In Eugenia’s Hottest New Careers in Tech post, she singled out User Experience (UX) Designer right at the top of her list. New JobsBlogger Scott Simmons, who recruits User Experience (UX) talent for Microsoft, is here to share his insight on creating a successful portfolio in order to land your dream design job. Take it away Scott:
UX is comprised of interaction design, user research and visual design. The reasons I love UX recruiting is seeing all of the amazing ideas created by the candidates. As a UX recruiting specialist, nothing is more inspiring than to review a great portfolio. And nothing is more disappointing than reviewing a poorly thought-out portfolio.
When applying for a UX role, the portfolio is more important than the resume itself. I have reviewed hundreds of portfolios and would like to share with you my Top Five pointers to create a portfolio that will excite us here at Microsoft:
1) Tell a story: Your portfolio should not be screen shot after screen shot of finished work. We want to see your design-thinking. Help us understand what problems you solved, how you contributed, and what other approaches you considered.
2) Share the artifacts: The artifacts are the pictures you took of the lab study, while in the field doing the ethnographic research, the different prototypes created, the ideation sessions at the white board, your sketches and the wireframes. Pictures are worth a thousand words, artifacts are worth more.
3) Design it: A hiring manager always reviews the portfolio before the resume. If you have a poorly designed portfolio you will not gain an interview. Think about white space, typography, color, links, motion and user experience. The portfolio is the summation of your design skills and should represent your best work.
4) Simple to Navigate: When looking through a portfolio, it should always be clear and intuitive as to what I am to do next. Sometimes I cannot find the links or methods for navigation because the presentation is very busy or it is assumed one knows where to go next. Design your portfolio to be user-friendly.
5) User test your portfolio: Once you have created your portfolio, have several people review the work and test your design. Too often portfolios simply do not load or work in the way the designer imagined.
Do you think you’ve got what it takes to be a UX designer at Microsoft? Follow these steps with your portfolio and you’ll have a better shot at getting your foot in the door.