IxD Portfolios @ Interviews: What Do You Do?

12 Jan 2009 - 4:18pm
5 years ago
18 replies
1087 reads
Jen Randolph
2008

I'm curious as to how other interaction designers display and speak to their
work on job interviews, and what techniques, devices, layouts, methods, etc.
resonate with those hiring them.

I usually bring printed samples of my work and paperclip them together into
different projects. That allows me to take all the flow diagrams,
wireframes, etc. and spread them out on a table and talk about them page by
page. I've gone on a number of interviews where a computer was not available
to show my work, so this has worked out nicely for me.

What are some of the ways other IxDers have presented their work?

--
Jen Randolph
jen at jenrandolph.com
www.jenrandolph.com

Comments

14 Jan 2009 - 7:57pm
Scott Berkun
2008

A better question might be what do people who hire interaction designers
want to see. And depending on the kinds of clients/jobs you're looking for
this will change.

On the full-time job end, I can tell you as someone who has interviewed
dozens of designers for full-time positions, portfolios are limited,
especially if I'm interviewing for interaction design. First, they're not
interactive. It's like a snapshot from a movie: it's missing a dimension. A
URL to a website they've worked on, even their own, leads to much better
exploration of how they think about design. Second, it's hard to know as an
interviewer exactly who did what from looking at a portfolio. Not that a
candidate is lying (though it does happen), but a website or product
represents ideas from dozens of people and contributions from dozens of
people - hard to figure out exactly why it ended up as it did or who
deserves credit for what.

The best use of an hour interview with someone, with the goal of evaluating
their interaction design ability, is to have them design things in the
interview, with the interviewer as a mostly friendly collaborator.
Portfolios can help here as they lead to questions like "What would you do
differently now? What went wrong? What if your users suddenly aged 30 years,
or I doubled your schedule - how would you redesign this? Go show me on the
whiteboard..." etc. Design is an activity, and portfolios and most
conversations they lend themselves to are passive. In an interview I want
active, since the job is active. A good interview should give candidates a
chance to show what they'd do in the job, rather than just describe what
they've done in the past. A portfolio and proof of basic skills
(wireframing, prototyping, etc.) should be covered in 10-15 minutes of a 60
minute interaction designer interview. They're basic requirements, not
hiring credentials. I have never heard anyone say "These wireframes are
amazing! End the interview - I'm hiring you now!" Unless of course their job
was to spend 90% of their time just making wireframes - but so far, I
haven't seen a job title for UI Wireframe enginner. But who knows.

Unless the designer is working in isolation (note: this never happens),
their ability to talk about design, to debate and explore issues with other
people, and to be persuasive is just as important as their design talent. If
I don't get a candidate up on the whiteboard designing something, debating
with me on different alternatives, even if it's just redesigning my office,
my chair, their house, *something*, I'm failing them in not giving them a
chance to show their real stuff. Frankly they could have the most amazing
portfolio in the world, but unless their job consists of showing their
portfolio to developers, markerters and clients, it really should not be the
central focus of a job interview.

For clients, something I have less experience with, it's about credibility
and proccess. As a client, I want to know the designer is credible, and that
comes from references and how much good work they can show that is like the
work I need. Flow diagrams, workflows, wireframes... that's all stuff I
don't care about - why would I? Those are the designers tools, they're the
means, not the ends, I wouldn't ask an architect, a catereer or a hair
stylist to show me their tools, or interview them based on their tool
knowledge - instead I'd care primarily about the results they're capable of,
how reliable they'll be and if it's personality match.

-Scott

Scott Berkun
www.scottberkun.com

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Jen
Randolph
Sent: Monday, January 12, 2009 1:19 PM
To: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] IxD Portfolios @ Interviews: What Do You Do?

I'm curious as to how other interaction designers display and speak to their
work on job interviews, and what techniques, devices, layouts, methods, etc.
resonate with those hiring them.

15 Jan 2009 - 12:38pm
Michael Micheletti
2006

On Mon, Jan 12, 2009 at 1:18 PM, Jen Randolph <jen at jenrandolph.com> wrote:

> What are some of the ways other IxDers have presented their work?
>
Hi Jen,

I have a small portfolio book that I bring to interviews. For significant
systems, sites, or software, I'll include a single page from a design or
requirements specification facing a single screenshot that shows how that
requirement was delivered in the finished system. For smaller websites, I
may include only a screenshot. I use the book for storytelling. Rather than
expecting an interviewer to read through all the many pages of some
whopping-big design specification, we flip through the book together and
talk about how a project moved from design to reality. It helps an interview
become a conversation, and lets the interviewer drill down into detail about
a project that he or she finds interesting.

