Do you want to know more about how to improve your portfolio for specific job areas within game development? In our brand-new Portfolio Tips series, we let our experts share their top 5 tips on how to do just that! First out is Eileen Seeman, Lead UX Designer.
1. Show your passion
We don’t expect beginners or students to present perfect solutions and tons of projects. We want to figure out how motivated, positive, and willing to learn you are. Show your passion and describe what excites you about UX and why you want to work with games and us!
If you don’t have a lot of projects you can put in your portfolio, that’s fine! Show your personal projects or do a re-design of your favorite game and analyze it: explain what problems or opportunities to improve you figured out and come up with different approaches how to solve it. For example:
- How can you make a feature more fun and easier to interact with?
- Maybe you can reduce HUD elements by coming up with diegetic solution?
- Do you have ideas how to improve the usability of the UI?
You can also create a prototype of a special idea you have and explain the process from the inspiration to the prototype.
2. Tell a story
Great UX is usually not created straight away with the first design. We all know that. That’s why we want to see your design process and get a feeling of how it would be to work with you.
Every UX portfolio includes post-its on a wall and wireframes, and some even only show the final design. But you need to explain the context and what you learned by creating these wireframes, user stories, or post-its on the wall. Otherwise it will be difficult for us to see how you work, the challenges, and how you solved or influenced the result. Include information like:
- What interesting story can you tell about the project?
- What challenges and problems did you solve?
- What role did you play in this project?
- How did you collaborate with the team?
- What were your key learnings?
Don’t be afraid to show unfinished design ideas and alternatives you investigated, even if they didn’t make it into the final product. This will give us an idea about your creativity and flexibility.
3. Keep it short
Reviewing portfolios can become a very time-consuming task for recruiters and experts. If you present too many unrelated projects, you can’t be sure what the recruiters and experts are actually looking at, as they might don’t review everything on your portfolio.
To make sure we see the best work from you – the work you want to impress with – focus on the two to four projects you are most proud of and are most relevant to showcase your skills within the field of UX and present these with high quality. Spend time to show these projects clearly and organized. Avoid big chunks of text – maybe you can visualize your process instead of writing it down and add just a bit of description when you need more details. You can also add a summary or highlight the most important parts.
4. Personalize it
Providing a personalized portfolio will give us an idea if you will be a great fit to the team, especially if you don’t have a lot of projects to pick from and show. You can learn and improve technical skills later.
Instead of providing a few images via Dropbox, take your time and design your portfolio in a way that fits your personality and taste. See it as another project you present to us.
With a personal space on your portfolio you can show what makes you different to other designers. Describe who you are and what brought you to design – but don’t list tons of skills and programs! No one is good at everything, so pick only a handful you are really good in and relate to the job you are applying for.
5. Test your portfolio
This might sound obvious, but often there is either no portfolio provided, or it comes with poor quality and broken links.
With every UX project, it’s key to know your audience and to test your design to ensure it works on different platforms. Your portfolio is no different. This is your first chance to make a good impression, so test your portfolio, get feedback and iterate. Let your friends or family review it and ask the following questions:
- Do they understand everything, the designs, the process?
- Is it intuitive to navigate?
- Is it clean and organized?
- Are the links, images, videos or prototypes provided working?