A portfolio review is a review of your body of work as a UX designer and a demonstration of your presentation skills and your ability to identify what is important to your audience. The process starts with preparing your work artifacts and planning what to say and how to say it—long before the portfolio review ever happens. This article details my process when preparing to present my own portfolio and what I look for in job candidates during such reviews.
Question 1: What is the problem the design is trying to solve?
When you’re discussing a design during a portfolio review or an interview, the first thing many interviewers look for is whether the problem you’re trying to solve is well defined. But candidates often present business goals as the problem—such as This project was a reskin—or personal goals—such as This was a class assignment. Or they completely skip over the problem and go right to the solution. Every good design starts with a clear vision of the problem you’re solving, so any discussion of a project should start with a clear problem statement. If you do not clearly articulate the problem, your audience won’t be able understand the purpose of the design, and they won’t be confident in your abilities as a UX designer. Read More
This is a question that every UX professional faces at some point: is it better to be a UX generalist—for example, practicing both user research and UX design—or is it better to specialize—perhaps in a specific domain? Companies often question whether a team of UX generalists or a mix of specialists is best.
I might be the ideal person to answer this question. Over the last 15 years, I’ve had the unusual experience of starting out as a UX design generalist, becoming a user research specialist, and again becoming a UX design generalist. In this column, I’ll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of generalization and specialization for UX professionals and the companies that hire them. Read More
“We should try to leave the world a better place than when we entered it.”—Michio Kaku
Inclusiveness, diversity, and belonging in the workplace have become essential parts of a ubiquitous, ever-present ideology for organizations. Diversity and inclusion are quickly moving to the top of organizations’ lists of priorities because of the value they add. Not only do they contribute to creating a happier, more discretionary, and productive workforce, they also improve the organizations’ financial performance, as multiple studies have reported.
Still, one of the biggest challenges we face today is creating a diverse and inclusive environment for the workforce. Achieving true diversity and inclusion takes more than a training video or a session about being polite to coworkers. Many reputed organizations have been taking measures across multiple fronts—including hiring, promotions, opportunities, behavior, and more—to instill, improve, and constantly monitor these principles. Awareness of the business case for inclusion and diversity is on the rise. While social justice is typically the initial impetus behind these efforts, companies have increasingly begun to regard inclusion, diversity, and belonging as a source of competitive advantage—and more specifically, as a key enabler of growth. Read More