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Turn Your Skills Into Lucrative Projects With A UX Design Portfolio!

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As an aspiring or starting UX designer, it will be such a waste of talent if you don’t present your skill sets in a UX design portfolio. It will also be hard for potential employers to figure out your capabilities without you actively sharing them.

Additionally, a portfolio has become an essential part of recruitment aside from a resume. Considering the ubiquity of resume formats, a creative portfolio will help you stand out from the crowd and impress potential employers.

Now you may wonder how to create a portfolio that both demonstrates your skill and is impressive in the eyes of future recruiters. In this article, we’ll guide you through building an effective and stunning UX design portfolio that helps you land on future lucrative projects.

Keep on reading and get the information you need!

What is A UX Design Portfolio?

For starters, a UX design portfolio consists of design work that a designer has completed. Experienced UX designers typically use dedicated websites to display their portfolios, and you should do this too.

In addition, UX design portfolios mostly include several details, such as an introduction, case studies, and contact information. Being precise and effective in delivering these details is what designers ought to do in order to catch the attention of visitors.

What are Case Studies?

We have previously mentioned that case studies are part of a UX design portfolio. But what exactly are those, and why should you put them in your portfolio?

In UX design, case studies are work examples that designers have delivered in the past. Designers will use compelling images and narratives to present their problem-solving skills in their case studies. Employers don’t just want to see the final product, they want to know how you got there.

Designers must be creative when explaining their skills and ways of thinking. Putting images with dull narratives will not suffice. That’s why each case study must include strong storytelling elements.

The presence of storytelling in the portfolio portrays the designer’s ability to communicate their UX work. Even if they create excellent UX design, their inability to communicate their work leads to them losing the opportunity to captivate potential employers.

Why Do You Need a UX Design Portfolio?

As you’re probably aware, a resume alone is insufficient to determine your level of expertise in UX design. Hence, a portfolio serves as proof of your skillsets and knowledge in the field.

Additionally, your UX design portfolio will help potential employers to engage with your design process. By looking at your portfolio, they can gain insights into your design tastes, familiarity with current trends, and your working personality.

Ultimately, they can make a clear decision about whether or not you’re a right fit for the team. Impressive skills and experiences may not always guarantee you a job, as employers must also consider their company’s working style with the existing team.

What If You Have No Experience in UX Design?

If you’re new to UX design, for example if you just finish a graphic design course without real UX design experience, building a portfolio can be confusing. Without prior work experience, you may worry that you have nothing to show to potential clients or recruiters.

Fortunately, an absence of experience won’t stop you from building an enticing portfolio. There are many ways that allow you to present your unique ideas and expertise in the field.

Redesign existing products

UX design is all about providing the best experience possible when users interact with a product, whether it’s a website or a mobile app. However, existing products may not always be perfect. 

As an aspiring UX designer, these flaws can provide opportunities that showcase your skills. Identify the gaps in an existing product and present your own solutions, use visuals and narratives to showcase your UX skillsets.

Following that, you can include the visuals and narratives in your portfolio as case studies. Even if you have no work experience, doing this will demonstrate that you have an eye for good user experience.

Create self-initiated projects

Creating self-initiated projects requires an awareness to see problems that frequently arise around you. Empathy plays an important role here; you must be able to put yourself in the shoes of your target users.

Once you’ve identified the users’ pain points, you’ll need to implement your solutions as an easy-to-use product (e.g., website or mobile app) that adheres to UX design principles. Remember that a good UX design solves problems rather than adding on to them.

Finally, when your products have been launched, you can proudly put them in your portfolio. The standard for presenting your products is by building case studies, added with captivating visuals and narratives.

Do pro bono work

Starting a promising career often requires an investment of time and resources. In this case, you may have to volunteer for unpaid work and delay earning money from a full-time or freelance job.

You can look around and see if anyone requires your skills. Take others’ interest in your expertise as an opportunity to improve your talent. Later, you can provide them with a free UX design service while remaining mindful of their preferences and goals.

