Beginner Mistakes in Your UX Portfolio (and how to avoid them)

Beginner Mistakes in Your UX Portfolio (and how to avoid them)

Starting out as a junior designer can be both exciting and challenging. Regardless of whether you’ve just graduated from a bootcamp or you’re diving into UX for the first time, the last thing you want is for your UX portfolio to scream “amateur.” Today, I’m breaking down three of the most common rookie mistakes I frequently spot in UX portfolios and providing guidance on how to rectify them.

Common Rookie Mistakes in UX Portfolios and How to Fix Them

by Joe from Bitesize UX

Starting out as a junior designer can be both exciting and challenging. Regardless of whether you’ve just graduated from a bootcamp or you’re diving into UX for the first time, the last thing you want is for your portfolio to scream “amateur.” Today, I’m breaking down three of the most common rookie mistakes I frequently spot in UX portfolios and providing guidance on how to rectify them.

1. Being Too General About Your Work

Many junior designers fall into the trap of being overly general when discussing their work. A vague statement such as “We conducted usability studies to evaluate our site” doesn’t offer any insight into your problem-solving skills. It just informs the reader that you’re familiar with usability studies.

A more impactful approach is to be specific. For instance:

“We aimed to assess if our new dashboard layout facilitated users in easily accessing essential account information. To do this, we orchestrated a usability study, observing users as they performed routine tasks like reviewing account balances and recent transactions.”

This specificity conveys not only your familiarity with usability tests but also your ability to employ them effectively.

2. Showcasing Deliverables Without Context

It’s tempting to fill your portfolio with screens, sketches, or candid shots of you brainstorming with a wall of Post-its. However, without context, these visuals can be meaningless to the reader. Don’t let your hard work get overlooked!

When presenting a deliverable, offer context. If you’re showcasing a customer journey map for buying a car, for instance, don’t just present the map. Highlight the significant areas you concentrated on, like the challenges users face when comparing pricing options from different car dealerships. Such insights allow the reader to appreciate your depth of understanding and your meticulous approach to problem-solving.

Take the Next Step with Your UX Portfolio

Making these modifications can significantly enhance the appeal of your UX portfolio. If you’re still struggling or seeking further guidance, consider joining our upcoming workshop: “Create a Standout UX Portfolio.” In this one-day intensive class, you’ll make substantial progress on your portfolio, equipping yourself with the confidence and know-how to stand out in the UX job market.

For any additional questions on UX portfolios or related topics, feel free to reach out at bitesizeux.com/uxquestions.

Wishing you all success in your UX journey!

View Full Answer
Be Specific

Avoid being too general when describing your work
Be specific about the work you did, and the challenges you solved throughout your project

Offer context to your reader

What are they looking at? Instead of just "dropping" your deliverables in the case study, give your reader a summary of what they're looking at, and highlight some key design decisions

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