UX Portfolios 101: Standing Out with Case Studies | Amy Gaulding | Skillshare

UX Portfolios 101: Standing Out with Case Studies

Amy Gaulding, Senior Product Designer

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10 Lessons (49m)
    • 1. Class preview

      1:09
    • 2. What is a UX Case Study?

      11:54
    • 3. Creating an Outline

      2:51
    • 4. Writing: Introduction

      6:21
    • 5. Writing: Research

      6:07
    • 6. Writing: Concepts & Challenges

      7:15
    • 7. Writing: Outcome & Closing

      5:03
    • 8. Gathering Images

      1:43
    • 9. Tips for assembly

      3:08
    • 10. Final Steps

      3:30
18 students are watching this class

About This Class

Hi there, my name is Amy and I'm a UX Designer based in Austin. I remember what it was like starting out and trying to figure out how to share my work with others. I hope that what you learn here will help you avoid some of the stress and confusion I felt early on in my career.

In this class, you will learn how to document a project you've completed in a UX Case Study format, so that it's ripe and ready to go into your portfolio. We'll discuss why this is such a necessary ingredient when it comes to landing a job, and at the end of the class you'll be ready to present or publish any project of your choice with total confidence. 

This is not a class on the design process, but rather, how to document and discuss the design process. Anyone from beginners to seasoned professionals could benefit from this class, but I do assume that you already understand and have experience with the design process itself.

If you know you need to work on your portfolio, but you aren't sure where to start or what to do, this class is for you. 

