Excellent Portfolios for IxDs(also:do employers care about portfolios?)

5 Apr 2007 - 10:36am
7 years ago
8 replies
562 reads
Phillip Hunter
2006

>This is why ideally you need two portfolios: one online for projects
>that can be publicly displayed and discussed. Then a second (paper/
>digital/physical) portfolio that can be talked about privately and
>only in-person, showing things like process. Obviously, you don't
>want to show documents that will get you in legal trouble. Those you
>might just have to speak to. Obliquely.

That's what I was trying to say. Thanks for putting it more better.

Phillip

Comments

5 Apr 2007 - 4:22pm
Kevin Silver1
2006

I fully agree with having a both online and offline portfolio,
especially since a lot of work I have done I'm reluctant to post
online due to some of the privacy concerns others have expressed. So
when going on an interview I carry with me a huge portfolio with
examples of most of the work I have done over the last ten or so
years, including stuff I'm not willing to put online. I like to
think of it as the "shock and awe" approach. Even though I'm lugging
around a lot of stuff, it's always been effective to have multiple
examples of past work to frame a discussion around.

One thing I did do with my online portfolio is to tell a story, frame
the examples (screen shots, deliverables, etc...) around the context
of the project and a bit of rationale of the decisions that were made
-- which were all suggestions I gleaned from this list the last time
there was a portfolio thread. And I also try to show a bit of
personality. Because of privacy issues I included two older projects
and two smaller projects (all of the examples are a bit old -- need
some new ones). The focus on all of this is not the bling, but on
the process -- so I picked examples that showed different approaches.

I am hesitant to include projects that were developed in a more
collaborative environment. I am more comfortable explaining my
involvement and contribution to these types of projects in person
than online; it's a matter of not taking credit for the whole project
(and to be honest sometimes memories get muddled and who knows where
an idea came from and who presented it when you're collaborating) or
having my involvement being misinterpreted by someone browsing my
portfolio and just seeing the bling and not reading my commentary.

On Apr 5, 2007, at 9:36 AM, Phillip Hunter wrote:

>> This is why ideally you need two portfolios: one online for projects
>> that can be publicly displayed and discussed. Then a second (paper/
>> digital/physical) portfolio that can be talked about privately and
>> only in-person, showing things like process. Obviously, you don't
>> want to show documents that will get you in legal trouble. Those you
>> might just have to speak to. Obliquely.
>
> That's what I was trying to say. Thanks for putting it more better.
>
> Phillip
>
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6 Apr 2007 - 5:25am
Morten Hjerde
2007

I'm a bit late to this discussion.

I can't see that maintaining a "professional website" should be a priority
for an interaction designer who is looking for a job. I think that would be
a bad advice to give to job seekers.

>From an employer standpoint, if you say that "I'll only talk to people who
have a great website", then you
are actually saying that "I only want to hire people who are good at selling
themselves". That would only make sense if you are hiring them to a job
where they need to sell themselves constantly.
Making a professional website is a multi-disciplinary task. I myself is
primarily a "boxes and arrows" type interaction designer. My graphic design
skills are a lot weaker and my HTML skills are, well, dated.
If you are supposed to maintain your own professional website, chances are
you spend too much time honing your CSS skills.

As a job seeker you of course need to be able to deliver a version of your
portfolio in an electronic format,
as an email attachment for example. I've only been out actively looking for
a job twice in my career. Both times
I researched what company I wanted to work for, called them up and said
"I've decided to start working with
you guys". They said "Ehh... oh...really?" and we set a meeting. Worked like
a charm.
If you are looking for a job, your goal is not to make a website and hope
some employer likes it.
Your first goal is to get a meeting with the employer of your choice. Do
your research well, and you will
most likely be a good match.

Most of the time I've been in jobs where I have had to hire people. The best
people have been soft spoken and
modest and presented a great portfolio, but not necessarily a website. I
think you need to cast your net wider.

Morten

PS
I should probably mention that I don't work on websites, I work on
applications for mobile phones.

6 Apr 2007 - 6:28am
.pauric
2006

"From an employer standpoint, if you say that "I'll only talk to
people who have a great website", then you are actually saying that "I
only want to hire people who are good at selling themselves".

Well, another take on that would be if someone is maintaing a site
then they are investing time in practicing/improving/rounding out
skills on areas not covered in their pay-work. I can see how a
personal site demonstrate a keen interest in our work.

I have a question for the group. Should/can a blog be a part of a
portfolio? or should it be seperated to an ego site?

