Build a Powerful UX Portfolio: what recruiters, employers and prospective clients want to see | Joe Natoli | Skillshare

Build a Powerful UX Portfolio: what recruiters, employers and prospective clients want to see

Joe Natoli, Coaching & Training for UX Designers & Developers

Build a Powerful UX Portfolio: what recruiters, employers and prospective clients want to see

Joe Natoli, Coaching & Training for UX Designers & Developers

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13 Lessons (1h 49m)
    • 1. Introduction: The Real Question You Have to Answer

    • 2. Are You Drowning in the Sea of Sameness?

    • 3. Good Looks Won't Get You The Job You Want

    • 4. Your "Book" WILL Be Judged By Your Cover!

    • 5. Your Audience is Time Poor - Respect That!

    • 6. The Unintentional Roadblocks You're Probably Putting Up

    • 7. Three Things You Must Do 01 - Mitigate the Recruiter's Risk

    • 8. Three Things You Must Do 02 - The Right Way to Do Case Studies

    • 9. Three Things You Must Do 03: Focusing Case Studies on Results and Outcomes

    • 10. Social Media Rules: Advice and Cautions

    • 11. Why YOU?

    • 12. The Template: Anatomy of a Powerful Portfolio

    • 13. Final Words: UX Portfolio DOs and DON'Ts

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About This Class

I’m going to let you in on a little secret:

There’s a very good chance your portfolio — no matter how visually impressive or cleverly worded it may be — is working against you.

It’s the reason you’re not getting messages from recruiters.

It’s the reason those job applications or messages you’ve sent to recruiters seem to have disappeared into the void.

It’s the reason prospective clients suddenly go dark on you and stop responding to your calls and emails.

Here’s why I say that.

I believe that there is a fundamental problem in the way UXers, designers and developers are taught to put together portfolios. That the advice you're getting is inaccurate, uninformed or just non-existent.

In many ways, the formats and presentations I see in portfolios every day obscure the things that actually make some of these folks excellent candidates. Things I — and the Fortune 500 clients I consult with — only discovered after hitting the wall and forcing ourselves to spend a lot of time we didn’t really have revisiting them in depth, digging deep into navigation and case studies.

I felt like something needed to be done — specifically, this course.

A path to quickly illustrate these critical mistakes and show you a better, more effective way to structure and present your work and your value — to recruiters, hiring managers, employers and prospective clients.


I’m inviting you to forget whatever you’ve been told about how to create an online portfolio.

Because if it’s anything like the hundreds I saw, you’re not doing yourself any favors.

So in this course, across 14 lectures, I’m going to give you everything you need to do it better, from the perspective of the person doing the hiring.

Whether that person is a recruiter, an HR or company exec, or a prospective client looking for freelance help, I’m going to walk you through what works and what doesn’t, with real-world examples.

Stop making it hard for recruiters (and employers) to hire you

I’m going to show you why you’re making it harder for yourself to get noticed and get hired. Because even if your work itself is spectacular (which I’m sure it is), I have no doubt you’re making many of the same mistakes I’ve seen thus far in my own recruiting endeavors.

More importantly, I’ll show you exactly what you should be doing instead, from the very first screen. You’ll learn:

  • Why (and how) your portfolio is sabotaging your job (or client) search
  • The ONE thing every single portfolio gets WRONG
  • What employers and clients really want from your portfolio
  • The one thing you MUST speak to, visually and verbally
  • Why impressive visuals WON’T get you the job
  • How to position yourself as a strategic asset, not an order-taker
  • The right (and wrong) way to present case studies
  • The only 3 things any recruiter, employer or client cares about
  • Using social media — and making sure it doesn’t hurt you
  • A FREE, downloadable portfolio guidebook to walk you step-by-step through creating a winning portfolio
  • portfolio template that details the required content recruiters, employers and potential clients need to see.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Joe Natoli

Coaching & Training for UX Designers & Developers


I've been helping Fortune 500 & 100 organizations train Product Design, Development and UX Teams from the ground up for 29+ years.

I've shown them how to incorporate real-world UX and design best practices into their work, without reinventing or disrupting what they do every day.

I speak at conferences, delivering keynotes, lectures and workshops, all over the world.

I've launched seven successful online courses, with more than 140,000 students (yes, that’s a real number).

My students tell me those courses and workshops are valuable because I deal with the reality of working in the messy corporate world — instead of the UX fantasy land far too many authors and so-called "experts" describe in their speeches, articles and courses.

