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Portfolios Matter: Building the Portfolio to Win the Job
 

Portfolios Matter: Building the Portfolio to Win the Job

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Presented on June 19th at Jobvite's UX Resume and Portfolio Bootcamp

Presented on June 19th at Jobvite's UX Resume and Portfolio Bootcamp

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  • Thanks so much for the insights here Lynn. I can see very clearly what you're saying on both counts. It makes perfect sense that it can be a powerful tool/activity during the research phase. The way you broke it down makes it 'easy' to understand. This is great feedback, thank you!
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  • @JosephHowerton Thanks and great to hear you found the presentation helpful. Your observation that card sorting is used predominantly during IA/taxonomy activities is true but I've found card sorts to be effective when employed during research phases to yield unexpected insights. As I see it, there are two activities where its applicable. (1) 'Current state' assessment of websites/mobile products and (2) uncovering mental models to help reveal how users think about processes, frameworks, and/or content groupings.

    In (1), card sorting can reveal why users are struggling with an existing site organization (of content, functional elements) – helpful as you articulate your recommendations on what needs to change in a redesign. In (2), particularly when you employ 'open sort' methods accompanied by a 'think aloud protocol', you can learn a lot about users' expectations, how they perceive a product and its functions, scenarios of use, and even ideas for innovation.

    User research is a wonderful time in the product development cycle to (re)define the product strategy. Card sorting is one of many tools you can use to uncover user needs before you dive headlong into prototyping and detailed design.
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  • This is a great presentation! I have a question for you Lynn. I was reading a job description today for a User Researcher, and they included the following task/activity: card sorting. Is this a User Research activity? I always felt that card sorting was to sift out the taxonomy and Information Architecture so according to your slide that would fall under Content Strategy. Curious. Thanks for the great advice in your presentation!
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  • @mikkelmichelsen Thank you! While there's nothing wrong with using 'readymade' tools like Behance, Krop, Dribbble, Coroflot, etc. I like the personalization that a website builder affords. UXers need to be able to tell the story of their work beyond visual artifacts only. Consider blogging platforms and also Slideshare (!) The portfolio can be a simple, carefully curated selection of your best work (8-10 slides) that define your areas of focus within the larger umbrella of UX.
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  • I enjoyed that. Any advice for tools for creating a portfolio that is mobile and accesible?
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    Portfolios Matter: Building the Portfolio to Win the Job Portfolios Matter: Building the Portfolio to Win the Job Presentation Transcript

