Excellent Portfolios for IxDs (also:doemployerscare about portfolios?)

4 Apr 2007 - 4:09pm
7 years ago
14 replies
601 reads
Phillip Hunter
2006

As a hiring manager, I am very reluctant to even talk to someone without a
portfolio. I don't care about anything fancy, just something representative
and professional.

ph

Comments

4 Apr 2007 - 4:47pm
Mark Schraad
2006

Not at all trying to be flippant here Phillip, but I am reluctant to
look at a portfolio if I have not first had a compelling
conversation. The ability to communicate and think about design is so
much more important than showing me pretty work that you may or may
not have had anything to do with.

Mark

On Apr 4, 2007, at 5:09 PM, Phillip Hunter wrote:

> As a hiring manager, I am very reluctant to even talk to someone
> without a
> portfolio. I don't care about anything fancy, just something
> representative
> and professional.
>
> ph
>
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
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4 Apr 2007 - 4:50pm
Jeff Howard
2004

There was an great thread on the list about portfolios last year with
insight from both sides of the hiring process. Here's a link to the
archive:

Are online portfolios useful?
http://www.howardesign.com/exp/ixd/?post=9136

// jeff

4 Apr 2007 - 4:52pm
Peter Merholz
2004

Portfolio portfolio portfolio.

If you are talking to me about a job, and you don't have an online
portfolio for me to look at, I will not continue talking to you.

--peter

On Apr 4, 2007, at 2:47 PM, Mark Schraad wrote:

> Not at all trying to be flippant here Phillip, but I am reluctant to
> look at a portfolio if I have not first had a compelling
> conversation. The ability to communicate and think about design is so
> much more important than showing me pretty work that you may or may
> not have had anything to do with.
>
> Mark
>
>
> On Apr 4, 2007, at 5:09 PM, Phillip Hunter wrote:
>
>> As a hiring manager, I am very reluctant to even talk to someone
>> without a
>> portfolio. I don't care about anything fancy, just something
>> representative
>> and professional.
>>
>> ph
>>
>>
>>
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
>> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
>> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
>> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
>> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
>> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
>> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
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4 Apr 2007 - 4:53pm
dmitryn
2004

A couple of thoughts:

1) For a design position, _both_ the portfolio and the resume should
be indicative of the person's skillset, process, and design
sensibilities. If I were a hiring manager, I would be wary of an
application where only one (or neither) of these projects a good
impression. As Phillip states, "representative and professional"
should do the trick.

2) I've noticed that this thread has elicited a number of viewpoints,
but few actual portfolio links. This reminds me of recent discussion
on the sigia-l list lamenting the lack of actual work being shown at
this year's IA Summit.

In that discussion, fingers were pointed at client confidentiality
agreements and NDA's for preventing IA's from showing their best or
most current work. I would expect that these issues lead to many IxD's
being in the same boat.

Dmitry

On 4/4/07, Phillip Hunter <phillip at speechcycle.com> wrote:
> As a hiring manager, I am very reluctant to even talk to someone without a
> portfolio. I don't care about anything fancy, just something representative
> and professional.
>
> ph
>
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

4 Apr 2007 - 7:03pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Dmitry,

I would never point to my portfolio and what is on my site is a joke to be
quite honest.
Every interview I have gotten has led to, can you bring us your portfolio.
Maybe they looked at what was online but in most cases it has meant they
just expect me to present my work when I get there.

I would say that 90% of portfolio review is in its presentation. I do want
to see something as a hiring manager, but really as time went on it was more
of a check point of "you are for real" than to really do any gauging of
talent, skill or experience.

So Jared, what information are you trying to gleen. To me, portfolios that
are online are not nearly as powerful as a printed portfolio or interactive
portfolio presented in person as if they were presenting their studio work.

I think it will be really hard to gauge any value from looking at a mix of
portfolios for interaction designers. What would be more valuable would be
how hiring managers think about portfolios for IxDs. it is obvious that Mark
and Peter think differently about where in the process of hiring portfolio
review belongs.