One thing to remember is that even though this is unpaid work, you must still put forth your best efforts. After all, the finished products will be entirely your creation, which you can include in your portfolio.

Enrol in design courses

Enroling in graphic design courses can be an excellent way to hone your UX design skills and knowledge, which increases your portfolio value. Your mentors will be experts in the field, and you will have peers who share your interests and goals.

Aside from being an ideal method to hone your skills, graphic design courses have curriculums that are specifically tailored to the ever-changing trend. When you enrol in a graphic design course, you will be given project assignments, either individually or in groups.

The projects will help you gain a better understanding of the UX design field. You will be expected to solve real-world problems in your assigned projects. The good news: your mentors will be there to guide you through the process, so you won’t be left behind.

So, How To Create Your First UX Design Portfolio?

We’ve talked about the importance of a UX design portfolio in getting you hired for a full-time or freelance job. Now it’s time to learn how you can make one that attracts potential employers!

  1. Start with building case studies

Case studies are the fundamentals of any UX design portfolio. There are several essential of information inside the case studies, such as:

  • Project details
  • User problems
  • Roles in the project
  • Tools and methods
  • Problem-solving process
  • Insights gained from the project

Focusing on them before anything else gives you a chance to develop strong and compelling stories about how you solved problems in previous projects. 

Though some designers build their case studies later in their portfolio, doing so will distract you from the most vital aspect. You might find yourself being redundant in building your portfolio, going from designing to writing and back again.

  1. Prepare the design assets

Preparing design assets or illustrations that support your messages in your portfolio is just as important as creating case studies. Therefore, you must also do this before jumping into creating your portfolio. 

Though this step sounds more like UI design, as a UX designer, you must grasp it as well. It’s common for employers to combine these fields as UI/UX design. You can present your capability in UI design by paying attention to your portfolio’s visualisation.

  1. Design the structure

Now that you’ve created case studies and design assets, you can start structuring your UX design portfolio. It’s important to consider how many case studies you want to display in order to keep them neatly organised.

We recommend that you create a simple structural design. The typical structure places four case studies into a 2×2 grid. On the other hand, if there are three case studies, you can arrange them vertically.

Whatever your choice, ensure that your portfolio website has a flat structure. A flat structure website is when your pages are laid out plainly, looking simple for potential employers to look at your work examples.

  1. Design the banners

Banners are any visualisation that aims to entice visitors to interact with a website and take a specific action. You can see banners as covers for case studies in a UX design portfolio, inviting visitors to click on the banner to view the reports.

We recommend beginner UX designers use Figma in creating banners. Figma has user-friendly features that ease the process of creating banners with various mockups. This way, you can have stunning visuals that represent your work examples.

Mockup illustration

Source: https://www.freepik.com/premium-psd/app-interface-mock-up-phone-screen_14063494.htm

  1. Insert the case studies

You only need to put your case studies by copying and pasting since you created them before dealing with portfolio creation. During this process, you’ll only be bothered to add photos related to the project you were working on.

Aside from that, you need to filter which projects to include as case studies, as you may have made several more before. Ensure that the projects you pick are solving real problems. It’s even better if the case studies result from collaboration with well-known brands.

  1. Add necessary text

Adding text to your portfolio will make it appear more relevant and professional. For instance, you can put some text within the introduction, about, and business enquiry sections.

It is unnecessary to use too many words, so ensure that the text is precise while still engaging with the users. Simply describe yourself, your experiences, and the perks of working with you.

Websites to Showcase Your UX Design Portfolio

As previously mentioned, there are several platforms that ease the process of making online UX design portfolios. Take a look at the following options and see if one suits you best!

Squarespace

Squarespace is a well-known website builder that you can use to showcase your UX design portfolio. Choosing Squarespace will grant you a platform with a .com domain that looks professional.

It also includes a variety of templates to display and promote your projects. However, Squarespace is a paid platform. You have to pay a monthly or annual subscription fee to use the features.