    • PORTFOLIOS MATTERBUILDING the PORTFOLIO TO WIN the JOB LYNN TEO Chief Experience Officer McCann Erickson | @Lynn_Teo
    • ABOUT ME15+ years in Experience Design
    • Hybrid Thinking Product & Process•  User centered design (UCD) •  Engineering-led•  Technology •  Cross-disciplinary team•  Communications design •  Rapid Prototyping &•  Information design UsabilityTransform Business Creative Excellence•  Technology-enabled innovation •  Emotion + Function•  Global/large scale solutions •  UX in Ideation•  Collaborative & process-driven •  Experiences: Ecommerce•  Transformation of company from + Content + Communities consulting to agencyBrand Stewardship Design Education•  Legacy of storytelling •  College of Creative•  Creating consumer value in Studies (Detroit) brand relationships •  MFA Thesis Advisor•  Integrated marketing •  Research-based product development 3
    • 1000+Number of Resumes and Portfolios Reviewed
    • PortfoliosWhy do they matter?
    • Demonstrate THINKINGShowcase SKILLSConvey benchmark QUALITY OF WORKReveal your WORK STYLE 6
    • Tells me what makes you, YOUCredits:uxstorytellers.blogspot.com/2009/01/ux-storytellers- 7connecting-dots.html
    • 10 THINGSto remember when building your portfolio
    • 1 Audience 6 Behind-The-Scenes2 Order of Work 7 What You Did3 Frame the Problem 8 Quality not Quantity4 Process/Steps 9 Design System vs. Instance5 Value of Artifact/Activity 10 Walkthrough Showmanship 9
    • 1Audience Audience
    • “I never design a building before I’veseen the site and met the people who will be using it.” − Frank Lloyd Wright 11
    • Who are you presenting t? AWho are you presenting to?AudienceWhat are they looking for?What type of company is it?Assess their UX footprint & project types 12
    • Who are you presenting t? AWho are you presenting to?AudienceWho are you presenting to? UX Lead Project Front-end Creative Manager Developer Director 13
    • Who are you presenting t? A What are they looking for? Audience Who are you presenting to?•  UX Methods •  Process •  Prototyping skills •  Conceptual Thought•  Independence •  On-time? •  Iterative design •  Problem statement•  Team player •  On-budget? •  Agile •  Effectiveness of•  Work quality •  Communication solution skills UX Lead Project Front-end Creative Manager Developer Director 14
    • Who are you presenting t? AWhat type of company is it?Audience Who are you presenting to? 15
    • Who are you presenting t? A Assess their UX Footprint Audience CS UR UX IxD VDContent Strategy User Research User Experience Interaction Visual Design Design 16
    • Who are you presenting t? A Assess their UX Footprint Audience CS UR UX IxD VDContent Strategy User Research User Experience Interaction Visual Design DesignTHE REALITY: Sub-disciplines aren’t always defined the same way indifferent organizations/agencies. How does the interviewer view yourrole? What is considered “the norm” in their organization? 17
    • Who are you presenting t? A Assess their UX Footprint Audience CS UR UX IxD VDContent Strategy User Research User Experience Interaction Visual Design DesignTHE REALITY: Roles are rarely so clearly segmented. Hybrid roles arethe norm. What hybrid combination exists in the organization? 18
    • Who are you presenting t? A Assess their UX Footprint Audience CS UR UX IxD VDContent Strategy User Research User Experience Interaction Visual Design DesignMY RECOMMENDATION: Best way to understand what yourreviewer is looking for is to clarify skills/activities for the disciplineexpertise you bring to the table 19
    • Who are you presenting t? A Sub-disciplines by skillsets & activities Audience CS UR UX IxD VD Content Strategy User Research User Experience Interaction Visual Design Design•  Taxonomy •  Ethnography •  Customer Journey •  Prototyping •  Digital design•  CMS Systems •  Findings Analysis Mapping •  Mobile and Web •  Storyboards &•  IA •  Personas •  Task Flows & Specializations narratives•  Content •  Trends Needs Analysis •  Emerging •  Visual concepting Governance •  Opportunity •  Feature and technologies Landscape functionality •  Touchscreen/ •  Usability Testing •  Interface Design kiosks/augmented reality/NUI
    • Who are you presenting t? AAssess Types of ProjectsAudience 21
    • Who are you presenting t? AAssess Types of ProjectsAudience 22
    • 2 Order of WorkOrder of Work
    • “The proper order of things is often a mystery to me. You, too?” − Cheshire Cat
    • Who are you presenting t? AImpress then win overAudienceEngage and sell, sell, sellVary the pace and complexityLeave a lasting parting impression 25
    • Who are you presenting t? AImpress then win overAudienceEngage and sell, sell, sell •  Start with your strongest work •  Pick 2-3 anchor visuals •  Walk through “lifecycle” of the project w/ supporting artifacts •  Spend ¼ of your time on first piece 26
