• Sridhar Rajendran

Day 10 — UX Portfolio School

Updated: Aug 23, 2018

How to make a portfolio that stands out?

Image credit: Pexels

Once I had established beyond any measure of doubt that the first version of my portfolio sucks, I took to Google. I read several blog posts outlining 3/5/7/x things that every UX designer’s portfolio should have. If not knowing was the problem earlier, knowing too much was the problem now. Everyone seemed right and wrong at the same time as Schrodinger’s cat.

I came across Sarah Doody’s UX Portfolio School in her weekly newsletter — The UX Notebook. Sarah was planning to launch a new course teaching students how to create a portfolio. It seemed like providence! I signed up immediately for the first batch of the course. At this point, I had read several of her articles and watched her videos on Youtube. They are quite informative and useful. So I felt confident about the course even though it was the first batch.

Within a few days, the course commenced and my jaws dropped in the first 10 minutes. She explained the need to have an offline version of the portfolio (PDF/PPT/Keynote). Until that point, I had never bothered about an offline portfolio. A few months later when I started applying for jobs I realised how important this is. While having an online portfolio is (almost)mandatory, a lot of hiring folks prefer to have a quick walkthrough of the projects in under 30 seconds. No website template can accomplish that.

At the end of the 2-hour session, Sarah had de-constructed the building blocks of a good portfolio. Again I realised, there is so much more to learn. And learn, I did. The best part of the course was, Sarah explained how to convert a Medium article into a case study. Remove the fluff and make the information scannable for the hiring managers. Plus having a presentation makes it quite easy to do a portfolio walkthrough during an interview.

I have not used Powerpoint much, so the portfolio template that we got with the class was a godsend. There were many options to customise the work based on our style, preference and the nature of the project. Overall I would say it is a wonderful course and highly recommend it to people struggling to put together a portfolio.

Over the next few weeks, I ended up converting the ‘essays’ I had written on Medium into proper case studies in Keynote. It was more difficult than I thought. It is easy to use fillers, GIF’s and more words but a pain to make an article succinct. The content had to be short, crisp and make sense. In fact, the process of organising a case study clarified my thought process better and gave more ideas.

I finally had a portfolio that I was not embarrassed to share. 😎