-- dave

On 4/4/07, Dmitry Nekrasovski <mail.dmitry at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> A couple of thoughts:
>
> 1) For a design position, _both_ the portfolio and the resume should
> be indicative of the person's skillset, process, and design
> sensibilities. If I were a hiring manager, I would be wary of an
> application where only one (or neither) of these projects a good
> impression. As Phillip states, "representative and professional"
> should do the trick.
>
> 2) I've noticed that this thread has elicited a number of viewpoints,
> but few actual portfolio links. This reminds me of recent discussion
> on the sigia-l list lamenting the lack of actual work being shown at
> this year's IA Summit.
>
> In that discussion, fingers were pointed at client confidentiality
> agreements and NDA's for preventing IA's from showing their best or
> most current work. I would expect that these issues lead to many IxD's
> being in the same boat.
>
> Dmitry
>
> On 4/4/07, Phillip Hunter <phillip at speechcycle.com> wrote:
> > As a hiring manager, I am very reluctant to even talk to someone without
> a
> > portfolio. I don't care about anything fancy, just something
> representative
> > and professional.
> >
> > ph
> >
> >
> >
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> > List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> > (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> > Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> > Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> > Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> > Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
> >
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/

4 Apr 2007 - 9:13pm
Phillip Hunter
2006

Mark,

I see your point, but I've met too many who can talk but not do. Plus, I
find that an appropriate portfolio shows maturity, care and preparation.
The ensuing conversation tells me if they had anything to do with it and
what. Just like an earlier thread discussed, there's a fair bit of false
claims in my field as well.

Our views could also be a symptom of the difference between our variations
of the IxD field. There are many designers (to use the lump term) in my
area who trot out on a resume all the projects they've been involved in.
But if they can't show me examples, to be followed up with a good
conversation about the hows and whys, then I'm wasting my time.

Let me emphasize that I tailor that to where the candidate falls on the
spectrum, which is what I mean by appropriate above. A (soon-to-be)
graduate should show and explain to me student projects and intern work. A
10-year veteran should show and discuss revenue-boosting projects for
multiple clients and client segments and should be able to explain design
success AND failures and the reasons for them.

I absolutely agree that the ability to communicate design philosophy well is
essential. I just like to have a context for the specific application of
that philosophy.

ph

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Schraad [mailto:mschraad at mac.com]
Sent: Wednesday, April 04, 2007 5:47 PM
To: phillip at speechcycle.com
Cc: 'IxDA Discuss'
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Excellent Portfolios for IxDs
(also:doemployerscare about portfolios?)

Not at all trying to be flippant here Phillip, but I am reluctant to
look at a portfolio if I have not first had a compelling
conversation. The ability to communicate and think about design is so
much more important than showing me pretty work that you may or may
not have had anything to do with.

Mark

4 Apr 2007 - 10:33pm
Manish Govind P...
2006

It's not always possible for a designer to show the
work done( screens/prototypes/documents ) on job-
could be due to IPR /Copyright issues. How should a
designer showcase his work then? Can merely talking
about the project and the processes involved and
responsibilities taken suffice? Can you really judge a
designer on mere talk? What are we looking for?

Manish Pillewar
Sr.UXD, Bangalore

--There are many designers (to use the lump term) in
my area who trot out on a resume all the projects
they've been involved in.
But if they can't show me examples, to be followed up
with a good conversation about the hows and whys, then
I'm wasting my time.

A 10-year veteran should show and discuss
revenue-boosting projects for multiple clients and
client segments and should be able to explain design
success AND failures and the reasons for them--

___________________________________________________________
All New Yahoo! Mail – Tired of unwanted email come-ons? Let our SpamGuard protect you. http://uk.docs.yahoo.com/nowyoucan.html

5 Apr 2007 - 12:23am
Phillip Hunter
2006

Manish,

Well, I hear this fairly often, and perhaps I am oversimplifying it, yet I
believe that it rarely applies to all or even most of the work a designer
does. Whether you are going to be independent and move from job to job, or
you simply find that it's time to move from one regularly employed position
to another, one of the biggest favors you can do yourself is to negotiate
the right to show something. Maybe it's a de-branded version of a design or
a protected site that you only show in person or a stripped down prototype
or just screen shots or, failing negotiation, just a well-written and
thorough description of the design challenge and how it was solved (a case
study, if you will)... The point is, for me as a hiring manager, the
designer should take responsibility to be able to demonstrate that they can
do the work and achieve goals/results. Put that together with really
talking the talk and you've got a very attractive combination. But throwing
up your hands and saying "I can't show anything" doesn't usually get very
far.

