What is a UX Design Portfolio?

ux design portfolio

In the user experience (UX) industry, a UX design portfolio showcases your talents, skills, and knowledge. You’ll want it to demonstrate your creativity, approach to design, and the quality of your work. So if you’re considering a future career in UX design, learn more about the value of a UX design portfolio and the steps to build one.

A Collection of Design Work and More

A UX design portfolio features projects that showcase a designer’s skills, abilities, and experience in UX design, as well as their:

  • Design process
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Ability to create intuitive user experiences

Your UX design portfolio should be an extension of your story, your professional values, and how you can be an asset to any company. Your portfolio is one of the first impressions you’ll have on a hiring manager — and how you put it together is crucial.

Creating Your UX Design Portfolio

Your UX design portfolio should be built as a website. While there are platforms such as Dribbble and Behance to showcase your projects, creating your own website provides more freedom on how it’s designed. Squarespace and Wix are good platforms for building websites with plenty of customizable templates.

Also, you may need to provide parts of your online design portfolio in a PDF or printout for situations such as in-person interviews or presentations. However, these components should be supplements to your own website and not a substitution for it.

Once ready to build, a UX design portfolio may include artifacts such as case studies, wireframes, prototypes, user testing results, and final designs for web, mobile, or other digital products. It’s important to demonstrate your research abilities, analysis, design thinking, and expertise with methodologies and tools.

Here are steps to follow for building your UX design portfolio:

  • Get inspired: Inspiration goes a long way in getting your creativity flowing. Take a look at what your fellow UX designers are doing and pay close attention to the designs they include, the components they don’t, and the elements they employ that can potentially aid you.
  • Identify your audience: Tailor your portfolio for your intended audience: the types of organizations you wish to work with.
    Select your best work: While it may be tempting to include all the work you’ve ever produced, be selective and only feature your most impressive projects. And don’t be afraid to show off your flair with unique and interesting projects — you can even include sketches, photography, or notes that helped you in your process.
  • Create case studies: Develop detailed case studies that describe the design process, challenges, and any solutions you may have developed. These can include sketches, wireframes, and illustrations.
  • Prioritize visual appeal: Make sure your portfolio’s layout is easy to use and navigate, attractive, and has visual appeal. Doing so serves two purposes: it looks and feels great, and shows your potential employer you value the importance of visual hierarchy.
  • Get feedback: Incorporate any feedback from peers, mentors, or other UX professionals that help turn your UX design portfolio into a striking piece of work for you to show off.
    Show off your UX skills: You want that UX designer job, so show off your UX skills by creating a portfolio with a flawless user experience complete with an appealing layout and immersive responsiveness.

4 Components to Consider

These additions could make your portfolio shine even brighter:

Components to include in your UX Design portfolio

  • 365-Day Project

    The premise is simple: pick a theme and create a design around it for a full year. In the end, you’ll have a collection of pieces that represent your creativity and progress through 365 days. These projects are popular on social media as well. Showcase each piece on your social media channels with hashtags and your profiles can serve as an additional project for members of the UX community and hiring managers to see.

  • Brand Project

    Take a concept you create and apply it to a wide array of marketing applications. This means creating a branded website, logo, color palette, packaging design, and even a style guide that revolves around a concept you create.

  • App Concept From Scratch

    Creating an app mockup for a concept that already exists can showcase your talents. However, building an original concept can potentially take you to the next level. Of course, this will require research on existing concepts and brainstorming new and innovative ideas. But once you find a winning idea, you may boost your chances of impressing potential employers.

  • A Blog

    If you’re passionate about UX design and hold strong opinions about the field, a blog is the place to show it. While not a necessity, an insightful and informative blog can show hiring managers how knowledgeable and enthusiastic you are about your work.

No Experience? You Have Options

If your UX design career is in its infancy and you lack the sheer variety of projects that a seasoned vet would have, you may be feeling overwhelmed. This is the time to get creative! With with some extra effort and determination, you can put together a professional portfolio. You may find the following options helpful as you add projects to your portfolio:

  • Create a Redesign: Redesigning existing products is a good way to practice and update your skills. If you’re in need of projects, it can also make a worthwhile addition to your portfolio. You ca try your hand at redesigning your favorite app or add elements you’d like to see in your most frequently visited website.
  • Volunteer: Charities and non-profit organizations can sometimes be in need of a hand when it comes to their digital products. By volunteering your time to them, you can potentially turn the work you produce into a valuable component of your portfolio. You can start off local, or search online for other UX volunteering options.
  • Take a Course: There are intensive, hyper focused UX design courses that require learners to complete high level projects. These works often emulate the production process you can find in the tech industry and can be indistinguishable from real-world projects. If you complete a course, bootcamp, or bootcamp-style program, you’ll have a another project to include in your portfolio.

Kenzie Academy UX Design Certificate Program

Your creativity has a place in the tech space. So, take your first step toward a bright new career with the Kenzie Academy UX Design certificate program from Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). The UX Design program can prepare you with the skills you need for a future in tech across sectors such as healthcare, finance, film, art, government, and so much more. Apply today and set your new UX design career in motion.

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