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The UX Portfolio: An Action-Oriented Presentation to Get You Past “Portfolio Creator’s Block”

76b46d4f7b9501e85fccc24a7910927f?s=47 Michelle Chin
October 17, 2014

The UX Portfolio: An Action-Oriented Presentation to Get You Past “Portfolio Creator’s Block”

This is a talk I gave at User Focus 2014 in Washington, DC.

Maybe you’re looking for a new job or trying to transition to a UX career, but creating a UX portfolio is holding you back. Much of the UX work we do (research, sketching, etc.) isn’t always evident in the finished product. It’s a struggle to figure out how to show your abilities to conduct/create UX activities/deliverables. In this presentation, we’ll help you get past this “block;” identify what to include and what you’re missing; show available resources; and teach how to be marketed as a UXer.

76b46d4f7b9501e85fccc24a7910927f?s=128

Michelle Chin

October 17, 2014
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  1. The UX Portfolio Michelle T. Chin | @soysaucechin Lead Product

    Designer, Citrix October 17, 2014 An Action-Oriented Presentation to Get You Past “Portfolio Creator’s Block”
  2. © 2014 Citrix. Hello! 2 A little about this talk,

    me, and you.
  3. © 2014 Citrix. 10 Step Program 3 with action items!

  4. © 2014 Citrix. 1. Let it go! 4

  5. © 2014 Citrix. “” “I will not get attached to

    my work.” 5 You, 2014
  6. © 2014 Citrix. 2. You are what you present. 6

  7. © 2014 Citrix. Developer or UX’er? 7

  8. © 2014 Citrix. Designer or UX’er? 8

  9. © 2014 Citrix. Wireframer or UX’er? 9

  10. © 2014 Citrix. What’s different? 10 UX portfolios show process.

  11. © 2014 Citrix. UX’er Portfolio 11

  12. © 2014 Citrix. 3. Determine your goal. 12

  13. © 2014 Citrix. Action Items: 13 What kind of work

    do you want to do? Where do you want to work? Anything else? 3. Determine your goal.
  14. © 2014 Citrix. 4. Inventory your work. What are you

    going to put in your portfolio? 14
  15. © 2014 Citrix. Projects from Start to Finish Include projects

    that you’ve worked on throughout the entire process. 15
  16. © 2014 Citrix. Work that Involved the UX Process Focus

    groups, card sorts, task flow models, wireframes, and more! 16
  17. © 2014 Citrix. Work that Involved the UX Process Focus

    groups, card sorts, task flow models, wireframes, and more! 17
  18. © 2014 Citrix. Action Items: 18 List at least 5

    projects relevant to your goal and the UX activities within them. • Include ones with hidden relevance! • What’s your story behind these projects? Do you have the artifacts? 4. Inventory your work.
  19. © 2014 Citrix. 5. Fill in the gaps. 19

  20. © 2014 Citrix. What about the missing artifacts? 20 Recreate

    them • (Don’t lie - it’s bad and you’ll be figured out.) What if you don’t have any projects? • Make it up. (Not lying here either.)
  21. © 2014 Citrix. “” “There’s no shame in taking the

    time to practice your UX skills and demonstrating a great job.” 21 HR Recruiter, 2014
  22. © 2014 Citrix. How do I “make up” projects? 1.

    Pick a problem to fix. 22
  23. © 2014 Citrix. How do I “make up” projects? 2.

    Create a project - app, site, etc. 23 [Insert million dollar app idea here.]
  24. © 2014 Citrix. What if you’re missing the skills? 24

    Give yourself a project that allows you to practice the skills.
  25. © 2014 Citrix. Action Items: 25 List the artifacts and

    skills you’re missing. • Recreate those missing artifacts. • Make up projects to earn those skills and artifacts. 5. Fill in the gaps.
  26. © 2014 Citrix. 6. Architect your portfolio. How are you

    going to organize this work? 26
  27. © 2014 Citrix. How will your organize this work? 27

    You can organize it by: • The project’s lifecycle (e.g., start to finish) • Topic (e.g., mobile, user research, etc.) Decide what’s best for you and your content, but have a method.
  28. © 2014 Citrix. 7. Design it well. You’re trying to

    meet your goal. 28
  29. © 2014 Citrix. What do you include? Show visuals of

    the process. 29
  30. © 2014 Citrix. Secret Stuff What about the stuff I

    can’t show? 30 Blur out identifying information. Password protect your work. Use your discretion!
  31. © 2014 Citrix. Explain your work. 31 Your portfolio should

    talk about the: • Problem • Process • Challenges • Solutions
  32. © 2014 Citrix. Tell a story. 32 — Intro —

    Architecture / storyboarding — Prototype development — Usability testing — Iteration
  33. © 2014 Citrix. Be unique! Show unique activities, challenges, or

    really cool stuff! 33
  34. © 2014 Citrix. Show your BEST work. 34 If in

    doubt, leave it out.
  35. © 2014 Citrix. Less is more. You have 10 seconds

    to make an impression. 35 Think about this: • The first person to see your portfolio might not be a UXer. • Your resume is one of many resumes being viewed.
  36. © 2014 Citrix. How much is too much? You have

    10 seconds to make an impression. 36
  37. © 2014 Citrix. Action Items: 37 Show visuals of the

    process. Tell a story. Include unique work! Include less - show highlights. Show your BEST work. 7. Design it well.
  38. © 2014 Citrix. 8. Develop it right. 38

  39. © 2014 Citrix. What tool can you use? 39

  40. © 2014 Citrix. 40

  41. © 2014 Citrix. Action Items: 41 Pick a method of

    development. • Know your capabilities and timeframe • Something easy for you to maintain Hire (barter or feed) someone. 8. Develop it right.
  42. © 2014 Citrix. 9. Test… always. 42

  43. © 2014 Citrix. Action Items: 43 Ask yourself, “Does this

    portray me?” Ask for feedback; take the feedback. Don’t forget to thank them! 9. Test… always.
  44. © 2014 Citrix. 10. Iterate - early and often! Do

    this throughout the process; expect to throw things out. 44
  45. © 2014 Citrix. Pro Tips Go one step beyond, because

    it’s worth it. 45
  46. © 2014 Citrix. Stylize your content. 46 Make it look

    good.
  47. © 2014 Citrix. Frame Your Work 47

  48. © 2014 Citrix. Take pics of everything! 48 UX portfolios

    show process.
  49. © 2014 Citrix. 49

  50. © 2014 Citrix. Get a URL 50

  51. © 2014 Citrix. URL Examples 51 Avoid: Lengthy URLS •

    bluedalek.wix.com/portfolio • student.umd.edu/~bluedalek • michelletchinUXdesigner.com Try: Shorter, memorable URLs: • simplebits.com • edmundyu.com • michelletchin.net
  52. © 2014 Citrix. Maintain your portfolio! 52 You’ve come along

    way, let’s avoid having to do this again…
  53. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential. Thanks! 53 Michelle T. Chin |

    @soysaucechin speakerdeck.com/soysaucechin Work better. Live better.