Do you have a portfolio that would make any designer proud? If not, don't worry. This article will walk you through the process of creating a portfolio for UI/UX designers who are just starting out in their careers and professionals looking to show off their work!
Ready to get started? No problem-follow the steps below:
1. Research professional portfolios
Research from other designers working in the field to know what impresses them most about each others' work--you can even ask them directly on Twitter! A great way to learn more about what you should be doing in your portfolio is to see examples of portfolios that work and are well designed. The resources below can help point you in the right direction:
Behance. This portfolio site was created by Adobe specifically for graphic designers, but it's also a great resource for UX designers' portfolios.
Behance has an extensive online community where users can upload their own work or share a portfolio with others. It allows creators to display their designs (or just whatever they want) based on location, medium, tags, etc., making this a popular platform for designers who want to show off their best projects and connect with potential employers.
2. Design your portfolio
Have an idea in mind before you start designing because some of the decisions that you make when laying out your pages will depend on where they're located and how many sections are included. For example, a large background space may work best for photos with vertical captions, while a smaller space with horizontal blocks of content may be easiest for listings with the text and selected images.
Sketching some sketches (even if just stick figures) can help clarify the layout in your head before trying it out on paper or online.
3. Choose the right tools
When deciding to put together your portfolio, you should consider different tools that are available online for designers who want to showcase their portfolios online like:
- Webflow (Highly recommended)
- Adobe Portfolio
4. Add high-quality content to your website
Be sure that all of the projects in your portfolio are well designed and show off exactly why you're qualified for the job. This includes being sure to write descriptions about the design process, which will give potential employers a better idea of how you work as an individual and what your strengths are as a UX designer. Make sure that you keep all text clear, concise, and easy to the read-this way people will be more likely to stay on your page and look through everything in detail!
Use free fonts like:
- Arial (free)
- Inter (free)
These are very readable fonts, I personally use Inter.
5. Make sure your portfolio is organized in a logical way
Employers are going to look through your portfolio, so be careful not to clutter it or present the pieces in an unclear manner-instead try grouping similar projects together and putting them on their own pages.
Think about how a potential employer might want to browse through your work, then make sure that all of the content you put up is easy enough for someone who isn't familiar with UX design work to navigate!
Create a user flow that tailored to your potential employer and organize your site that way.
If you decide to include everything in one page, outlining the design process of each project will help potential employers see how well organized and talented you are.
P.S: Masoative website might not be just the best example in that way
6. Create a social media presence
This step is completely optional depending on what type of people you're trying to reach out to for job opportunities, but if you have some extra time and energy, creating a social media presence can help give employers more information about what you do as well as helping you network with potential connections and contacts in your industry.
Theme Based Portfolio (BlackGold Studio)
Personal Brand Based Portfolio (Vanessa Lau)
Social media profiles are great places to show off your personality (so employers can get a feel for how well you work with others) while also being sure to include links back to your portfolio so that people can view the other work you've done.
7. Be prepared to showcase your work even when you're a new designer
If you want to be hired by an employer, you'll need to prove that you can create truly awesome-looking websites and applications. The best way to do this is with a portfolio! Even if you don't have tons of experience yet, it's still possible to put together a great looking piece of design that shows what kind of quality results you can achieve in the long run-but make sure that it contains only things that are polished enough for an employer or client to appreciate!
Also, take some time out on your own time and practice creating mockups or designs using either Photoshop or Illustrator-you'll learn important skills along the way while also building up examples for your portfolio.
You can take a step further in showing how you used to design and how you redesigned it today
8. Include several different types of projects in your portfolio
It's a good idea to make sure that you have plenty of examples of work from different categories, as this will show potential employers how well you can diversify yourself and create unique ideas for a variety of different types of clients or companies.
You won't want to just focus on one thing either-be sure to include pieces like web apps, websites, mobile apps, print design, and other design elements!
It would be best to include client project from different industries and if you dont have those, worry not!
Use this FakeClients
9. Make sure your portfolio piece is complete
One great way to build up a lot more experience for yourself than usual is by creating mockups or designs for websites or applications that are still in development.
This will give you the chance to try out some new skills while also showing employers how well you can come up with creative ideas, work alongside other designers, and solve problems.
10. Be sure to know your audience
If you're trying to get hired for a position at a graphic design job or an agency, make sure that your portfolio is filled with designs that are geared more toward that type of clientele.
The last thing you want is to be hired by a company just because they see some great examples of websites you created and not have any real experience working on similar projects for them in the future!
On the other hand, if you're looking for freelance jobs from individuals who run businesses on their own time and budget, don't include many pieces of work from companies that may seem too large to handle by a single person, as this may scare you them away from hiring you.
11. Create clear navigation when browsing your portfolio
Whenever someone decides to to check out some of your work online, they'll want to be able to have an easy time looking at each piece while being sure not to miss any of your best work! This can be done using control panels, various color schemes and layouts, lots of text links or something similar-just do whatever you have to in order to make it easier for people browsing.
12. Be prepared with a killer portfolio cover page
Many companies will only look at your portfolio piece if the first thing they see is a beautiful design that makes their eyes perk up and take notice! Keep this in mind when making your original portfolio file as well as your other mockups so that you can create some really stylish visuals for potential employers/clients.
This may also mean thinking about how to get your piece to stand out on the Internet, so make sure that you come up with an eye-catching banner or other design elements.
