How to "show" the process when it is non-linear?

Okay, say I’m a project manager and ux designer for a platform with several large parts like photo galleries, document editing, view/edit permission systems, and profile creation and management.

This was done in a dual track agile type way, where the project was broken up into the type of sections listed above… idk what to call them… problem verticals? top-level features? areas? sections?.. and each section was then subjected to ‘mini-waterfalls’

  • 1 week of research and team review
  • following 1 week of wireframing iterations and prototyping
  • following 1 week of visual design
  • eventually going into a development backlog.

this basically means chunks of ux work were done over the course of months. i’m not sure how to show my work as a ux designer in this situation. i can’t just ‘tell this story’ without heavily editing the chronology of the project, and not to mention, discounting the value of breaking up the work this way.

how would you show this? should i focus on a particular section that has a single coherent, and concrete story with presentable assets? i think i just answered my own question…

but even with this - i’m afraid of missing the forrest for the tree.


hi @mrcn

that’s an interesting question.
I really liked your iteration model or “design sprint”.
We do something similar based on a 2 weeks sprint though.

Coming back to your main question, due to the fact that you’re wearing the “UX Designer Hat” I would show the process from the “human/user” perspective

I would show a kind of a timeline where:

  • the milestones are related to the user needs/problems you guys have tried to solve
  • For each milestone I would present the quick wins and the long-term solutions

What do u think of it?


Yeaaaah, I can kinda see what might happen here. I can literally start with a list of milestones, in this case largely correlated to the site ‘sections’, and for each i might bullet some quick wins and long-term term solutions. at this moment, i’m struggling a bit to come up with some ‘long term solutions’ - ahah. it was a lot of quick wins and i’m not exactly sure where the project is today (i was working on it a couple years go).

One of the biggest problems in telling in any story is that the timeline often isn’t cohesive. This isn’t any different here. Like a good novel, there are always plot threads being woven outside the focus of the narrative.

My advice: give the same bullet points as you did in your post (which are very illustrative of the process) and focus on an individual chronology of progress towards each user goal. And, just like a novel, bring together all of the threads at the end to give an overview of a cohesive product.


adding something to the precious comment from @dougcollins, I think that a good starting point could be starting a UX audit to have a complete picture of the current status of the art

check this out:


It’s possible I’m misunderstanding your question, but I wouldn’t worry about how non-linear your process is, instead focus on the outcomes of your work and go backwards. So, whatever component/flow/piece of the product you want to discuss, talk first about how you improved the experience, then go into any interesting compromises/decisions you made along the way and describe how you got there. Any details about difficulties in your non-linear process could be discussed during in person interviews, but for your portfolio, I would simply stick to the changes you’re proudest of. I don’t think most people care very much about linear/non-linear, even though it may’ve been very consuming and challenging for you.

Hope that helps.


I really appreciate this.
When I get a few moments to assemble a new portfolio piece, I’ll be sure to share it :slight_smile:

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