I include URLs on my resume, but have no expectation that busy interviewers
or hiring managers will have visited them. Hope this is helpful,

Michael Micheletti

15 Jan 2009 - 1:21pm
Jen Randolph
2008

Scott:
Thanks for your detailed reply! I too feel much better about the
interview when the interviewer has me design something on the spot. I
can talk about my work until I'm blue in the face, but I feel like I
can really *show* the interviewer my strengths if I'm sketching
something out for them.

As an interviewer, though, I'd like to ask you this question: when a
candidate for a job has come to your office for the interview, how do
you like to see them present their work samples to you? Maybe a
sketchbook, maybe a nice binder full of work, or something along my
method - loose pages that can be spread out? Or maybe has there been
any in-person presentation of work that has stood out to you in the
past, and that you wish more candidates did?

I'm sort of trying to find out if there happens to be any sort of
"standard" for this when it comes to the IxD field. Many of my
graphic design friends bring a book to their interviews, and leave
some samples and a business card behind; my motion graphics friends
bring a demo reel. I want to know if something like this exists for
IxD interviews.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=37179

15 Jan 2009 - 1:35pm
SemanticWill
2007

Along these lines, this discussion came up a lot this morning on Twitter -

Imagine a world in which you work full time creating a lot of deliverables,
sketches, wireframes, sitemaps, task flows, user stories, but because of the
NDA and various work product ownership things signed - you can never show
any work - none of your portfolio. Technically, having done this for 14
years now, ever single deliverable I have ever done is locked up behind some
legal contract, and I am pretty sure that is true for most IxDers out there.
So how do you walk into an interview - legally - when we can't show anything
we've ever done. There is no "you can't show any of this proprietary work
unless you are applying for another job," - clause - and we are all guilty
of this because sitting on the other side of the table - we all expect
candidates to show a portfolio (even though we know they legally can't - so
we are asking them to break a contract to get a job), and then before we
give them a job, we say "We know we wanted to see your portfolio to get this
job - but if you ever leave here, you can't show any work done here to
anyone else - ever" It seems insane, hyprocritical, legally precarious if
not bordering on pathalogical. Yet we all perpetuate this little "don't ask
don't tell" policy as if everything is hunky dorey.

~ will

"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Will Evans | User Experience Architect
tel: +1.617.281.1281 | will at semanticfoundry.com
aim: semanticwill
gtalk: semanticwill
twitter: semanticwill
skype: semanticwill
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 1:21 PM, Jen Randolph <jen at jenrandolph.com> wrote:

> Scott:
> Thanks for your detailed reply! I too feel much better about the
> interview when the interviewer has me design something on the spot. I
> can talk about my work until I'm blue in the face, but I feel like I
> can really *show* the interviewer my strengths if I'm sketching
> something out for them.
>
> As an interviewer, though, I'd like to ask you this question: when a
> candidate for a job has come to your office for the interview, how do
> you like to see them present their work samples to you? Maybe a
> sketchbook, maybe a nice binder full of work, or something along my
> method - loose pages that can be spread out? Or maybe has there been
> any in-person presentation of work that has stood out to you in the
> past, and that you wish more candidates did?
>
> I'm sort of trying to find out if there happens to be any sort of
> "standard" for this when it comes to the IxD field. Many of my
> graphic design friends bring a book to their interviews, and leave
> some samples and a business card behind; my motion graphics friends
> bring a demo reel. I want to know if something like this exists for
> IxD interviews.
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=37179
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

15 Jan 2009 - 1:46pm
russwilson
2005

This is particularly true for application design (my focus) versus
website design.