Phillip

-----Original Message-----
From: Manish Pillewar [mailto:manish1022 at yahoo.co.uk]
Sent: Wednesday, April 04, 2007 11:34 PM
To: phillip at speechcycle.com; 'IxDA Discuss'
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Excellent Portfolios for IxDs
(also:doemployerscare about portfolios?)

It's not always possible for a designer to show the
work done( screens/prototypes/documents ) on job-
could be due to IPR /Copyright issues. How should a
designer showcase his work then? Can merely talking
about the project and the processes involved and
responsibilities taken suffice? Can you really judge a
designer on mere talk? What are we looking for?

Manish Pillewar
Sr.UXD, Bangalore

--There are many designers (to use the lump term) in
my area who trot out on a resume all the projects
they've been involved in.
But if they can't show me examples, to be followed up
with a good conversation about the hows and whys, then
I'm wasting my time.

A 10-year veteran should show and discuss
revenue-boosting projects for multiple clients and
client segments and should be able to explain design
success AND failures and the reasons for them--

___________________________________________________________
All New Yahoo! Mail - Tired of unwanted email come-ons? Let our SpamGuard
protect you. http://uk.docs.yahoo.com/nowyoucan.html

5 Apr 2007 - 9:27am
Vishal Subraman...
2005

> It's not always possible for a designer to show the
> work done( screens/prototypes/documents ) on job-
> could be due to IPR /Copyright issues.

I concur. Leave alone putting material online, even showing some key
portfolio pieces may not be possible. It was real easy putting work I'd done
in school & other individual projects. Work done in a company is a different
ball game. And as Mark mentioned, one could put a major website as a
portfoio piece, and just have created the ad banner. But again, the
portfolio is not meant to replace the conversation part, thats always the
most important....but its just so much better then just a resume.

And Ixd'ers mostly wouldn't have a need to build a snazzy portfolio, a
simple one detailing the projects done, their role and approach/ philosophy
would suffice.

--
-Vishal
http://www.vishaliyer.com

5 Apr 2007 - 10:19am
Dan Saffer
2003

On Apr 4, 2007, at 8:33 PM, Manish Pillewar wrote:

> It's not always possible for a designer to show the
> work done( screens/prototypes/documents ) on job-
> could be due to IPR /Copyright issues. How should a
> designer showcase his work then? Can merely talking
> about the project and the processes involved and
> responsibilities taken suffice? Can you really judge a
> designer on mere talk? What are we looking for?

This is why ideally you need two portfolios: one online for projects
that can be publicly displayed and discussed. Then a second (paper/
digital/physical) portfolio that can be talked about privately and
only in-person, showing things like process. Obviously, you don't
want to show documents that will get you in legal trouble. Those you
might just have to speak to. Obliquely.

Dan

5 Apr 2007 - 11:11am
Azmir
2007

Dave Werner's portfolio always stands out: http://okaydave.com/
I'm certain his online portfolio presentation opened many doors and
started many conversations for him.

-Azmir

Yep, I think that's one of the conundrums of our industry. I don't know if
the people who are recruiting (other than inside the industry) know what
they want to see either.

As an example, I am currently on a search mode for tsomething and have had a
number of recruiters contact me regarding UI Design, IxD, and Information
Architecture. What I find , shall I say amazing, is that I've had a few of
those who want to recruit for IxD, but in the job description it's more
about UI Design. Then, they've looked at my portfolio and asked to see
different stuff.

