In UX, your portfolio is basically more important than your resume. At a high level, your portfolio is meant to showcase your work and help you stand out as a designer. It proves to hiring managers and recruiters that you know what you’re doing and can do the job.
Think about your portfolio as a marketing tool for selling your services to companies. It tells hiring managers and recruiters who you are, what you can do, what you specialize in, and how you will benefit them.
5 things your portfolio needs to do at a macro level:
1. Tell the story of your design process for each project you’ve worked on.
2. Be super clear and succinct. Someone who doesn’t know anything about UX should be able to understand your process and what you did.
3. Be available on desktop and mobile.
4. Look aesthetically pleasing.
5. Show your personality.
At the micro level, here the main elements to include in a UX case study:
1. The problem you solved.
2. Your role and that of anyone you worked with.
3. Your process including research, what you learned, wireframing and ideation, usability testing, etc.
4. Your final solution.
5. What you would do differently.
In the beginning of the hiring process when they're trying to quickly filter out candidates, hiring managers and recruiters usually only spend between 30-60 seconds looking at a portfolio. Not a lot of time, right? That means your portfolio needs to show your work in such a way that allows them to quickly understand your process, see what projects you’ve worked on, and generally get a sense of how you will fit into their organization.
If you were to take only one thing away from this, take this: show your process. This is such an important part of a portfolio that so many aspiring UX designers miss. Hiring managers want to understand not only what you created, but how you got to the solution. It tells them how you think and go about solving problems.
P.S. If you worked with a team of designers, researchers, etc., on a project, make sure to point out what you actually worked on.