Stage 1: Strategy - Project: Portfolio - Kickoff meeting


(for reference, I am speaking in the voice I would speak in as if you were here present at the kickoff meeting)

Hello everyone,

I would like to welcome you to the kick off meeting for this project and to thank you for being here. I believe I have the proper resources in place in this room but we can certainly add others as we dig deeper. I am very excited about this project, I think with proper nurturing this could turn into a beautiful thing, that will be both fun and lighthearted. We get to help someone learn some new skills and potential employment. These are skills most of us know well and get excited about so… let the kick-off begin.

This project is the recreation of a portfolio site for JC. There is an existing site that needs to be redesigned as it is geared more towards Ix than Ux. That site is located here: (it was quickly thrown together and not well structured at all) In this regard, the site should be completely redesigned from the ground up.

To open up the discussion, I have created a 1000ft view document that we can all fill in together. I have filled in the hard points such as the project name and due date. The rest I would like to get the groups feedback. I will go ahead and offer up my take on these and then encourage participation from the team.


1.) What are we hoping to achieve?
Qualitatively speaking… A very well designed, easy to use portfolio site.
Quantitatively: A web site that wows and attracts potential employers for the candidate.

2.) How to measure success?
Qualitatively speaking… A site that a majority of Ux professionals consider well made.
Quantitatively: Consensus from Ux professionals? Perhaps a poll with at least 90% agreement. More so than that, would be the subject finding employment or interviews based on the site.

3.) Who is the audience?

  • Employers
  • Recruiters
  • Peers

4.) Who are the SME’s
I would say the uxmastery Ux Professionals (which will be playing multiple roles here)

5.) Personas to use?
A recruiter and HR persona would be helpful. Would have to see if I could dig one up… or create my own in the research phase.

6.) Who are the stake holders?
JC in this instance is the main steak holder. I would assume any uxmastery posters playing different roles would also be considered.

7.) Do we have a copywriter?
To my knowledge I am not sure. I would take on this role but would welcome help Unless someone would like to play that role. (copy/info arch/info strategy are weaker points for me which I would like to improve upon)

8.) Who can help facilitate user testing?
The uxmastery community?

9.) Project Size:

(( please chime in with your thoughts on the kick off meeting tone, structure and the document I am using as a base for project start. Then of course, play a role that you would like and add to the questions answers ))


*Pulls up chair, takes off jacket and pours coffee.

I’d like to start by saying that I am excited to be a part of this project. Once we get under way, I can contribute the findings of some research that I have already conducted into successful portfolios, and I would like to offer my services with regard to eliciting testers from our wider community (Twitter/Facebook/Forums).

I am also in a position to assist your copywriting persona, with my copywriting mentor persona.

I have a question around resources. It appears (from scanning your existing site) that you have solid technical experience so creating the portfolio shouldn’t be an issue. Are there particular technologies that you have in mind? (Am I jumping the gun here, for the kick-off meeting?)


*Shows up late because she had another meeting, turns on desk fan and opens a can of diet coke with a loud crack.

I’m very excited too! I’m a user research and usability testing SME and I would like to offer my services through remote user testing using the full Optimal Workshop suite of tools with the users that Hawk has offered to round up.


*Joins the group, taking out post-it notes, a notebook and purple pen to play with.

Greetings! I can’t really call myself a SME in a particular area just yet, but I’d love to help out with feedback, possibly around personas as I’ve been working through those recently, and anything else. Having also worked on my portfolio last year, and going through the process of recruitment I can help out from those points of view.

I’m wondering whether as well as the HR / recruiter personas, whether it might also be good to have a Senior UX persona, as from my experience, they are generally the ones that you need to focus your portfolio more towards. They tend to know what they are looking for.


[I]Walks past the meeting room and does a double take to see such cool things going on in here. Cancels his other meeting and joins in this meeting instead.[/I]

Noquarter, this is brilliant. I love the idea of a kickoff meeting like this, and especially of having a project with transparency and practical involvement for the UX Mastery community. UX work experience FTW! Thanks for letting me join in.