I have... See full profile

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1. Introduction: The Real Question You Have to Answer: to set the stage for all this, I'd like to take you back to my junior portfolio presentation at Kent State University, circa 1989. The deal with the design program at Kent State was this. You had to reviews to portfolio reviews. The 1st 1 happened your sophomore year. The 2nd 1 happened your junior year. Now the deal was this about 50% or there abouts of people who took that review failed it. Now you could take it one more time if you failed. But if you fail the second time, they basically sat you down and plated suggested that you choose another career. So it was It was slightly tough. Um, and at the time, you know, I was really indignant and self register about the fact that they were so hard on us, But I'm grateful every day in my life that they were. So here is the story. I'm at my portfolio presentation. I had just finished showing my senior project portion of my portfolio, which your junior year you had to present what you were going to do for your project that had to be approved before you actually did it. So I'm explaining my layouts and these ideas to the review committee, and I'm talking a lot about you know, how I'm going approach the visual design, the images, the style. I'm talking a lot about the actual visual design, so they listen to all this. And then the lead reviewer, who also happens to be my professor slash adviser, does this thing where he just sort of stares at me and gives me this long, very thoughtful look. And finally he says, Okay, now tell me why I should give a shit now, As you might imagine, I was slightly taken aback by this. But I relay that story to you because it's extremely important as it relates to your portfolio. And the reason it's important is because this is the situation that you are in all of you who are designers, developers, ux folks of any stripe. If you're looking for a job, if you're looking for potential clients, this is the question that all those people who may potentially higher you are asking, Why should I care about any of this? And they're asking it from word go. The other thing, I want you to keep in mind about the people on the hiring end of this equation is that whether we like it or not, money is absolutely the way that almost every organisation keep score. That's just the way it works. At the end of the day, any company, whether they're hiring designers, developers if they're building products of any kind, whether they're used internally or externally, the metric of success is almost always related back to money, specifically, whether they are making it or saving it. So you have to prove that you can deliver value. Your profile has to b'more than just a collection of your work. It has to serve as evidence of whether or not any of that work actually has value value to users. Of course. Okay, we all know that user experience is about delivering value out to people. But as you've probably heard me say before, if you've taken into my classes or read any of my articles have seen any of my videos, it's more important that the value comes back to the organization who will either employ you or pay you to help them improve. That's a selfish pursuit on their part, and again, that's the way it is, they have to look out for their own interests. It's the nature of the beast. They have to survive. They have to succeed. You are a part in making that happen. So the potential value that you have to them has to be evident from the very first thing they see. So again, what a prospective client or employer really wants to know is how you are going to help them make money or save it, which means that this is not enough. OK, this is an actual first screen of Ah you X portfolio I looked at online. There is nothing here that speaks to value at all. All it tells me when I look at it is that this person obviously likes to color green, and they've got some visual sense with shapes and tones and colors. This isn't enough, either, and I've seen this 1000 times as well, and you're going to see it again when we walk through a couple of things. Here's my name. I'm a senior u I and UX designer. So what? What about it? This is not even close. I'm so and so I designed for humans. What does that mean? What value does that communicate? What does that tell me about your ability to help me do anything? Answer nothing. All right. And these introductions have to stop. If you're doing this right now in your portfolio, you need to get rid of it and replace it with a statement that has some meaning. And we'll get to that later on in the program. But this. Hello? I'm so and so. I enjoy simplicity in good temper. Okay, I get it. All right. It's like if you went to a networking event and you spent the 1st 20 minutes of a conversation simply introducing yourself and listing out the things that you find interesting or attractive or compelling. I like books. I like long walks in the park guy. Like these movies, these whatever it is. Ok, this again does not speak to the reason that person is there. It doesn't speak to the questions that they have. It doesn't speak to what they want to know most about you. In all three of these that we're looking at right here. There is not one single useful piece of information. It doesn't tell me anything. Now let's start at the left here. If you look at this, it's obviously it's a very nice foot. Okay, said smiling. Happy young man. He's got a cool haircut. It looks like a design guy, right? He's in front of this fantastic background, Very creative, obviously says things about his attraction to the visual arts and in and of itself. It's nice. Okay, it's a great photo. The problem is, it doesn't tell me anything about what he does or his ability to do it, or the value of what he does. Even if I look at the text, I designed experiences that people love and care about. Okay, it's a claim. There's no proof that that claim is valid. Alright, he's I know that he's a freelance U I u X and product designer. Helpful. But again, you're not telling me enough. You're not giving me any evidence. You can make claims all day long and say, I'm an internationally recognized freelance product. You exercise. You can say those things all day long. You've got to give people some evidence off that very, very quickly, and I'm gonna show you specific examples of how to do that. All right, let's move to the one in the middle here. Hello and welcome. I'm a product designer tackling user problems on the Web, APS and beyond Explorer and joy and get in touch. OK, first of all, no one is going to explore anything unless you give them a really good reason right now to do so right? And we're gonna get into the reasons why that is later on. In the course Now, if you look down below below this massive field of negative space whitespace, it says work. And then I'm seeing the beginnings of what looks like a case study down there. There's no reason for all that dead space. It's not helping. It's not giving me anything of value. And the other problem here is that while you X work isn't necessarily you, I design work. In fact, we know often it's very much not the same thing, and in fact, you I as part of the big umbrella view X. But when you do things like put red type on top of a photograph in areas where the contrast changes rapidly behind the characters as it does here that tells me a hell of a lot about your design sense, Namely, that you don't have any. I know I'm being harsh. Okay, but this is really, really important. Guys, if you're gonna make visual decisions, they have to be good visual decisions. You do not have to be you. I designer. No one is saying that you do, but you have to at least understand the principles of good visual design. Doing something like this is an instant disqualification. I promise you. Let's move to the 3rd 1 here. Um, I design I code. I love you ex, except we don't know what your name is. We don't know who you are and there's no evidence again of any of those three things. This screen doesn't tell me anything other than the fact that you love green and that you have ah, knack for quick, snappy text. There's no value here. There's nothing here that says I am valuable to your organization. I can help you. You need me. It's just decoration. In all three cases, this is mostly just decoration and empty claims. Not helping you 2. Are You Drowning in the Sea of Sameness?: so like a lot of things this course came about through necessity months back 56 months. Now I was helping a client who asked me to come in and consult with them and help them start a U X department within the organization. And part of that included setting out some criteria for staffing up okay for building Ah, you ex staff. And of course, part of that also included helping them review portfolios and sort of give them some guidance on what to look for now. In doing so, I thought, Well, it's been a while since I was in position to do this. So I struck out on the Web and started looking for folks and some of the places I looked for folks were in articles. Okay, I read at least 20 plus whatever called best portfolios articles. If you go to Google right now, ah and Google you X portfolios or inspiring you export floaters or great UX portfolios, you'll hit a number of these articles that say, Here's what your ux portfolios should look like. Here's what should be in it. And here are some examples of people who are doing an awesome job Here's the thing about that in those articles and in over 250 u S. Slash u i portfolios I looked at since I started this venture with these good folks, I didn't find one single example of a good portfolio. And I'm not kidding you. Not one not want to this day, I haven't seen one that I consider to be fantastic. Now, Was the work itself good? Yes, but the portfolios, all of them were completely failing their creators. Why? Why did I not find one good portfolio? Why am I such a harsh judge of portfolio quality, right. Why didn't I find one good example? Why, Joe? Why? Well, because I never made it past the first screen of any of these now. I was forced to go back to them eventually and dig through and find things. Um, but at first pass of everything that I saw, I just I never made it past the first green. And if I never made it past the first green, then neither would any client or recruiter or employer who was really looking for the best of the best. That's a big problem, folks. That's a huge massive problem. And it's crazy because, as I said, Thies air all tool one. I saw some incredibly talented people. So let's figure out what's going on here. Take a look at all these portfolios. What do you see? What's the first thing that jumps out at you? Give you a couple of seconds to think about? This is a sea of sameness. Okay, if I took the names on each one of these screens and swap them okay just through mental blender, mix them up and reassigned different names in different portfolios, it wouldn't matter. And the reason it wouldn't matter is because none of these screens tell me anything specific to that individual thes air. All generic, meaningless statements. Hard core. I know, but I am telling you, you have to do better than this if you want to get noticed. Okay. Let's look at a couple of you know so and so will design and code to solve hard problems primarily in productivity. He currently works at Okay, whatever. Look towards the center. I am a storyteller, designing ux you I for the web and mobile APS. Okay, you're a storyteller, except you're not telling me a story. You're not giving me anything of value. You're making a statement that anyone could make. I design and build digital products. Hello there. So and so is a product designer exploring virtual reality. I'm so and so a product designer based in London. You know, I designed for humans. So what The collective response to this is So what? Why you? Why should I spend another second looking at your stuff? Why should I dig into your in some cases non existent navigation to try and find something of value? Why are you making me work to figure out what your value is? And again, visually, the set up here in the approach does not differentiate one from the other. It's all the same. And after you've looked at four, these and you're hitting the same thing over and over again. Big splash screen, flat color, single statement. You're like, OK, this is it's lazy, all right. The impression that you get if you're on the hiring and is that it's lazy. If you can't be bothered to differentiate yourself on the very first screen, how do you expect me to be interested? Enough toe? Look at anything else you have to offer. Here's another set of examples. I see this approach almost everywhere. Big photo of person. Single statement. Okay, I'm a user experience user interface designer developer. I am so and so this is my UX design portfolio product. UX you I designer senior experience designer working in Los Angeles, California. My name is, uh, again same, Same, same same Same. If I switch the names of any of these, it would not matter. One of the pieces of advice that I give companies all the time clients in terms of user experience, customer experience, how they present themselves to the world, their branding right, which ties into all that is if I can put another company's name on top of anything that you put out to the public and it sounds the same and it still works, you're not working hard enough to tell people what is different and valuable and useful about you. If it's a claim anyone could make, if it's a sentence, anyone could, right. If it's a statement, you know that describes anybody. You're not working hard enough, okay? And in this case, if your first screen looks just like everybody else, is You're not working hard enough and you've got to show me that you are gonna work harder than that because I am gonna place a bet on you. I'm gonna sacrifice a salary minute. I'll take a chunk of my company's revenue, and I'm gonna give it to you. That's a bet. I'm placing a bet. I'm taking a risk. You have to tell me on the very first green from the very first screen that that risk could be worthwhile. That's the only way you're ever gonna make it to a short list of interviews, right? Candidates to talk to most people will not go past this point. 