Transcripts

1. Class preview: Hey guys. Welcome to UX portfolios 101. In this class you're going to learn about UX case studies. We're going to talk about what they are, why it's really important to have them in your portfolio, especially when you're looking for a job and how you can build on yourself. All you really need for this class is a project that you've completed before. You're going to take that project, and alongside me, step-by-step, we're going to format it into UX case study and it's going to be ready to put in your portfolio. That being said, if you don't have a project that you've already completed that you can use, that's okay. This class would still be really beneficial for you because just learning the importance of UX case study and how to build one means that in the future it's going to be top of mind so that with other projects that you work on, you're more likely to document it as you go along. Which is a lot easier than trying to do it after the fact. Really, this class is for anybody, beginner to advanced, who's interested in learning how to do a better job of sharing their work using case studies. I'm really glad you're here and without further ado, let's get started. 2. What is a UX Case Study?: Hey guys, in this video we're going to talk about UX case studies and what exactly I mean when we say that. So in essence, what is UX case study, and why should you care? Why do you need to know this and what do you need to know in order to make one yourself? Going back to that initial question of what is it, to put it really simply for you it's just a story. It's a way to detail your project from start to finish. Instead of just showing a finished shot of the final product. It's an opportunity to show the process that went into the work. You can talk about what research you did, what requirements you had, any of the unique challenges that you face as you went along the way. It also provides some context. It helps the viewer understand whether this was a personal project, freelance, whether you did it for a company or an agency that you worked at, as well as the impacts of the project had on you, the clients, and even the business. The reason that you want this, is because if you're trying to get a job in UX or a job as a product designer, most hiring managers are going to expect this. It helps viewers understand your thinking, and the reason that this is so important is because the way that you approach problem-solving. This is what sets you apart. It's what makes you unique. The world is full of a lot of really great designers and I have no doubt that you're one of them. But you can't just rely on those images of the finished products to help you stand out. It really is important to help people understand what you were thinking as you went through these projects that you worked on. Another added benefit is that you can walk through a past work anytime you want. So imagine that you have a job interview and maybe there's a project from two, or three years ago that you want to be able to share with them. You're not going to have to worry about going back and trying to remember every little detail and you're not going to have to go back and try to dig up the images, or the wireframes, or anything like that. Because you already documented it as a case study. This is really great because you can walk through it and talk about it really well like it happened yesterday essentially, so that's another really great reason to take the time to just go ahead and document your projects as case studies up front. So what you're going to need to create a case study as part of this class, would be a project that you've completed. Like I said earlier, this could really be any project. It could be a personal project one that you did in school, or one that you've done at a previous job. Doesn't really matter just any project you've done that you're happy with and that you want to document. You're going to need assets to supplement your writing. So what I mean by that is images pencil sketches that you did, user flows, journey maps, anything like that that you want to share. That's going to vary depending on the project. There might be certain projects you worked on and maybe you did a lot of wireframes, others not so much. It could really be any variety of things, so don't worry too much about the specific assets. Then finally you're going to need an idea of your chosen format. Case studies can come in all shapes and sizes. It could be a PowerPoint or a PDF. You could even have a dedicated web page within your website that's just for each case study. It really doesn't matter. You might even decide to do more than one format and that's totally up to you, but it is helpful to have an idea up front of what that format is going to be. You can keep that front of mind as you're going through and assembling all the bits and pieces. Just one quick note before we start looking at some examples of case studies. I mentioned earlier that you don't just want to have the final shot of the completed product. That's not to say that you don't want to have that at all. There's a time and a place for everything, and those really polished finished shots of the things that you've designed. They're really great for hero images, either for your website, or as part of each case study. They're also good for social networking. Sometimes it's fun to have a really slick looking image of something that you designed and you can share it on Instagram, or Dribbble, or Twitter, or whatever social network it is that you use. It's a nice way to network with your peers and it's awesome a fun way to put yourself out there, and it can help get people's attention to look at your portfolio in the first place. The point of a case study is to go deeper and go into that detail. This is important especially when you're trying to get a job, but again that's not to say that you don't want to have those really polished images. It`s just that to get a job in UX designer product design specifically, it's really good practice to have one or two good case studies. Even if you are just trying to get a job as a graphic designer or a visual designer only. There may be less of an expectation for you to have case studies, but it's still not going to hurt anything to have them certainly. So I just want to make sure that everybody understands this isn't an either/or conversation. It's definitely okay to have both. That being said, let's go ahead and wrap this up and I just want to take you through a couple of examples of some good case studies I found. You can do the same thing too, you can spend a few minutes looking on Google for UX case studies and there is just a plethora of examples out there about what a case study can look like, both good and bad and