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The Right Stuff: What's in YOUR Portfolio?


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Presented at Tech Jobs LA at Blankspaces, July 21, 2012

The growth of the Web and proliferation of mobile devices has created a huge opportunity for people who can design the look and behavior of digital products. This work spans single-person-single-device interactions through experiences that include multiple people, devices and locations. User Experience Designer (UXD), Interaction Designer (IxD), Information Architect (IA), Web Designer (WD)--whichever way you pitch your skill-set, this is truly a GREAT time be working in our field.

But--How do you showcase your talents succinctly and persuasively? What do recruiters and hiring managers look for in a great portfolio? This presentation shows you how

Published in: Technology, Business
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  • Thank you - tons of valuable info.

    For the sake of discussion, in ref to slide 17, I'm wondering if being platform agnostic is not necessarily best, though certainly cheapest, as designing native apps can be costly, time consuming, and require ongoing maint. Hear me out:

    I've been working on translating an app from the existing iOS and Android platforms to Windows8, which is a notable departure from some familiar interaction paradigms. Once a user becomes versed in the Win8 OS however, it's total lift off - the platform is beautiful, fluid, and truly content over chrome. I guess the idea I'm toying with is that the best experiences are not platform drive, but they are the ones that take full advantage of the features of a well-designed platform, as opposed to being entirely self contained.

    I think being platform agnostic can lead to a lot of 'let's reinvent the wheel' thinking, redundancies between a platform agnostic solution and capabilities of an OS.

    Anyhow, just a thought. Counterpoints welcomed!
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
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The Right Stuff: What's in YOUR Portfolio?