3. Good Looks Won't Get You The Job You Want: good looks will not get you the job you want, no matter how good the design, the visual aspect here portfolio is no matter how interesting your photos are. Beautiful visual design may certainly get you hired. But nine times outta 10 you're gonna wind up being what my professors used to call. Ah, glorified pair of hands. Which means you got divisional part down. You can produce the artifacts, whatever they are. You know, layouts calms assets for developers, wire frames, etcetera, etcetera. But the gap between what you are making and what you could be making is equal to the percentage of your work that strategic in nature. Okay, if you are looking to get hired as a true you X person, right, whatever your title, maybe designer, consultant, architect, analysts, etcetera, etcetera. You've gotta prove that where your value is is on the strategic end of things where you're saying, here's what the problems we need to solve our Here's why. Here's what's important here is what's feasible. Here's what people care about. Here's how this is going to come back to us in terms of value. If you want in on those decisions, you've got to do a lot more than just sit there and look pretty all right. That's dependent on your ability to demonstrate that your work delivers measurable value. There's that word again. In other words, you gotta show me as the reviewer, as the recruiter, as the hiring manager, as the employer who's gonna hire you as a client who's gonna hire you. You gotta show me how you can help me make or save money. Emphasizing the visual reduces you to order taker. If you're on Lee showing pretty pictures of finished you eyes. Okay, that's your someone who makes things look good automatically. That's your perception. That's how people are going to perceive who you are and what you do. If everything about your portfolio says I put lipstick on pigs, that's what you're gonna be hired to do. And hopefully everybody knows what I mean by that, right? There are a lot of people in ux rolls in you eye rolls who only get involved when everything's already built right. The developers have built everything. All the big decisions have been made. They give it to you, Indigo. OK, make this look good. You do not want to be that person. I mean, maybe you do okay, but I think most of us, it's not the job that we want. And if you're hired to do that, OK, if you're hired to put lipstick on pigs, if that's how they see you in the interview, that's how they see you, period. Throughout the entire course of your career at that organization, that is who you are. That is who you will be. You'll have a very hard time breaking away from that word. Take a role into something more strategic. You will not be invited to the big kids table to talk strategy, you know, to talk business, to talk. You know, anything related to planning for products success. No matter what anyone tells you in an interview process, they say, Well, what we really need right now is someone to do you I design, but you'll grow into a more strategic role. Don't believe it. Okay, this is the truth. If you get hired to do visual stuff, that is where you will stay. I promise you, no matter what anybody says, so in your portfolio you must position yourself for the gig that you want every picture that you use in a portfolio should tell the whole story. Okay, there's a big difference between what you see on the screen right now and showing Ah, finished, you I Now, if I show this kind of thing, no one has to be able to read it. No one has to be able to make sense of it. They don't have to know what it is. What it absolutely screams at first glance is here's a whole lot of thinking happening here . Here's that here's a process. Here's all right. They actually spent some time thinking about what happened here. What happens next with the issues are how this stuff works together. This, at first glance within three seconds, tells a person that you are thinking about a lot more than just the finished product than just the visual part. This says that you are capable of taking a holistic look at everything and making sure that you understand every nuance that's important all right, speaks to motivation. It speaks to skill. It speaks to your ability to comprehend different parts of the software development process . Here's another example. It's messy, it's ugly, but it it speaks immediately to the fact that okay, there's a flow happening here. And this person, if I'm showing this in portfolio, it says, I ask questions. I walked through something and didn't just say OK, well, it should look like this I said, Why is this this way? You know this part is confusing these. The form should be the focus here. Whatever you see my read text that communicates something, it signifies something. It says again that I'm thinking beyond what shows up on the screen. It says that I am really concerned about whether this thing succeeds or not. By extension, I'm really concerned about whether the organization succeeds or not. Here's an example from my portfolio workshop, which this course eyes based on this young man took upon himself to in his portfolio show things like this in the first yellow paper. There, he's shown here is the current new user registration flow. Here's what happens when people register and then the next to images, and you can scroll through these. He shows what happens. Okay, here the ideas that we had around cleaning that up, Here's how we imagined it could be better. Here's how we imagine it could be different on. And here's why. And you see his rough notes. This is infinitely more powerful than showing me a bunch of Finnish screens because again, it says you took the time to figure out. Is this right? Is this the right thing? How could this be better? What's wrong with it? You're asking the important questions that businesses ask themselves when they get into a redesign situation. So it says a lot more than I may. You I designer. So portfolio Rule number one and I'm gonna give you several throughout our time together is that you have to show how you use what's between your ears before what you can do with your hands. 4. Your "Book" WILL Be Judged By Your Cover!: Here's the thing I need you to understand. Okay. Before we go any further, you absolutely will be judged by your appearance. OK, Your book, so to speak, will absolutely be judged by its cover that very first exposure, that very first experience, that very first screen people will form an instant opinion about you. So the question I want you to ask yourself. But in terms of portfolio, your website is this. What does the very first screen say about you? Does it tell me what? Doesn't it tell me? What does the viewer know about you right now? In this very instance, what do they know? Beside your name is this and you are a U A ux designer, product designer or you live in California or whatever the case may be. Okay, what do they know about you right now? And furthermore, is that enough to convince them that you're worth looking at is what they see right now this very moment, enough to get them to click or tap something to see what it is that you have to offer. If it's like anything that we've seen previously. The answer to that is no. So let's take a look at a couple of examples of home screens that, unfortunately, are telling a story that is probably not what the person intended. And the disclaimer I want to give you is that all these folks, as I said before, have excellent work. But their home screens are hurting. This one says I make pretty things. Okay. It's all very visually attractive. This person obviously has visual design talent. It's clever. It's cute. The colors are very nice. They're complimentary. But if you're telling me your u Y UX design ninja extraordinary, you need to give me some proof that that is the case. If you're gonna make such a bold claim, Ninja extraordinary. That's big, folks. You gotta give me some proof that you actually are that person. Not just a bunch of pretty circles with pictures in it. All right, what are these? Who's the client? Is this a website? Isn't a Napa's an illustration? If you get the image in the top center, that picture of a house, what does that tell me you did the photography here. You took this photograph. Um, look at the bottom. Right. Um all right. Did you do the illustration there. What is that? In the absence of information, recruiters, clients and employers will all assume that this person is a visual designer. Why? Because everything here is purely visual. I want you to notice on the top left this sharp, unsavory business when you mouse over that if you hold your cursor over the image, you get the title. The client is sharp, unsavory and that this person did responsive and Web design a couple problems with that number one. That information isn't really all that valuable. And we'll we'll get to why and number two in a mobile version of this same site. Guess what? There's no hover state, so I'm not gonna get that information. It's just gonna be a pretty picture. And again, I'm gonna say, OK, it's nice looking, but so what? All of this this presentation is Approach assumes that the viewers sufficiently motivated or curious enough to click or tap something, and here's a hint they're not. Hey, no one is sufficiently motivated or curious or willing to explore or carefully consider everything that you have here. Very smart guy by the name of Steve Krug, wrote a book called Don't Make me think. And in that book, one of the things he talks about is how designers in particular. All right. And I think a lot of you exposure guilty of this as well designed things in a way where we think they're going to carefully consider every single thing that's on the screen and look at it thoughtfully and go. Wow. You know, that's really interesting. Um, maybe I want to learn more about this part. They're gonna take their time and go, Yeah, I'm gonna dig into this right now and spend some time with this because I'm curious. That's an absolute lie. Doesn't happen. It never happens. Especially in a case where someone is looking to hire you. We're gonna get toe Why? But for right now, keep that in your mind. Do not ever assume that someone is just gonna naturally dig in tow. What? You have to offer and check out all your nifty little animations because they're curious. They're not. This says I expect you to know what I did. Okay? And this person again, this work is fantastic. But there's some enforcement things happening here. You're looking at the mobile version on the left and the desktop version on the right. In all this vertical space, you've only give me one example of what you've done. I don't really know who you've worked for outside of uber. I don't know what you've done. I don't know whether any of that is valuable or not, All right, and there's some big problems with this presentation as well. Number one. This copy is clever. Perfecting the pickup for the rider app redesign. That's a fantastic sentence, but it doesn't tell me anything about the work itself or the outcome. Perfecting the pit. It's clever, it's catchy, but there's nothing there. All right, you being clever at the expense of clear communication. No one has time to decode your cleverness here has shown a big picture of the logo. Okay, what does that mean? Does that mean you designed their logo? Is your logo designers that I'm looking at? Some of you may be laughing and shaking your heads or thinking Joe, that's ridiculous. Why would anyone think he designed the logo? I promise you that people make all sorts of leaps in logic when they look at something, especially when they're in a hurry and their time poor, which once again, we'll talk about later. One of those things absolutely will be. If they see a big logo, they're going. Okay. Well, he must have designed their local. They will not read. They'll scan to make a judgment and removal on. I promise you that. I got 20 plus years watching people use things that tell me that that is an absolute ironclad fact. All right. You gotta show me more than this. You gotta show me something valuable. Uber magic. Two point. Oh, what if I have no idea what that is? What the hell is uber magic? What does that mean? What is it? What was the project? What did you consult on design on? What is? It tells me nothing. And this invitation to read mawr. There's no way I'm going to read Maura unless you give me a damn good reason to do so, which you have not done. Here's another one. Just believe me, OK? My name is so in some a ux designer, and I need you to just take a leap of faith and believe that I have the skills that I say I do. And here's the problem with that The minute you include the word design in your title, even though again I get it's ux and not you Why? But the minute you include UX designer people make a leap in logic. Design means visual stuff. If the person reviewing this does want somebody with visual design talent, we got a big problem because not only does is not respect my limited time is a viewer. The typographic design here is extremely poor. Okay, there's zero evidence here that suggest this person is aux anything right, because they're not thinking about what I need to see here. They're not thinking about me as a user and my needs and my information needs. And they're also exhibiting things that work against their claim that they can design things. This is just a bunch of san serif typography stacked together. There's nothing special about this. There's nothing that says I designed this. It's mawr. I stacked a bunch of stuff and hear this. They're asking me to take a very big leap of faith here, which I'm not gonna dio. This says I have no grasp of the core principles of you X or design. All right, and again. I get that I'm being harsh, but it's true you cannot make these mistakes and expect to be taken seriously, especially by people who know what sense and skills you shooter should not have this border . See this border at the bottom. It's perfectly enclosed this entire areas and close. This is a full screen desktop screenshot that suggests that the screen ends right here. Nothing more to see. This is the end. This is the bottom. That's what that bar says. What it communicates to people. However, if I move my mouse at all or my finger right to scroll, guess what? There's more. It doesn't end there. That's a huge, massive, monstrous faux pas when it comes to good user experience. Good interaction, design good. You. I design. You've broken Ah, core principle right there don't provide false clues. So you've sunk your ship already before. It even had a chance to look at anything. That's the first problem. Second problem is the color scheme here breaks every single rule of readability, contrasts in visual cognition that I know off this green against the pink that two colors are way too saturated. They vibrate together. We're using this weird yellow and orange color. In addition elsewhere, you got a goofy Grady int happening on that. That faux button on the right. You don't do this. Refracted light is very hard on people's eyes. The last thing you do is put anything on screen that vibrates like this, especially right here. Okay, You get this purple text against this very saturated pink background, which is actually a fairly similar tone. Were you to grade these out? It makes it hard to read. Okay? Contrast is very poor. The fact that that diagonal separation between the colors cuts right into the text and the text crosses it, man Terrible, terrible decision and again says that I don't really know the rules about how this stuff is supposed to work. The button here doesn't even look like a button. That's sort of ah, again a low bar in terms of user experience, interaction, design, make things that are interactive or clickable or untapable look like they're clickable or interactive or tap herbal. You've got toe look like you know what you're talking about and you know what you're doing . You can't shoot yourself in the foot by breaking the rules that you were supposed to be familiar with this to me. Says I'm faking it til I make it so much more than pixels. My name is so and so. I'm passionate about making things that make an impact. Dramatic statement. Nice piece of copy, aerating. It doesn't prove anything to me. It doesn't say anything about your experience. It doesn't. There's no evidence to back up that claim. The minute you say something like so much more than pixels, I am here to tell you you have to have something else on the screen that supports that claim that backs it up. That serves as evidence that that's the case. To think that that's enough to get somebody so curious that they're gonna click something. Huge mistake. Pixels are all I see here. So you're making a claim that you're showing me something that sort of negates the claim. Also, look at the bottom. You see these two buttons, see my work, hire me. The second button hire me, needs to go away altogether. That will unfortunately, and I know this person didn't mean it that way. It will