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To get hired as a UI/UX designer, you’ll need a top-notch portfolio. Recruiters rely on portfolios to gather information about whether candidates have the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in a UI/UX design role. As such, your portfolio should be more than a collection of polished end products — it should also demonstrate your creative process, technical skills, and problem-solving abilities.
If you’re building your first UI/UX portfolio from scratch, a bootcamp like Springboard’s UI/UX Design Career Track can help. From design thinking to ideation, you’ll explore all stages of the design process through hands-on, project-based learning, and one-on-one mentorship. You’ll be matched with a real company to complete a 40-hour industry design project, and by the end of the course, you’ll have completed four portfolio projects.
Here’s how to structure your portfolio in a way that will stand out to hiring managers:
Showcase A Variety of Projects
A diverse portfolio that illustrates an aptitude for business thinking will hold recruiters’ attention. Strive to include in-demand design pieces like:
This type of project emphasizes user-centric thinking. E-commerce user flows contain a multitude of steps. From product exploration to checkout, show how you optimized for usability during each stage of the user journey. An e-commerce project is also an opportunity to demonstrate your ability to marry user needs with business goals.
Thanks to the rise of SEO, editorial content heavily influences marketing strategy. Many organizations rely on blogs to increase conversions and augment their business overall. A blog project will showcase your information architecture and taxonomy skills — you’ll be able to show hiring managers how you organize large volumes of content and classify relationships between items.
Now more than ever before, users are navigating the digital world via mobile devices. Mobile apps are in high demand, meaning hiring managers will expect to see a mobile design in your portfolio. Include user research, sketches, wireframes, and high-fidelity mockups to provide a window into your process and the reasoning behind your design choices.
Properly Present Your Work
Each project in your portfolio should be presented as a case study. You should structure your case studies like stories — in doing so, you’ll show off your communication skills and demonstrate that you can effectively explain your design decisions to stakeholders.
Here’s how to structure a case study:
- Contextualize the problem. Explain the problem that your design aims to solve, and clarify why the problem is relevant, who it’s affecting, and how. Frame the problem from both user and business perspectives.
- Detail your process. Use visual aids to guide recruiters through your user research, user persona building, wireframing, prototyping, usability testing, and more. Explain motivations that guided your design choices throughout.
- List lessons learned. In addition to stating the outcome of your project, reflect on the efficacy of your solution and show that you understand the impact of your design choices — even if you would do things differently next time.
Think of your portfolio itself as a design project that exemplifies your ability to create products that are aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate. You can create a web-based portfolio or a digital PDF portfolio. Regardless of format, make sure each page is clean, simple, and scannable — make sure key takeaways jump out to recruiters.
Show Hiring Managers What They Want To See
Recruiters want to understand what you’re bringing to the table and the impact your skills will have on their organization’s bottom line. In addition to demonstrating your technical knowledge, your portfolio should:
Emphasize Your Value Add
What results did your work yield, and how did those results tangibly benefit stakeholders? Explain the metrics you used to measure the success of your design solutions, and frame your work in a way that articulates a return on investment. Quantify how you applied technical skills to help reach business goals.
Define Your Role
Most designers work as part of a team. Specify your personal contributions to collaborative projects and explain how those complimented the contributions of your teammates. Hiring managers want to know what unique strengths you’ll bring to a team as well as how you interact with others. Collaborative skills are always a plus.
Let Your Personality Shine
Your portfolio should embody your personal brand and help recruiters get to know you as a person. Use the layout itself to highlight your personality, creativity, and unique strengths as a designer. Write your case studies in a clear, personable voice that reflects the way you might speak to teammates or stakeholders. Remember, hiring managers are human — they want to see the real you!
Ready to build your UI/UX design portfolio?
As a UI/UX Design Career Track student, your design portfolio will be reviewed by a career coach and an industry expert mentor. Apply now to start your UI/UX design journey with a job guarantee.
This article was brought you by Springboard
How to Build a UI/UX Portfolio That Will Stand Out To Hiring Managers was originally published in UX Planet on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.