Case studies for personal projects


I am considering creating case studies for my portfolio since people seem to recommend it. Every time I see someone’s portfolio the case studies are based on real clients though. My question is if I should still create case studies even though the project is not real? How will I explain something like results then though if it is fictitious?


Hi Ralph,
The reason for using fictitious projects is to demonstrate a part (or parts) of your process. You can still carry out the appropriate research, document the results and translate those into actionable requirements as if the project is real. Just make sure you are transparent about the fact that it isn’t.

Just because a project is fictitious doesn’t mean that you need to make up research results, it just means that you are researching for a project that may not ever come to fruition.

Dos that make sense?


Yes that makes sense. So when creating my own requirements, use the research I gathered to create them so my wireframes and mockups can be based on user needs correct?


Yes :slight_smile:


Thanks. I am planning to scrap my portfolio since it’s old work by now and I’ve learned so much more. Each project from now on will have a case study to show my process better. When writing out my case study should I be doing it while the project is being created or should I wait till I finish the project?


I think that during the project probably makes more sense, both from a managing your workload perspective, and because it’s not always easy to record feelings and thoughts retrospectively. Probably personal preference though.


I would say to do it anyway, for research, you probably wont have the budget to bring customer overs, but you can use secondary information on the web or join a internet\facebook group about the topic and kindly ask some questions to the users there.

For user testing is alright to ask friends\ colleagues to do so, it is not as useful as testing with the real unbiased target users, but it enough to show the process and the way you think in the portfolio