  1. 1. What’s  in  YOUR  Por1olio?  The  Right  Stuff  Tech  Jobs  LA  July  21,  2012  
  2. 2. Our  hosts  License:  CC  BY-­‐NC-­‐SA   2  
  3. 3. About  us*   Lane  Halley   Chris  Chandler   @thinknow   @chrischandler   *Shannon  O’Brien,  @Shannon_Obrien  License:  CC  BY-­‐NC-­‐SA   3  
  4. 4. OpportuniTes  abound    New  devices      Web-­‐connected  world    Every  business  an  e-­‐business    Social  media  revoluTon    Sounds  good,  how  do  I  get  started?  License:  CC  BY-­‐NC-­‐SA   4  
  5. 5. Interviewing  is  a  two-­‐way  street    How  do  your  skills  match  their  needs?    What  kind  of  work  do  you  want  to  do?    A  good  por4olio  supports  this  conversa9on.  License:  CC  BY-­‐NC-­‐SA   5  
  6. 6. What’s  your  skill  set?  License:  CC  BY-­‐NC-­‐SA   6  
  7. 7. What  is  User  Experience  (UX?)  Dan  Saffer  “  The  disciplines-­‐of-­‐user-­‐experience”   7  
  8. 8. Where’s  your  focus?   PRODUCT   DESIGN   MARKUP  /   VISUAL   CODE   DESIGN  License:  CC  BY-­‐NC-­‐SA   8  
  9. 9. The  elusive  unicorn   PRODUCT   DESIGN   UNICORN   MARKUP  /   VISUAL   CODE   DESIGN  License:  CC  BY-­‐NC-­‐SA   9  
  10. 10. Different  work  styles   One   domain   In-­‐house   Startup   Roles  &   Generalist   specialTes   Agency   Freelance   Many   domains  License:  CC  BY-­‐NC-­‐SA   10  
  11. 11. Designing  for  mobile  License:  CC  BY-­‐NC-­‐SA   11  
  12. 12. Hot  topics   HTML5,  CSS3   Web  Frameworks  (Ruby  on  Rails)   Responsive  design   NaTve  applicaTon  vs.  mobile  web   Cross  pla1orm  work    Web,  Android,  iPhone  License:  CC  BY-­‐NC-­‐SA   12  
  13. 13. Hiring  managers  say…    “We  don’t  hire  specifically  for  mobile  or   desktop.  We  have  some  clients  where   we  design  for  all  pla4orms-­‐-­‐  mobile,   Web,  Facebook.  Being  able  to  design   cross  pla4orm  is  very  important.”      License:  CC  BY-­‐NC-­‐SA   13  
  14. 14. Hiring  managers  say…      “We  don’t  have  mobile  specialists,  we   have  mobile  projects.”  License:  CC  BY-­‐NC-­‐SA   14  
  15. 15. Hiring  consideraTons   An  experienced  mobile  designer:     •  ArTculates  pla1orm  choices   •  Knows  common  convenTons   •  Thinks  through  and  communicates   interacTons  and  transiTons   •  Knows  the  device  resoluTon   landscape  License:  CC  BY-­‐NC-­‐SA   15  
  16. 16. Senior  and  junior  roles   Senior   Junior    Generate  ideas    Know  the  tools    Make  pla1orm    Domain  knowledge   choices    Show  that  you  can    Lead  projects   do  the  work  License:  CC  BY-­‐NC-­‐SA   16  
  17. 17. Don’t  put  yourself  in  a  box   Mobile  is  “hot”   Best  soluTons  are  not  pla1orm  driven   Design  for  mulT-­‐pla1orm  experiences   AnTcipate  conTnued  tech.  changes   The  best  career  strategy?  Stay  balanced.  License:  CC  BY-­‐NC-­‐SA   17  
  18. 18. The  interview  process  License:  CC  BY-­‐NC-­‐SA   18  
  19. 19. How  to  find  a  job  (YMMV)   Hiring  manager   Personal  referral   Recruiter   Job  posTng    License:  CC  BY-­‐NC-­‐SA   19  
  20. 20. The  interview  process   Small  company   Large  company   Direct  hire   HR  department   Either  may  use  a  recruiter  License:  CC  BY-­‐NC-­‐SA   20  
  21. 21. The  mulT-­‐step  interview   ApplicaTon    Cover  leper,  resume,  links  to  work   Phone  screen(s)    ConversaTon  about  work,  process   In-­‐person  interview(s)    AddiTonal  work  samples,  design  acTviTes  License:  CC  BY-­‐NC-­‐SA   21  
  22. 22. Hiring  managers  say…    [I  want  to  talk  to  a]  “designer  who  can   express  and  ar9culate  their  process,  the   problems  they  are  trying  to  solve  and   the  steps  they  took  along  the  way.  It’s   important,  and  rarely  seen.”  License:  CC  BY-­‐NC-­‐SA   22  
  23. 23. Hiring  managers  say…    “When  they  can  provide  sketches  early   on,  all  the  way  through  to  a  finished   product  it  gets  me  excited.”  License:  CC  BY-­‐NC-­‐SA   23  
  24. 24. Your  Web  presence  mapers    Hiring  managers  want  to  know:      Professionally  acTve?      InteresTng  side  projects?  License:  CC  BY-­‐NC-­‐SA   24  
  25. 25. Building  your  por1olio  License:  CC  BY-­‐NC-­‐SA   25  
  26. 26. Por1olio  formats   Web  site   Web  links   .pdf   Other  formats  License:  CC  BY-­‐NC-­‐SA   26  
  27. 27. Hiring  managers  say…    “We  expect  someone  to  have  a   por4olio  site.  They  can  send  a  .pdf,   but  you’re  working  for  screen-­‐based   users,  it’s  essen9al  to  have  a   screen-­‐based  por4olio.”  License:  CC  BY-­‐NC-­‐SA   27  
  28. 28. Hiring  managers  say…    “A  por4olio  is  a  showcase.  It  should   catch  the  eye  and  tell  the  story  that  you   can  do  the  work.”    License:  CC  BY-­‐NC-­‐SA   28  
  29. 29. What  goes  in  your  por1olio?   Who  you  are   3-­‐7  pieces  of  client  work   Frame  the  deliverables   Show  your  process   Demonstrate  adaptability  License:  CC  BY-­‐NC-­‐SA   29  
  30. 30. Tricky  situaTons   Team  Projects   ConfidenTality      Explain  role   Anonymize      Credit  others   In-­‐person  only   A  personal  project  or  two  can  help   round  out  your  por4olio  License:  CC  BY-­‐NC-­‐SA   30  
  31. 31. Por1olio  bloopers   Too  large,  work  too  similar   Fail  to  frame  the  work   Show  only  the  finished  product   Show  a  small  sliver  of  the  product   Show  work  that  is  not  yours  License:  CC  BY-­‐NC-­‐SA   31  
  32. 32. Hiring  managers  say…    “I’m  incredibly  busy,  I  want  to  get  a   good  first  impression,  not  slog  through   a  lot  of  stuff.”  License:  CC  BY-­‐NC-­‐SA   32  
  33. 33. Hiring  managers  say…    “We  see  a  lot  of  por4olios,  I  want   someone  to  tell  the  story  quickly  about   key  projects  they  are  proud  of.”  License:  CC  BY-­‐NC-­‐SA   33  
  34. 34. Case  studies  License:  CC  BY-­‐NC-­‐SA   34  
  35. 35. Where’s  your  starTng  point?   Already  working  in  field   Just  starTng  out   Changing  careers  License:  CC  BY-­‐NC-­‐SA   35  
  36. 36. Let’s  review  some  examples  License:  CC  BY-­‐NC-­‐SA   36  
  37. 37. Thank  You!   Lane  Halley   Chris  Chandler   @thinknow   @chrischandler  License:  CC  BY-­‐NC-­‐SA   37