Russell Wilson
Blog: http://www.dexodesign.com

Sent from my iPhone

On Jan 15, 2009, at 12:35 PM, "Will Evans" <wkevans4 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Along these lines, this discussion came up a lot this morning on
> Twitter -
>
> Imagine a world in which you work full time creating a lot of
> deliverables,
> sketches, wireframes, sitemaps, task flows, user stories, but
> because of the
> NDA and various work product ownership things signed - you can
> never show
> any work - none of your portfolio. Technically, having done this for
> 14
> years now, ever single deliverable I have ever done is locked up
> behind some
> legal contract, and I am pretty sure that is true for most IxDers
> out there.
> So how do you walk into an interview - legally - when we can't show
> anything
> we've ever done. There is no "you can't show any of this proprietary
> work
> unless you are applying for another job," - clause - and we are all
> guilty
> of this because sitting on the other side of the table - we all expect
> candidates to show a portfolio (even though we know they legally
> can't - so
> we are asking them to break a contract to get a job), and then
> before we
> give them a job, we say "We know we wanted to see your portfolio to
> get this
> job - but if you ever leave here, you can't show any work done here
> to
> anyone else - ever" It seems insane, hyprocritical, legally
> precarious if
> not bordering on pathalogical. Yet we all perpetuate this little
> "don't ask
> don't tell" policy as if everything is hunky dorey.
>
>
> ~ will
>
> "Where you innovate, how you innovate,
> and what you innovate are design problems"
>
> ---
> ---
> ---
> ---
> ---
> ---
> ---
> ---
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> Will Evans | User Experience Architect
> tel: +1.617.281.1281 | will at semanticfoundry.com
> aim: semanticwill
> gtalk: semanticwill
> twitter: semanticwill
> skype: semanticwill
> ---
> ---
> ---
> ---
> ---
> ---
> ---
> ---
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>
>
> On Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 1:21 PM, Jen Randolph <jen at jenrandolph.com>
> wrote:
>
>> Scott:
>> Thanks for your detailed reply! I too feel much better about the
>> interview when the interviewer has me design something on the spot. I
>> can talk about my work until I'm blue in the face, but I feel like I
>> can really *show* the interviewer my strengths if I'm sketching
>> something out for them.
>>
>> As an interviewer, though, I'd like to ask you this question: when a
>> candidate for a job has come to your office for the interview, how do
>> you like to see them present their work samples to you? Maybe a
>> sketchbook, maybe a nice binder full of work, or something along my
>> method - loose pages that can be spread out? Or maybe has there been
>> any in-person presentation of work that has stood out to you in the
>> past, and that you wish more candidates did?
>>
>> I'm sort of trying to find out if there happens to be any sort of
>> "standard" for this when it comes to the IxD field. Many of my
>> graphic design friends bring a book to their interviews, and leave
>> some samples and a business card behind; my motion graphics friends
>> bring a demo reel. I want to know if something like this exists for
>> IxD interviews.
>>
>>
>> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
>> Posted from the new ixda.org
>> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=37179
>>
>>
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

15 Jan 2009 - 2:01pm
Scott Berkun
2008

Good question. This is one reason it pays to work on projects that ship -
then you can always show the stuff that made it out the door, which makes it
easier to talk about the things that didn't.

By way of perspective, programmers have a similar problem. They can't show
their code, algorithms, etc. so it's worthwhile to ask how the larger
programming world handles it. Generally they solve it by talking through
programming problems in the interview (whiteboards), or asking people to
look at code, critique it, or rewrite it. But I'm sure there is always some
discussion of proprietary knowledge - it's just up to the candidate not to
go too far.

And lastly, this is another good reason to do pro-bono work, especially if
you are a junior designer, as it's a way to build a portfolio that dodges
the issues Will points out.

-Scott

Scott Berkun
www.scottberkun.com

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Will
Evans
Sent: Thursday, January 15, 2009 10:35 AM
To: Jen Randolph
Cc: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] IxD Portfolios @ Interviews: What Do You Do?

> So how do you walk into an interview - legally - when we can't show
anything we've ever
> done. There is no "you can't show any of this proprietary work unless you
are
> applying for another job," - clause

15 Jan 2009 - 2:07pm
russwilson
2005

The problem is that you can't always show stuff just because it
shipped. There are still issues with exposing parts of the ui to non-
customers

Sent from my iPhone

On Jan 15, 2009, at 1:01 PM, "Scott Berkun" <info at scottberkun.com>
wrote:

>
> Good question. This is one reason it pays to work on projects that
> ship -
> then you can always show the stuff that made it out the door, which
> makes it
> easier to talk about the things that didn't.
>
> By way of perspective, programmers have a similar problem. They
> can't show
> their code, algorithms, etc. so it's worthwhile to ask how the larger
> programming world handles it. Generally they solve it by talking
> through
> programming problems in the interview (whiteboards), or asking
> people to
> look at code, critique it, or rewrite it. But I'm sure there is
> always some
> discussion of proprietary knowledge - it's just up to the candidate
> not to
> go too far.
>
> And lastly, this is another good reason to do pro-bono work,
> especially if
> you are a junior designer, as it's a way to build a portfolio that
> dodges
> the issues Will points out.
>
> -Scott
>
> Scott Berkun
> www.scottberkun.com
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
> Will
> Evans
> Sent: Thursday, January 15, 2009 10:35 AM
> To: Jen Randolph
> Cc: discuss at ixda.org
> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] IxD Portfolios @ Interviews: What Do You
> Do?
>
>
>> So how do you walk into an interview - legally - when we can't show
> anything we've ever
>> done. There is no "you can't show any of this proprietary work
>> unless you
> are
>> applying for another job," - clause
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

