Excellent Portfolios forIxDs(also:doemployerscare about portfolios?)

5 Apr 2007 - 7:36am
7 years ago
3 replies
408 reads
Mark Schraad
2006

There are lots of kinds of designers out there with many skills and many experiences - and likely jobs for each.

Designers that make things pretty are fairly easy to find. Most hiring managers do not bother to go through a portfolio indepth so as to understand the problem/constraints/solution relationship.

Many designers do not think through interaciton models with enough scrutiny - and many are not required to. Picking from an existing pattern library, or replicating the market leader is a fairly simple task. A portfolio will not typically give insight into the depth and originality of the solution.

Optimal - a few case studis that describe the problem with constraints, and the solutions proposed, as well as what was chosen - better yet, have the design presents.

I am guessing that is why many firms now ask candidate to complete a quiz or solve a problem. I can't tell you how many slick portfolios I have looked at, only to find out that the designer set the type or placed content into an html document.

Of course it all depends upon the type of job. I am typically more interested in someone who can think and solve complex visual and interaction problems.

Mark

On Wednesday, April 04, 2007, at 05:53PM, "Peter Merholz" <peterme at peterme.com> wrote:

>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
>>>
>>>
>>>
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Comments

5 Apr 2007 - 1:08pm
Peter Merholz
2004

I take exception to the implication that, because I'm portfolio
oriented, I'm somehow not interested in designers approaching complex
programs.

And now, to address specific points.

> Designers that make things pretty are fairly easy to find.

In my experience, this is actually not at all true. People with
excellent visual sense are remarkably difficult to find. Perhaps I
have high standards.

> Many designers do not think through interaciton models with enough
> scrutiny - and many are not required to. Picking from an existing
> pattern library, or replicating the market leader is a fairly
> simple task. A portfolio will not typically give insight into the
> depth and originality of the solution.

Yes, but it will be a start. Also, at the end of the day, what
matters is what gets launched.

This is not to suggest I don't want to see process documents. I love
deliverables.

> I am guessing that is why many firms now ask candidate to complete
> a quiz or solve a problem. I can't tell you how many slick
> portfolios I have looked at, only to find out that the designer set
> the type or placed content into an html document.

Perhaps I'm am just better attuned to reading between the lines in
portfolios.

> Of course it all depends upon the type of job. I am typically more
> interested in someone who can think and solve complex visual and
> interaction problems.

As am I. And you can understand that through smart portfolio
presentation, and an eye for reading portfolios.

--peter

5 Apr 2007 - 1:28pm
James Melzer
2004

We had this exact conversation at an event here in DC last year...

What I said then (and will repeat now) is that the interview should be
about telling a compelling story of how the applicant solved a design
problem. The applicant's portfolio provides the touchstone or
framework for that story. I would rather see three sketchy artifacts
illustrating a cool design story than see one live site with no story
at all. So much of what we do is done in teams anyway that it's
usually impossible to point at a product and say 'I did that'.

The portfolio starts the conversation.

~ James

--
James Melzer
http://www.jamesmelzer.com
http://del.icio.us/jamesmelzer

5 Apr 2007 - 1:31pm
Dave Malouf
2005

On 4/5/07, Peter Merholz <peterme at peterme.com> wrote:
> > Of course it all depends upon the type of job. I am typically more
> > interested in someone who can think and solve complex visual and
> > interaction problems.
>
> As am I. And you can understand that through smart portfolio
> presentation, and an eye for reading portfolios.

Any examples of a portfolio that you feel accomplishes this? I think
that was really the original request, no?

As a sometimes job looker, I really wonder the ROI benefits of
creating an amazing portfolio. Maybe at a certain level your
networking skills are more important than your portfolio, but for low
and mid level designers the portfolio is necessary to open the door
more often than not.

-- dave

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

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