Notion

Notion is a digital platform that you can use to present your UX design portfolio. This platform is free, and it includes a wide collection of templates from the community that you can use right away.

Notionfolio, or the name for a portfolio created with Notion, is not only free but also very simple to use. It prevents you from bugging with coding or complex website creation, as it has a built-in setup.

This way, you can avoid wasting time and create your stunning portfolio quickly. Later, you can share your Notionfolio link with others, including putting it in your resume.

Behance

Behance is one of the most popular creative platforms. Its ties to the creative world, one of which is UX design, make it an ideal place to showcase your portfolio.

Behance’s community is also fairly diverse. Having a portfolio on Behance not only makes it easier to get hired but also allows you to network with other designers, allowing you to gain more knowledge.

Wix

Wix is a website builder that you can use to digitally display your portfolio. It provides a free plan that is ideal for a simple website with a maximum of three pages.

It also offers website design templates you can choose. Unfortunately, the free plan has limited options, but they should work for a simple UX design portfolio. 

If you wish to get more benefits, it’s better to subscribe to the paid version. For instance, you can have a professional-looking .com domain. There will also be more template options available in the paid plan.

Get Inspired By These UX Design Portfolios!

Adham Dannaway

Adham Dannaway is both a designer and coder based in Sydney, Australia. His interest in designing, including UX design, sparked at the year of 2005, making him a professional designer with 17 years of experience.

Dannaway displays his expertise in UI/UX design by showing his projects digitally. He has worked on varying jobs with multiple companies, which he divided based on the type and hiring company. 

Adham Dannaway portfolio

Most interestingly, Dannaway enriches his site by revealing his personal interests. It makes his online portfolio unique and lively, far from the boring impression. 

Adham Dannaway portfolio 2

Gloria Lo

Gloria Lo UX design portfolio

Simply reading the introduction section will give you an idea of the varying skills that a UI/UX designer, Gloria Lo, has. Following that, you will recognise that she lives in Sydney, Australia.

Her vibrant website immediately drew attention. She successfully displays her projects by grouping them in different colours, which is visually appealing.

Gloria Lo UX portfolio

This type of simple yet captivating design can be your inspiration. It proves that UX design is all about accessibility. No complexity is necessary as long as you can explain your case studies effectively.

Elena Cai

Elena Cai UX design portfolio

Elena is a designer that focuses on minimalistic UI/UX design. It’s shown through her digital portfolio, which is straightforward, consisting of her previous project and about pages.

Though simple, Elena emphasises great details in her case studies. She managed to build strong narratives, explaining the problems and how she solved them, which is the most important element of a UX design portfolio.

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Elena Cai portfolio page

Elena also includes her contact information on a separate page. It enables anyone interested in working with her to contact her easily.

Finally, she addresses her interests outside of the UI/UX design field by embedding YouTube videos on her website. Visitors or potential employers will get the impression that she is a lifelong learner who’s willing to explore other expertises.

Elena Cai youtube channel

Key Takeaways

At this point, we have agreed that a UX design portfolio has significance in supporting your career as it serves as proof of your skills and expertise. We sincerely hope that you gained the insights into how you can make one for yourself and land on your dream lucrative project.

Now it’s time for you to supercharge your UX design ambitions by creating your own stunning portfolio!

About Orita Sinclair

Founded in 2002, Orita Sinclair is one of the oldest music and design schools in Singapore. We are committed to fostering a love of design and music in our students by encouraging them to be bold and imaginative in their endeavours.

Here at Orita Sinclair, we believe that theoretical and practical foundations are equally important with the music and graphic design courses that we offer. For that reason, we have put in place a forward-looking curriculum that grounds students in key principles before being guided by field practitioners in applying theory and technical craft in authentic, industry-oriented projects. One of our best programme is Diploma in Interaction Design.

Our supportive learning environment prepares students for the demands and challenges of the music and design industries. At the end of their graphic design courses or music courses, our students are ready to step out into successful careers or pursue degrees at renowned universities.

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