6 Apr 2007 - 6:41am
Dave Malouf
2005

On 4/6/07, pauric <radiorental at gmail.com> wrote:

> I have a question for the group. Should/can a blog be a part of a
> portfolio? or should it be seperated to an ego site?

G-d, I hope my blog is part of what people look at when they look at
my stuff. And it is definitely something I look at when I look at
candidates as well. Why?

1. it is another way of putting your thinking out there.
2. it is a public way of putting your thinking out there.

I have been burned too many times by designers who have great craft
but are shy are inexpressive of their ideas. If ya want to make it in
this world as a designer you need to be fearless of expressing your
ideas in public.

I also think that design is not just craft. There is theory and
historic critique that are principles important to have a grasp of as
well.

Unlike a portfolio, which is just up there, Blogs get responded to, or
can get responded to.

-- dave

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/

6 Apr 2007 - 10:50am
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

> I can't see that maintaining a "professional website" should be a priority
> for an interaction designer who is looking for a job. I think that would be
> a bad advice to give to job seekers.
>
> >From an employer standpoint, if you say that "I'll only talk to people who
> have a great website", then you
> are actually saying that "I only want to hire people who are good at selling
> themselves".

Nah - it says, "I only want to hire someone who is active in the
world, who can prove he's interested and attentive." It's hard to
trust someone who has no Google results. If they're not contributing
outside the company, how do I know they'll contribute inside?

-r-

6 Apr 2007 - 4:51pm
Lisa Harper
2007

And more than this... it seems that those who have a passion for working in
either design or development spend a lot of time exploring their creativity
on personal projects and during their own free time. Those are the folks we
most want to hire. Even if they've only worked on secret stuff they should
have plenty to show elsewhere. It's almost become the first question I
ask... so what are the things you work on during your free time? They might
not have a blog, but there ought to be something out there to look at to
help drive the conversation. I've been keeping track the last few months...
all of the most talented people I work with I've asked the question about
free time. In every case, there's been some project utilizing their creative
skills that consumes them outside of work.

Lisa Harper
MITRE

On 4/6/07, David Malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> On 4/6/07, pauric <radiorental at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > I have a question for the group. Should/can a blog be a part of a
> > portfolio? or should it be seperated to an ego site?
>
>
> G-d, I hope my blog is part of what people look at when they look at
> my stuff. And it is definitely something I look at when I look at
> candidates as well. Why?
>
> 1. it is another way of putting your thinking out there.
> 2. it is a public way of putting your thinking out there.
>
> I have been burned too many times by designers who have great craft
> but are shy are inexpressive of their ideas. If ya want to make it in
> this world as a designer you need to be fearless of expressing your
> ideas in public.
>
> I also think that design is not just craft. There is theory and
> historic critique that are principles important to have a grasp of as
> well.
>
> Unlike a portfolio, which is just up there, Blogs get responded to, or
> can get responded to.
>
> -- dave
>
>
> --
> David Malouf
> http://synapticburn.com/
> http://ixda.org/
> http://motorola.com/
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

6 Apr 2007 - 6:19pm
Dustin Kirk
2006

Nicely put Lisa...

The people I most admire and respect are those who live and breath their
passion every waking moment and find a way to contribute back to their
respective fields. While portfolios in a literal sense have the connotation
of being looked at only for employment purposes... I encourage people to
find some public means of sharing the work they have done in a way that
others may either be inspired or learn from it.

For example, I really admire Patrick Baudisch for posting his projects
online. They are very inspiring and educational.
http://www.patrickbaudisch.com/projects/

-d- Dustin Kirk

10 Apr 2007 - 8:01pm
ldebett
2004

Robert,

There is also the case where the employee is contributing significantly
inside an organization but the terms of their employment specifically
prohibit them from sharing the work that they do outside the company. Or,
they're just so darn busy contributing inside the company that they simply
have no time to do so in other areas - especially if they want to have a
life! Creative people have worked hard inside companies long before Google
results... ;-)

~Lisa

On 4/6/07, Robert Hoekman, Jr. <rhoekmanjr at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > >From an employer standpoint, if you say that "I'll only talk to people
> who
> > have a great website", then you
> > are actually saying that "I only want to hire people who are good at
> selling
> > themselves".
>
> Nah - it says, "I only want to hire someone who is active in the
> world, who can prove he's interested and attentive." It's hard to
> trust someone who has no Google results. If they're not contributing
> outside the company, how do I know they'll contribute inside?
>
> -r-
>

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