~d

On 4/4/07, Gustavo Gawry <gustavogawry at gmail.com> wrote:

>
> That's one topic that I'm really interested too... I'm used to see only
> graphic design portfolios...
> Which is the best way to present your works to an employer?
>
> On 4/4/07, Jared M. Spool <jspool at uie.com> wrote:

> >
> > Hello everyone,
> >
> > I'm interested in some examples of excellent online portfolios for
> > interaction designers.
> >
> > What's the best way to represent one's work to potential employers?
> >
> > Anyone have some rockin' examples they want to share with the group?
> >
> > Jared
> >
> > Jared M. Spool
> > User Interface Engineering
> > 510 Turnpike St., Suite 102, North Andover, MA 01845
> > e: jspool at uie.com p: +1 978 327 5561
> > http://uie.com Blog: http://uie.com/brainsparks

5 Apr 2007 - 11:50am
.pauric
2006

On copyright: my understanding is that displaying your work falls under
fair-use. However I'm not advocating being seen as someone who has no regard
for contract, intellectual property or NDAs. I would feel safe displaying
images of a UI that is in the public domain.

Either way, an image is one thing, describing the logic/process that helped
you arrived at that design is far more important.

Its worth noting there are portfolio services out that serve up a
standardised format. This may address the middle ground between CV and
proper portfolio that generic recruiters seem to need.
<http://www.coroflot.com>
This is nothing more than a focused flickr clone but I thought I'd throw it
out there.

5 Apr 2007 - 11:57am
DanP
2006

Regarding portfolios, I've been in a bit of a pickle on this one as
well, having only worked on secure projects for the past two years.
My plan is to do a full "sample" project of my own creation, and post
that to my web site when I can get the time... It's a real time sync,
but it's worth the effort. I suspect that even the website itself
will be an indicator of skills.

While this may be a dilemma, it doesn't absolve me of the
responsibility to build a workable portfolio - showing that I can
think, design and at least sketch my ideas.. That's a minimal
requirement of any prospective employer, and I've found that IxDN
recruiters and employers have been very understanding of the
situation. Portfolios make sense - and the same dilemma often faces
visual designers... it's surmountable.

I've really appreciated this thread - very informative, thanks all!

-Dan

----------------------------------------------
Dan Peknik * Interaction Design
NASA Ames Research Center
----------------------------------------------

5 Apr 2007 - 12:24pm
Jason Brush
2007

Great example, Azmir.

One thing which is especially effective about Dave's portfolio is
that he provides excellent context for his work, wrapping it in a
narrative. (The use of video in this regard is outstanding.)

Independent of the quality of the work that's being showcased, the
evident concern for the portfolio as a standalone experience says a
lot about the portfolio's author.

Jason

On Apr 5, 2007, at 9:11 AM, Azmir wrote:

> Dave Werner's portfolio always stands out: http://okaydave.com/
> I'm certain his online portfolio presentation opened many doors and
> started many conversations for him.
>
> -Azmir
>
>
> Yep, I think that's one of the conundrums of our industry. I don't
> know if
> the people who are recruiting (other than inside the industry) know
> what
> they want to see either.
>
> As an example, I am currently on a search mode for tsomething and
> have had a
> number of recruiters contact me regarding UI Design, IxD, and
> Information
> Architecture. What I find , shall I say amazing, is that I've had
> a few of
> those who want to recruit for IxD, but in the job description it's
> more
> about UI Design. Then, they've looked at my portfolio and asked to
> see
> different stuff.
>
> ~d
>
>
>
> On 4/4/07, Gustavo Gawry <gustavogawry at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> >
> > That's one topic that I'm really interested too... I'm used to
> see only
> > graphic design portfolios...
> > Which is the best way to present your works to an employer?
> >
> > On 4/4/07, Jared M. Spool <jspool at uie.com> wrote:
>
> > >
> > > Hello everyone,
> > >
> > > I'm interested in some examples of excellent online portfolios for
> > > interaction designers.
> > >
> > > What's the best way to represent one's work to potential
> employers?
> > >
> > > Anyone have some rockin' examples they want to share with the
> group?
> > >
> > > Jared
> > >
> > > Jared M. Spool
> > > User Interface Engineering
> > > 510 Turnpike St., Suite 102, North Andover, MA 01845
> > > e: jspool at uie.com p: +1 978 327 5561
> > > http://uie.com Blog: http://uie.com/brainsparks
>
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

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