Here’s my initial chip-in regarding the thousand-foot document: [LIST=1]
[]Hawk’s familiarity with portfolio sites, and the various UX Mastery resources/articles on the topic will be an excellent benchmark. Perhaps we can create a pool of reference sites with an agreed approach and do a competitive analysis to get more details on what we’re hoping to achieve, and…
]… to work out how we set up some qualitative milestones and useful metrics to measure success.
[]These forums will be handy for getting peer input and feedback. I’m sure we have a few people on here who are actual employers too (I’ll put my hand up) who can put that hat on. Matt and I also have some UX friendly recruiting contacts we can add to the pile.
]I assume SME is Subject Matter Expert. =) I’d expect we’ll have most potential subjects covered here in the community, but we’ll need an answer to #1 and #8 to make a definitive list to go chasing for.
[]Shall we use Noquarter’s answer to #3 for this in the short term, until we know more details about who we’re creating for? (Employers, Recruiters, Peers) There’s some subjective input here about who JC wants to be pitching to.
]I agree - JC as primary, with active participants being involved in a secondary capacity for decisions and outcomes.
[]This ol’ chestnut. =) Content for this project really deserves to be central. I’d suggest a staged, group approach - we use research to inform a first draft, JC adds details, and we iterate through testing and SME input. A single person should be in charge of editorial control and voice/tone, etc to make sure it’s polished and consistent. Maybe this is JC, maybe it’s someone here with l33t editing skillz.
]I think everyone would benefit if we split the testing amongst whoever wants to give it a go and get some extra experience. To ensure consistency with this testing and reporting, we might consider developing the test protocol together and agreeing on formats for how we report results and details, and then possibly with one person to collate and present the findings.
[*]Depending on what people are used to working on, this is subjectively classed as anywhere from small to large. Perhaps we could look at time and effort ballparks, and use #1 to help define expectations?


PS - I’m as excited about having something for everyone to get practical experience in as much as I’m excited to actually see the different methods, techniques and formats you guys use to do stuff!


((Thank you everyone for taking part. Not only will this be a great experience for me but my hope is it would be a great starting point for all those new to Ux who come here might be able to use))

Excellent team, this is great information. scribbles down everyones suggestions
I have thought a few additional questions that I would like throw out for discussion. goes to the board and tapes the document up, grabs a marker ready to write

So, we have the following pretty nailed down I think.

1.) What are we hoping to achieve?
A well designed portoflio site that showcases the Ux experience of the candidate JC. The site should be designed in a way that not only showcases the talent but the site itself is a great case study in Ux design.

2.) How to measure success?
(( Action Item: We need more input on this))

3.) Who is the audience?
Uxmaster community
Hiring Managers
Sr. Ux Professionals

4.) Who are the SME’s
Uxmastery Community

5.) Personas to use?
Natalie Eustace to help faciliate the persona and persona research.

Supporting Personas

  • HR
  • Recruiter
  • Senior Ux

6.) Who are the stake holders?
JC - Primary
Uxmastery Community

7.) Do we have a copywriter?
(Action Item: Per lukchas suggestions we need some content strategy)

8.) Who can help facilitate user testing?
HAWK - (user research)
ASHM - (user research and testing)
(action item: Do we need testing protocol?)

9.) Project Size:
I am sticking with Medium at the moment based on what I believe the design/production phase will consist of. If anyone has input please feel free.

I have taken the liberty of adding a few criteria as I began thinking more about this. These are follow up questions…

9 Define the secondary goal
(my take is interviews, networking within the Ux community, peer recognition)

  1. Supporting features
    As the stakeholder I would like the site to also feature a section that shows my design work and possibly my blog (which I am using to document my Ux journey)

  2. Who is responsible for Media elements (img, video, etc)
    This will be myself

  3. How will new ideas that come to be during production be handled.
    Since I am taking the production role here this would depend on when the changes come, and how big they are

((( latest document with updates )))

Steps back from writing

Ok, did I miss anything from the suggestions before we move on and discuss the action items further? If so, please grab the marker and feel free to add your input.

If not, lets move on to the following action items and the additional items I added to the document, particularly 9 and 10.

2.) How to measure success?
Action Item: We need more input on thisCan we come a consensus on this.

7.) Do we have a copywriter?
(Action Item: Per lukchas suggestions we need some content strategy)

8.) Who can help facilitate user testing?
HAWK - (user research)
ASHM - (user research and testing)
(action item: Do we need testing protocol?)

9 Define the secondary goal
(my take is interviews, networking within the Ux community, peer recognition)

  1. Supporting features
    As the stakeholder I would like the site to also feature a section that shows my design work and possibly my blog (which I am using to document my Ux journey)


*eats all the biscuits having missed lunch

2 – I think the project could be considered a success if JC gets a job as a result of his amazing new portfolio. :wink:
9 – Networking within the UX community is a big one from my perspective, and on a bit of a tangent, I’m interested in how this project pans out as far as a fun community activity goes.
10 – If the project gains momentum and buy in, I’d consider blogging about it on UXM as a case study.


Hawk, great points. I am also interested to see if the community takes interest.

I will give it another day and if no other input is added I will update the document and wrap up the kick off meeting.


