UX designing is a packed and competitive space right now. Nothing less than a perfect UX design portfolio can put you on the map. In regards to the portfolio, structure determines the quality for the most part. In addition, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to structure your portfolio. Depending on how you want to position yourself, you need to have different approaches to creating your portfolio. We will discuss it from a beginner and pro's perspective as well.
Considering your portfolio is expected to follow a standardized format, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Just emulate the basic layouts you can find online. Though it's not the most creative approach, recruiters will already be familiar with the format.
Position yourself as a UX designer, first and foremost. If you include too many job titles, any sense of clarity escapes your profile. If you operate at a managerial level, do not mention the work you did as part of college projects. It's time for your portfolio to grow up!
**Tips for beginners**
While showcasing projects, focus on the process instead of the end results. A deep understanding of the process makes good UX designers great. It's never about arriving at the best ideas quickly. Employers like to see some personality, especially in the case of beginner level designers. That is something one cannot be taught or trained. Process-driven work and deeper understanding of purpose are what hiring managers look for, at the entry-level.
**Tell your story**
As a beginner, you possibly won't have many projects to show. Even if yours is not a strong UX background, think of ways to make your past experience relevant to the UX game. Simply put, find links to tell a relevant story. For instance, a babysitter can relate with a UX designer, using empathy and a user-centric approach as intersecting principle points. When you tell your story right, ample things are transferrable. Ensure your portfolio looks nothing like your CV.
**Tips for Pros**
**Position yourself strongly**
At the pro level, your allegiances should shift in the UX game. If you occupy a managerial position and into hands-off roles lately, do not share your projects from ages ago. Even if you are committed to hands-on roles, do not share projects you completed as a junior. Position yourself strongly as a lead designer in your portfolio.
**Showcase managerial skills**
Explain the functioning of your team on different projects. Illustrate devising of strategy, the delegation of tasks, and outcomes of projects with examples. More importantly, show your truthful allegiance in ROI for the client vs. better user experience for customers, debate. Before taking sides, back it up with real data.
If you mentored junior UX designers, share some of their works under your mentorship. Show live examples of their current and recent works. Let the future employers feel the type of impact you can have on their organization or team. Companies seldom turn down applicants who create an impact in the workspace.
**Dos and Don'ts**
- Sparsely use fancy animations.
- Share an interesting fact about yourself to show a hint of personality.
- Explain how becoming a UX designer was the natural career step for you.
- Talk about business objectives to show you design for both the client and the company.
- Don't make your portfolio look too long. Keep it short and to the point.
- Don't limit to pretty pictures. Potential employers like to know about the process.
- Don't overlook the UX and UI quotient of your portfolio. Being a UX designer, you need to ensure the portfolio looks good and works as intended.
- Don't get hung up on details. Present only the relevant stuff.
The key purpose of a portfolio is to tell your story. Announce yourself to the world by sharing your journey. Do not overlook the need to convey your message and the UX design principles you believe in. It's about why you chose UX, and what makes you a kickass designer.