all different formats. Let's go ahead and take a look at that. I just found a couple of quick examples that I think would be good ones to share with you guys. This first one is done by Dan Berman, I hope I pronounced that correctly. But basically Dan did a really good job, I think of taking you through a project that he worked on. The first thing that you can see as he does have this really nice hero image of the final product. Again, like I mentioned earlier this is perfectly fine if you want to start your case study off this way. He included a snippet here that's more or less about the overall point of the project, and the hero image underneath it. It's a really great way to grab the attention up front, so definitely keep that in mind. The thing that I really appreciated about this case study that he put together is, he included a lot of detail about the problem that he was working on as you can see here. He didn't go into too much detail. Something that you want to be mindful of is that you do want to be detailed but if a case study is too long, people are generally in a hurry and they've generally been looking at a lot of applications and portfolios, so maybe keep a lot of the really nuanced details for an interviewer presentation. Try to keep this to where it's detailed but also to the point if that makes any sense. I know that can sound confusing but it really is about balance. I think here there's essentially two paragraphs right here, and I think that's a good length to go over the problem and you can talk about as well any requirements that you have up front. He also included a little snippet here to talk about the users and the audience. Who are they targeting with this design project? Which is a really nice thing to include. Something else that I want to call out is the fact that Dan talks about the structure of the team as well as his role specifically. Not everybody will include a paragraph like this. You might look at some where they will just list out their role and maybe it's like design lead or assistant to creative director or whatever. You don't have to be this detailed with your role. It is nice though because again, people want to know what you did. They care a lot more about specifically what you worked on with this project, and not necessarily what the whole team did. So it's always good to just include what your role was and who you worked with as part of that project. Going through the design process, starting with the really early on wireframes, he talks a little bit about they had key specs that they identified early on. They mapped out the user flows based on that, and he included this low fidelity shot of this flow as well as a little bit more polished version which is really nice. Then the middle part of the case study that's where you might get into some medium fidelity comps. There's usually a part where somebody might talk a little bit about a challenge that they endorsed or something to that effect. You really want to go through the early research and iteration before you get to these more polished stages, which again Dan done a really good job with. He saves these really nice shots for later. As I mentioned earlier, sometimes it's fun to actually include the template of the iPhone. It adds some extra polish to the designs that he's done here as you can see. So I think he's just done a really good job of including a good amount of detail without being overwhelming. There's enough images in this case study to keep it engaging. I just wanted to share this example with you guys. I'm going through this quickly, if you want to take the time to read through this I would definitely suggest that you do. I can include the link to this at the end of the video if that would be helpful. There's even little videos that he included in here too, which I won't play for now. But definitely I encourage you to just go and look through this because it's a really nice example of how you can structure a case study. I looked at this one too by Vax Liu. Oh my gosh, I`m sorry if I didn't pronounce that name correctly. But point is again you can see there's some nice hero images up here to grab your attention when you first look at the case study, there's a little brief here telling you what company it was when the project was done, and just a brief overview of the objective. Again as I mentioned before, they've taken the time to talk about their role specifically. In this case, they were the sole designer on this effort. Again it's just nice to point out what your individual impact was on the project. I like here how they kept the challenges, and the goals, and also key consideration in these three little snippets here, that's really nice. It makes it really clear if you're looking for something in particular and they're also not too long. Then we can go through and just look at some different low-fidelity things that they started with when they're just trying to consider layout, and their overall strategy. You can see a theme here. Starting with the low fidelity considerations,and the early on exercises that they went through before they really got into the detailed design work. This is a great approach, it's pretty typical, and it's something that again is showing more concern than just the final project. It's showing concern over the problem-solving strategy and that's really what we want to target. Again, I would encourage you to do some time doing some research, gets some inspiration for how you want to approach your own case studies. Because this is just going to do nothing but help you in the long run, and the more that you look at that, the more you're going to have a pretty solid idea of the anatomy of a case study. The more of these that you create, the more you're just going to be able to do it almost from muscle memory, so to speak. That being said, after you do your research and gather the assets you need for your project, then we can go ahead and get going with the next video which is going to be setting the stage. 