How do I make a UX Portfolio, when my job is really just UI Design

I got hired as a UX Designer last year, but really my role is a UI Designer. There is no user testing and the users, we have never gotten to test anything. I did one test with another person that works at the company but it was pretty simple.

The product is not something the average person would even understand as its for a very particular niche in an industry most are not in.

I need to update my portfolio, and instead of it being Visual Design, to be more UX Design. I guess I could make it UI Design, but I’d rather have it UX based.

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Well, UX and UI design do go hand in hand, even if what you’re designing is more visually based. There are many UX principles within UI.

There is also nothing stopping you from making your own persona and empathy map, even if its for your own understanding of the end user. Place this into your case study.

Also, how do the jobs come in? Is it via stories from your research/BA team? For your previous and future tasks, think how you can design for the end user whilst incorporating UX principles.

Be honest in your case study and in future interviews - you enjoyed your time at ‘company X’ fine-tuning your UI skills, but it is time to find a company who involve themselves more in UX research and processes.

In my first “UX role”, It was predominantly UI, and I felt the same as you. However, in hindsight, it was exactly what I needed. It was a great time for me to learn the basics before moving into more research focused roles.

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What led to your visual designs? There’s a story behind your work, find it and tell it. If there isn’t a story then make one up but talk about what outcomes you had. Talk about the different iterations you went through and why you didn’t choose certain designs.

I wrote a story about my own struggles when trying to build a portfolio to get a UX job, here: How I got a job as a UX designer and what I learnt along the way If you have a bit of time give it a read. I go into a lot of detail but you can skip to the bottom and read the summary if you’re strapped for time. I hope it helps.