Building a UX portfolio without users

portfolio

#1

Hi everyone,

I am working on building out a portfolio using self-initiated projects to transition into a career in ux. I have seen several posts that say it is important to walk through your thought process in your portfolio. My approach would be to take an existing website and improve the user experience using strategies I have learned through books and online. Can anyone offer any tips on how to differentiate a UX Portfolio from a Web Design Portfolio?

Thanks in advance,

Will


#2

UX is about process and impact, not the artifact.

First, there may be some value in doing a “best practices” evaluation of a website; be sure to document how you went through each step and what you learned from that experience.

On the other hand, just because it’s a self-initiated search doesn’t mean that you don’t have access to users! When you pick a website, it’s entirely possible to do testing. Get friends and family to help you out on the tasks and you’ve got a good small test-base. (Just be sure to structure them well). Additionally, if you’re wanting to do a real test, there are resources out there for recruiting remote testing participants that aren’t that expensive, depending on the size of the task. If you can make it small enough, I’ve had good experience with Mechanical Turk.


#3

Trey,

Thank you for your feedback. Creating several best practice articles before building a portfolio sounds like a great place to start. It would be a quicker way to demonstrate that I understand the concepts. As I get more comfortable, I can focus on building end-to-end case studies. Thank you for the suggestion. I checked out the mechanical turk marketplace from Amazon. It definitely looks like a cost-effective way to validate simple tasks. Thanks again for commenting.

Will