As a designer your portfolio is everything. If you want to enter into UX design, you’ll almost certainly need an impressive portfolio to land your first job. Even if you have prior expertise in the sector, it is critical to maintain a polished and current portfolio.
For a UX designer, the portfolios need to showcase who they are as professionals: the areas in which they specialize, their strengths, their processes, and their design styles.
A UX recruiter will hardly look at your CV, the first thing they will do is open your portfolio, as they would like to know how the candidates present themselves.
As a design agency, we are always thinking about hiring, and even if we don’t have any job openings, we often receive 3 to 10 applications per week, and we make sure to have a look at every portfolio we receive at Bonanza Design, just to see how currently designers present themselves.
With that in mind, we have put together a list of 6 tips to help you build the best UX portfolio, from a UX recruiter perspective:
As we mentioned, your portfolio is a document created to present you and your work, so if you don’t have time to come up with a great presentation, why should I spend time looking at it?
Prioritize projects that align with the work you’re looking for. When seeking a new job, tailor your project selection to the job duties you want to perform.
Your portfolio is shouldn’t be just a series of high-resolution images. Be smart! Use your portfolio as a vehicle that portrays your process as a designer through the use of images and text.
So the main message here is: make a great presentation because first impressions do matter!
By that we mean, not just a regular design process, a typical design process that one can find just by searching online, in your portfolio you need to show the recruiter YOUR process, regardless of how good or bad, right or wrong, that process is.
Own up and present a process that feels like you!
No matter the format, your portfolio should tell a story. Break up text with visuals and make a clear distinction between projects.
Use case studies to break down your process. Your case studies must show:
Many designers try to break down their processes on their portfolios, trying to do a really great job while creating it. But their presentation lacks creativity, innovation, and craftsmanship.
If you are applying to a UX Designer job, being crafty and being great at executing a job is the essence of it all.
We are in 2022, a year where we see the increase of video social media and other innovative ways of presenting yourself, so don’t shy away from creating a video to present yourself and your work. I
t might take a few hours and takes, but the person that is hiring you will notice that you braved yourself and tried to present something new by putting yourself in front of the camera.
That also shows that you can be a great communicator! And as a designer, it is your primary job to communicate, exchange ideas, and collaborate with others.
So go the extra mile, record a video, and include it in your portfolio.
There is a difference between an Experience Designer and an Unexperienced Designer. An experienced designer knows how to take space, how to leverage layout.
Regardless of how great your case study is if the content is not easy to read and follow, and it is all squashed together, how will the recruiter be able to learn about that project and your skills?
Take space! Give generous margins between components, let components breathe, so this way your audience can follow you from the beginning to the end very well.
This might be an obvious point, but, we have seen that happening in a lot of portfolios, and as a designer, you need to know all the different formats that are possible to present your work.
Make sure that ALL the images you use are high quality and everyone can see them.
Don’t create a super long page that no one can get to the bottom of it. Be precise!
Quality over quantity is the best rule to follow when putting together your portfolio.
Since hiring managers don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to each candidate’s portfolio, it’s best to choose a few of your best projects to showcase from the prioritized list you made in the previous step.
Avoid oversaying a point and repeating yourself many times. Try to be respectful of your audience’s time. If you think you can shrink your portfolio without jeopardizing the content, do it!
A good rule of thumb is, a recruiter should be able to review your portfolio between 5 to 10 min, if it’s more than 15 min you are already losing your space.
A designer’s portfolio will always be a part of their work.
Creating a portfolio that highlights your skills in a way that appeals to your target audience will assist you in landing your next UX-design job.
Make sure to stick to the task: Compiling a portfolio allows you to assess your abilities and accomplishments while also considering the career you wish to pursue in the future.
Check out our Bonanza Blog for more UX Design tips and the UX Design for Beginners eBook Bundle for a comprehensive guide to improving your UX Design skills and getting a head start in your designing career.
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