"Mobile" UX Portfolio

portfolio

#1

Hi everybody! :slight_smile:
[SIZE=15px]Yesterday, I was with a friend who is working very very hard to become UX designer. She is already webdesigner in Montreal (Canada) but she really would like to be employed as UX designer in Montreal. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=15px]She told me that she did some interviews and 9 times on 10, people don’t want to employ her because she does not have “UX mobile portfolio” . She explained that she did a lot of responsive web design but it’s not enough to their point of you. She was discouraged. [/SIZE]

Have you been faced with the same problem?

[SIZE=15px]How come she can build a “[/SIZE][B]mobile[/B][SIZE=15px] UX design portfolio” valued by employeurs in Montréal? What would be your advice /suggestions about that?
She told me that the company for which she’s working to everyday, don’t work on mobile things. [/SIZE]

[SIZE=15px]Thank you for having take time to read me,[/SIZE]
[SIZE=15px]and I wish you a good week,[/SIZE]

[SIZE=15px]Florence [/SIZE]


#2

Hi Florence! Good to have you aboard. Thanks for posting your question (and sorry it’s taken me this long to post a response!).

It’s great to hear your friend is working hard to become a UX designer. Hopefully the transition from web designer to UX designer will be relatively straightforward, but there are some key differences between web design and UX design that often mean it is not an instant jump.

My first advice to her would be to expand her experience with user-centred design in general. It’s this broader thinking before and after the typical user-interface design tasks that make UX different. In this way, responsive web design (or adaptive for that matter) is certainly helpful when discussing UI for desktop and mobile, but some robust examples of thinking about the business case you’re designing for, any user research done to understand the needs and context, the iterative design process and design problem solving will be most beneficial - I’m assuming this is part of the feedback she might have been given after her interviews? It would certainly be part of a ‘UX for mobile’ portfolio. You can read my article “10 Steps to a Perfect UX Portfolio” for more info on what it should include.

If her current role doesn’t allow her to do mobile design (although I would wonder why it doesn’t) then she’ll need to either:

  • Convince her current employers about the importance of designing responsively/adaptively for mobile/tablets as well as desktop. Convincing business owners about a particular approach is a good skill for a UX designer to have!
  • Get the experience outside of work hours by doing a small end-to-end re-design for her own personal website or that of a friend or local Montreal not-for-profit organisation. It doesn’t have to be a paid job, or even a real one (do a redesign of a well-known brand if you like) the main thing is for her to show examples of her work in progress, her process, the ways she solves various problems. She can include this example in her portfolio with a disclaimer about it not being a paid client, and supplement it with other real project examples later.

If you can get her to join this forum discussion, or email me directly I’d love to help and give her some more support.


#3

Hi Florence

I don’t know the scene in Montréal intimately, but it sounds like she’s interviewing with digital agencies who are keen to hire app designers.

If she’s eager to move into UX design, perhaps applying for agencies that are after someone with mobile app experience is not the best move. If the feedback is that she doesn’t have a “UX mobile portfolio” then I’d question whether the employer is actually looking for a UX designer, or even understand what value a UX designer brings from earlier stages in the design process. It honestly sounds like they’re hiring for a UI designer.

One thing they are correct in asserting is that focussing on her responsive design experience isn’t enough to find a job that is not just designing more responsive layouts. I’d suggest that she needs to tell more of a story in her portfolio, and talk about what other parts of the process she has been involved in—strategy, research, ideation, testing—and what measurable results her designs were able to achieve for the business. This way, she can demonstrate real value, and better communicate her thought process to employers.

Also, if she’s lacking mobile app experience, she should design her own or approach a non-profit to help with their project. We talk about this a lot in our Get Started in UX book.

The final piece of advice I’d give her is to join these forums herself! We’d love to help more if we’re able to.

Hope that’s all useful.

Matt