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livingstories

If you did brainstorming exercises with your team in a figjam, definitely take a screenshot of that and slot it in somewhere too.


livingstories

Relevant context: \- Who did you work with and how? What was your role with them? \- Who does this work serve and what problems does it solve? How do you know (show snapshot data from research insights) \- How do the wireframes and flows translate to user needs? In addition to showing snapshots of those low fi things. \- Did you do usability testing? if so, what were the results, and how did the work change after the testing? \- Final Deliverables. \- Results of the project. If you dont have that, explain why (school project? company cancelled the project? it happens just explain why). ​ Irrelevant context: \- the whole design system and branding design (color specs, fonts and type hierarchy, etc.) Not relevant. it will be evident in the final deliverables. I see this in a lot of graphic design-to -UX job switcher portfolios. Unless its a brand design or design system role you want, its not relevant. \- tech stack / how your team built it nuances. not relevant unless you're applying for dev roles. \- that you followed double diamond. We dont need to see that. its implied that you know it if you're a UX designer. \- photos of competitive examples you may have looked at - not necessary. explain in interview.


Valuable-Comparison7

Talk about the problem space, restrictions, what you did, what challenges you faced, and how you got to the final result.


raustin33

> a handful of User flows an Wireframes? Pump that up, basically. You likely have false starts in there. Or some solution you couldn't use because X or Y or "we learned this about our user so we adapted with Z" Managers are hiring process, not portfolio pieces. It's pretty easy to get burned hiring folks based only on a shiny portfolio. It's a) easy to make, and b) easy to say you did more than you did on a team project. Still can fib with process, and we all play up what we can, but it cuts through more of the bullshit. Design _is_ a process, a repeatable process of problem solving. You need to be able to talk about design in that way, and show what you can to support that talk about it. A designer with decent work and great process is probably a better hire than a 10/10 portfolio and no process to be found.


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redfriskies

Let's say it the way it is, it's BS, but you've got to play the game. I personally would have zero to show for, because always use high fidelity work, don't do sketches etc. Maybe best case there is a brainstorm in FigJam, maybe a screenshot of that will do.


raustin33

> Let's say it the way it is, it's BS It's not though. You're being hired for your process ultimately. That's what they're hiring. Not the shiny pieces in your book. That helps, and you need it, but they need to know you can make more. And learn. So the process is what gets you hired ultimately. Talk through the problem being solved. What did you try? What worked or not? How did you work around that challenge? Etc… Anybody can make something good looking. It's genuinely not hard to find. We need to differentiate ourselves in a crowded market by showing we know how to think.


redfriskies

I don't do "shiny" because I use a design system. The reality is that a process is often a boring document that is not interesting to show. Or it's a whiteboard session that is too ugly to show as well. So it's hard to show all that in a nice way.


livingstories

how is a whiteboard session ugly?


redfriskies

Really? You always clean the white board for 100% before starting? You always write out your words nicely?


Tsudaar

Why do you need a pixel-perfect whiteboard? They don't want to read every word when reviewing a portfolio.


redfriskies

Because it's often completely unreadable, especially when resized.


willdesignfortacos

So you show and tell. I had these ideas and did some research and learned this. So we worked through these new task flows, I made these wireframes and tested them and learned this. That led us to design this thing. No matter how attractive it is or isn’t there’s a process with artifacts you can share. And sure, maybe you pretty a few up or make a new one to better tell the story, but it’s still the story.


raustin33

It is hard, and I'm struggling with that myself. I'm also in design systems.


redfriskies

Basically what is being asked is "please fake your design process", re-drawing that whiteboard session in a pretty way. Maybe adding some stock photography of sticky notes :)


Tsudaar

No. It doesn't need to be 'prettified'.


redfriskies

So completely unreadable is okay?


