Cool Tips to Create the Best UX/UI Portfolio

See also: Marketing Skills

If you are a UX/UI (user experience / user interface) designer, your portfolio is your showcase. The main objective of the portfolio is to bring you a potential customer to start a dialogue. If you are a freelancer looking for work, you need to create a stream of incoming applications and job offers so that you can choose the best for yourself. This is practically the only way to stop working for a penny and start receiving normal orders.

So, if you want to discover some top tips from leading designers on creating your portfolio, read on...

How to Create an Amazing Portfolio

Here are some simple, yet important steps on how to create an appealing portfolio: 

Get a Behance Profile

The first thing to start is with a daily review of the best portfolios on Behance. This website is one of the largest social networks for designers of all kinds where they share their works, and communicate with clients and each other. A little secret: not all the work in a designer’s portfolio is “real”. Often it is either a tender, unaccepted, or nonexistent work. However, this is still completely legitimate since it demonstrates the real skills and effort of the designer. Such projects generate a huge number of incoming requests, and this is exactly what we need.

Create Reference Lists on Pinterest

Pinterest is another highly visual social network where users share their favorite images. Needless to say, it is a priceless resource for UX/UI designers and any other creative professions.

If you want to attract more clients, try to create a reference list on Pinterest. To do this, type “web design” into the search bar and save the work you like on your board. Pinterest is good because it shows not only the most recent work but also those that have scored the most likes or hits on other boards. By doing this you’ll see the history of the best images of all time.

Browse the work that collects the largest number of likes and reviews in a daily mode. Draw conclusions for yourself on why and how these works became leaders.

Create a Desirable Image

About 30% of the work comprising a designer’s portfolio is nonexistent works. These are sketches, layouts, fakes, and so on. Their purpose is to show the best side of the designer while collecting likes and comments.

Make fakes. Take a product you like and make a landing for it. Make a new Nike website concept. Choose something you like and make something. This is hands down one of the best ways to diversify your portfolio.

Regularly Clean up Your Portfolio

Don’t forget to remove old, outdated works from publication so that they do not spoil the look of your portfolio. Remember that customers and professional UX/UI design agencies like Clay are only looking at the first few works. Show only the best ones.

Portfolio highlights

The preview should be juicy and vibrant. This is very important for Behance since the number of views depends on the quality of the preview. Creating a good preview is hard work. A person flips through a tape and suddenly sees your bright cover, which they want to click on. The goal is achieved!

Case History

Even if you’ve managed to “sell” the visitor the cover of the case in your Behance account, don’t forget about its contents. Designers are often lazy in this regard: they show the same cover, only in a larger size. This is wrong: always try to present the case as a story. At the same time, don’t forget that the optimal case length is 16,000 pixels.

Keep in mind that the human eye needs to relax when viewing content. Remember to embed interactive elements, such as GIFs. It’s easy to follow these rules, and the benefits to your portfolio are great.

Detailed Case Studies

Cover images and templates are quite attractive, but if you want to create a truly amazing portfolio, then you need at least a few detailed case studies.

Make sure to select some of the most creative and interesting projects you’ve worked on and don’t include similar designs. When it comes to case studies, variety should be the word of the day - after all, a potential employer may want to assess your skills for various types of project. In addition, when you describe the work that went into creating such mesmerizing projects, keep it simple and easy to browse (hiring managers don’t have the time or patience to read pages of content).

Here is what each case study should describe:

  • The problems you had to solve while working on the design and your innovative solutions;
  • Your role in the project and how you worked with the team(s) involved;
  • The type of tests you ran and how you used customers’ reviews after the initial testing period;
  • Challenges you faced and how you helped the team come to a solution that made everyone happy;
  • How the project and your work helped the customer improve their sales or reach their goals;
  • The lessons you learned and how working on the project enriched your experience and made you a better designer.

When you put your portfolio together, make sure you include all sorts of resources such as relevant photos and/or screenshots, sketches, research documentation, and (of course) images of the final results. Arrange everything in an easy to browse format, but keep in mind that you’re telling a story, from the inception of the project to its completion.

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Self-Employment and Running Your Own Business

The Skills You Need Guide to Self-Employment and
Running Your Own Business

If you are thinking about running your own business, or already do so, but feel that you need some guidance, then this eBook is for you. It takes you through self-employment in easy steps, helping you to ensure that your business has more chance of success.

The Skills You Need Guide to Self-Employment and Running Your Own Business is the guide no new or aspiring entrepreneur can afford to be without!

Based on our popular self-employment and entrepreneurship content.

Final Thoughts

A designer’s portfolio is not just a set of links to beautiful work. This is a selection of the most interesting cases that solve the specific problems held by the customers. Each project requires supporting material that will explain why it is these fonts, texts, and designs that are used, how the interface leads to the target action, and why such a color scheme lowered the failure rate. Spend some time making a quality portfolio, then it will work for you by bringing you new large-scale projects and non-standard tasks.

About the Author

Cristina Par is a content specialist with a passion for writing articles that bridge the gap between brands and their audiences. She believes that high-quality content plus the right link building strategies can turn the tables for businesses small and large.