A portfolio is arguably the most important asset for a UX Designer. Why? There are actually three reasons. It will help you land interviews for jobs, enable you to attract clients if you work freelance, and will also help you stay committed to improving your skills and experience as you progress through your career.
Ironically, while being one of the most important assets for a UX designer, a portfolio does not have to be difficult to create, set up, and maintain. In fact, it does not have to cost a thing. You can set up a free portfolio website using website building platforms such as Wix.
This article will show you just why a portfolio is a necessity for UX designers of all experience levels.
You Stand a Better Chance of Landing Interviews and Getting Jobs
Assuming you have the skills and qualifications required to be a UX designer, you need to showcase these via an impressive portfolio of your work. As part of any recruitment process, recruiters will evaluate your skills by looking at and judging any work you have done previously. They will take a brief look through the work you have done and form an immediate impression of whether you’re right for the position offered.
In short, apply for any UX design position without a portfolio and your chances of getting the job are tiny. If you’re new to UX design and have a small amount of experience, it is important to add every bit of work you have done. As you gain experience, you can pick and choose a little more. Eventually, once you have a ton of experience, you can simply showcase your best work alongside some more recent work to show that you keep up to speed with the latest trends.
You Get Freelance Jobs More Regularly
If you take on side projects or work purely as a freelance UX designer, your portfolio is just as important. When applying for projects on the best freelancing sites, you will always face a lot of competition. You either beat that competition by offering your services at a lower price or by blowing them out of the water with an amazing portfolio.
If you’re new to UX and trying to build up your portfolio, freelancing is actually a great way to do it. Clients are not employing you, just hiring you for a project or two. There is less risk on their part so they are more likely to give you a chance. If you can sell yourself, offer the clients great value in terms of your pricing, and go the extra mile on projects, you will soon build up experience you can display in your portfolio.
Freelancing is also good for picking work on the side if you already have a UX design job. You could work on the projects in the evenings and increase the money you earn each month.
Keeping a Portfolio Even Helps You to Improve
When you have something that you can log and look back on, you can establish whether you’re staying relevant, regressing, or improving. You might notice that when you first started, the quality of your work was of a much higher standard and in recent years you have allowed yourself to regress. Your portfolio can tell you a lot about where you stand in your career.
As you build up your portfolio, only your very best work will make it in. When you get to a point where your current work is not regarded as among your best, it may force you to re-evaluate. It will help you regain focus and to challenge yourself to work harder so that your next project qualifies as being good enough to display in your portfolio.
On the flip side, it may tell you that perhaps UX design is not for you after all. If you’re stagnating and not performing at the standard you once were, you might decide to switch career paths.
Whether you want to pick up new employment opportunities or increase your success on freelance sites such as UpWork, setting up an online portfolio is hugely important. It also allows you to focus on your career to date and gives you the determination to improve. Without an online portfolio, potential companies and clients are likely to choose somebody that does.
Even if you have plenty of experience as a UX designer, keeping a portfolio has a world of benefits. While it will help you secure jobs that require somebody of your experience, it will also allow you to look back on your career, regain focus, and notice when your career and performance is stagnating.
Having a portfolio is, without a doubt, one of the most powerful tools a UX designer can rely on. Without one, making your way through your career will prove a lot more difficult.