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How can I make a better portfolio with case studies? I'm disappointed in peoples portfolios being like an art gallery, or not organized well. I probably just need a good example.

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This got me thinking jeffgothelf.com/blog/you-dont-need-a-ux-portfolio –  DisEngaged Apr 15 '11 at 22:25
    
I'm not a UX designer, but I include Agile and usability in my work. Design slideshows seem naive seem navie for hyrid-designer-programmers like myself. Clients and employers are expecting more than pretty pictures, right? –  DisEngaged Apr 15 '11 at 23:09
    
@FXquincy...that's an excellent question, really. I am also a mix of designer/dev but my portfolio is 90% visual design. I don't know if that's good or bad, but has gotten me some jobs where they were hiring for developer but then went "Oh, you can design, too!?". So that helps. But it's definitely a great point. I need to think about adding more UX and dev-centric elements I think. –  DA01 Apr 16 '11 at 4:30
    
@DA01 I want my case-studies to demonstrate writing and organization skill. It may eliminate some of the fear companies have hiring right-brainers like myself. I love how UX has raised the bar for designers, so I'm more of a planner now. –  DisEngaged Apr 16 '11 at 6:10
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2 Answers 2

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FXquincy, you propably should describe all important aspects of some of your best projects. It may include features description, some sentences about innovative features you add, describe why are they so good, important, easy to use, include before/after comparison, user testing results

For visual designer, their works speaks for themselves, but in UX/UI design you should explain what you work consist of. Colleagues may read your level and benefits of hiring you from bare screens, but for potential employers you should explain these benefits explicitly: this will make work faster, uncluttering this screen will make it easier to work with for the first time, etc.

Take a look at http://www.artlebedev.com/everything/kommersant/ (these guys are really good of describing why are they so good).

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Didn't get that at first. Show 'benefits and features', not just documenting how it was made. Thanks. – FXquincy –  DisEngaged Apr 17 '11 at 20:16
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My own case studies roughly follow this outline:

Head:

  • Project Title
  • Images
  • Subtitle (1-sentence synopsis)
  • Roles & responsibilites
  • Date
  • Awards/recognition
  • Keywords
  • Technology

Body:

  • Briefing (client, problem, restraints, goals)
  • Solution (discoveries & concept)
  • Result & benefits

BTW, even in case of visual/communication designers the works do not speak for themselves, IMNSHO. There is always some problem to solve and the solution does not necessarily make the original starting point nor the process obvious. A designer should in any case be able to explain what the original problem was, how they arrived at the chosen solution and why they think it succeeds (benefits, added value, …).

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