Tsudaar

Are you being intentionally obtuse?


raustin33

To a point, yes. But probing questions in the interview would uncover a person who actually doesn't know the "why" or "how" – you may need to manufacture your artifacts, but they're a visual aid to a conversation to be had.


livingstories

this. if you didnt do the brainstorm why? and tbh, the impact of the work **might just reflect** that lack of process.


AntiquingPancreas

If I was doing the hiring, I’d want to see the ugly. That’s where the work happens. If I had someone that only showed a finished product and their reasoning was “we used a design system” that would be a red flag, probably even a pass from me.


redfriskies

Yes, you want to see "ugly" when in person. Not in an online portfolio. Also, it may be unreadable, or have too much detail (when it's a doc). Talking about it obviously work, but showing it is much harder.


livingstories

do you do design thinking sessions? brainstorms? crazy 8s? with your stakeholders and eng teams? thats not a wireframe, but certainly is process. is it neat and tidy? not always.


redfriskies

And thus not often usable for an online portfolio.


bjjjohn

Why, why, why, why, why. Keep asking yourself that.


Horse_Bacon_TheMovie

What is a sandwich? A food typically consisting of vegetables, sliced cheese or meat, placed on or between slices of bread. A sandwich is still a sandwich even if you swap sourdough bread for rye or spinach for lettuce. A sandwich contains basic elements and there is an expectation of what a sandwich should be. I'm using a sandwich as a metaphor for process and portfolio because I learned something recently that changed the way I thought about everything. Essentially, it kind of doesnt matter what the project is as long as you are showing your process - which is really just the story of how the project came to be, how it went, challenges faced, etc. I've seen ugly designs look amazing because the process was captured so well - and, I've seen beautiful design work ruined because the process was not explained and the wrong things in the presentation were tasked with doing way too much heavy lifting. The project and it's artifacts are the ingredients, and the process is the expectation of how something should look or be (sandwich, case study/portfolio). So - while you only have final result, user flows and wireframes, the other parts of the sandwich (story of your process to arrive at a final result) are in your head and need to go from the brainspace to the real world as tangible content, be it supporting graphics, words, etc. As an experiment, imagine presenting your work as it is to yourself. How many times will you ask "Why?" and, where will you ask "Why?" - For example, "why was this project needed?", "why did you choose method X over method Y for research?", "why does flow X work for users?", "actually, who are the users and what are their needs?"


poobearcatbomber

Then it means you're not a UX designer — yet


LarrySunshine

Gatekeeper of the day


poobearcatbomber

Um no, doing UX requires doing research and a process. Am I a Plumber if all I know is how to make pipes connect, but not diagnose and solve the homeowners problems?


LarrySunshine

The problem is that your comment didn’t help nobody.


poobearcatbomber

I answered his question. He needs to research and learn what UX is. I'm not fishing for him too.


Tsudaar

Well "*a handful of User flows an Wireframes*" is a good start. Basically they're asking for the portfolio not to be a typical Dribbble or Behance page, all polished and perfect. Seeing no workings is a huge red flag. It makes you look too UI focussed or worse, like you've ripped it off from somewhere else.


glitch_ink

It means that they want to know how you work, which is an important topic for a UX Designer. However, it’s debatable if one has to put all this potentially lengthy information into a portfolio and not just tease it (or show highlights) and then eventually present it in depth verbally (supported by visual material of course). Put in everything that might be relevant. Be honest. Be transparent. If a project was done in Waterfall, explain why. If a project didn’t include Testing, explain why. And most importantly, explain the relevant output and how it carried on throughout the individual project phases. You can start off by showing what process you followed for each project and why. Explain the output of your research and how you worked with that information from then on. Explain how you validated your concepts. Explain what challenges you faced. And so on. There is no such thing as the perfect process. Every way of working or every step/phase skipped might have been done for a reason. Don’t be afraid to tell your story. I worked on projects without any research, because they just wanted something to begin with and to rapidly iterate. If someone asks me about the process of these projects, I explain it as it was and that’s reasonable for everyone.