How much detail should a case study have?



Hello everyone,

I just graduated GA’s User Experience Immersive Course, and I’m in the process of cleaning up my portfolio before applying to jobs.

I have learned that the thing hiring managers want out of my portfolio and case studies is to know how I think. They don’t just want the end prototype - they want the entire process. The only problem is that I have a tendency to be very verbose, and it’s pretty hard to fight against.

I look at other case studies, and they are all so concise. I want mine to be the same way, but I have so much to discuss and it’s hard to smush it all into a tight package. How do you deem what is important enough to include and what is unnecessary?

Below is a link to one of my case studies, if you want to check it out:

Feedback on design

It is interesting to hear your challenge. My #1 most common piece of feedback when reviewing portfolios is that they are not detailed enough. People start off with a bang and then appear to run out of steam. I love your case study. Sure, it’s long, but that’s because it covers all parts of your process.

It is not a wall of text, you have a great mix of copy/illustrations/images, you have a summary section at the top, and your writing is engaging.

I love it.


Thank you very much Hawk. I put a lot of hard work into it, so that really means a lot!

Why is it that so many case studies are short, do you think? I do feel that that is the norm for case studies - short and sweet.

Anyway, I’m going to work on condensing just a bit more, but what you said gives me a lot of confidence going forward.


Perhaps because people try to write them up retrospectively and they don’t have the info? Or because they pour their heart into building their portfolio site and when it comes to writing up their case studies they’ve run out of steam?

Not sure TBH. I’m speculating.


Huh, that’s interesting. Yeah, I feel like the pretty parts of one’s portfolio is like the icing, but the real heart of the cake are the case studies. It’s why there’s a portfolio in the first place.

I can’t put too much blame on them though - writing out a case study can be very draining. Especially if you don’t keep track of all the sketches and strategy that went on during the project phase.

It’s good to know that I’m doing something right!


From what I heard people don’t like reading long case studies. They have several portolios’ to look at. You can write the case study and then look at it again and see how you can cut off what doesn’t get the point across. State the problem, goal and break the insights into bullet points to make things seem shorter and easier to read for users.


As HAWK said, it’s not a wall of text so it’s readable. You also want people to be able to quickly scan and get your process. i think your headers do that. You might want to do some pull quotes, bullet points, or bold a few things to make them stand out a bit more for someone who is skimming.

When I was a hiring manager, I maybe spent 10 - 20 seconds per portfolio for the first round, but then I would look in more detail if they made it through the first pass.

Hope that helps!


Love this idea.


Thank you all so much for the advice! I really like the idea of pull quotes, bullet points, and bolding.