As a UX Developer, your professional portfolio needs to occupy two spaces at once: visual design and technical architecture. As the bridge between both worlds, anyone looking for UX development work needs to highlight more than just technologies in their profile. They must demonstrate how they get form and function to coexist in each project and prove they understand how to bring it all together. It’s no cakewalk, but showing off several UX developer skills in your portfolio help companies recognize your inherent talent.
How well do you understand end users’ attention, perception, and decision-making? Hiring managers are looking for tech workers who grasp those pieces of cognitive psychology and more. In user experience design, the study of cognitive psychology improves a UX Developer’s ability to motivate users by leveraging their desired outcome. However, demonstrating this skillset in your portfolio requires that you show and not tell.
For starters, your portfolio needs to show your psychological understanding in action. That means indicating how your designs revolve around users’ needs and the methods used to understand those needs. Beyond just explaining your interpretations of survey data, heat maps, and usability tests, your portfolio (and often even LinkedIn profile) needs to reflect that insight in your architectural choices. Talking about structure and the way you presented information as it correlates with desired outcomes and inattentional bias go a long way to convincing hiring managers your value as a UX developer.
User stories offer insight into their desired outcomes and motivation, so strong UX developers need to have a knack for storytelling. The ability to present ideas in a logical and cohesive order not only helps effectively guide users on their journey, but facilitate strong communication as well. For UX Developers to convey their strength as storytellers, there’s no better way than how they structure their portfolio.
Looking at examples of great UX design portfolios gives insight into how to tell the story of your work history. Just presenting images, wireframes, and screenshots of your work shows the results but not the way you made it there. Seeing the stories behind the images gives hiring managers a glimpse into the “method to the madness,” something they need to make informed decisions about as they consider you for direct hire or IT consultant jobs.
So how should your portfolio tell a story? Think of the necessary elements of one. Good storytellers do more than just present the ending, and UX Developers need to do the same. Effective portfolios show the steps it took to achieve the final UX design and the choices that went into each major decision about prototyping, responsive design elements, and user-centric architecture. That way, they can see how your choices build over time into a cohesive UX that addresses users’ desires and concerns.
Another reason UX portfolios need to present step-by-step processes is that a UX Developer’s problem-solving skills are difficult to convey without them. Not every project goes swimmingly, so companies want candidates who can analyze and respond to challenges in the moment. Portfolios capable of demonstrating that move themselves up the queue for consideration in UX design jobs.
What do you need to focus on? Ask these types of questions to find out. Was there difficulty when researching users? Were certain architectural or design elements difficult to balance? Were features becoming too cluttered to handle? Be sure to explain the process you went through to deliver results. Good UX Developers are problem solvers at their core, and their ability to create solutions that address the above cognitive concerns of users makes them a repeat success.
When a portfolio is able to display strong technical expertise and conceptual skills, companies will see a UX Developer’s ability to bring two different but complementary sides together. This reflects the dual concerns that user experience balances day-to-day: visual design and technical architecture, form and function, and technical and conceptual.
Though being able to convey both sides of your expertise in a UX portfolio is crucial, if the right businesses aren’t seeing it, then the effect is limited. Want your portfolio to be seen by companies that match your goals? Contact our recruiters to improve the job opportunities you receive.