3. Creating an Outline: Hey everyone. Today we're going to talk about getting started with an outline. This is a really important first step for your case study and I'm going to tell you what? The first reason that you really want to make sure you have an outline before you get started is just because it's going to reduce the stress of planning. If you've ever tried to stare at a blank sheet of paper before you had to write a paper or before you are going to draw something, you know what I'm talking about. Having just a skeleton of what you're going to work on is a nice first step to help you get your bearings, and it just makes it a lot easier to go throughout the entire process. It's also a good way to know how your story is going to be structured, so this is helpful when you're trying to think ahead of time, what exactly you want to talk about, and what assets that you might want to include, and it's also going to act as your north star. Once you actually start building out the case study and you're spending a lot of time on it, if you don't step back often, it can be really easy to get overly wordy, before you know it, you're halfway through it, you have eight paragraphs worth of text, and you can't remember how to wrap it up or where you need to go next, so having this outline to refer back to is going to be really useful as you go along. You can make it your own too. I've included an example here of a pretty basic outline that I use frequently and that in my mind contains all the main ingredients of a story. You have the introduction where you maybe have the project brief, just stating what it is that you worked on, and this is probably where you'd include information about the role that you played specifically as well. You're going to have a problem statement or an objective, which is essentially what is it that you are trying to accomplish? What problem are you trying to solve? You might want to have a section talking about the challenge. I take it back, you most likely want to have a section talking about what made this uniquely challenging or what was the specific and maybe unique problem that you ran into throughout the process. You're going to include concepts that you worked on early on sketches, wireframes, all the way up to medium and high-fidelity comps. If you did any testing, which I hope you did, but any testing that you did, you can include that here. You might have even had multiple rounds of testing before your outcome not even at the end, but even at the beginning. That can happen organically. When I say make it your own, this can look very different. These might be in a different order. You might add or subtract steps and that's totally fine. The point is to just get this outline ready to go, so that you can work on the second step, which is what I'm going to to talk about in the next video, and that is using your outline to write your content. 4. Writing: Introduction: Hey guys, welcome back. In this video, we're going to take that outline that we worked on in the previous video. We're going to start by writing out our introduction. We're actually going to write out everything, introduction all the way to the outcome before we even worry about picking out colors or photos to go with it or anything like that. The reason that we're going to do that is because the writing that you come up with is actually going to help guide you later in terms of what you do want it to look like. For now we're just going to get through all of that writing. You've got to build the house first. Worry about picking out the curtains later. The outline that we're going to use is this one that I've got right here. Pretty straightforward. I've got six sections that I want to go through. Like I mentioned, for this one, we're just going to work on the introduction. That first section. The idea is that I'm going to write mine and you can follow along with me. Like I said, you don't have to do everything as I do it exactly because projects are unique and whatever you're working on is going to be totally different. The idea is just for you to be able to understand what I'm doing as I'm doing it. Hopefully that can help you figure out how you might need to phrase things or tackle things on your own project and potentially could give you some inspiration. Let's go ahead and get started on that. You can see here I've taken that outline that I worked on and I've pasted it into a Word document. I highly recommend that you put this in some text editor that you have on your computer. We're going to be doing a lot of writing and it's just nice to have it all in one place. I've gone ahead with the intro and I've broken this up into three sections, as you can see, the title, which is maybe obvious, but I went ahead and put it there anyway. The role that I played and the brief or the problem statement. The idea with all three of these is that we'll go ahead and fill these out to the best of our ability now, doesn't have to be set in stone. We can always edit this later, but the more that we can get a good start on this, easier it's going to be. The project that I'm using for this. I actually, I'm doing this based on a fictional project that I put together just for the purposes of this class, I opted to do that instead of using one of my actual projects. However, the process of documenting it as a case study and the types of assets and everything that I'm going to show you for that fictional project are going to be following the same design process that I would do on any of my other projects. Just for simplicity's sake, we're doing a fictional on this class. The title of it is actually Furry Friend Finder. I know that's super unique sarcasm if you can't tell. But basically the idea is that I designed an app that is built to match users with the ideal dog or cat companion that they're looking for. My role, I'm just going to put that I was the the product designer. For the brief, for the problem statement, this is where and just one or two sentences you want to be able to summarize, what problem were you trying to solve? It doesn't have to be anything groundbreaking. A lot of times you might work on an app that's not the first or even the tenth of its kind. Just be really clear about what you're trying to do. Don't just leave it at the title. This is a good way to give some context for all the content that's going to follow. It makes you sound more approachable and it just looks a little bit more polish as well. I'm going to go ahead and take a stab at writing on here. Let's just go ahead and break down that first sentence. I stated where I was working. That makes it really clear whether or not this was a freelance project, whether it was with an agency. Then I also included the bit about how along with two other designers, I was tasked with doing this. What I actually did there was aside from giving you my title, which was the lead product designer, I also let you know that I was working with two other designers and don't be afraid to do that. Don't be afraid to disclose that you weren't the only person working on this project. It's not going to make you look like any less of a superhero. It's just going to drive home the point that, a, you are totally fine with giving credit where credit is due and b that you're a team player. Definitely include details like that. It makes it interesting and it helps people really understand what your role was specifically because you'll be able to elaborate on your own individual contributions throughout this process. We're going to add one