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User Research Portfolios - From web portfolios to decks - tips for success

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Building your portfolio
From web portfolios to decks - tips for success
Rebecca Destello, Manager, Research & Insights @ A...

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Rebecca Destello
• HCDE graduate (MS 2011)
• 10+ years of research and consulting
• Researcher, teacher, mentor
R. Destell...

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R. Destello | Building your portfolio

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User Research Portfolios - From web portfolios to decks - tips for success

  1. 1. Building your portfolio From web portfolios to decks - tips for success Rebecca Destello, Manager, Research & Insights @ Atlas Informatics
  2. 2. Rebecca Destello • HCDE graduate (MS 2011) • 10+ years of research and consulting • Researcher, teacher, mentor R. Destello | Building your portfolio
  3. 3. R. Destello | Building your portfolio
  4. 4. “The purpose of a portfolio is to create a sense of personal ownership over one's accomplishments, because ownership engenders feelings of pride, responsibility, and dedication.” - Paris, S & Ayres, L. (1994) Becoming Reflective
  5. 5. First, a note about portfolio types Website portfolios are good for • Showing the breadth of your experience • Showing all of the work you’re proud of in one place • Representing yourself online Decks are good for • One or two projects • Talking about those projects in depth • Representing yourself during an interview R. Destello | Building your portfolio
  6. 6. • Apply the basic tenets of web design and writing for the web • Show the process (including the challenges) • Represent you and your expertise Your web portfolio should R. Destello | Building your portfolio
  7. 7. Writing for the web
  8. 8. Read this book The emphasis is on writing web content that is easy to use.
  9. 9. Show the process
  10. 10. How to structure your story From the beginning of the project to end, summarize... • How you identified the problem space and target audience • How you decided on the research methodologies to use • What constraints you faced (budget, time, buy-in, etc.) • How your work informed product decisions • The final outcome demonstrating the impact of your work R. Destello | Building your portfolio
  11. 11. R. Destello | Building your portfolio Document the process
  12. 12. Don’t be shy about the challenges
  13. 13. Discuss the challenges Very rarely does everything go perfectly… • What went wrong? • How did you recover? • What did you learn and how has it improved the work you do today? R. Destello | Building your portfolio
  14. 14. Represent your expertise
  15. 15. To be an expert, be involved To become an expert in your field, you’ve got to be involved in your field • How do you stay current? List blogs you follow, or better yet - write your own • What professional organizations are you involved in? • How do you share what you know? Do you give talks? Do you mentor others? R. Destello | Building your portfolio
  16. 16. Q: But what can I do when the only open roles I see require experience?
  17. 17. A: Make your own work
  18. 18. Quick, think: What’s your favorite nonprofit? • Go to your favorite local nonprofit’s website • Conduct a heuristic evaluation • Contact them and share the situation (i.e. free help in exchange for a portfolio piece) Help your favorite nonprofit R. Destello | Building your portfolio
  19. 19. Post an offer of help to your social media platforms • Example: “Need help making your website/app/product easier to use? Contact me for free help!” Connect with the HCDE usability (517) instructors • Ask for client projects that weren’t picked up during winter quarter • Contact the client and offer to help Leverage your network R. Destello | Building your portfolio
  20. 20. Start your own project What are you curious about? • Think of a problem space you’re interested in • Create a research plan that includes a method you’re familiar with, and a couple that you’d like to learn more about • Conduct your own research and generate findings R. Destello | Building your portfolio
  21. 21. When you’re ready to interview
  22. 22. • Tell a story about one or two projects that you’re proud of, or relate to the job you’re interviewing for • Be visual (you want your audience paying attention to you - not reading your slides) • Demonstrate your expertise Your deck portfolio should R. Destello | Building your portfolio
  23. 23. Be a good storyteller
  24. 24. Use a format SOAR is a handy formula for talking about your accomplishments with others. Situation: What challenge were you faced with? Objective: What did you need to do to accomplish? Action: What action(s) did you take? Result: What resulted from your action(s)? R. Destello | Building your portfolio
  25. 25. Be engaging • Make eye contact with your audience • Don't fidget, stand straight, comfortable, and professional • Speak slowly at a normal volume • Use empathy - read your audience and stop occasionally to ask if anyone has questions • Know your material (revisit your projects) - don't just read the screen • Don't be afraid to let your personality come through R. Destello | Building your portfolio
  26. 26. R. Destello | Building your portfolio: Tips & Tricks Power tip: Use gestures to emphasize points in your story, keep the attention of your audience, and be more memorable! http://bit.ly/UsingGestures
  27. 27. “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Dr. Maya Angelou
  28. 28. Portfolio presentation tips • For deck design, check out the book "Slideology” by Nancy Duarte • Revisit your work and be prepared for questions • Practice (a lot) beforehand • Watch a recording of yourself presenting and iterate • Be explicit about your participation in team projects and how your work contributed to design • Discuss the highs and lows and what you learned from them R. Destello | Building your portfolio
  29. 29. Questions? You can also reach out to me @rebeccadestello and in/rebeccadestello

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