come across as arrogant. I'm awesome. Hire me. No, there's a fine line between confidence and arrogance. This will come across as arrogance. You haven't proven to me that I should even consider interviewing you, much less hiring you. OK from a client. You haven't even convinced me that I should send you a message and say, Hey, do you do this kind of work? You've given me nothing. All right, that's a premature ask. It's like going on a blind date of first blind date and you open the door and say, Hey, how about a kiss? Right? You're even know this person. That's what this is like so that that but needs to go away. Last but not least, he's passionate about making things, or she's passing about making things. What things are they sites of the app. So the enterprise systems give me some detail that tells me something. Anything about what you do. What kind of stuff do you make? This is one of my favorites. Welcome to Justin Bieber's website, and again, this is someone with extraordinary talent. I get there and you know he's relying on the fact that my aging eyes can see that little text that says creative direction slash your I slash ux. And even if I can read it, the brain has no choice but to be fixated on that image. Because it's big, it's color saturated. And that's how this works. Okay, you're automatically doing cognitive work to figure out who is that? And, you know, if you're reasonably knowledgeable about public matters, you go. Okay, Justin Bieber. There's nothing about this that says this person is he is a designer or you I designer or you X person. I don't see what I'm looking for. So I'm moving on. This is the worst of all of them and basically says I just don't give a shit, OK? The latest version of Flash Player is recommended to encode and decode play these these files. All right, I don't the flash players out of date. If I come to your website and I see this, I'm going not only my gone, but I'm writing you off forever because this says that you can't be bothered. The architect, your site in a way, that it is viewable by anybody anywhere, right? That's how much you care about being seen about someone's ability, you know, to actually look at your work and potentially higher you. That's the level of effort you're putting in. This is unacceptable. Absolutely unacceptable. Your site cannot. Should not depend on a plug in or a model of any kind to run content. You cannot do this. So poor furlough Rule number two here is that your very first green should tell the story that the people viewing it want Teoh here. Not the one you want to tell. This is about them, not you. What is that first screen say about you? And is it what they need to hear from you? 5. Your Audience is Time Poor - Respect That!: as I've alluded to up to now, you must remember that every single person looking at your portfolio is time poor. They do not have time. They're pressed for time. They're doing this on top of all the other responsibilities that they already have further job that day. That week, that month. You must respect this their time. Poor. They do not, as I've said, have the time to leisurely explore everything you have to offer. They need information, and they need it now. So like TV, some quotes from recruiters to illustrate that point. Here's the 1st 1 Sometimes I only have 30 seconds to look in an online portfolio. That's Robin. He's a lead your extra creator now, 30 seconds. Think about how long. 30 seconds is. It's not even a full minute. What are you going to tell somebody in 30 seconds to get them to stick around to say, All right, I only have 30 seconds, but I'm going to spend another minute here or two minutes here because what I just saw was so compelling that I'm convinced so something like this I designed thoughtful, beautiful, easy to use digital experience that they know. Okay, No, no, no. Because if this was a thoughtful, easy to use digital experience, you would recognize the reason that I'm here in the first place. And you would already be giving me something that speaks to the reason I'm here, okay? And you're not doing it. Even if I look at the knave home about Contact Block, where is the work? Where is the work? How do I get to the work? I'm here to see the work. I'm here to see proof from here is the evidence. I'm not going through all this clever stuff. I don't care about your nice little background with all these cute little icons on it. The paragraph of text that is very thoughtful and very well written. I don't care. Give me what I came for. Okay, so there's no work on your website. But this paragraph tells me you're a maker thinker, a writer and a storyteller. Impressive, snarky. Okay. But to the point is person who surprised desire Facebook. You gotta give me more than ever. We saw a bunch of those already. Those grand statements don't mean anything. Here's a portfolio of someone who again is fantastic. Hey, there work is still the case. Studies were very illuminating. Um, at all it says here is I produce elegant solutions with a human centered design approach. Let's stop right there. Human centered design approach. There is nothing about this page that is human centered. This is I wrote a paragraph. I expected to be enough to convince you that I am worth your time. There's nothing human centered about that. He's not thinking about how people are gonna use this page, what they're gonna perceive here, what they expect, right? It's just a paragraph. And I get it. Because if you read these stupid articles that I mentioned earlier, that's the kind of advice you're gonna get. Look how awesome these are and they all do it. The stupid splash screen with a paragraph. You're not telling me anything of value. Feel free to reach out to me via email. For what? For what? I have no idea what you do. Have no idea who you've done it for. I have no idea whether it's any good. Here's another one. Hello there. I'm a designer problem solver and devil's advocate. And then there's a nice, interesting, well written little paragraph on the bottom right about the devil's advocate things like, Oh, about that clever. But you're telling me nothing again. If I look at the knave, which is the first place I'm gonna go, because again I'm here to see work. I'm here to compare. There's no work up there says about contact. This person assumes that I'm going to scroll, which I'm not okay, because there's nothing down there at the bottom that suggests scrolling is necessary. I wanted to spell a big myth right now. People, designers, UX, folks, developers. Everybody assumes that people automatically scroll. And there's all these articles out there that's able people automatically scroll the fold is a myth. The full isn't important. I agree with that. But here's the thing you must know about scrolling. Scrolling is a triggered, instinctive response. It does not happen automatically. It only happens when there's something down there that sends a signal to the brain in milliseconds that says, there's more down there. Go look at it. That could be some text that's cut off. It could be an image is cut off. It could be an arrow that points downward, which I'm sure you've all seen without that signal. Without that clue, you get this. This is called a false bottom. A false bottom suggests that there is nothing more to see here because everything's perfectly cut off. Don't do this. Here's another one designed to me is about bridging the gap between Okay, great. It's your philosophy on design. It's a well written paragraph. Again. I don't begrudge in by that, but you're not helping yourself. You're not telling me anything of value to give me your philosophy on design. I don't care. Okay? I want to see your We're going to see what makes you you. I want to see your value. Even the case study that begins to appear but is way too low on the screen and it is cut off, which means you will scroll, which is good. But I may not scroll because all it says is sidetrack tells me nothing. I'm assuming it's the name of a nap. Um, an app that assists in meandering. Now if I'm going to hire you, Do I care about an app that assists in meandering? Or do I care about an app that revolutionised travel for this industry Or, you know, an app that got this client this result point being you got to tell me something that matters in that tagline. It can't just say, Here's what this is. You gotta tell me why it matters. You tell me why it was successful. You gotta tell me why it's worth my time. You got to tell me why I should give a shit. Okay. Back to that. This does not do that in any way, shape or form. There's another one. Hi. I'm so and so. I like to design, easy to use and beautiful user interfaces and experiences. This isn't one of them. I like green. I like text on a blank field. Okay. And in a desktop view, there is no excuse. No reason to have a hamburger menu. You got a ton of real estate up there. Make those things visible to me right now. I want to see your resume. I want to see your work. There is no reason you should make me click on that stupid little icon to find it. Put him out there and a mobile view. I get it. You gotta save screen real estate. But as you're going to see even that's not a good excuse to hide the things that matter to people. Don't do this. Here's the one that's probably most important. I'm not going to read an entire 10 page case study on something. This is tremendously important in a lot of performance I looked at that I told you about. I saw some excellent case studies, and in the evening when I had nothing to do because I'm a geek. Um, I actually took the time to read some of them, but some of them are novel length, and the bottom line is no one has time to dig through them. Also, no matter how detailed or how well written your case that he may be, it may not be doing you any favors. I would like to show you an example. Here's an excellent excellent case study on a project this person did for Netflix. Okay, immersive native storytelling, which again, you know, I don't know what that means. Immersive native storytelling. It's a lot of jargon. It doesn't tell me anything about what you did. Really. What this was was a social media campaign to attract attention. So here's how this works. You get there and you said already Look at this case study. So here's what you see. Here is what that page looks like at the very top I've got. You know, the entire screen is taken up by the title and this this big image, which makes no sense to me get me started. Let me start seeing some things about what this is. What happens is as you scroll down this page, okay, you see that too long? Don't read summary. We're gonna come back to that. So it's well written. He sets it up. Well, he says, Here's what are problem was relative to Facebook. He shows images to support his claims. He walks through the solution in great detail. He talks about how this decision portal idea was born. He shows his process right that boxes and arrows diagram, he says. Here is the prototype that we did asking people to take an action. Here's ah, how we adapted that to the issue with YouTube. So he's laying out his plan, all right, and he's doing a hell of a job of it. It's It's no Stone is unturned here, and he's doing a very good job explaining why they did it and what the result was. The problem is, there's just way too much of it. No one is going to read all this stuff, folks. Okay, at best, they're going to scroll through it and they're not gonna get any sense, Really? Of what? This was why I was valuable and they're just gonna go, Okay, I'm not reading all this stuff. Here's what happens when you confront somebody with that much content. Their first reaction is in order to understand any of this, I'm gonna have to read all of it. And the next reaction that kicks in if you've only got X amount of time to look at something and you got 20 things looming behind it that you have to get done today you go. And I'm not reading this, okay, Next, And that's what happens. So let's go back to the top of the page. Is this too long? Don't read, which, quite frankly, is something that I hate. All right, I get the concept, but what it really means to me there's a hint of of sort of laziness here or denying reality because what it says to me, especially in the context of a portfolio in a case study. If you need this, your case studies too long. You got too much info on the page if this becomes necessary. All right. I really firmly believe that. So when I click this too long, don't read it for if I tap it, I get a quick paragraph that tells the whole story in one pair of Now, if you can tell me the story in this much text, why aren't you doing that upfront before you ask me to invest this massive amount of time scrolling through in reading this entire case study, which is time I don't have again Now here's one alternate way to approach this instead of doing this instead of just dumping a bunch of stuff on a page, Break it up. All right, here's what this was was a social media platform solution for Netflix that tells me who the client is. Big name. I like that and it tells me what this Waas It was work specifically geared towards social media. That's descriptive. I can use that I can file it away. It's something I can use to evaluate whether or not you are a good fit for what I need. Then you got your paragraph, whatever. And then you got a link that says, OK, if that sounded good to you, go ahead and read the full case study and maybe take a cue from medium and some other properties and say, Take about 12 minutes to do that. This is a much smaller Ask for the person reviewing your portfolio and you are more likely to get the action that you want, Which is them clicking that button? If your initial ask is small, all right, so that's one way to do it here, quite frankly, is a better way. And here's the way I think you should do it. Same headline, but break it out even further. Who's the client? What was the process was a solution and what was the outcome? This tells me everything I need to know at a glance. It takes up no space, and you're giving it to me fast because again, I have no time, right? Even reading a paragraph takes a hell of a lot longer than this. I go and it got it, got it, got it, got it, got it, and that's it. Don't assume that people have time to read what you've written because they don't 6. The Unintentional Roadblocks You're Probably Putting Up: So the bottom line with all this is that I want to see your work and I want to see it right now. Not later. Now Skip the clever cooperating an intro paragraph unless you're trying to land a writing gig and that's valid. Okay, there are plenty of content gigs. UX writing gigs are becoming actually more prevalent. But unless you're after that, don't do this, OK? Skip the metaphorical imagery. The angled shots of generic interfaces, the mobile devices, laptops. You know the cool desks like this Here. Show me who you've worked for. Show me what you did for them. Show me evidence that what you did actually worked in some measurable way. Tell me a story that matters to me. Tell me a story that convinces me that you are worth the next 30 seconds of my life. Take a look at this example on the right. It's nice. It's sensitive. It's well designed. Better design, better experiences. As a designer and developer, I understand the project user. Okay, I'm not reading this. It's nice. It's clever, It's pretty. I'm not reading it. If I do happen to click on work, OK, here's what I get I get another landing page, more basic blank space or sculpted solutions every product starts with. Okay, you're still local. It's like a commercial, right? It's like a commercial you can't turn off. I want to get past commercial. I want