more sentence to this. Adopting a new pet is already a stressful and at times overwhelming process. We set out to design an experience so would be both user-friendly and a joy to use. What I've done with that second sentence, if we would take a second to dissect this one here, I've pointed out what may be obvious, but the fact is adopting a new pet is already stressful and overwhelming. What I've done is I've identified the problem. This is a common pain point for adopting a pet, and so right there I've told you what we wanted to focus on, what our goal was, who were we targeting, people that want to adopt pets. We're trying to make it a better experience for them. It's really simple, it's straightforward. It's nothing super out of the ordinary. But it does add a lot to my case study and it really sets the stage. Just to wrap this really quickly, I just wanted to go over once again the keys to a perfect introduction. There's a few things that you want to make sure you keep an eye on. The first one is, as we talked about the name of the project, the part that you played specifically, what was your role, and the most important part is the objective. It's really important that whoever is looking or reading your case study can understand what problem are you solving. As long as you make sure to address these things in your introduction, you'll be golden. If you want to just take your project and take a stab at that. Again, it doesn't have to be perfect. Just do the best job that you can, and then we'll meet back here for the next video where we start working on the second section. 5. Writing: Research: Hey, welcome back. In this video, we're going to as promised, start working on the next section of our little outline. But first, I wanted to just take a second to talk about detail and how there's a really fine line between not enough detail and too much detail. The next section according to my outline is going to be the research section. I'm going to go over that in a little bit more detail here in a second. But basically, the idea is that something that's going to be in the forefront of my mind is that I want to make sure that I share all the different types of research I did and for any particularly media interesting bits of research I did, I'm going to share a little bit more about those and maybe share some pictures. But I'm not going to go through every single step of every bit of research I did. I understand the temptation to be really thorough and it's good that you want to be thorough. But again, keep in mind your audience and the purpose of this case study, who's going to be consuming it and when. They probably don't have a ton of time and they probably don't want to go through every little detail so just keep that in mind. With that being said, let's go ahead and look at what I've written out for the research section and we can break it down. Here we have the research section. You can see I already went ahead and typed this out. I realized after making the last video that I can probably do that part without you guys having to watch me. Let's just go ahead and take a look at what we have here. First, I listed out all the different types of interviews that we did during this project. The reason that I did that isn't necessarily because I'm going to include this list in the case study. It's more for my own reference so that I can get it all out in front of me and think, "Why did I do these different types of research and were there any bits throughout this process that were really interesting that I want to make sure that I call out." It's also going to help when I'm gathering assets later so I just think it's a good reference to have so I went ahead and jotted those down and then again, keeping in spirit with the whole not being too detailed, but still giving a good amount of context. I have just three little short paragraphs here. The first one is where I just say, to kick off, we spent some time doing market research where we worked to ensure that we captured any existing solutions related to the one that we wanted to design. In other words, I'm referencing that competitive analysis and then I go on to say why? Which is so that we can understand what's currently available and what those workflows look like. I've referenced that first type of research and I've very briefly explained what it was for or why we did it. Secondly, I reference to the user interviews. I said as a second step, we conducted interviews with a small sampling of participants who are either planning to adopt a pet within the next six months or had adopted one already this year. Afterward, I led a session with the designers as well as the product manager where we filled out an empathy map to help solidify our understanding of the user. This was also a great reference when we were trying to nail down the task flow. Basically what I just explained there is that yes we did user interviews and referencing the empathy map, that was actually an outcome of those interviews. The empathy map as well as doing the interviews, that activity in and of itself, that helped us make sure that we really understood the user, our target audience and you absolutely have to make sure that you need that before you design anything which I won't go into right now because this class is not meant to be a class on the design process per say. But I just wanted to call that out to make it a little bit easier for you to understand why I have phrased everything the way that I have. I actually have already written down the next section as well, but we can go ahead and pause here and give you some time to try to work on the research section or whatever the second section of your outline may be and then we can meet back here for the next video where we talk about the third section. But before we do that, I want to just quickly go over a quick summary of what we talked about. Just a few take home points about discussing research in your case study. You want to make sure that you keep it concise. This is actually true for all sections not just the research section, but just remember to keep it concise the whole time you go through and have people proofread it for you. It's always a really big help to get some more eyes on it. You might think that you're not being detailed enough. Meanwhile, you might have somebody else look at it and they can say, "Yeah, I get the idea, you could probably shorten this. " That's top of mind for sure. Secondly, photographs or any assets that you show in your case study to supplement the texts that you've written out should just supplemented, they're aides, they're there to help you, they're there to help the viewer understand all the activities that you were working on and just get a visual on it. They're not meant to replace the text though. I mean, we talked a lot about not wanting your text to be too detailed, but you don't want to go the opposite direction either where you have a bunch of images of the stuff that you worked on but no explanation, no context and finally, as I just mentioned again, details are really nice, but it can be overwhelming. You don't have to share every single step and every single detail. I know it sounds like I'm going back and forth and contradicting myself, but I just can't emphasize enough how it's a really delicate balance and you just want to make sure that you get some practice striking that balance. Over time you'll get better at this and pretty soon it'll become common sense almost like muscle memory. Don't get discouraged if it doesn't make total sense right away. That being said, let's go ahead and wrap this up, work on your section and then we'll meet back here for the next video. 