    • Who are you presenting t? AEngage and sell, sell, sellAudienceEngage and sell, sell, sellW|B|W|W|W|P|W|R 27
    • Who are you presenting t? A Engage and sell, sell, sell Audience Engage and sell, sell, sellW|B|W|W|W|P|W|RWork Background Work Process Work + Result(Best) (Lifecycle) (Variety, Breadth, (Artifacts) (Success Metrics, Challenges) Recent Work) 28
    • Who are you presenting t? AEngage and sell, sell, sellAudienceEngage and sell, sell, sellW|B|W|W|W|P|W|R Sandwich Effect 29
    • Who are you presenting t? AEngage and sell, sell, sellAudienceEngage and sell, sell, sellW|B|W|W|W|P|W|R Flexible Middle 30
    • Who are you presenting t? AVary the pace and complexityAudienceEngage and sell, sell, sell •  In the “flexible middle”, aim for breadth to convey your versatility •  Use this section to encourage dialogue with the reviewer •  Deep dive selectively 31
    • 32
    • Who are you presenting t? 33
    • Who are you presenting t? ALeave a lasting parting impressionAudienceEngage and sell, sell, sell •  Seal the deal with your most recent work that best aligns with your role at the organization •  Underscore why the project was a success (stats, business metrics, client / industry reviews) •  Reinforce your role in achieving it 34
    • http://www.repeattimerapp.com/how/
    • http://www.repeattimerapp.com/how/
    • http://www.repeattimerapp.com/how/
    • 3 Frame the ProblemFrame Problem
    • “He who asks a question may be a foolfor five minutes, but he who never asks a question remains a fool forever.” − Tim Connelly 39
    • Who are you presenting t? ADemonstrate your “special powers”AudienceWho are you presenting to?Analytical Business User Results Skills Savvy Advocate Oriented 40
    • http://www.nathanbilbao.com/41
    • Who are you presentinghttp://dicksonfong.com/portfolio.html t? 42
    • Who are you presenting t?User Modes as Basis of Feature Sets 43
    • Who are you presenting t?Demonstrate understanding of user needs & behaviors 44
    • 4 Process/StepsProcess/Steps
    • “A good plan is like a road map: it showsthe final destination and usually the best way to get there.” − H. Stanley Judd 46
    • Who are you presenting t? ACreate your version of a process mapAudienceHighlight partners and deliverablesIdentify activities, artifacts, teamsShow points of collaboration 47
    • Discovery High Level Design Detailed Design Development Documentation Research Personas Scenarios & Tasks Paper prototype testing UX Checkpoint use cases Process Flows Screen Sketches Wireframes with development Team Interaction Design Content Page and Module Template Definition Content Assessment Content RecommendationVisual Des Design Exploration Prototype Checkpoint Style Guide Design Page Comps for key screensSite Dev/Tech Interactive Prototype Checkpoint use cases and technologies QA/ Testing Tech Assessment (Ajax, Flash, etc.) with creative team 48
    • 5Artifact Value of Artifact/Activity
    • “Everyone hears only what he understands.” − Johann Wolfgang van Goethe 50
    • Who are you presenting t? AShow how UX artifacts & activities led toAudienceinformed design decisions UX Artifacts that influence design •  Content audit •  Ethnography or in-context studies •  Personas •  Journey Maps •  Wireframes •  Testing/Iterative Design 51
    • http://www.affectivedesign.org/archives/948
    • Credit: Elaine Shultz Materials and Tools became a tab in the final design Users preferred to see substeps in list format at the top of the page Right rail used predominantly to surface related projects I need became a Materials andTools section in the final version Round 1 Testing -- How To page Round 2 Testing -- How To page
    • http://adaptivepath.com/ideas/the-anatomy-of-an-experience-map
    • http://adaptivepath.com/ideas/the-anatomy-of-an-experience-map
    • http://adaptivepath.com/ideas/the-anatomy-of-an-experience-map
    • 6 Behind the ScenesBehind Scenes
    • “The doing is often more important than the outcome.” − Arthur Ashe 59
    • Who are you presenting t? A1-2 page collage maxAudienceInclude sketches, photos, prior versionsCapture the environmentShow points of collaboration 60
    • Credit: Luci LaffitteEthnography 61
    • http://simondoggett.com/#a38/custom_plainEthnography 62
    • http://simondoggett.com/#a38/custom_plain Help people lead better LIVESFinding points to INNOVATE & DELIGHT 63
    • Help people lead better LIVESFinding points to INNOVATE & DELIGHT 64
    • Help people lead better LIVES 65
    • 7What You Did What You Did
    • “If you do not tell the truth aboutyourself you cannot tell it about other people.” − Virginia Woolf 67
    • Who are you presenting t? ABe specific about your roleAudienceWhat were your deliverables?What decisions did you drive?What (new) role would be appealing?Show points of collaboration 68