to know what the hell you do, who you've done it for and whether it's any good or not. All right, you can see at the bottom there, there's clients and energies that tells me. Okay, this probably more down there. So I scroll and I get another intro paragraph, right. More flood. Great ideas aren't industry specific. Skip the philosophy lesson and give me the work. Okay, That industry's business on the right is valuable. Here are the industries. I've worked for it. That's valuable. That should be out front. That should be up top. That should be one of the first things that I see again. Because it signifies relevance to me. You may be a good fit, because, hey, um, we have clients in seven of those industries. I see finally, that I'm approaching projects down the bottom there, so I scroll again and all right, I've got pictures that show me finished. You I which again suggests immediately that this person is a you I designer, which, it turns out, is only one of the things they do. But that's what this says. And remember what I told you earlier. If you are pigeonholed as you I designer from first glance, that's who you are, buddy. Okay, doesn't matter how much you talk to the contrary. Doesn't matter how many how much evidence you show to the contrary. The minute that assumption gets formed, it's there. It's stuck. That's who you are. If I happen to on a desktop few mouse over one of these images, I see that. OK, it's a Mac OS app, and it's called Portfolios. But that's all I know again. The assumption here is that that information is valuable enough for me to take action. It's convincing enough for me to take action news flash. It isn't. What about? It didn't revolutionise stock trading. APS Is it Number one and the Mac OS App store? You know what about it? Makes it special. What about it means that I should bother to check it out to further illustrate my point here. If I do select it, guess what happens. I get another intro page. Here's a pretty picture of the app and some cool would typeface and a picture that says that I'm dedicated and it's a Mac OS desktop application for the sophisticated stocks and funds invested again. You've told me nothing. You're wasting my time here. No one would ever get this far. Okay, But now if I do, I'm especially pissed off. And there's no way I'm hiring this guy. Not happen. No matter how beautiful is work is, no matter how valuable it is about how good it is, no matter how talented he is, he's wasting my time, and it's pissing me off. Okay, again, I know I'm being harsh, but you guys have to understand how people are thinking on the viewing end of this so that if I do scroll down, I get yet another introductory paragraph. This long call meandering portfolio says a Mac OS application built, attracted. Come on, I'm not reading it, and I still don't see anything of value. Even that screenshot Welcome to portfolios. Really? Why is that valuable to me? Why do I even need to see that you designed a welcome screen? I mean, come on, so poor fool their rule number three and obviously have hammered it home enough. Hopefully assume that every viewer is time poor. Which means you need to get to the point now from the very first green from the very first interaction, give me what I came for and respect the fact that I do not have time to dig in and explore your brilliance. Okay? It's about me, not you. 7. Three Things You Must Do 01 - Mitigate the Recruiter's Risk: At the end of the day, there are really only three things that anyone cares about when they're looking to your portfolio. Like to talk about the very first of those, which is, Show me who you've worked for, your clients, your customers of people who are on the receiving end of your work. And I don't mean in users I mean the organizations. Why? Because that helps me mitigate risk and uncertainty. The very first question that you'll often be asked in a networking situation in an interview situation or even in a casual conversation via email, is Who have you done work for? That's a qualifying statement, Okay, because you're an unknown to the person doing the hiring, and if you're an unknown, your risk, they're worried that you may not be able to do what you say you can do. They're also worried that you're not good at it. They'll tend to see UX design and development and you, by extension, as an expense. It's a risk. It's something we have to spend money on. But what they need is to hear from you that you're not a risk. You're not. Expense urine investment. They need to feel like the work you're going to do for them is going to present a return on their investment in you. So one of the ways you do that is by immediately saying I've worked for all these other people, they have placed bets on my work. All right, I do what you're seeing right here on my training page. The first thing I do is the lead with a quote from a client. I want their words, not mine. Here's why. What I did was valuable for them. Here's what it helped them do. In addition, these five company logo's will get me in any door now unfortunate in that respect. But what I want you to understand is that the companies that you show do not have to be big organizations. The simple fact of saying I've done work for these three people are these four people tells them that someone else has placed a bet on you and one because obviously you're still talking about them as a client, and they've allowed you to talk about them as a client. So it must have worked out okay. This is all nonverbal communication, obviously, but it counts for a lot. Here's a good example. Most recruiters, employers or clients will not need to look past this page to schedule an interview. Those air big names of your heavy hitters. So if you've done work for all these folks, that's a no brainer. But again, the thing I want to stress to you is this. They do not have to be big names, even if you work in house for one organization. A lot of times you're serving multiple clients. Your company, for instance, may be in the business of finance or insurance, and your clients are insurance agents all across the country. Those are your clients. Those people who use what you put out are your clients. If you work for an agency, the clients of that agency are your clients. Okay, that's relevant. You should talk about it. You should speak to it. Simply naming names, showing logos goes a long way and saying someone else has been on the receiving end of what I do. Here's a great example from Christine Wall Tal. She leads with who she's worked for. These air instantly recognizable big name brands, so she's sort of bringing out the big guns immediately. At first glance, that is enough to get most recruiters or potential clients or employers of any kind to take note of what she's done and spend a little more time digging into her work and checking her out. So when I click on Nike skateboarding, I get a case study for the Nike skate app that she worked on. And this is a really nice, very quick, very concise case study. She hits all relevant points, and it's really fast. She gives a quick description. Here's what the project was. Here's the rule that I played in that project. Then she goes on to show how they developed a quick information structure navigation structure in terms of how all these skateboard tricks were related to each other. Quick diagrams. Very easy to digest. She talks about how the wire frame was annotated with requirements. She talks about the videos that were included in the APP. She shows her actual wire frames. Here's how we went about testing prototyping, validating this thing. Ah, and then finally get a link that says we brought it to life. Here's some screens from the final design and you can download the app now, one thing I want you to notice here is that she is downplaying the final You. I The majority of time is spent on the actual process of architect ing a user experience and design the app. So if you go back to her tandem app, if you look at a different case that she does the same thing, here's what the project was. Here's what my role was. Here's the discovery process that we use. She shows her rough sketches, her rough work. That stuff was pinned up on the wall. She shows the work behind, defining what the you I could be should be with low fidelity wire frames. And again, the emphasis isn't on the final product. The emphasis is on the process that was used. Here's how we worked out what should be done. Here's how we decided what people wanted, expected needed. That is a user experience focus and it takes focus away from Here's the pretty thing that I designed. Okay, so this really works very well. Another very nice thing that she does is when you finish with a case study. When you finish scrolling, it takes you back to her home screen where you can see that list of clients again. So it's a very seamless experience. It tells us everything we need to know in a very efficient, clear, quick manner. So what you're trying to do, as she has done a great job of, is help those people who are hiring mitigate their risk and uncertainty. Right? Which we talked about. The more recruiter knows about you at first glance, the more likely they are to check out more if they see immediate evidence that you've actually designed for companies. And again, they don't have to be big companies. Their comfort level goes up a notch. Someone else has taken a risk on you and seen results. If those companies air reputable, okay, their comfort level goes up another notch. If those companies are ones they fill positions for, which actually happens more often than you think, you get the idea. Okay? The point is, you're increasing confidence at every step. And if you can do that from the outset from the very first screen that they see, it works wonders and making sure people stick around. Actually, look at the work that you've done all right here a few quick examples, and these sites suffer in other ways. Okay, but one thing that they do a good job of is there calling out the client. Here's the work. Here's Who the client was. Were fellows, for example, their very first screen. They lead with this big laundry list of clients, which essentially says, even though there's no visual work here, it says, Here's all the people who have given us their money who have trusted us to execute solutions, who have trusted us to help their business. That's a big statement in and of itself, and they're doing it without coming out and saying that they're just showing the list. Here's who we've worked for very, very important. 8. Three Things You Must Do 02 - The Right Way to Do Case Studies: the second of the three things that recruiters and employers really want to know is they want to know the why the how and the what? Show me why you did what you did, how you went about doing that. And of course, what you actually produced. And again, you do that in a way that focuses on the rationale, the strategy behind the decisions you made the things that you felt would improve user experience. So first you're showing how the why informed what? You never want to leave out the why behind your design work The reason why you did the things that you did OK. Recruiters, employers and clients want to see how you think strategically, that you know how to connect business goals and user needs to solutions. What steps did you take to learn more about the business or the industry? How did you determine what users needed or wanted or expected? What was wrong with the elements of the U I U redesigned in redesign cases and redesigns, by the way, are low hanging fruit for case studies. OK, any time you've ever been asked to redesign anything, that's a good opportunity to put something in a case study because by its very nature there was a problem with something to begin with, and you were asked to fix it. This image that you see on the right is a prime example. I've been doing this for years, even as far back eyes. When I did print design, when we were asked to redesign things, I would get a piece of tracing paper and I would put it over top of the existing layout or add or whatever it waas and just sort of do a quick critique with red marker. Here's what's wrong. Here's what isn't working here. The things that aren't communicating the way that they should you I design or APP, design or website design in terms of improving user experience is no difference. Okay, and I still do this today I take a screenshot and I'll even go to the point of printing it out and again, putting a piece of tracing paper over it because I tend to think better when I have a pen in my hand. I don't know what that's about. It's just the way I work. So I do this. I sort of call out the things that aren't working, make notes about why they're not working. And I share this with clients. I share it with the team who is working on the project. In cases where I am training teams of designers and developers. I do this exercise with them in collaboration with them, and I want them to tell me what's wrong. What it does is it gets you in the mindset of thinking, OK, what are we actually doing here? It's easy to look at something and say, Well, that needs to be redesigned. It looks terrible. Looks terrible. Isn't the gig here Positive user experience is the gig value out to people value back to the business is the gig. In order to achieve that, you have to have some why behind the decisions you make. All I'm saying here is exposed that use it in your portfolio. Use it in your case studies whenever possible as often as possible. Next, explain how you idea they're designed. The what? What it orations. Did you go through how many evolutions of this thing take before you got it? To the point where it has solid form, all right. And that could just be a wire frame. Doesn't have to be a final finished product. Finished you I again the reason is because the person hiring wants to know how you think how you work within a team. If you saw the video that I did when Adobe asked me for my two cents about what I look for when I'm hiring designers, that's what I said. I want to see how you think. OK, I want to see how your brain works. I want to see how you adapt yourself to a problem showing the end result doesn't tell me anything about whether you're going to be an asset to this group, you know, or to the product or to the client. So show me how the product evolved from sketch to prototype tow Launch. What happened? Tell that story, explain your design decisions and explain how you validated right, because everything is an assumption to me until proven otherwise were guessing. They may be educated guesses, but they're still guess is the way that you confirm whether you're on the right track or not is you test right? You build a prototype, you test with people, share how your thoughts and your work evolved or changed direction in response to use the research testing, you know, during a typical iterative project life cycle. In this example, Skyy in Central does a great job of stepping us through the process. It's really fast. It's clear he manages to pack a lot of information into very fast experience. If you scroll down, this is what you see. You go from a basic summary of what the project was to hear. The personas that we created. Here's the user task flow that we worked out in order figure out whether our conceptual model makes sense here. The sketches and wire frames that we created. He is stepping you through the work that he did. And this next one is is big. Okay, testing in improvements. We did a rough wire frame. We tested it. Now take a look at these numbers. This'd huge 56% initial design, conversion or issue. That means at first cut. When they did a very basic wire frame, they got