Question about resume/ portfolios

28 Oct 2004 - 10:11am
9 years ago
5 replies
844 reads
web
2004

Hi Folks, I curious to know people's thought are on what would
constitute a good portfolio for an Interaction Design/Usability job
seeker. I essentially straight from grad school to teaching;never had to
review resumes in my previous career :) and now my students are asking
those type of questions. Hopefully people have some experiences to
share/advice I can give to them. Should they avoid flash online
portfolios? Do them only in HTML..etc

Thanks
Shelley

Shelley-Ann J. West
p: (646)279-2592
e: shelley at shelley-ann.com
w: www.shelley-ann.com ,
www.portfolios.com/sajwest

Comments

28 Oct 2004 - 10:58am
Dave Malouf
2005

What makes a good portfolio:

I'm in the process of looking for designers right now and here is what I can
tell you:

1. Have one! Have it online and do whatever you have to do to make it good.
I can't believe how many people apply for a DESIGN position w/o a portfolio
online in this day and age. If you don't have a web site, go to
Coroflot.com/Core77.com and create a portfolio online there, or AIGA, or
some other similar services

2. This one I don't do personally, but I'm cocky like that, but it makes a
big diference when I see it during an interview process. I love seeing a
real physical portofolio that is glossy and put together with a professional
eye. Ask your big brother and sister (or cousin) in the visual design world
what their offline portfolio looks like. Then make yours better. ;)

3. Ok, the content of the portfolio; the real story.
Tell a story. Don't just show me pretty pictures and great graphs, and
flowcharts. Tell me the story of how you got to the pretty picture. Tell me
about the mistakes you found and the reasons why you made key decisions in
your interaction models/prototypes that seem to not be standards that you
can lay on your laurels about. What are your sources for data input to make
those decisions, who did you collaborate with on your team, etc. etc.
Obviously, the online one will have less of this story then your presented
portfolio during the interview (if you're lucky enough to get that far), but
the real key though is that each portfolio should have a story to tell. How
did you get from concept to prototype and what even changed in development.
I think a lot of people are afraid to show your failures. I LOVE failures (I
have too many to be judgemental of others) so long as they are presented as
a well rounded total experience. We all know that design, especially
interaction design is way out of your control when it comes to the product
development lifecycle, so don't be afraid to show us that you are aware of
the issues, and don't paint me a fake perfect world. I won't believe you, or
worse, I'll think you don't know how to deal w/ my reality. ;)

Anyway, that's at the core of it. I hope this helps.

-- dave

And yes, I know some people are on this list interviewing w/ me soon ...
Hope you were listening. ;)

28 Oct 2004 - 3:28pm
ldebett
2004

Hi Shelley,

I can speak to what I've seen while interviewing candidates for UI Design,
Usability, UI Development, Graphic Design and Industrial Design positions
here at Bose, what I've heard, and what I had *hoped* to see and hear.

First, I'm in agreement with David on his top 3 list. And I'd like to add a
few things too.

1. Choose the right medium. If it's an interactive demo, the best place to
show it off isn't necessarily in print. Graphics work fine on the web, but
don't waste your time scanning in your sketches and wireframes to upload.
Also, don't rely on us to provide projectors or computers with CD or DVD
drives to show us your stuff unless you've specifically coordinated it
beforehand.

2. David touched on this one a bit, but I want to point it out - Process.
It's important to us to learn *how* you went from ideation to protos to
final, not just in the creative interface, but also what deliverables you
were required to produce and for whom, what the feedback mechanism was, how
you handled feature creep or change, and how you managed expectations. We
want to learn from your experience too! (Maybe we can change how we do
things.) For someone coming straight out of college, this may be limited,
but there are team projects that can be discussed. Especially interesting
is hearing about team dynamics - how you wanted to strangle the guy who
didn't pull his weight (and hopefully how you motivated him), and how and
when you give credit where credit is due. I love having people show a final
project and state "I designed this widget on the second screen that does
this" instead of "I designed this product from soup to nuts". I'll call BS
on that.

3. Variety. Show me wireframes, sketches, flowcharts, and pictures of
prototypes made of Silly Putty and pipe cleaners. Don't only show me the
final stuff. I want to know how you think, and how you convert that into
reality.

4. Online content. An online portfolio can be viewed *prior* to the quick
interview, so you can add more stuff there that I can ask questions about
later. I enjoy reading and learning about people's motivations and
interests that somehow relate to your work or your art. On the other hand,
I don't want to see wedding pictures or photos of your kid in the bath. I
don't even want to accidentally stumble across them because of a random
link. But I do like to see links to examples of other works, books, sites,
etc., that inspire you. I want to learn from you before, during and after
the interview!

Hope that helps a bit...

Cheers!

~Lisa

28 Oct 2004 - 8:27pm
david.shaw6@gma...
2004

Hi Shelley,

Both David, Lisa, and Anthony have some very good comments on the
content and story. I'd like to throw my two cents into the presentation
side.

