In my Build a Powerful UX Portfolio course — part of my NEW online school, the UX 365 Academy —I talk a great deal about something that’s become clear to me over the past several months, and that’s this:
Although we are all — whether UXers, designers or developers — fiercely dedicated to delivering great UX in our daily work, we often fail to apply the same discipline, rigor or effort to our personal websites or portfolios.
In particular, there are 3 things that stand out to me, things I see in every UX portfolio I’ve seen:
1. This portfolio was (or wasn’t) approached like a UX project.
Just like the digital products we all work on, your UX portfolio is the solution to a problem. What problem, you ask? Giving the person reviewing it a reasonably complete understanding of your experience, skill set and approach to your craft — and your personality — in a matter of minutes (and sometimes less). In a ridiculously short period of time, you have to convince them that you’re worth the time and effort to interview.
2. The navigation and labeling is (or isn’t) clear, consistent and accessible.
There are three things every person reviewing your portfolio is looking for, and there is absolutely no excuse not to have them clearly marked and clearly visible at all times (read: NO HAMBURGER MENUS): Case studies, Resume/CV and Contact. Everything else is a distant second. And don’t get cute with animated navigation: put the nav in a place where it’s expected to be and keep it there.
3. The work is (or isn’t) more than just pretty pictures.
If all you show me is a series of UI screenshots, my automatic assumption is that you designed these interfaces. You are a UI designer. And if I’m not looking to hire a UI designer, I’m outta here. As in right now. I am not sticking around to click the resume link to find out that you’re really a front-end developer who built these pretty things. When you show your work, you must do so in case study format, quickly explaining the problem, the solution, the outcome and the role you played. Otherwise, opportunity may be lost.
I’m willing to bet that you’re nodding your head about at least one of these things in relation to your own portfolio. If so, know that you’re not alone — and that you also have a unique opportunity to do something about it.
Learn how to build a powerful UX portfolio.
I use that word — powerful — on purpose. Because every one of the 250+ portfolios I’ve seen over the last 6 weeks are anything but. Powerful means at first glance, something of immediate, urgent value is communicated to the person looking at it.
It says: I am worth your time.
Across 14 video lessons, the Build a Powerful UX Portfolio course will show you how to send that message, immediately — by refocusing your portfolio’s content and presentation on what hiring managers and prospective clients want, need and expect from you.
I’ll also give you two FREE downloads: a UX Portfolio Guidebook filled with tips and advice, and a UX Portfolio Template to guide your portfolio improvement efforts. You get lifetime access to everything.
Enrollment is open now — so if this sounds like it might be helpful to you, preview the curriculum and see what some of my 160,000 students have to say about it.
If you’re getting no response from recruiters, potential employers or prospective clients, you need to hit the link above — because that’s happening for a reason. Build a Powerful Portfolio will show you what that is and how to overcome it.
It’s a small investment in your future — but it will pay big dividends.