a 56% jump in people who actually completed the process. Okay, conversion. That's big, but the second number is even bigger because we got 56%. We weren't satisfied. We went back. We tweak some things, and then the second time around, we got 96%. This part of the screen in and of itself tells that story, and it is a big, important story. Those numbers speak volumes to a potential employer to hiring manager to someone who's considering you to be a part of their team to potential clients. Who wants to know, you know, attended a day. What do you do for me? It's a big metric conversion, and it's important and again by just showing the numbers and saying we did this got this, Then we went back and changed it, and now we got 96%. You're telling this story all right, and that story is meaningful, then finally gets individual design. After the wire friends were done. We style the user interface, and here's what it looked like. And then he says, Okay, here's responsive app landing page that we created in order to, you know, sort of market and promote. So he's taken us end to end from the time this was just on idea to the time of all right, it's the final U y, and here's how we marketed it. What's important in everything that you just saw there is that his focus again is on the thinking behind it. Here's how we made the decisions that we made in order to design the what the product. Don't talk about your process. Show it. The Web is a visual medium. Always was, always will be all right. So images almost always communicate imminently faster than letters and words do. And we're all supposed to be good at clear communication. This is part of the gig, right? Part of delivering great user experiences is understanding how to clearly, efficiently, quickly, appropriately communicate with people. So instead of using some generic you I template or a pre made theme, show me your ability to communicate, show how damn good you are at making the complex simple right, which is another thing we're supposed to be good at. You know, the good examples I've shown you so far do exactly that. They take a very big, very lengthy, complex process, simplify it into a quick scroll, and they do that mostly through the use of images. The right images tell the sort. So here's an example from another site we start with. Here's you know, we looked at the basic user flow. Here's what we decided. Then we moved on to sketching out a few ideas. Then we moved on to work in those ideas up into a wire frame, actual flows, actual screen flows. Then we tested out those you I ideas for a little fidelity to it. See how people respond. We started to apply a little more detail into a prototype. Um, we worked up the individual. You I components tried fair what that stuff would look like. We brought all those assets together into a more finished looking prototype, and then the client threw us a curveball the last minute, decided to change their name. But, hey, we rolled with it. We worked out a new identity for them. And this is important in particular because what I like about it is it illustrates the fact that you do get curveballs in middle of a project, right? You're going, you're going to go and then classes. Well, wait a minute. We're not gonna call it that anymore. And, um because you help us to a logo which you hadn't planned on doing But the fact that you know in this guy's case, he sort of took it rolled with it, made it happen. That speaks a lot about his responsiveness, about his flexibility, about his ability to sort of turn on a dime and change direction, all good, important assets, things that people look for in employees. And then finally, here's the final product. Okay, we created it. Here's what the you I looks like and again noticed that the U. Y itself is probably, you know, the least important thing here. It's It's at the end of the process. He talks the least about that. So again the emphasis is on. How did we get here? What was the process? Show me how that happened. You get through that. There isn't a whole lot of text. The images tell the story very, very well done is this. We're talking about case that he's Here's some quick advice with regard to case studies. A few things to remember, Number 13 Case studies is a solid minimum, so if you don't have a whole lot of work to show, that's okay. If you can get to three, you can get away with three, if they're three strong was if you do a good job of telling the story of why you did what you did again. For a big client, small client doesn't matter, but three is a is a pretty solid minimum to strive for. Now, if you work in house and you only have one client quote unquote, create a case study for each project you've done while you're there. Okay, if it's your first job, you've only had one job. You looking for another one? Fine detail the projects that you've done while you're there and again, if you can get to at least three, that's a good thing. If you don't have any real world projects, that's fine. Pick an app or a site from anywhere that you think needs user experience. Help and then create a case study that explains why it needs help, right? What are the issues? Were the problems What are people complaining about in reviews, for example, you can certainly use that as a starting point for a case study, right? What are what are people mad about? What they wish had been changed in the last three iterations that the company hasn't done yet and show how you would fix it. Okay, Walk through it like it was a real project. You don't have to claim it was for that client. All right, You say I took upon myself to do this work. But whether it is or isn't for a real world client, you're still showing. Here's how I work. Here's how I think. Here's how I go about figuring out what to do and why. If you're light on you. Ex work, for instance, I talked to a lot of you I designers in particular, who have a ton of visual work and they haven't really done Aux or I talked to developers who have a lot of build work, but they don't have a lot of quote unquote you extra you. I work. That's fine. Take a look at whatever you've done previously and examine it from us perspective. What's good? What's bad? What needs to be improved? Where is it failing? Where could it be? Better create a case study around that what the issues are, how you would improve them. Okay, no matter what you've done again, whether that's just flat design work, whether it's you know, the last three websites that you've coated. Whatever. Go back through them, cast a critical eye and build a story around how you would change that. 9. Three Things You Must Do 03: Focusing Case Studies on Results and Outcomes: the third thing, if I'm a potential recruiter or clients or employer that I want to see from you is show me the results that you got. What was the outcome of this work? What happened? What did it do for people? What did it do for the business? In the end, people care most about results about the outcome. Was the project of the products successful and if so, by what measure? Okay, take a look at this quick run down of a case that here's what the challenge was. Here's what the solution we came up with was. Now, take a look at the very last paragraph that first sentence we went from less than 10 active accounts toe over 100 in just a few weeks. That's a license to print money. That is a huge statement. We had 10 accounts. We jumped to 100. Massive, massive increase. Making sure that that comes through. And as you're going to see even saying that upfront before you get to everything else is a very powerful thing to do. Furthermore, what the client have to say about the work that you did on my training page. I have pictures of three of my biggest clients and quotes from them talking about what I did. In other words, I say, Don't take my word for it and I mean that I don't want anybody to just take me a blind faith. I would rather have them listen to people that I've worked for. Okay? I want them to tell the story. Here's why this was valuable to us. And, you know, in this particular way, nobody wants to hear what I have to say about it. And quite frankly, you know, and I talked too much as it is. So this is a way to very quickly prove in and say here the results that came from the work that I did, what lessons were learned as we went through these processes. How did the results that you got connect back to your research, your strategy, your design work? What parts of your work specifically enabled this result that you're talking about? So when it comes your portfolio, I want you to talk results and outcomes not features and functions a run down of what? Your app or site or whatever does. Who cares? We've seen that a 1,000,000 times and anyone could check it out and sort of see these things for themselves. That laundry list in and of itself isn't impressive. The story of what happened as a result of combining all those things in this specific way that you did. That's the story. That's the value. So you need to be specific about what happened, what problem you were solving. Why that mattered to users. More importantly, white matter to the business. And you want to talk in terms of business, not you. X. You want to talk in terms of revenue cost savings, market share. Tell a story that means something. Even if you're applying, you know, to an agency or design firm, you're still wanting to tell the story of how you helped clients with business problems. Why? Because even if it's an agency full of UX people on design people on developers, that company lives and dies by the success of its customers. All right, so you still have to convince them that what you're going to do is gonna provide value for their customers and therefore their customers going to trust that the company can take care of them, right can meet their needs can help them succeed. So it's still important. No matter who you talking to. Hear some good examples. Here's a quick summary case that it says the results of solid collaboration. Okay, and the numbers are right there. They lead with outcomes 101% increase in the number of users who started a report. This was, Ah, reporting after that took a paper process and ported it to an online process. 23% more qualified leads who ran a report 10% increase in the number of users who actually got started. These numbers matter because again, if used doesn't happen, there's no way to see any return on investment or eye on the project, so leading with this automatically tells a compelling story before you're into the details . Here's another one. Outcomes. Right after we a be tested, a new design against the old site. Here's what we got. We got a 14% increase in conversion rate. We got a 20% decrease in Web related phone calls, which, by the way, is monstrous, and I would actually work me. I would probably lead with that because support calls help desk type stuff, customer support those calls cost money. And when you multiply those calls by volume and some cause you're talking about millions of dollars being saved by doing something online that minimizes the number of times people feel like they have to pick up a phone and call somebody. Okay, huge. You choose two seconds. Fastest loading airline website. Again. These air three metrics that matter. Three things that say, Here's what we achieved. You've again given me a reason to stick around and look at and read everything else that comes after this. So not only you need to show results, you need to show those results in outcomes first. Okay, When you tell the story of a project like you're telling a joke in this case, you're giving away the punch line first. Right? Because that's your viewers Onley motivation for reading more If you don't give me a good reason now to keep going, I'm not going to You saw at the very beginning of the course. All right? I showed you some examples. This basic introductory text. Hi. I'm so and so you've given me no reason to keep going other than your pleasant person and your name is John Smith. If you don't give us as people doing hiring a good reason to invest the next 120 seconds reading MAWR, we're not gonna do it. That outcome matters more than anything else that you have the show or say, I promise you, you've got to lead with this. It's the most important part of your story. I give you an example. Let's say I'm reviewing your case study. Okay, if your story starts with Client X, came to me with the goal of like, I'm gone right now. Done next. I got no time for this. I'm just not going to sit through the description of all the stuff that happened. Now, if the same story starts with I helped Client X realize a 200% increase in online transactions Now, you got my attention. I'm sticking around to read the rest because I want to know how the hell you did that, all right. And again, I'm using an extreme example 200% increase. It doesn't have to be that massive. If you tell me if you lead with the fact that you got a positive result, that's enough. That's enough to get me to at least look at whatever is connected to that statement. Okay. Also a quick word on work protected by N. D. A. Nondisclosure agreements. I get this question a lot and ah, it's certainly worth pursuing here. You can still speak to this kind of work. Okay, While remaining absolutely compliant to confidentiality agreements, there's some very simple things that I've always abided by. And I suggest you do the same. Number one always request permission from clients to show the work. There may very well be non sensitive parts that they're okay with you sharing. It never hurts to ask. Don't just assume that because you signed that nd a. You can't talk about any of this. Have a conversation with somebody. You may be very surprised by what they say in return. Like, you know what? You could talk about this part or if you phrase it this way, if you do in a way that doesn't identify us or our customers or a project. Anyway, point is, if you don't ask, you have no shot. Okay? So number one always ask number two. You can censor sensitive elements if you get past the first part by blurring the map again only with permission. Now here's an example. Large financial client. We did some wire frame prototyping and testing and validating requirements, and what we did is we took the wire frames here and we just blurt out anything that could remotely identify the client or the customers or the transaction types, etcetera, etcetera. And it still sort of helped us tell the story once again because it's an early stage, low fidelity wire frame that doesn't look anything like the finished product. To be honest, it was it was something we could easily talk about and easily tell the story of. And there's something they were okay with. Also, you can almost always tell the story. In a case study with non product images, for example, you can show strategic non client non product identifying whiteboard work like you see here again on Lee with permission. You still want to clear it with somebody you say. I'm gonna show these screenshots from our white board work. Are you okay with that? Take a look at what I've got here. There's nothing on that screen that even remotely identifies the client or the product or the project or any specifics about what it is that we were doing. What it does, however, is you can see by looking at those bullets and the sort of goal in the middle. It absolutely shows what we were striving for and what we decided was important in terms of the user experience, customer experience of this product. So you're still telling a powerful, compelling story. You're still talking about outcomes and what it took to get there. But you're not naming names while you're doing all right. This is absolutely an option. So portfolio rule number four is Show me who you worked for. Show me how, what and why behind that work and then show me the results created. 