Portfolio project ideas - Help me decide

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#1

Hello, everyone! Fresh face in the community checking in!
My main reason for signing up is because I am looking for a community of UX gurus to prod my questions at! So here goes.

I am deciding on which projects to take on to fill a decent portfolio.
So far, I have created my own portfolio website from scratch. I am pretty proud of it, but at the moment, it only houses a single, somewhat dated project I did in 2015 while I was still in school. For that reason, I am trying to find out what idea to throw my time at. I will likely ask for feedback on the portfolio in a few days, in a seperate post.

I have settled on the idea of doing something related to mobile.
The project I already have on my site is a redesign (with gamification elements) of a desktop-sized website. Given the times we live in, app design / design for mobile seems like a smart pick. Ideally, I picture going through these stages:

Here are the ideas that I am juggeling.

1: A horse training app that I have been asked to work on by a personal friend. The idea is pretty ambitious, but she doesn’t seem as serious about the project as I could have hoped. The apps core feature is a teacher-student type situation, where the teacher should be able to assign exercises to the student. The student should be able to provide feedback. There needs to be a calender feature where the exercises can be tracked. I initially thought this was going to be a great idea, but due to a lack of initiative on their part, it doesn’t seem as obvious a choice anymore. I figure that this would be the process:

  1. Identifying the core features
  2. Look up current practises that handle similar tasks and analyse try to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
  3. Make a paper prototype and test it on a few people.
  4. Reflect on test, make corrections.
  5. Create partly functional mockups and test it on different people.
  6. Present my well-documented process and result on portfolio website, along with a hypothetical gameplan for future iterations.

2: A redesign of my local cinemas website, for mobile. This idea came about as you might have guessed. I think ordering tickets to the movies from this site is an absolute chore. I know a few places I can improve the usability of the site, but I am sure that more will reveal themselves. I would go about it a little something like this:

  1. Run a usability test with a few participants
  2. Identify pain points
  3. Identify the core features
  4. Look up current practises that handle similar tasks and analyse try to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
  5. Make a paper prototype and test it on a few people.
  6. Reflect on test, make corrections.
  7. Create partly functional mockups and test it on different people.
  8. Present my well-documented process and result on portfolio website, along with a hypothetical gameplan for future iterations.

3: Participate in an open source project
I haven’t found one yet, but I am still looking. The predominant goal for creating this project is learning, but I’ve always been driven by taking my projects into the real world. Suggestions are more than welcome!

I think I made the post pretty tl;dr friendly, just follow the bolded titles. Thank you in advance, and I look forward to being a part of the community. :slight_smile:


#2

Hey there – welcome.

These are fantastic ideas. I’d think about doing the horse app first because that sounds like it has a deadline (if you’re working with someone else). Even if the friend isn’t that committed you’ll end up with a hypothetical project to document, which is great.

Then you could move onto the cinema one.


#3

I agree with @HAWK


#4

So, update on that, it sounds like my friend is backpedaling on that idea. I had an initial meeting a month back where I tried to guesstimate the project scope they gave me their vision. I had helped them write down the features that they wanted to be at the absolute core of the app in a way their programmer-contact could understand, which made HIM back out. Now, I either.

    A. Ask my friend if he still wants to put work in, and, if she does, treat the project as practise
or
    B. Find a different idea to work on.

EDIT: Friend does not want to pursue.


#5

Is there a reason you couldn’t pursue the project on your own for practice anyway? My background isn’t in UX, so this is a real question.


#6

Sure it is possible, but I’m not really invested in equestrian training and the appeal of this project to begin with was to try and conceptualize an idea that wasn’t my own and create something through collaboration.


#7

Ahhh… that makes complete sense. I was just making sure you weren’t limiting yourself.


#8

Cinema it is then!