6. Writing: Concepts & Challenges: Hi, and welcome back. I hope everything went okay for you guys when you took a stab at writing your next section of your outline. Right now we're going to be moving on to my next section, which is sharing some concepts and challenges as well as some key learnings. Basically, what I want to do is I'm going to take some time here to share a condensed version of the overall process. I might show a progression of some different mockups and how they evolved, and I'm also going to talk about a speed bump that we ran into or a unique problem that I faced or something to that effect. Let's go ahead and take a look at what I've written down. We'll break it down and talk about it a little bit, and then you can take a stab at this as well. All right. Let's get going here. I'm going to go over these two sections, since the concept section is going to be probably the most image heavy part of my outline. But basically I just include a line here that talks about how we took our research findings and we did several rounds of iteration. We used feedback from the product management and the development team to just drive home the point that, as part of my design process those other stakeholders are involved along the way. But I really don't get too wordy with this right here. I like to use this section to show off a lot of the mockups going from early low-fidelity up to medium-fidelity. Because the reality is that, there's always going to be iteration and some projects you might iterate on a design three times, and some projects you might iterate on it 20 times. The point of this isn't necessarily to show every single round of iteration that could get ridiculous really quickly. What I like to do is just break it up into distinct stages, and that way I can lay them out and give the viewer an idea of how they progressed. Yeah, there might be some steps missing but that's not really the point of this. Again, that's why we only have this one line here. This will make more sense when we come back in a later video and pick out all of our images going along with it. Then under that, I have my challenge section. One thing that I wanted to bring up here is how after a few rounds of iteration, we had worked up to medium-fidelity mockups and we felt good about it. So we did some A/B testing, and at that point we had it narrowed down to two directions. That's where the A/B testing came in. You might remember that I referenced A/B testing in my research section earlier but since we actually did the A/B testing later in the process, this is why it didn't really reference it in that section, I waited until then. But it still served as a reminder to me that I needed to talk about the A/B testing, so that's why I had jotted it down as part of that list. But anyway, the second part of this is about how three weeks before the designs were due. We learned that, "Oh, no. We had to rework our mockups because the product manager came back and gave us a last minute requirement that we actually needed a third option." Instead of just choosing a dog or a cat, we needed to allow the designer to scale so that a person could actually choose to look for a reptile companion. Again, this is obviously a hypothetical scenario, but it is absolutely based on reality. I have experienced last minute requirements numerous times and I don't doubt that all of you have or will in your career. This is one example of a fairly common challenge that people have to deal with, and it's a good thing to call out because it gives you the opportunity to show how you dealt with it. That's the main thing that I wanted to call out in this part. I'm not going to go into huge detail just yet in terms of what the solution to that was, I'm going to save that for the next video. But what your task is for right now is: A, come up with some very brief texts that you want to share along with your concept progression and B, think about a challenge that you faced on your project that you could talk about. The point of this isn't to just make sure that you check a box that says, "Okay, I shared a problem that I had." The point of this is to take the opportunity to show how you handle conflict. What do you do when there's a fire drill or there's a problem? This is what they're looking for ultimately. It doesn't have to be something huge or catastrophic. It can be something manageable, but that's just really what you're trying to incorporate with this challenge section. Now, if you really didn't have any problems. This project that you worked on just went smooth like butter the whole time, then first I'd like to congratulate you because that is incredibly rare. But secondly, all is not lost. You could actually substitute this challenge section with a key takeaways or a key learning section. Because even if you didn't have any huge problems or speed bumps, chances are you still learned quite a bit. That would be still another opportunity to share how you're able to learn and grow from the projects that you work on, even if it weren't some really big fire drills. That would be a viable option for you if this challenge section just really isn't going to work for you in your outline. That being said, let's just take a look at the few points to summarize based on what we just talked about and then you can take a stab at this on your own. A few pointers on how to make sure you're writing a great case study. As I mentioned a few minutes ago, show a progression. Show how you went from sketches to wire frames all the way up to those medium and high-fidelity comps. Like I said, you might go through a lot of iteration cycles, so don't show every single one. Just pick some of the stronger ones or use your judgment, but just pick a few different rounds to where you can show how your project evolved. That's really interesting thing to see, and again it helps the viewer understand your process. Also, share a notable or unique challenge that you faced. I brought up this issue of we had a last minute requirement and our designs were pretty polished at that point and that required us to rework the design. That's just one example of a plethora of challenges that you might face when you're working on a project. But as we mentioned, if you're one of those lucky unicorns and you didn't have any issues on your project, that's awesome. Share some learnings or takeaways instead. Because again, it's about how you deal with conflict and problem-solving. It's not so much about being able to specifically check the box at, "Oh okay. I had this challenge. Here's the climax of the project." It's not really about that. You do have some flexibility there. That being said, I think you have everything that you need to work on the next section of your outline on your own. Go ahead and take a stab at that, and then we'll meet back here to work on the last section. 