10. Social Media Rules: Advice and Cautions: Okay. This may be seemingly unrelated in a bit of an interruption, but we need to talk very quickly about social media. It's it's very important, and it's quite often overlooked when it comes to not just portfolios. Okay, I'm not talking about people forgetting to put links to social media. It's more about how you conduct yourself on social media and things that you may not realize have a huge impact in people's impressions of you. When I say people, I mean potential clients, I mean potential employers. I mean recruiters, hiring managers, etcetera. First and foremost, every social media profile you have should tell your story, and I am sorry, but that story has to come back to what you do for a living to some reasonable degree UX design development. Whatever it ISS, it's gotta be there. Component of that has to be there in your social profiles. It's not enough to just have a personal story and say, Oh, I went hiking, You know I did this. Here's some pictures of what I ate last night. Here's me hanging out with my friends. That stuff is great. It's important. It's one of most beautiful things about social media. But you also have to devote some time to making sure that you tell your story. So number one, you absolutely have to have a photo. This deal where I've been on Facebook for years and my photo is still the generic icon. You can't do that. It automatically communicates, Unfortunately, laziness. That's how that's perceived. Like I can't be bothered is actually upload a photo or a background. It's a little tiny thing, but it actually speaks volumes. If someone goes to page and sees this, they're gonna make all sorts of judgments about who you are on and how you apply yourself. It's unfair, but it's true. The second thing is, you must fill out the about section on your page toe every possible level of detail. You have got to tell me about your work in education. Contacted basic info, family relationship, stuff like that. Who cares? But work places in schools, especially. It blows my mind how many people don't bother to fill that stuff in social media of all kind Facebook, Twitter, Lincoln Instagram. They all act as extensions of your personal website of your portfolio. They have to support the story that you're telling in your portfolio. Okay, so there should be supporting evidence wherever possible that continues corroborating and reinforcing the story of who you are. Third, you should actively be posting things related to your chosen profession. As I said a minute ago, it's all the personal stuff is great, but you've got to intersperse it with something. Says All right, This person cares about you. Excess person is passionate about it. They're dedicated, you know, Or designer developments or new technology. Whatever it is, you gotta have something out there that relates back to what you do for a living. All right. You should be joining groups also that reflect your interest in your chosen profession. If you're a member of 40 groups and none of them are you X related, none of them are designed related. None of them are development related. You know, they're all like, fun party people. All right? It's not doing you any favors. They can be there. I'm not saying don't join those groups. I'm saying make sure that you include some things in there that speak to your chosen profession. If your profile, your post, your details say absolutely nothing about you x you I designed development recruiters, employers and clients will, for the most part, walk on by okay, because they're gonna go there. I promise you were gonna go there, and they're sort of looking for just some quick evidence that says, Yeah, this person really is into this stuff like they say they are. All right, It's a qualifier. It's checking up on you to go. Okay, They say they're this. Let me see if they don't see those things. If they don't see your passion, if they don't see your dedication, if they don't see your interest, your commitment, whatever it may be, it's sending the wrong message. Okay, so you got to do this stuff now if you're a private person, if you don't want employers looking into your personal life, which I totally get, that's fine. Create a Facebook page, for example, or create another profile on Twitter that's specific to your chosen profession and put all that stuff there in one place. All right, this is my Facebook page, and I do that because I'd rather draw a clear line between personal and professional. That's why it's there now for me. It bleeds over a little bit because I'm a bit of a geek that way. But if you want to keep them separate, that's fine. Anyone can create a Facebook page like this. You don't have to be a legitimate business quote unquote, so you can do that and devoted entirely to what you do for a living treated like a portfolio show Evidence your pages intended audience is people who might want to hire, which means you want to use this to establish, maintain and grow your credibility. Videos, blogged, posts, quick articles and only exist on social media. You don't have to have a block. You can certainly use Facebook, Lincoln Twitter to tell these stories. And the other thing about social media and maybe even the more important thing is this. Be very mindful of what you post, especially if your public profile is visible. Okay, be mindful of what you share being mindful of what you like, because all those things say something about you and those things may or may not jive with what a potential employer potential client wants from somebody. Here are some horrible, horrible examples of people who posted things. They later regret it. Now these things are all pretty out there and pretty harsh and pretty extreme. But in some cases there are a couple of these. If you Google and read the stories about Facebook fails as it relates to employment. Some of these folks posted something after they had been awarded a job right after they had essentially been hired in an interview. And then three days later, when their employer saw this post rescinded, the offer said, You know what? We don't want you to work for us, all right? So they had a job and then lost it in the space of, like, three days. So here's the thing. Poster forever, even if you delete them. If you follow Mr Trump, the current president, or all manner of things where people post things that are a bit outrageous, bit out there a bit harsh and judgmental. In some cases, somebody takes a picture of it. Okay, so even if the tweet or the post, or whatever gets deleted, somebody has a record because they saw it, they went, Wow, I can't believe he said, that they take a quick picture and then share with everybody. So whether you have a crisis of conscience and go, Hoshi. I shouldn't have done that. It's still out there somewhere. Okay, so you're taking a big risk Any time you do this, think before you post. 11. Why YOU?: The other question that absolutely must be answered at every point in someone's journey through your website of your portfolio is why you right? Because that is another question that that person is asking themselves. Okay, why you? I've looked at 20 people so far. What makes you different from them? What makes you better than them? Why are you the answer for me, for my company, from our organization instead of them? So that starts with you know, what do you do better? What do you do differently for every gig there hundreds and sometimes thousands of candidates? What makes you different from them? Here's a great example of this young man Doesn't excellent job at first glance saying, Here's who I am on a split personality designer coder. Now we can debate all day long about you know whether people can or should be able to design and code equally. That's not the point. The point is, at a quick glance, I get a sense of who this guy is, what he does, and he's done it in a very visual engaging way that says, I straddled two parts of you know, seemingly opposite skill sets, but I am both those things. That's an instant differentiator. Like I get it, OK? No, you are. What can you bring to the table that they can't? What can you offer that I haven't seen so far? What is it that makes you above everyone else? The right person for this job, right? That's what we're trying to answer. In other words, what makes you you remember back to the very first sets of sameness the sea of sameness, the screens that I showed you where everyone sort of looks and sounds the same? And I said, if we mixed up people's names, you wouldn't be able to tell them apart. These statements would all still make sense, and they would all be just his meaningless, right? So it doesn't matter who it is. You can't do that. You gotta come out with something that is uniquely you. Here's an example. Dina Maceo, who is a trained cognitive science researcher. Now she's not a visual designer of any kind. She's a U. S person, but her bent is toward research. Now she doesn't have a lot of compelling visuals to lead with because our work isn't visual at all. But this illustration in them itself does a good job, sort of separating her right. It's not a big, happy picture. It's not a big introductory paragraph. It's okay. I work with brain stuff. This is cognitive science. She's communicating that in space, and she's doing it in a very unique, very creative way. So creativity is suggested, but she's talking about something that's a little different than most candidates. So she's leading in a way that is different. Here's someone who says Okay, three things about me I could design Aiken prototype. I can build APS now. This fails a lot of the other things that I talked about earlier. But what I do like about it is that those air three quick hits design prototype buildups. I get it. 123 I know you are. So we're not talking about your love of the outdoors or good books or, you know, the things that make you you as a person. I'm talking about context. I'm talking about ways to show what is unique about you and you, alone in the context of the work that you do with the value you provide. How you think. Now it's easy for me to show you a smiling head shot of me. Here's Joe smiling for the camera. He's a little bit older. You see the wrinkles around the eyes to see the grand a beard. But other than that, what does this tell you about me? Answer. Nothing. It doesn't tell you anything about me. Other than you know, I take 1/2 decent picture. Now if I show you this shot instead, what does that say to you about me? Okay, says a couple things. It says. I'm have been on stage speaking in front of a crowd and it looks like a pretty large stage . You see an image behind me that is sort of all process and white boarding and working through problems, problem solving. It says something about how I approach things. The fact that I am up there says that maybe people paid to attend and and listen to what I have to say. Therefore, maybe what I had to say is actually valuable. It suggests that there is an event I was invited to speak at, which again means somebody thought that what I had to offer was valuable. All right, so there are a lot of things that are implied by this action shot experience is implied. Expertise is implied. Trust is implied, right? The people who hired me to be there, the audience who came feeling like what I had to say would be useful to them. These are all implied things that are communicated simply through this photograph. So instead of just using a head shot, use an action shot you something that tells me mawr about what and who you are. What's special about you. What's different about you is unique about you. If you speak in industry events, lead with that. Here's a great example. This person leads with a shot of them presented. If you host podcast, Here's Austin Night in the podcast studio, right with two other people. It communicates something about expertise and knowledge sharing and all sorts of things right. He's a go getter, obviously is out there creating his own podcast. You know, if you do block posts, lead with block post, make sure that that story gets told. If you do videos, all right here somebody's home page, and this page has a lot of design issues, but her picture is of her speaking she leads with a video you can watch right then and there I speak. Here's the proof. So that video is infinitely more valuable than a screen that has a big photo of her smile. Okay, this is doing work on her behalf. It's saying, Here's what's unique about me. Here's what I do And you can do that from the very first screen. Here's Mariana Morris. She does a great job. This is a great call, all right. It's her working on a white board, and the fact that it's her in particular is important. OK, you can use generic stock shots of white boards and posted notes all day long. All they say is that while you did a good job of sourcing a very good looking stock photo, right, But when you show this, it says, here is the work I do. And here's proof that I actually do it. Okay, this is infinitely more valuable than a smiling head shot. So poor fuller room number five, is it? Remember they're hiring a person, not a portfolio. So you've got to make sure that there's some you in there 12. The Template: Anatomy of a Powerful Portfolio: And now the portion of our program we've all been waiting for, which is a template illustrating the anatomy of what I consider to be a powerful portfolio . How to put all the things that we've talked about so far into practice at a quick glance on the home screen. The one thing I want to say about what I'm going to show you is that this is not a verbatim suggestion for how to design a page. Okay, All I've done here is some very basic clean organization and arrangement of elements. It does not mean you have to design your page exactly like this. Okay, this is really just a glorified wire frame. It's what needs to be here in the service area that we can see. Okay, So, first and foremost, obviously you have to tell people what your name is. Alright. Navigation bar up top. Here's who I am here in my case studies here My clients here, my testimonials, my CV or my resume about me, of course, some history and contact information. Those are the core things that as a recruiter, as employer as a central client, those are the things I want to see right now, right? What have you done? Who have you worked for? What they have to say about it. And where's your resume? Okay. Your CV and those two terms air sort of interchangeable in that most recruiters and people doing the hiring know what they are so you can use either. Next, you must have social media links. It's like a ticket for admission. You got at least have them have links them. And like I said, make sure that wherever those links go, there is stuff pertaining to your chosen career profession. There. I always personally include an email link there as well, so that they can contact me easily. Some people, when they see that they're more likely to say yet. You know what? Let me email as opposed to going to your contact page and reading something next. I've done work for this client, this client, this client, this client, this client show the logo's get him up there again. I don't care whether their large companies or small companies, if it's only one company changed that sentence. You know, for the past two years, I've worked for this company doing this all right, but The point is that who you've worked for needs to be there quickly, right up front. Next, I want a hero image of you in action, like that shot that we just