7 killer hacks for an awesome UX portfolio
So, you have done all the courses? And you even have some practice projects tightly under your belt… But, the question is, where do you start when it comes to your UX portfolio? We recently bashed our heads to pull these 7 killer hacks together, which we hope will help you smash this frustrating challenge.
Hi and welcome to UX Clicks. We’re here to help you kickstart your careers within user experience design. And today were coming from sunny, swelteringly hot Dubai. Our video today is seven hacks to help you create a great UX portfolio.
First up is: ideally, you want three to five projects. Less is more and all that. Three is great, and you probably don’t want too many more than five.
Yeah, there is something about the number three. One really isn’t enough, because it’s too few and that’s a similar case with regards to two projects. Again it’s not really enough for someone to be able to see your thinking and workings of a project. But… Three is kind of a number that makes sense. It shows to a viewer of your website that you’ve done some projects, right?
Yeah. And over and above five becomes too much to see as one sitting.
Yeah, to digest and sort of understand what kind of projects you’re working on.
And also, when I had a couple of times interviews, people that I interviewed with, they usually go literally over three project stops.
So it sort of goes to say that this is like a digestible amount of projects you can talk about, right?
Okay. So another great hack is to focus and start your project when you talk about it in your portfolio, always focus on the problem you trying to solve because obviously, UX is all about solving problems for your users. And so starting with the problem, as I say, intro copy and also, what you said, understanding the problem well enough so you can describe it in one sentence.
Yeah, keeping it short is good.
Yeah, keeping it short because sometimes they say if you can’t describe something in one sentence, you don’t understand it well enough.
It makes it much easier to communicate and sell all great products.
Yeah. So step number two starts with the problem, describing it.
Number three, tell a story. Try and tell a story about the project that you’re putting into your portfolio. Why is that project important? What is the kind of key takeaways of that project? What was it that you’ve learned most on that project? You kind of makes your story around that. It’s kind of helpful.
It’s really helpful and I think it makes people memorize you better because they could potentially emotionally relate to the story.
Yeah. I think stories just a great way of communicating an idea or a concept. So if you can tell a story with your project, it makes it much easier to consider what you want to say and for other people to pick up the things that you’re trying to say with that project.
Yeah. So number four is something that’s really obvious, but a lot of people actually missing out on that one. Just remember that UX, as we said, it’s all about solving problems, but from a business perspective, and they are actually the ones who are going to hire you, it’s all about meeting their objectives, their goals, and KPIs.
Yeah, and challenges. So it’s very, very important to include, even in bullet points, main KPIs that you were aiming at when you were working on a project. So for example, you know, increase the number of people visiting the site or increase the conversion, increase the number of people using mobile versus websites. So that’s the website and things like that.
Improve signup flow, better conversion on the checkout process, et cetera, et cetera.
Yeah, it’s really cool to add also challenges. So for example, you were working on the project, this was your KPIs and this were the challenges that you sort of found when you started working on it, right? So that was number four.
Yeah. Number five lays out your projects with clear headers. If you think about kind of UX-ing your portfolio and you think about the end users of your portfolio, those people that are going to be looking at your portfolio later, either going to be the recruiters, recruiter agents, or people looking at your portfolio for hiring. And so they won’t be just looking at your one individual portfolio on its own. They’ll be looking at maybe even hundreds of portfolios.
They’re going to quickly scan through and I don’t know if you’ve ever seen any eye tracking online. People do kind of jump around. So if you have clear headers and titles and kind of like lay out your projects nicely so they’re scannable, that’s a great way of presenting your work in different projects.
Yeah, just then to add to it, obviously the next bit, the next point would be avoiding the copy that is very long. So don’t create so-called wall of copy.
Yeah. I think there’s places where those things are appropriate, and that would be in a blog, for example, Medium. You’re there, you’re looking at an article because you’re specifically interested in the article. Therefore, you’re going to take time to read that copy.
If someone’s looking at hundreds of portfolios, they’re not going to have time to read acres and acres of copy about your projects and your process.
Yeah. It is very important to you, that project. Obviously, for them, they literally looking for keywords and the main things that relate to what they need to achieve. So if you do want to include copy, just make sure it’s quite concise, or what else you can do is just using bullet points. Bullet points are really short and very easy to scan, and they basically show the keywords which recruiters or whoever is looking at your portfolio will probably look for, right?
Yeah. Nice. And seven, our last tip makes your portfolio look good. Potentially controversial for user experience, but it’s user experience design and I think when companies are looking at individuals to come on board and help them with their user experience, they inevitably want to see how or have some sort of how their product is going to end up looking.
So if you can make your portfolio look nice and presentable and show you that you have an understanding of typography, layout, imagery, cropping, kind of art direction, that’s a really great thing, and it definitely will help to put you above others that aren’t taking the time to do that. And you know, maybe you won’t necessarily be doing the UI design stuff in your day-to-day, but if you demonstrate an understanding of those values and how to lay out a page, that means you will be able to communicate everything that’s required for you, even the project as well as directing these individuals that you’re kind of overseeing on the design part.
Yeah. That is so true. It’s essentially telling people who want to invest in you, this how your product could look like. Right? And also what we noticed working with many companies is a lot of stakeholders and in general, people who are not designers have trouble understanding wireframes and what wireframes are. And this is the final design? This is how the product is going to look like?
So it’s better to always finish your sort of story of the particular project with some kind of a UI representation. And in general, keep your portfolio really tidy and clean and look presenting nicely.
Yeah. Great. So thanks very much for watching. Hopefully, you found this useful. If you click on the subscribe button down below, we’ll keep you updated with more. And if you’ve got any questions, just ping us a comment in the comments below. Cool. Have a great day.
Have a great day, guys. Bye.