Portfolio critique? Sort of

portfolio

#1

Hello! I’m both new to the community and the profession I’m looking to break into. I’m not sure if there’s a portfolio critique section here, but I would love some feedback on a project I’ve worked on. It’s not really a conventional portfolio (or maybe it is since I said it isnt?). Maybe you guys can tell me. Here’s the link below:

http://issuu.com/leejonathan87/docs/digital_artifact_project

This isn’t quite a portfolio in the sense that it isn’t a summation of my all my work, but rather a look at some critical questions that are diagramming some processes in a 6 week sprint. Along with the design problems/user test feedback, it really just shows what we were thinking. My question to you all is: Would this kind of content be A) adequate in showing to potential employers? B) Too vague?

Again, any kind of feedback is welcome and appreciated. Thank you!


#2

Hey Jono,
Welcome on board! Things might be a bit slow around here as we’re in the middle of the holiday season, but I’ll send some eyes this way.
See you round the forums.


#3

Awesome! Thank you so much!


#4

Hi Jono,
Taking a quick look I think this kind of project would be a really good show of the work you have been involved in. It shows some good thinking, and demonstrates the different processes you went through. For an actual portfolio piece it would be good to show the bits that you specifically were involved in in each step, as well as the outcomes and if you did any testing on your solution.

So for portfolios you want to show your thinking, things you learned, how you overcame problems, and the process you took to get to the end solution. So for team projects it is very important that you show how you were involved in the group. But this seems like a good start. Good combination of diagrams and the descriptions down the side. Not too many words :).

Hope this helps, feel free to come back with more questions etc.


#5

Hello Natalie!

Thanks for the feedback – Yeah, I figured I might have place done too much with the text. And yes, I add more tangible images for the next iteration of the portfolio. Thanks again!


#6

Ah I see, that’s great then! In that case, I will show you another iteration of this project with a couple more pages that contextualizes the project more.

Also, Natalie – You were mentioning that this would be a good part of a larger portfolio piece. But I’ve already submitted this project to a couple potential employers, because I felt the need to push it out there earlier… So from an employers perspective, could this project in and of itself display a level of confidence/aptitude in a prospective employee (in this case, me) for hiring? Or would it be lacking in certain areas?

UX appears to be expanding out of web-based application and into app development (healthcare), so I would just like to know what other competencies I should continue to develop…

This is probably isn’t an easy set of question to answer, considering each position/role will vary from position to position. But again, any feedback I appreciate tremendously. Thank you again so much!


#7

Um, this is me just guessing, it may get you an interview, or possibly them asking for more examples? But if there are lots of applicants and they are time strapped you may not even get that.
Personally it is just a taster. As mentioned before, you haven’t actually demonstrated what bits you did, or more thinking behind how you came up with the certain parts, such as with the feedback and implementation. How did you get the feedback? Was user research involved, and if so how was it done? With interviews, questionnaires etc?

It depends what types of skills you are trying to show. At the moment from your current portfolio I can see that you are good at presenting your work, and that you took part in one project. What I’m missing is more detail. What you did, where is the project now, how you reached the certain points. What other projects have you been involved in? What areas do you want to do, or have experience in in UX? What form of user centred design do you follow? A potential employer would want to know your current skills and experiences, they want to be able to have things they can ask questions about, and to gage what kind of level you are at.

UX design is a massive field, it really is anything to do with how a person experiences things. So it can be technology related, such as websites, applications, in-house software etc, to transportation, to product design, and the list goes on. So in terms of skills to develop, my suggestion is to continually read, learn and sponge up knowledge on anything UX related. If you are new to the field and do not know what area you would like to go into, it is best to get a broad picture. Make a list of UX books you want to read (UX mastery is a great resource for this as they already have a lot of suggested material on their website), look in to the different areas that come under the UX umbrella, look at some online courses and see if there are any that you can complete, try and put what you are learning to the test (i.e. work over a site’s IA and see if you can improve it). Follow UX practitioners on Twitter, LinkedIn, read and ask questions on this board. Look into web programming such as html, css, javascript, and familiarise yourself with possible tools and research methods for use with UX.

Practice will make you more confident, give you a bigger picture, and give you more to talk about to future employers. But you are correct, each position and role will determine the set of skills you need. If you can show you have the soft skills necessary, and are willing to learn and expand on your knowledge, this can be a good starting point :).


#8

That’s great feedback, Natalie. Thank you again.

Yes, I will make it a point to clarify in the project what exactly I did with respect to processes and some gaps that are not explained. That’s a great point, and I should have made that clear.

I get the sense that UX is perceived as more of a business strategy and corporate culture that is growing more and more beyond the role of a designer itself. I’m reading Smashing Design (on UX design) as a point of departure to which I can get an understanding on UCD practices and how it embeds itself in Agile processes. I’m looking forward to learn more and more each day in seeing how else UX applies to the various industries. Thank you again for your feedback, I’ll continue to keep you posted with another iteration of the project!