area 🙂

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  • Avatar
    Caitlin Cambron

    In my position I review a lot fo UX portfolios. Kayden, much of what you listed is what I look for! 

    Specifically I am interested in:

    • The problem, and how you contributed to the solution.
    • Steps taken to solve the problem (sketches, interviews, wireframes, prototypes). Like Rob said, photos of these activities are very engaging. I like to see clean file images every now and then but it's wonderful to see you/a team conducting a usability test, leading a design studio, etc.
    • Typically I look at a resume to see what tools you're capable of using, but it's a nice touch to have those dynamically attached to projects in your portfolio.
    • Kayden, I love your last bullet "what I learned from the experience." This is something very valuable as it shows me that you're looking for opportunities to grow with each project, and are mindful about reflecting and improving.

    Some pet peeves when it comes to portfolios:

    • Make sure projects listed thumbnail style go to a full page detailing what we've all listed. I've seen several that don't link anywhere so I'm left guessing what the candidate contributed, what the project goal was, and (since these are typically sexy final mockup images) if they ever created UX artifacts.
    • Include context around the project. A gallery of images works for graphic design, sometimes, but for UX you really need to communicate what these images/photos are.

    Would love to see some portfolios posted on here for anyone who wants feedback!

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