How to prepare an Interation Designer Portfolio?

22 Sep 2006 - 2:33pm
8 years ago
1 reply
955 reads
Weiwei Li
2006

Hi everyone,

I'm planning to prepare a portfolio for my upcoming job search. Since I'm a
recent grad and don't have much industry experience, I won't be able to
show any commercial product or corporate website I designed. However, I
believe I can show my interaction design skills and usability knowledge
through my past school and side projects.

The questions is how?

Interaction designers are not like visual designers who can easily show
their skills visually. For example, graphics designers can show the
logos and icons they designed through images. But how can we demonstrate our
user research, UCD, usability evaluation skills on an online portfolio.

The second question is: what to highlight in an ID portfolio?

In my experience, ID work expands the entire UCD cycle. So, shall I
demonstrate I have knowledge from task analysis, requirements gathering to
usability test result analysis or shall I concentrate more on the design
period.

What is people's experience in creating online portfolio? suggestions?

thanks, Weiwei

Comments

27 Sep 2006 - 12:03am
stauciuc
2006

There was a discussion a while ago about portfolios on this list. I remember
it was what determined me to actually start building my own online
portfolio.

It probably doesn't address your exact questions, but you might be
interested in reading it. I selected what I found in my inbox and created
the attached txt file.
Hope it helps!

On 9/22/06, Weiwei Li <weiwei.li888 at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> Hi everyone,
>
> I'm planning to prepare a portfolio for my upcoming job search. Since I'm
> a
> recent grad and don't have much industry experience, I won't be able to
> show any commercial product or corporate website I designed. However, I
> believe I can show my interaction design skills and usability knowledge
> through my past school and side projects.
>
> The questions is how?
>
> Interaction designers are not like visual designers who can easily show
> their skills visually. For example, graphics designers can show the
> logos and icons they designed through images. But how can we demonstrate
> our
> user research, UCD, usability evaluation skills on an online portfolio.
>
> The second question is: what to highlight in an ID portfolio?
>
> In my experience, ID work expands the entire UCD cycle. So, shall I
> demonstrate I have knowledge from task analysis, requirements gathering to
> usability test result analysis or shall I concentrate more on the design
> period.
>
> What is people's experience in creating online portfolio? suggestions?
>
> thanks, Weiwei
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
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>

--
Sergiu Sebastian Tauciuc
http://www.sergiutauciuc.ro/en/
-------------- next part --------------
David nailed this! HR is of very little help in hiring nearly any but
the most rudimentary of production graphic designer.

In a DMI article that Chris Conley (IIT and Gravity Tank) wrote
entitled "Leveraging Design's Core Competency" he writes with the
perspective of a designer's self evaluation and what they might
contribute. But they can be very helpful in an inverted evaluation of
talent as well.

With apologies to Chris and DMI - I will cut and paste:

>>

1.The ability to understand the context or circumstances of a design
problem and frame them in an insightful way

2.The ability to work at a level of abstraction appropriate to the
situation at hand

3.The ability to model and visualize solutions even with imperfect
information

4.An approach to problem solving thatinvolves the simultaneous
creation and evaluation of multiple alternatives

5.The ability to add or maintain value as pieces are integrated into
a whole

6.The ability to establish purposeful relation-ships among elements
ofa solution and between the solution and its context

7.The ability to use form to embody ideas and to communicate their value

<<

I realize that this is a bit tangential and not specific to UI or UE
designers, but they are still quite relevant.

Mark

Robert Reimann wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> I second that!
>
> My additional two cents:
>
> As far as using portfolios to ascertain designer skill, I agree that
> candidates should formally present their work. The difficulty is that
> it is sometimes hard to tell what part of the work is actually theirs,
> and also what the designer might have been capable of, were there
> less constraints on time, budget, technology, etc. While it's
> important to see how a designer navigates such constraints (since
> they are a fact of life as an IxD), it's nice to see what they, by
> themselves, without usability feedback, etc. are truly capable of.
>
> That's why I also favor the kind of design tests that Cooper has used
> for years (that shouldn't come as a big surprise). It allows you to
> see a designer's creative process at work, and also allows you to
> compare one candidate's approach with another's. I find it to be
> an extremely helpful way of getting a feel for how a design candidate
> works and thinks.
>
> Robert.
>
> ---
> Robert Reimann
> President, IxDA

Mark Schraad:

The real value in a portfolio review is not viewing the work, but
evaluating the designer's ability to present it. In very few
interviews have I asked to see work. If the designer asks to show
work, I will typically accommodate them, but it is not the first
level of criteria. It doesn't take long to figure out if a designer
is capable, based upon their knowledge, beliefs, and ability to
communicate. There are a few places where a talented designer can
hide away cranking out good stuff, but in most cases they need to be
able explain the criteria, process, rational and present the
deliverables. Portfolios and pedigrees (schools and former employers)
are valuable information, but typically rate too high on the list.

I am also not convinced that solving puzzles is an appropriate
methodology for evaluation. Some designers are quick to the solution,
others more methodical. Some work well under pressure, others in
solitude and a relaxed schedule. But then I have never managed in n
environment where speed is valued over quality.

Mark

Chad Jennings
<cjennings at blurb.com> to Interaction
More options Jul 7
[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]

Outside of a portfolio review or test, are there a few key questions
that people on the list ask during an interview that have been most
successful at uncovering talent, skills, and experiences that matter
most?

For example, we always ask the standard "What are you most proud of
in your recent work?" and "Tell me a story where things didn't go as
planned or a recent failure and what you learned from it?"

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