So, you want to be a UX designer? Time to get your portfolio started!
Your portfolio is a vital tool as you hunt for jobs or clients. An impressive portfolio will display your abilities, strengths, and expertise by including previous UX design projects you’ve worked on.
You can still fill your portfolio with projects even if you’re starting from scratch. You don’t need previous professional experience to have a good portfolio.
There are dos and don’ts when it comes to UX design portfolios. And if you’re not sure where to start, we’re here to help.
We know a thing or two about UX design; at Coding Dojo we have a UX design boot camp, after all.
What is UX design?
User experience design, or UX design, is the process of creating interfaces and tools that are easy and enjoyable to use.
UX designers understand that consumers embark on a journey when they interact with a new product. And every step in that journey needs to be easy.
In other words, it’s not just about the products. It’s about the user experience that accompanies the products!
UX design is extremely important for online businesses. Enhancing customer experience can improve KPIs by over 80%. And, 88% of shoppers say they won’t return to a website after a bad user experience!
It’s time for UX designers to shine.
What goes in your UX design portfolio?
Portfolios don’t only display professional experience; you can use school projects, projects from UX design boot camp, or side projects.
And it’s not just a scrapbook of appealing work; your portfolio should make you stand out.
That means displaying:
- Background information
- Your approach
- Your processes
- The outcomes
- And your reflections.
Think of your UX designer portfolio as a key component to your job hunt action plan.
Why UX designers need a portfolio
Employers want to see your talent when interviewing for creative roles! By having a comprehensive portfolio on hand, you can prove your worth.
A solid portfolio is important for UX designers at the beginning of their careers.
You might not have an impressive resume or relevant references, but you can have a killer portfolio to display your abilities.
We have more tips for applying for tech jobs here.
5 Essential UX Design Projects to Include in Your UX Portfolio
It’s a good idea to include a variety of design projects in your portfolio. You’re probably wondering where to start.
Here are five essential UX projects ideas we recommend including in your portfolio.
1. Landing page
A landing page is a great project to include in your portfolio because you’ll likely create many throughout your UX design career.
Businesses use landing pages to gather information and share information. And as a UX designer, it’s your job to make sure each experience is seamless.
Try making a lead generation landing page where viewers are encouraged to share contact information. Or, try a website landing page that lists a business’s services.
2. Blog or digital publication
Blogs and digital publications are incredibly focused on reader satisfaction. Without readers, they would have no reason to exist!
That’s why designing an online article is a great UX design project to add to your portfolio. You’ll need to create a positive experience that turns readers into subscribers.
3. eCommerce product page
eCommerce is a great avenue to explore as a UX designer because it’s a huge industry. Chances are you’ll be working for eCommerce businesses at some point in your UX design career, so you better start now!
Design a flawless product page that shares all the necessary information in a functional and visually appealing way to make shoppers click the “add to cart” button.
4. Mobile app design
Like eCommerce, the mobile app industry is large and growing. It’s another area you’re bound to work in as a UX designer.
And that’s why it’s a great UX design project to add to your portfolio. Redesign an existing app, or create your own!
5. Pricing page
Finally, a pricing page is a great project to add to your UX design portfolio. SaaS companies and other service-based businesses often share tiered pricing packages with different offerings.
Pricing pages are a great UX project to include because they are solution-focused. They offer problem-solving to shoppers as a way to turn them into customers.
5 Projects You Should Not Put In Your UX Portfolio
If you want your portfolio to be an impressive collection of your work, leave these five projects out of your portfolio to keep it impressive.
1. Projects that don’t address a problem
As a UX designer, your work should always be solution-focused. Every project you add should revolve around helping users and addressing their problems.
2. Projects without context or a story
When including projects in your portfolio, you need to share background information to explain the work you’ve done. A screenshot of a landing page is nice, but you should provide some insight so recruiters can evaluate your processes.
3. Projects without attention to detail
Your portfolio needs to paint a picture of your expertise. That means you should acknowledge every detail. Spelling mistakes, inconsistencies, and other errors will distract viewers.
4. Confusing or unrelated projects
Your portfolio should display your specialties. If a project doesn’t reveal your talents, it’s better to leave it out.
And keep your portfolio consistent! Don’t showcase projects that confuse the viewer.
5. Projects that don’t focus on the user
After all, user experience is the end goal! Every UX design project you include in your portfolio should focus on the user.
Make sure your portfolio describes how you thought about them every step of the way.
4 Tips to Build a UX Design Portfolio That Gets You Hired
So you know what projects to include and what projects not to. That’s half the battle!
But before you get started creating your UX design portfolio, here are four helpful tips to keep in mind.
1. Choose the right amount of projects
Your portfolio should be informative but concise. Sure, you could include 20 projects to show your range, but it’s going to hurt the overall effectiveness of your portfolio.
We suggest sharing between 3-5 projects that showcase your specific talents.
2. Get creative with finding projects
Don’t worry if you’re new to UX design and don’t have career experience. There are so many ways to create projects without a professional background.
You can build your portfolio off of unsolicited redesigns, passion projects, UX design Bootcamp projects, and school assignments. Go one step further and volunteer your skills to help a not-for-profit.
3. Base your portfolio on problem-solving
We’ve mentioned this before, but it’s the most important tip to help your portfolio.
Ensure your projects and portfolio highlight solutions to increase user experience for potential employers and clients. Share how you identify problems and how your designs fix them.
4. Show your process
Your portfolio should display your background work, thought process, and creative process. You need to give viewers the whole story about each project and what purpose it’s serving.
5. Show your results
And, of course, show your results for each project! Share what problems you have solved, your visual impacts, and what you learned along the way.
Each project in your UX designer portfolio should have a story behind it.
A UX Designer Portfolio Example to Inspire You
You’ve got the dos, don’ts, and tips, so now it’s time for a bit of inspiration. There are many UX design portfolio examples on the internet, but we’ll help you start your search.
Olivia Truong is a UX designer with a fantastic portfolio, and she showcases her recent projects on her website. Each project shows her process from start to finish. We see background info, her plan of attack, her creative process, and results.
Olivia shares a story with each UX design project. And she makes it evident that each project has problem-solving in mind.
Build your awesome portfolio now
Well, what are you waiting for?
Make a portfolio that paints a picture of your UX design skills and talents. This is your opportunity to brag about your expertise!
If you build an impressive portfolio, you’ll be a working UX designer in no time.