    • Who are you presenting t? ABe specific about your roleAudienceWhat were your deliverables? •  What were you responsible for? •  Who were your partners and how did you collaborate with them? •  Which documents were joint efforts?Full  Team   UX  Team   You   You  +  (?)       69
    • Who are you presenting t? AWhat were your deliverables?AudienceWhat were your deliverables? •  Are there different levels of effort for each deliverable? •  What tools did you use? •  How were your deliverables shared with the client? 70
    • Who are you presenting t? AWhat decisions did you drive?AudienceWhat were your deliverables? •  How were you an advocate for the user? Did you participate in any user research activities “first-hand”? •  How did you help solve a design impasse? •  Did you demonstrate your role championing iterative design? 71
    • Who are you presenting t? AAudience 72
    • Who are you presenting t? AAudience 73
    • Who are you presenting t? AWhat new role would be appealing?AudienceWhat were your deliverables? •  Emphasize competency and demonstrate readiness for step-up •  The last piece of work you share should build a case for expanded responsibilities 74
    • 8 Quality not QuantityQuality
    • “Not everything that counts can becounted and not everything that can be counted counts.” − Einstein
    • Who are you presenting t? ARefrain from trying to show too muchAudienceNix mediocre workEliminate “similar” work samplesPay attentionof collaborationShow points to details 77
    • 9 Design System vs. InstanceDesign System
    • “It is impossible, in principle, to explain any pattern by invoking a single quantity” − Gregory Bateson
    • Who are you presenting t? AShow the design systemAudienceUse real text whenever possibleShow templates & reusable componentsPay attentionof collaborationShow points to details 80
    • presenting t? http://unify.eightshapes.com/uploads/documents/ EightShapesUnifySample.DesignSpecification.pdfPay attentionof collaborationShow points to details 81
    • presenting t? http://unify.eightshapes.com/uploads/documents/ EightShapesUnifySample.DesignSpecification.pdfPay attentionof collaborationShow points to details 82
    • Who are you presenting t? http://developer.yahoo.com/ypatterns/Pay attentionof collaborationShow points to details 83
    • Who are you presenting t? http://coding.smashingmagazine.com/2007/01/12/free-css-layouts-and-templates/Pay attentionof collaborationShow points to details 84
    • 10 Walkthrough ShowmanshipDesign System
    • “When someone walks on stage for a performance and has charisma, everyone is convinced that he has personality.” − Lukas Foss
    • Who are you presenting t? APortfolio is a narrative of your skillsAudienceRehearse your pitchAim for polish & aesthetic appealShow points to one prototypeInclude at least detailsPay attentionof collaboration 87
    • Who are you presenting t? APortfolio is a narrative of your skillsAudienceRehearse your pitch •  Determine which projects showcase specific UX skills •  Write brief summaries to describe each project so the artifact communicates without voiceoverShow points For one prototypeInclude at least detailsPay attentionof collaboration make sure •  to online portfolios, your site is easy to navigate (!) 88
    • Who are you presenting t? http://www.helloerik.com/ux-portfolio-user-experience-examples 89
    • Who are you presenting t? ARehearse your pitchAudienceRehearse your pitch •  You can never be too prepared •  Role-play with a friend •  Strike a balance between a conversation and an interview •  The portfolio review is perfect forInclude at least one prototypePay attentionof collaboration and to detailsShow points selling your personality communication skills 90
    • Who are you presenting t? Adopt a collaborative stance during portfolio review. Ask if you can sit next to him/her during the walkthrough to go over the work together 91
    • Who are you presenting t? AAim for polish & aesthetic appealAudienceRehearse your pitch •  No careless typos •  Adopt the posture of an expert •  A beautifully-designed portfolio will never hurtShow points to one prototypeInclude at least detailsPay attentionof collaboration 92
    • Who are you presenting t?http://www.nettamarshall.com/#portfolio 93
    • Who are you presenting t? AInclude at least one prototypeAudienceRehearse your pitch •  Can’t replicate interactions on paper •  Brings your work to life •  If you have a client presentation video, credit the team for the effort and use it to demonstrate yourInclude at least one prototypePay attentionof collaboration to detailsShow points contribution 94
    • Go get that dream job :-)
    • LYNN TEOChief Experience Officer McCann New York lynn.teo@mccann.com @Lynn_Teo