While this stats show about shopper, it is highly applicable to you and even more so if you are a UI UX designer. Employer or potential clients are highly likely to stick around if the portfolio design suits your claim
13. Don't be afraid to make your portfolio really cohesive
Many designers tend to put their portfolio pieces in a way that they flow from one into another and look like a whole cohesive collection of designs instead of random examples!
This will help make your work look better overall while also giving employers/clients a clear idea of what exactly it is they'll get if they hire you.
Using Behance is a perfect example for this because the layout is uniform and the collection is easy to go through
14. Include copies of all the client correspondence
Include these copies related to each project in your portfolio as well. If you have emails from clients, invoices for payment, or anything else that pertains to the work you've done, this is a great way to prove your ability for employers and show them how much experience you have.
Add clients testimonials to add credibility if you have them
Before doing this, make sure you have the client's permission to share
15. If possible, try to include multiple types of files in your portfolio
While it's helpful if you can send potential employers links to individual websites or applications as well as screenshots of each, including full mockups will allow them to see exactly what went into the design process from start to finish and make it easier for them to draw inspiration from your work.
- Include sketches for your workflow
- Sitemap or user flow
- Wireframing sample to actual design
- Create mockups to showcase
- Even provide the softwares you use for the projects
Create mockups that will even convince yourself - only if you don't have actual photography done for the project
Use this to create amazing mockups: LS Graphic
They have the highest quality mockup template along with freebies for you to download.
I use them too.
16. Use color scheme that suits you
You don't want clients getting confused or having trouble looking at different pieces of work because they're too spread out or hard to find. This can be done by using color schemes or clear heading in order to facilitate the presentation of each design and make it easy for people to look through them.
The right color can improve readership by 40% by making messaging easier to read and more visually appealing. Color is one of the first things our brains recognize from a brand, so it’s often the first thing that grabs our attention (Crowdspring)
Use these free tools that i use for color scheme inspiration:
17. Don't forget to promote yourself!
You don't want potential employers forgetting about you after a quick glance at your portfolio, so be sure that you're leaving hints throughout all your work that reveals some of your personality!
This can be done by having some parts of your design that subtly show off hobbies or other interests as well as including contact information in case someone wants to reach out with any questions they may have about hiring you.
18. Include a "get in touch" link on your portfolio
While this isn't always necessary, it's a good idea just in case someone really likes what they see and wants to get in touch with you about hiring you! Be sure to have a way for people to reach out if they're interested, whether it's through an email address or website form.
19. Keep your portfolio up-to-date!
If any of your work has changed, make sure that the pieces on your portfolio reflect this by having new screenshots available as well as updated descriptions of the projects overall.
While you don't want to change things too often, it's also a bad idea to keep the same information up when there are major changes that could affect how employers/clients view them.
20. Be sure not to restrict yourself to one skill
Many designers who create portfolios solely for graphic design jobs overlook the fact that they are also able to create designs for software, apps, and other projects today. Be sure to advertise your abilities as a UI UX designer on your portfolio site so that you can make yourself more desirable overall.
21. Keep it professional
While portfolios don't have to be entirely serious all the time, you still want potential employers/clients viewing them in a way where they're inspired by your work rather than just amused by it.
Making your site look fun and informal isn't a bad thing at all, especially for designers who want to emphasize their personality with their work but you should still focus on presenting things in an organized fashion as well.
22. Try including some of the smaller projects on your portfolio site
While this might scare off potential employers, there's something to be said for a portfolio that comes across as honest and transparent.
Including these projects shows them that you're not hiding anything from them and are being entirely honest when it comes to what you've done up until now in your career.
And perhaps a redesigned version of as mentioned above at point 7
23. Make sure it loads quickly!
Nobody likes waiting around for things so try to keep the amount of graphics and other information on your pages at a minimum, creating a user-friendly experience instead of one that will clog up their browser or make them feel like they should leave for another site immediately if they don't want to wait forever to look through your designs.
Use free tool like GTMetrix to track your page speed performance and optimize it
Masoative have gotten a B :(
24. Have a downloadable resume
A resume is your marketing document to get interviews.
It's the second impression a potential employer has of you and sets the tone for what they think about you if they went through your portfolio first
Here is how you create the perfect resume to land your job : Perfect Resume Guide
25. Including concepts
While these aren't always a part of portfolios, it's important to be sure that potential employers/clients know that you're not only able to use design software but also have an eye for other forms of art and media in general.
Thank you for sticking around till the end here are some bonus for you
UI UX Designer at Apple : Michael Bertoni
Interface and OS Designer at Apple : Jason Yuan
UX Designer at Google : Lola Jiang
In conclusion, a good UI UX portfolio is one that shows off your capabilities as well as includes enough information about you, what you're capable of, and why you're the perfect fit for whatever job opening or project that may be on companies' radars. If potential employers/clients are inspired by your work while also being able to see so much about who you are as a designer and person, then they should definitely consider hiring you!
Don't give up if employers/clients aren't immediately contacting you after viewing your portfolio! While it may seem discouraging at first when this happens, keep in mind that there's a lot going on in the world of design today so there might simply not be any openings available right now.
Be sure to keep your portfolio updated and fresh as time goes on and you never know when someone might view it and ultimately contact you.
Hope you guys like this article, I write more in the future about UX and UI, subscribe to read more!