When interviewing UI/UX jobs, some companies would give you design problems for you to work at home and return in prototypes in a couple days. What are the most common tools/medium used? Balsamiq, PDF, or some online prototyping services? One specific question I have is do people add notes on the sides of their screens to explain their design decisions? Would it be a plus or would it mess up the design (having arrows pointing to the components you are describing)?

  • update: it's more of an interaction and less of an visual design role. -thx to Perry
    – SeanC
    Aug 22 '14 at 23:04
  • I agree with the answers here. For interviews, they would want to see more about your process and how you communicate your ideas, than the quality of the work. Think about it from the perspective of the interviewer and consider what else they are actually looking for.
    – Pdxd
    Aug 23 '14 at 13:06

Honestly, it depends on if it's UI or UX. Interfaces are going to be more visual, and may require you to produce a more mid-fidelity prototype such as you would on Balsamiq, Moqups, or Froont.

On the flip-side, if you're interviewing for UX, notes and scribbles may be more important to help describe your actions. Of course, some of those tools would still be useful in some cases, but that can be evaluated based on the project you are given.

And finally, in any case I would say do what you're most comfortable with. If you convey ideas efficiently and fast with sketches, go for it. But if you can produce quality visuals in a decent amount of time, then go for gold with your preferred prototyping tool. Or do both. Start with sketches to show, and then show your visual mockup.

  • thx for the feedback. I'll update my question more clearly.
    – SeanC
    Aug 22 '14 at 23:03

Speaking as somebody who occasionally sits on the interviewing side of the table I would not care at all what tool you chose to use. Balsamiq. Sketches on paper. Keynote. Whatever.

What I would care about was that you could explain the design decisions to me, and that the deliverable does the job intended.

If your not sure what kind of artefact and for what purpose then ask (if it was me on the interviewer side you would get points for asking — since understanding what you need deliver and why is part of your job).

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