I would add for #2, that would be the end goal but I am trying to invoke change where I am now or at the very least get a few ux projects under my belt. I am beginning to understand the process by reading and (now taking the ux masters class on udemy). But I still lack confidence on what the different tools do, when to use them and how to use the results. These are all things I feel are more experience related that cant necessarily be learned in a book. Most companies I have seen looking want someone who is skilled in these areas already. Further complicating it is that I cant take a pay cut at this point in my life in order to go into a jr. role.


(life and work are kicking my butt… sorry for the delay)
Ok, I believe I have captured the overall objective and the key responsibilities. With that being said, here is the final document.

I didn’t get much feedback on the Measure of success. In order to put something quantitative i will run a survey at project completion asking for a simple Is it good? yes or no. 80% approval would measure success in my eyes. Let me know if this sounds like a good measurable. Perhaps I can expand on the survey to get additional feedback as part of the iterative cycle.

I will be closing this board out and we can move to the next board for Phase 2


Just a quick suggestion for 12, I would suggest that anything significant not be left until after post production. As this is all about creating an excellent portfolio, so I believe that unless you really have a deadline for which you want to apply for certain jobs, implementing the feedback and pushing back production may actually be a better idea. (But only if the changes will impact on the overall success).

Also about measures of success, I agree with above, I reckon that you getting a job is probably a very good measure of your portfolio. One thing you could also do, is if you get to the interview stage, you could explain what you have done here, and give them to give you a rating on your portfolio. It may go further to impress them as it also openly involves them in the process…


[I]shows up at the meeting room just as everyone is walking out the door; snaffles a few biscuit crumbs[/I]

Sorry to chime in so late JC. My week has been crazy.

I do have a few thoughts. I hope this is helpful even if a little late to the game:

  • Having a great portfolio is certainly key to getting a UX job. However I would also add that an important skill of a UXer is to properly define and understand the problem, before leaping to a solution. I’m not suggesting at all that we put the brakes on this fantastic and fun initiative—but I do think it’s important that your project scoping document include answers to the question: [I]why? (the 5 Whys technique is a common one for UXers to apply at the start of the project) [/I]Hawk touched on this by proposing that one success metric could be that you get hired in a UX role. I hear you that perhaps the timing for this is not quite right, given your salary expectations etc. But this project should still acknowledge the context around what we’re doing here. The end goal should definitely be bigger than just “create a portfolio that is best practice and respected by UXers”. Because it’s entirely possible that, if your problem were to be defined as “land a job in UX”, the best solution might in fact be “find a mentor and do some more networking” rather than “make a portfolio”. Like I said, I think we should forge ahead, but it would be worth keeping this end goal in mind as it will shape the decisions we make along the way.

  • It sounds like a second goal for you is to get some more experience as a UX designer, am I right? If so, this should also be articulated up front, because it’s possible that we’ll have the situation where there are activities (user interviews? contextual inquiry) that could both produce similar data, but we recommend that you perform one over the other purely because you’ve never done it before.

  • I may have missed something, but it looks like dedicating a resource and some time to the visual design of your portfolio is missing in the initial project plan. If one of your goals is to wow people, then this aspect cannot be glossed over. Also, from personal experience (e.g. the current UX Mastery redesign that we’re doing) I’d recommend engaging someone other than yourself to drive that part of the project. It can be very difficult to be objective when you’re so close to the fire, so it would be great to have someone else in the community put up their hand to help with visuals.

I’d also like to echo Hawk’s comments that this is not only a great community initiative, but also something that could make for a wonderful case study after it’s all over. So good on you Noquarter for putting yourself out there and getting this happening.

OK, now that I’ve caught up and chimed in, I’m going to hurry down the corridor and join in on the next meeting…


Something else that came to mind: I think if you’re going to explicitly set quantitative goals, then they need to have numbers next to them. “A website that wows” isn’t a measurable metric…


Mattymcg, excellent feedback. In fact i wonder if we shouldt reopen the strategy meeting.

I guess it didnt dawn on me but actually, learning more about ux is my main objective. The portfolio is just a by product of that process, it just happens to kill two birds with one stone. I also think i was rushing things a bit with the timeline. I want to make sure i learn things as i go and not rush it so i think we should extend the timeline a bit. Not to mention, its a forum environment with a lot of ux designers who im sure are very busy.

I think finding a mentor would also be a primary or seconday goal. I have been unable to find one thus far.

As far as designing the site i think we could do it as a commitee… Get it down to a hi-fi prototype and then i can code it. I dont want to ask anyone to take on that role because i think its to much work to ask someone to do.

As far as quantitative measurment, we could do a poll of uxers to grade it? Just a thought i had originally


Hi been following along with this, great project Noquarter, I’m working on my portfolio currently so if I can chip in on anything ill be glad to. am finding this project really useful. Paddy