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Presenting your UX design on the portfolio is more than just showing off some screenshots of the wireframe or finished graphics. I am just wondering what your thoughts are on the ideal way to display your UX work on a web portfolio.

At the moment I am thinking about a combination of slideshow with sufficient amount of text to showcase the interface along with the thought process behind key design decisions.

Is this a good idea, or is there a better alternative approach?

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When you're presenting your portfolio be careful to keep in mind that some of your content may be covered by an NDA. Definitely be conscientious of your clients and past employer. I feel like this is more important with UX because so much of UX is theory and ideas, and doesn't quite deal with a finished product yet. –  Simon Dec 28 '12 at 17:59
    
Good point Simon. –  Poyi Dec 28 '12 at 22:06
    
Perhaps an interactive PDF with smart buttons could work. Doesnt solve the issue entirely, but it would enhance simple explanations... Just a thought. –  user41610 Jan 26 at 1:19
    
Link to your ux.stackexchange account ? –  Sam Jan 27 at 15:20

8 Answers 8

up vote 8 down vote accepted

You have had some great inputs but in my experience , they key thing which most UX recruiters and UX hiring managers look for is the process with which you have achieved with your end goal. While you can go with a number of different approaches with regards to how to showcase your content (slideshows, carousals, lightboxes) the end result is often not the only thing a UX hiring manager would want to see and your process is critical too.

I would recommend clearly calling out the different steps in the process along with the impact it had on the problem statement.

With regards to the feedback about not having a dedicated site, I would disagree. Your site is often a way to showcase your personality and the effort and thought you put in to communicate your work and design thinking. Hence having a domain name also makes it easy for people to search for you and makes you stand out as opposed to just having a visual presence on the design sites like behance or dribble

Here are some links for you to consider

7 Steps to a Kick-Ass UX Portfolio

14 tips to make a better portfolio website

50 Beautiful And Creative Portfolio Designs

50 Fresh Portfolio Websites for Your Inspiration

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Most of these are focused on visual design. A UX portfolio is often more or a story than a series of outputs. –  Stewart Dean Mar 21 '13 at 14:23
  1. Create a website for your portfolio. It is in essence the same as what you would need for a photography portfolio, so you have many templates to choose from in many content management systems (such as Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, etc).
  2. Display it on dedicated portfolio sites. I have hired people directly off such sites based primarily on their portfolio, and would do it again. E.g. Behance, Forrst.

Make sure that you also have a portfolio in a pdf or similar format so that you can email it to people if needed and they can more easily show it to other people. It may sound low tech, but you would be surprised how often people use it.

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Worth note that this only says HOW to display it, and not so much WHAT to display. Deliverables are important, process is important, and some 'less enlightened' souls won't even think you're a real UX'er unless you have at least one set of wireframes included in there. Of course, what to display is a much bigger question... –  Rachel Keslensky Dec 28 '12 at 15:16
    
Thanks for the comment @JohnGB. I was more interested in your view on what to display as Rachel pointed out. I can put up a portfolio site in any CMS or just static web pages. But how do you make sure your portfolio showcase the UX part of your skill rather than just the UI/graphic design. –  Poyi Dec 28 '12 at 22:06
    
I've found that a PDF version alone is enough. To avoid NDA issues I would not chance showing some of the client work in a public way but it is generic enough to share with selected people. –  Stewart Dean Mar 21 '13 at 13:44

This is something I've been thinking about recently as I don't currently showcase any of my UX work, only front-end web development which is much easier to deal with.

The problem I've encountered is that all my UX stuff is part of a process, and not really part of the public-facing finished product, so clients have generally been very unwilling to give me permission to display any of it, as it's not really public-domain material, and in some instances partly gives away how the agency or company that I'm contracted to works.

What I've resolved to do is show obfuscated (i.e. "de-branded") wireframes and screen shots of prototypes that show the process I work through, but not to show any of the related finished products to maintain client anonymity. This shows prospective clients that I know what I'm talking about, and I know how to use my tools. The best approach I've seen for displaying UX stuff is a little intro to the project with and outline of the brief, a short walk through your approach/process/logic and of course a few screenshot - no need to mention client name (unless approved o course).

I'm currently in the middle of redoing my own portfolio site which will contain UX stuff displayed as outlined above, along with my more "traditional" web development stuff. I'll be building a fairly standard-issue WordPress portfolio site to display the lot, which is a fairly easy way to do it althogh there are a ton of other CMSs/sites out there tat will work just as well.

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What's worked for me over the years is showing my work. Toss up your initial concept sketches, then the wires, visual design then the completed. You know UX is a bunch of other skill-sets mashed together to come up with something that works. Show the person looking at your work that you can think through the processes, how you got there and then what was designed and built.

Honestly don't waste your time on a custom built site. Unless you going for more development and you want to show you coding skills just leave it alone. As mentioned use one of the other services like Carbonmade, Behance etc. The focus is on your work, not the frame that holds it. When you go look at a Monet. And someone asks you how was it? You don't tell them you have no idea but the frame was fabulous.

As an example here's my portfolio.

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I guess UX in this way is same as architecture, civil engineering or landscape architecture, as you're tasked to design something, which might not be the end result, but the real trick is to understand client needs.

So I'd have a look around these type of companies' sites.

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I think you've got the right idea. A really long Keynote (or similar presentation) that walks the interested party through specific user actions screen by screen. Before and afters or stories of iteration are always great when available.

i.e. A user wants to edit their profile, preview it and save it. Here is how we tried it first, we measured and we ended up tweaking it to work like this. We measured again.

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This might be nice content for a weblog or article section of a portfolio, but as a portfolio I think this is too long –  kontur Jan 4 '13 at 8:22

Because UX is a multi-disciplinary area that overlaps many different areas, one way is to create some type of matrix/grid that allows people to reference the different skills/areas that you have worked on. For example, you can put a product/service development steps in rows, and the skills/tasks that are relevant to UX in each (e.g. in the design phase it might be doing user research, in the testing phase it might be usability evaluation). What you can do is then tick off the boxes to show your coverage and competency, and in each box might be a link to some of the deliverable that you had to produce. I think I might go and try this and see if I can provide a update.

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As a UX contractor I was increasingly being asked for a portfolio. Previously I had a collection of wireframes etc in a folder and had several PDFs of projects that I would send out. BUT I couldn't send out whole bits of work because of NDA concerns and also those bits of work did not tell a story.

Instead I created a new portfolio that went through the complete UX process. I had photographs of workshops, sketches and a complete range of different deliverables. By selecting certain examples of work I could hide key elements on present them in such a way that it was hard to gleen too much about any one project, there by stepping around the NDA issues. It doesn't need to be final designs (I only had about two final shots in there - the rest showed the process).

I output this as a PDF (I created it in Keynote) and I received positive reactions during interviews for putting the time into end result. They reiterated that they where looking for the process UX people follow more than final shots and they needed honesty about which parts they had produced (another reason I didn't include many final designs that I had not visually designed).

UK recruitment agency Futureheads provide this helpful video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJACxnkjHcQ

Also see the related video about bad things they've seen in an interview.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8Y4ltRiEE8

Finally here's a presentation on the subject.

http://www.slideshare.net/jobvite/ux-portfolios-matter

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