7. Writing: Outcome & Closing: We are finally at the last little bit of our writing exercise. Time flies when you're having fun. We're going to wrap this up, by talking about the solution to the challenge that we faced. Or you can skip that part for those of you that maybe didn't include a challenge. But, we're going to be doing that for this class and then we're going to follow up with a closing statement. In terms of wrapping up there's a few things that we want to just try to address and keep in mind. The first one is as I mentioned, share the outcome of the challenge or conflict. This is a really important part, if you don't share the outcome, or how you overcame the challenge or what the solution was. There wasn't a whole lot of point in including it in the first place, so just make sure that you find a nice way to tie that up. Then after that you'll want to have a closing statement, and what I like to include in the closing statement is to share what I've learned. That can be from the project, it can be from somebody that I worked with or anything like that, and it doesn't have to be very lengthy either, but just a sentence or two will do. I also like to take the opportunity to give credit as well. I know I mentioned this earlier, but it's a really nice opportunity to just say, I couldn't have done this without my team, or the engineers that I worked with were amazing and they made possible, whatever would apply to your situation. I just think it's a good spot to include something like that, and it again helps keep it fresh in the viewer's mind that you're definitely a team player and you're not afraid to give credit where credit's due. I think it's just a classy move, but it's totally up to you. Finally, of course, show off the final product. This is your opportunity if you want to show all the fancy shiny shots of the app or the website that you designed. If you want to put it on some iPhone, or Mac mockups, that's totally up to you. But I think now that you flash out this case study, this is going to be your chance to just go nuts. Obviously though, for this step we're not quite there yet, we're just focusing on the writing. The stuff being said, let's go ahead and look at what I've written up, break it down and then see if you can try it out for yourself. Here we go, I have condensed these two sections into the last step. You don't have to do that, you can do it however you want. This just made the most sense to me. After I have the section in my case study that talks about that challenge, which was, if you recall the last minute requirement, I include a little snippet that talks about what our solution was. You'll notice that I don't go into a ton of detail because again I'm going to rely on some imagery to help out there. But basically just making a statement that we were able to incorporate the last minute requirement without having to completely overhaul the design or start from scratch. I include a piece in here about how the developers were really pleased about that, because it was less work for them and the product managers were happy that we didn't impact the schedule. The reason that I call those points out is because again showing that when it comes to problem solving I'm not only considering myself, the user, and the design, but I'm also considering the stake holders that I'm working with. Again, I know this class isn't really about how to be a good team player, or what the design process should be. But, I call that out because I do want to make it clear that even though this is brief, I am still being deliberate and strategic with the words that I choose. Again, right after, above or under this section that's where I will include probably a few different concepts that we came up with, and the updated design based on that requirement. Then finally, I'm going to have my closing statement. This is where, again I give credit, I'm really proud of how my team was agile and co-operative, maintaining communication with the engineers from start to finish. Then in terms of being able to keep the product managers and the developers in the feedback loop the whole way, that was where I was really able to learn the importance of that. The last sentence I just wrap it up by saying the app was really well received by users, and I learned a lot about the importance of efficiency and teamwork. You can see this isn't a super long paragraph, but I do think that a closing statement is important. Especially when you've gone to the trouble to add all those contexts through every step of the project, it would fall flat if you just don't say anything at the end and throw up some pretty pictures. But, again there is some flexibility. Based off of what we've talked about, I want you to take a few minutes and try to wrap up your case study. Try to keep it to no more than two paragraphs if you can help it, but see how that goes. Then in our next video we're going to talk about how we go about gathering up all the images that we want to include with the case study. Go ahead and write up your last section and I'll see you in the next one. 8. Gathering Images: All right, guys, we are in the homestretch. You've gone through and you've done all the writing for each of your sections, and now it's time to gather up all the images and assets that you're going to want to use. So I'll show you what I do. What I do is after I've done all my writing, I go back and I read through it, and I try to think about which items I want to have visual aids with, and every time I come up with an image that I know I want to plug in, I just use a different color text. You'll notice I wrote Hero Image in red here. Then I just make a note everywhere that I know I'm going to need an image. Then once I'm done doing that, I will come back through the document and everywhere that I see that different colored text, I'm going to add in the appropriate image into this document right there with it. You're going to notice that this looks really messy and it's gotten out of control, that's completely fine because we're just trying to get everything together in one place. We're just getting ready for the final step, which is to put it all together and beautify it, and get it ready for publishing. So like I said, this is a pretty straight forward step. I recommend you just go through and make sure that you have accounted for each and every image that you're going to want to include. Don't worry about getting them the right sizes. I've got some of these big and small, and they're just all over the place. Again, this is really just about taking inventory. So go ahead and go back through your own and try to do the same thing. Then we'll meet back here for the next video, which is when we're finally going to put it all together. 