The importance of Portfolio in the design arena is undeniable. Especially with the rapidly changing UX recruiting trends and highly competitive UX job market, a well built resume is not enough to cut the bill.
As hiring managers become increasingly busy and competition hikes up for a dynamic UX job, it’s very hard for hiring managers to figure out the right design talent who will fit not just in a UX role but in the overall design philosophy of the company. And, portfolio is a great way to showcase your accomplished design work and your design thinking/ approach/ vision. This makes all the more important to keep your portfolio updated and a true representation of your design skills and expertise.
We receive many feedbacks from our clients and a major portion of their feedback is on the candidate’s portfolio. And, as a UX focused Staffing group we take it upon us to share exclusive tips/clients feedbacks that will help in managing your portfolio to work it for your advantage in your next career move.
The first and foremost important step is very simple yet often ignored; take time out to update your portfolio to showcase your latest design work.
Sometimes designers get so busy working for the clients that they forget to bring their own portfolio up to date. And, when a good job opportunity knocks on your door, you end up spending large amount of time getting your portfolio together. Even worse, you submit a portfolio that is couple of years old, one that doesn’t do good justice to your design expertise and experience. So, make sure your online portfolio shows at least your latest two years’ work.
Hear it from a designer on ‘The importance of keeping your portfolio updated .’
But getting your portfolio up to date is not the last leg. It is very important to ensure that your portfolio design layout is not old school!
There has been rapid change in design trends. So, it’s very important that as a designer your work reflects the latest trends. Pay careful attention to the typography, use of colors, use of white space (stay away from too much white space) and graphic/images you use in your portfolio. Anything that goes in your portfolio shouldn’t look like it’s from the 90’s. Heavy use of flash is also a big turn off for clients.
While making your portfolio design trendy, don’t miss out on making it easy to navigate and interact with. You are a UX Designer; if anything, your portfolio should scream out ‘user friendly’!
Don’t make your portfolio only about the final deliverables!
Most portfolios contain only final design deliverables. While the final work clearly represent what you accomplished, it doesn’t speak volumes of your design thinking, conceptualization, approach and take on a design problem/issue. And it’s really important to let these aspects of your design personality shine through your portfolio.
Presenting only the final product is like telling the end of a story and leaving out the beginning and the middle. We certainly aren’t recommending you to put every nitty gritty detail of your project, but including items such as storyboards, whiteboard sessions, scenarios, personas, annotated wireframes and workflows definitely showcase your knowledge of the targeted users and your thorough approach to a design problem. Sometimes it also helps including a before and after of a design problem that you solved. This way you can clearly showcase how your design solution has brought a positive solution to a design problem.
One of the other biggest challenges that clients and candidates come across these days is the confidentiality aspect of a portfolio; how to showcase NDA work?
We’ve seen many times candidates are bound by the NDA and are unable to share their portfolio, which puts both the candidate and the client in a tough situation. And, here are few tips on how you can work around such situation.
But whether your design work is under an NDA or not, a complete portfolio should not be just about pretty pictures, but should be well balanced with relevant detailed work pieces that truly represent your design expertise and accomplishments. It should take the viewers through your beautiful design journey with ease!
Here is a good read with 14 Tips To Make A Better Portfolio Website that can surely come handy when creating/updating your new portfolio site.
P.S. Share with us what you did in your portfolio have got you raving reviews?