There is no "one size fits all" type. It really depends on who the
audience is and what the specific position will entail. Are they going
to be doing Interaction Design on a Rich Internet App, well, then I
think a flash portfolio would be relevant. The portfolio not only needs
to fit the position via it's content, but by showing you have an
understanding of the presentation methods (and limitations of the
presentation methods) can also be a benefit.

It would be interesting to see examples of good (and diverse) portfolios
that meet the criteria David/Lisa/Anthony were talking about.
Unfortunately, I have never hired anyone, so I'm not in a position to
recommend good examples. (But then again, "good" can be subjective).

David

web wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> Hi Folks, I curious to know people's thought are on what would
> constitute a good portfolio for an Interaction Design/Usability job
> seeker. I essentially straight from grad school to teaching;never had to
> review resumes in my previous career :) and now my students are asking
> those type of questions. Hopefully people have some experiences to
> share/advice I can give to them. Should they avoid flash online
> portfolios? Do them only in HTML..etc
>
>
> Thanks
> Shelley
>
> Shelley-Ann J. West
> p: (646)279-2592
> e: shelley at shelley-ann.com
> w: www.shelley-ann.com ,
> www.portfolios.com/sajwest
>
> _______________________________________________
> Interaction Design Discussion List
> discuss at ixdg.org
> --
> to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest): http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> --
> Questions: lists at ixdg.org
> --
> Announcement Online List (discussion list members get announcements already)
> http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> --
> http://ixdg.org/
>

29 Oct 2004 - 8:48am
ldebett
2004

David,

As much as I'd love to share the great stuff I've seen, I don't think it
would be ethical for me to publicize the links to these portfolios without
permission. However, know that besides the links we receive in resumes, we
look at Coroflot, AIGA, and other sites that offer online folios.

Maybe subscribers to this list would like to share links to their
portfolios?

Just a thought...

~Lisa

29 Oct 2004 - 5:29pm
Kim Goodwin
2004

All good comments so far. I'd add:

--Before and after.
If you're redesigning a system, you will inevitably have constraints to
deal with. Your audience will have a better understanding of the
environment you were working in, and if your design is good, this will
show it off even better.

--Which part of the work is yours and which you collaborated on.
If a design is all yours, say so. If it was collaborative, give credit
where credit is due, and highlight any portions of the work where you
were especially influential.

--Work that's relevant to what you're applying for.
I see a lot of portfolios that are full of digital art and basic Web
sites, not interactive products. If you're trying to break into
interaction design, at least pick a pet design problem and work up a
solution for it. (That said, professional work is always better than
student exercises).

-----Original Message-----
From:
discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesign
ers.com] On Behalf Of deBettencourt, Lisa
Sent: Thursday, October 28, 2004 1:29 PM
To: discuss-interactiondesigners.com at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Subject: RE: [ID Discuss] Question about resume/ portfolios

[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
material.]

Hi Shelley,

I can speak to what I've seen while interviewing candidates for UI
Design,
Usability, UI Development, Graphic Design and Industrial Design
positions
here at Bose, what I've heard, and what I had *hoped* to see and hear.

First, I'm in agreement with David on his top 3 list. And I'd like to
add a
few things too.

1. Choose the right medium. If it's an interactive demo, the best place
to
show it off isn't necessarily in print. Graphics work fine on the web,
but
don't waste your time scanning in your sketches and wireframes to
upload.
Also, don't rely on us to provide projectors or computers with CD or DVD
drives to show us your stuff unless you've specifically coordinated it
beforehand.

2. David touched on this one a bit, but I want to point it out -
Process.
It's important to us to learn *how* you went from ideation to protos to
final, not just in the creative interface, but also what deliverables
you
were required to produce and for whom, what the feedback mechanism was,
how
you handled feature creep or change, and how you managed expectations.
We
want to learn from your experience too! (Maybe we can change how we do
things.) For someone coming straight out of college, this may be
limited,
but there are team projects that can be discussed. Especially
interesting
is hearing about team dynamics - how you wanted to strangle the guy who
didn't pull his weight (and hopefully how you motivated him), and how
and
when you give credit where credit is due. I love having people show a
final
project and state "I designed this widget on the second screen that does
this" instead of "I designed this product from soup to nuts". I'll call
BS
on that.

3. Variety. Show me wireframes, sketches, flowcharts, and pictures of
prototypes made of Silly Putty and pipe cleaners. Don't only show me the
final stuff. I want to know how you think, and how you convert that
into
reality.

4. Online content. An online portfolio can be viewed *prior* to the
quick
interview, so you can add more stuff there that I can ask questions
about
later. I enjoy reading and learning about people's motivations and
interests that somehow relate to your work or your art. On the other
hand,
I don't want to see wedding pictures or photos of your kid in the bath.
I
don't even want to accidentally stumble across them because of a random
link. But I do like to see links to examples of other works, books,
sites,
etc., that inspire you. I want to learn from you before, during and
after
the interview!

Hope that helps a bit...

Cheers!

~Lisa

_______________________________________________
Interaction Design Discussion List
discuss at ixdg.org
--
to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest):
http://discuss.ixdg.org/
--
Questions: lists at ixdg.org
--
Announcement Online List (discussion list members get announcements
already)
http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
--
http://ixdg.org/

Syndicate content Get the feed