9. Tips for assembly: Hey guys. If you're watching this video, then I assume you got through the last one and you were able to gather up all the images that you want to use. This is actually the fun part or it's supposed to be the fun part anyway. Now you have all your images, you have all this writing that you've done, now you finally get to worry about making things pretty and putting it all together in a final package. Just a few tips for you before you get started. Again, now's the time to worry about the curtains. Earlier I said, you build the house first and you worry about the curtains later. You are moved in, your furniture is there, it's time to pick out the curtains. Definitely don't kill yourself agonizing over making your case study super pretty because at the end of the day, you do still want the actual content to be the focal point and not the case study itself. If you're tempted to do like crazy hot pink backgrounds and animated headers or something like that. I'm not going to say that you're not allowed to because you can absolutely do whatever you want. However, my advice would be that what you want to go for is something that looks clean and that has obviously been assembled by somebody who cares about aesthetics, but at the same time, don't go overboard. Because again, the focus should be on all this work that you've done with the writing and the images. Secondly, improvise where needed. You're going to get this stuff out in front of you and when you're putting it together, you might feel like you need to edit some of the stuff that you've written or change out the images or something. That's great. Go ahead and proofread what you've done and go ahead and make changes where you want to. If it's feeling flat and blur, adds some flair. Like I mentioned before, you could have some really fancy hero images where you take the final shots of whatever it is that you've designed and maybe put it on some really classy looking mock-ups. Just use your judgment and make sure that it's something that you are proud to share. Because when you're finally done with this, you get to publish it. One final thought. I mentioned earlier that you can do any format that you want. You can create a PowerPoint presentation or you can just build this out in Sketch or Photoshop or something if you're planning on converting it into an actual web page. Choose whatever format you want. But this last step, you get to put things together and do it in a way that feels good to you. If you need to, go ahead and go back to that earlier video where I showed you a couple of examples or even google some examples yourself. Just look around at how other people have structured their case studies and get some inspiration, and then take a stab at doing it yourself. Because the next video we're going to meet back up. I'm going to show you what I did with mine and we'll close with some final thoughts. All right guys, let's get started. 10. Final Steps: Hey guys. So hopefully you are coming to this video having just had a great time putting together your own case study and just really making it look polished. As a final video, I wanted to show what I did with my little hypothetical project here, just to wrap up with a few thoughts that I wanted to share. You'll see here, I started with a pretty basic look and feel, I've got the title, I did a hero image where I took my final comps of my application, put them on some iPhones, and I did a blue background, the reason I point out the blue background is because, I've kept this pretty simple in terms of look and feel, but just tying in a common color palate can go a long way. The same shade of blue I've used it throughout with my section headings, and I've used consistent typography throughout as well. That goes a long way in terms of just making it feel tidy, and you'll notice here in this section, I did an image with text box to the side of it that helps break up the monotony as opposed to just doing text image in a single column layout. That's another example of something that you can do to add visual interest as you go through this. There were definitely sections in here where I edited some of the writing that I did, I rephrased sentences, you'll also see this section here where I actually added captions above some of the images that I used. I want to show you here too, I started out with some sketches and these are messy sketches that I did on an iPad, but I still went ahead and included them because it's part of the process, and by including these, I'm able to show this progression of how I went from sketches to wire-frames, I talked about how we had two different directions that we might want to choose and so I brought these up to more of a medium fidelity and we did some AB testing with them. Just going through this whole process and like I said, the reality is, I probably actually had 10 other iterations of this, not just these two, but I'm keeping it clean and keeping it as brief as I can while still being detailed, I'm not showing all of them, I'm just showing a couple. That's mostly just what I wanted to share with you. You'll see too, I didn't get really fancy with the styling. I kept this very basic because truly that is good enough. Again, if you want to make it really flashy, that's totally up to you, but again, you just want it to be clean and easy to read. Hopefully this is helpful for you guys to see, however, if there's anything you want me to elaborate on or if you have any questions, please definitely do reach out. This is my first skill share video, and so I'm really interested in improving for the future and I will definitely add content if there's anything I've left out that wouldn't help you guys. That being said, I hope you're really happy with the case study that you have, and thanks so much for joining.