looked at like the other shots. So we just looked at not just your smiling face, a picture of you doing what you do, preferably and then a description of what your job or your role is, what kind of work you do primarily, what industries and organizations you've done that work for in the past and how that work helps their businesses succeed. That may feel like a tall order, but I'm going to show you an example that proves that it's not. You can get that all into a very compact statement. Next. Testimonials, if you have them, are huge. So here's a quote from a client or employer or even a fellow team member that speaks to your contribution, your strengths or some positive project outcome. Okay, that person's name, their job title, their company. What's important about this is that if you can't get employer testimonials or client testimonials, find talk to people you've worked with, say, Hey, what was good about working with me, right? What do you think I did well and ask them for a testimonial. That's Justus. Valid. And it's also better than nothing. Next, get to the heart of the matter. Here are the case studies here. The links to full case days. You got your project title? It should be specific. It should be descriptive. You should have an image related to that project and you should have a clear link in button form to the full case. Study. Three quick bullets. Number one. Who? The client name. Who was this four? Number two. What? These air. Quick. One word descriptions of the work that you did. OK. Prototyping design, testing. Whatever it ISS result measurable benefit to the client's business. What happened? You lead with these. You put them out there right now so people can look at them, get a sense of what you've done and hopefully be motivated enough to click something. So here's what this would look like if it were for me. All right. There's my name here. The clients that I've worked for up top. Here's the action shot. And here's the statement on the left bottom left. I'm a US consultant right, That's what I do. I work with Fortune 105 100 organizations. What kind of companies do I work with to improve the experience people have with their products? Right. So my job is to guide them to creating stuff to people actually like using, and then the sentence that sort of seals the deal. It's my job to help them grow and protect their market share, increasing profitability. That's the deal. That's why they're hiring me. It's not necessarily because of my UX expertise that's there. But the bigger story is the reason they want me versus anybody else's because they believe that I can help them grow and protect their market share that they believe I can help them make more money, increase profitability. Those air business focused statements quote up top in a short period of time just transformed our team into user advocates. The transformation that has given us a unique competitive advantage clients, words, big position speaks volumes and in my case, studies this was a participant on boarding UX improvement. Here's how it was four. Here's what it was prototyping testing, workflow improvement, you I redesigned. That's what I mean by short, you know, 12 word descriptions, prototyping, testing, workflow improvement so that somebody can glance at that and go. OK, I get it. They did this. This, this, this this and then the result 160% increase in completed enrollments. 2nd 1 Self service portal Us improve until you have redesigned. Here's it was four again the what? And there's a clear link to get to the case. Study. These bullets give the person a quick picture about what this was, why it was useful. Why was valuable. What's in those spots has to be compelling enough to get them to click that button reader full case study and in some cases they may not and may not need to have. What they see here is impressive enough, or at least fits the criteria that they have, where they can check boxes and say, I need someone who's done prototyping. I need someone who's done, you know, workflow improvement. You. I redesigned whatever it is, and then the result. Big increase. That's usually enough to get another click, and that's what you want. So the mobile platform that may look like this with one thing. I want you to notice about this and this is difficult. It's more difficult than I'm gonna make it sound any time you designing this responsive. It's very difficult to control what it's gonna look like at various sizes, right, different view ports. But what? I want you to notice that here is if you look down at the bottom, you see self service portal UX is cut off. Okay, that's the title of the very next case study. I'm calling that out because it's extremely important. We've and I showed you, I think, a couple sites that have what are called false bottoms. Okay, where there's nothing cut off at the bottom of the screen or the fold, as it's called, that sends a signal that there's nothing more here to see. It's a false to go, but it's a signal in the less the one thing that and I said this already, but I'm gonna repeat it. The one thing you must understand about scrolling behavior is that it just doesn't automatically happen the way people seem to think it's us. That's a triggered behavior. That trigger happens in milliseconds. Okay, so we're not even consciously aware of it, But it's still a triggered response, and the way it's triggered is if something down there says clearly sends a signal to the brain. It says, Hey, there's more down here this cut off line of Texas enough to do that right? I'm gonna start scrolling neatly because I know my brain goes, Hey, there's more than more. You have to enable that whenever possible. Okay, so to whatever degree possible, And I know it's not always possible, but strive toward this sort of thing at at at least, you know, the core sizes you perform is gonna be viewed Desktop view. Definitely. Laptop view. Definitely smallest mobile size ideally and maybe, you know, a view port size in between again. I know, Easier said than done, but it's worth doing some prototype testing. Low fidelity protect testing To see where stuff falls okay is worth your time. It's worth your investment, because again, sometimes that little cut off visual element is the difference between people scrolling and people just sort of glancing and moving on 13. Final Words: UX Portfolio DOs and DON'Ts: now. Finally, before I leave you, I would like to give you some do's and dont's as it relates to portfolios. These air hard and fast rules that I would encourage you so follow in or to put your best foot forward in order to create something that speaks of value to people and that ensures that they stick around to at least get what's better, different and valuable about you absolutely do make your portfolio entirely viewable. Online being Web pages text images do not have it available only in a 20 Meg White pdf that will most likely be flagged by most email servers and firewalls. This happens more often than you might think. OK, in some cases, big companies especially, have a lot of rules around what can be viewed, downloaded and what could be sent via email attachment. So you always even if you have a pdf, that's fine. But always, always, always have everything available in simple Web pages. Do show your work, your whiteboard, work your sketches. Your persona is your task and process flows your wire frames, etcetera. Show how you think, but don't Onley show images of the final you. I've said that many times it bears repeating. This should be the last thing on the page, not the first. Remember, when you lead with you, I you are communicating. I'm au I designer. That's what I do do. Show your work in low fidelity. Demonstrate the adoration, the thinking, not the final product. Okay, show the cycles off. Assumption, validation, testing. Going back and refining show how you think. I can't say that enough. Don't show high fidelity wire frames on Lee. That suggests that you spent more time making it look good than thinking through the issues at hand. Now caveat. The only time that's appropriate is if you Onley want to, do you? I design and you only want to get a you I designed job. But when it comes to you X, which is the subject of our time here today, you have got to do a lot more than that. Do show. You can write simply clearly without big words without terminology, without jargon. Okay, you do not have to be the most amazing writer in the world. You simply have to be clear. You need to write like you speak, don't write to impress people right to communicate clearly. Don't use poor grammar and have text riddled with typos. Use spellcheck and use it several times, Right Your stuff in a word, Document and spell. Check it every time before you put anywhere. Please do that. It shocks me to this day. The number of typos I see on websites in resumes and I'm not talking about, you know, one here and they're like That's sort of understood. You miss things. It's easy. It happens. I'm talking about major repeated instances of unbelievably poor grammar sentence structure , fragments, sentences, words that don't make any sense. Misspellings. You know where every sentence is full of them. You cannot do this. There's no excuse for it. It sends a very poor message about your attention to detail. Do focus. Your narratives in your case studies on the work you really want to be doing and for our purposes, that strategic ux work. If you want to be more than a glorified pair of hands, you have got to be talking about user research, strategic planning, testing, etcetera. All the evidence that you show and speak about should speak to your ability to do the job that you want okay, not the one that you have now. Another one. You think you might be able to get focus on the job you really want? Focus on telling the story behind the work that you really want to be doing. Don't spend significant time or text talking about your tactical or technical skills. Your illustrator photo shop skills, your sketch ability, your ability to create production. Ready mock ups. Assets for developers, html coding, etcetera, etcetera The more you default to, I can do this. I could do this and I could do this and I could do this. Do this again. You're glorified pair of hands. Here's someone who's sort of a laborer. You're just gonna knock out work all day long without thinking too much about it. They'll see you as that person. And that will prevent you from getting the kind of job where you're in a position to make strategic decisions where your trusted where you have a voice really, really important Do take the time to create a custom website. OK, you can start with a template WordPress, wicks, whatever, but you must be able to customize it to get the important information visible from the first green. Okay, all the things I showed you in the template you've got to be able to get that stuff up there so you can start with a template, but you must must must be able to customize it and tweak it and make it work for you. Don't just dump images and captions into a pre made templates. They're not what you need. Number one, and they're not going to be in a format that tells your story properly. That means don't rely on dribble Behan's crops squarespace, Wix, etcetera, etcetera, either because they're formats by and large are all the same. And there templates do nobody any favors in terms of actually telling your story. They're all just visual showcases. Here is my pretty stuff, and everything else is a distant second, so you can use those things. But they should not be the primary vehicle for your portfolio. Do make that website responsive. Okay, no exceptions. It should work flawlessly on multiple devices. Resolutions Again, this is something I see. A lot of you cannot claim to be a user experience designer or developer of any kind. In this day and age, when your website is a static fixed with unacceptable has to be responsive. Don't assume that that responsiveness works properly without testing it. There are a lot of plug ins, for example, like WordPress has responsive plug ins. Some of them work well. Some of them don't so use a browser emulator, for example, to test their websites that allow you to do this as well. But Chrome in particular has a really nice browser emulator built into it. And here's a quick shot of how you use that. Okay, you start chrome, you go to the webpage, you want to test and you got a developer tools. You know, I'll leave this up for a second so you guys can make some notes, but you enable the browser emulator by clicking the title device to a bar on the top left and you get a device simulation. You tell it, what devices this They're different resolutions. You have all these options, and it does a really good job of showing you how whatever you've built is going to behave. Okay, So with this kind of tool readily available for free, there is no excuse for not testing a responsive site. Take the time to do this. Do make navigation visible and obvious. Make it easy to get to your work and your resume or your CV. Do not use a hamburger menu, especially not in a desktop. Few. Okay, this screams inexperience when it's used in a full screen laptop view and there's a hamburger menu there. You've got eight miles a real estate to give me quick, easy links to your stuff. Two case studies to resume its here. Whatever. Don't hide it behind the hamburger menu. That's laziness. And it's an experience, even in a mobile view, as I showed you. There's no reason not to provide links to the core stuff. Okay, nothing is that complicated. Nothing should be that complicated. Get it out there in the open. Don't make recruiters or employers or anybody work for it. Do have social media links to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and then beyond. That is fine, but all three of those were required, and each one, as I said before, should be proof of anything you claim in your portfolio about who you are, what you do, why it matters. Don't link to profiles that air simply filled with personal fluff No one cares about the food you eat. That means you find funny the books you've read, etcetera, etcetera. OK, it doesn't matter. Fine. We want to see a quick glimpse of how well rounded you are as a person. But none of that makes the difference in terms of getting you the gig do make it easy for people to contact you. Your phone and your email address are required, Period. I know people are reticent about doing that. I am telling you that not providing them quickly is a barrier. If a recruiter or hiring manager or potential employers somebody in the department who's been tasked, you know, to find people to staff up if they can't quickly click and contact or just see your phone number like I'm okay. I'm gonna call this person. You're building a wall between them and you. As crazy as that sounds, I promise you it's the truth. Okay? Don't send people to a contact form. Everybody does this. I see it a lot, and I know why. I'm largely They do it because you don't want the volume of spam email that comes with putting your email address out there. But you have to remember, This is someone who is helping you, who is in a position to help you. They're ready to do a favor. If they want to contact you, do not make them work to do so. The only time of contact forms appropriate is if you are strictly a free and answer servicing clients because it serves as a sort of ah, qualifier, right for people who are window shopping if they're willing to fill out the form that tells you they're serious about working with you. But trying to get a job is not the same thing. You've got to break down that barrier and make it simple for them to quickly get in touch with you.