15 Jan 2009 - 2:17pm
Mark Schraad
2006

In a standard one hour interview I think it is pretty easy to get to the
heart of deliverables such as use cases, process flows, wireframes and even
taxonomies and nav structures. A 30 minute white board session with some
well thought out problem statements or project briefs help.
Complex interactions aren't much help in static form anyway. I know I am in
the minority here... but regardless of whether you are interviewing visual
designers, interactive designers or information architects, if your are
interviewing for user experience, I think you cane learn much more from
conversation than viewing a picture book or web site (or resume for that
matter).

None of this, however, helps the sometimes clueless (to IA IX UI and UX)
recruiter. That being said... there are some very sharp recruiters that
specialize in our field and subscribe to this list.

Mark

On Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 1:35 PM, Will Evans <wkevans4 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Along these lines, this discussion came up a lot this morning on Twitter -
>
> Imagine a world in which you work full time creating a lot of deliverables,
> sketches, wireframes, sitemaps, task flows, user stories, but because of
> the
> NDA and various work product ownership things signed - you can never show
> any work - none of your portfolio. Technically, having done this for 14
> years now, ever single deliverable I have ever done is locked up behind
> some
> legal contract, and I am pretty sure that is true for most IxDers out
> there.
> So how do you walk into an interview - legally - when we can't show
> anything
> we've ever done. There is no "you can't show any of this proprietary work
> unless you are applying for another job," - clause - and we are all guilty
> of this because sitting on the other side of the table - we all expect
> candidates to show a portfolio (even though we know they legally can't - so
> we are asking them to break a contract to get a job), and then before we
> give them a job, we say "We know we wanted to see your portfolio to get
> this
> job - but if you ever leave here, you can't show any work done here to
> anyone else - ever" It seems insane, hyprocritical, legally precarious if
> not bordering on pathalogical. Yet we all perpetuate this little "don't ask
> don't tell" policy as if everything is hunky dorey.
>
>
> ~ will
>
> "Where you innovate, how you innovate,
> and what you innovate are design problems"
>
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Will Evans | User Experience Architect
> tel: +1.617.281.1281 | will at semanticfoundry.com
> aim: semanticwill
> gtalk: semanticwill
> twitter: semanticwill
> skype: semanticwill
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>
>
> On Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 1:21 PM, Jen Randolph <jen at jenrandolph.com> wrote:
>
> > Scott:
> > Thanks for your detailed reply! I too feel much better about the
> > interview when the interviewer has me design something on the spot. I
> > can talk about my work until I'm blue in the face, but I feel like I
> > can really *show* the interviewer my strengths if I'm sketching
> > something out for them.
> >
> > As an interviewer, though, I'd like to ask you this question: when a
> > candidate for a job has come to your office for the interview, how do
> > you like to see them present their work samples to you? Maybe a
> > sketchbook, maybe a nice binder full of work, or something along my
> > method - loose pages that can be spread out? Or maybe has there been
> > any in-person presentation of work that has stood out to you in the
> > past, and that you wish more candidates did?
> >
> > I'm sort of trying to find out if there happens to be any sort of
> > "standard" for this when it comes to the IxD field. Many of my
> > graphic design friends bring a book to their interviews, and leave
> > some samples and a business card behind; my motion graphics friends
> > bring a demo reel. I want to know if something like this exists for
> > IxD interviews.
> >
> >
> > . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> > Posted from the new ixda.org
> > http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=37179
> >
> >
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> >
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

15 Jan 2009 - 2:45pm
Katie Albers
2005

This has [mostly] been my situation for most of my career, as
well...especially since I do a lot of work for start-ups, where the
*existance of the company* is also under NDA.

On the one hand, I've been lucky to have a couple of Big Name clients
that I worked for, and, most recently, a major head-to-toe
redevelopment of an entire strategy plus execution, but for the most
part, the Big Name stuff is....er....not my best work (usually, I've
heard the mantra "just do it the way we've always done it. And yes,
all the body text has to be grey" waaaaay too often.) The stuff that's
interesting and good and represents a substantial contribution to a
business is hidden away under wraps.

What do I do about it? I tell people the work is under wraps...and
they wouldn't want me to show their stuff, so they'll have to deal
with the fact that other people have lawyers too. I do now carve out
an exception in my contract and consulting work that I can show
printed-out color samples of X instances of that work to prospective
clients who are past a certain point in the process of hiring me.

And I have a portfolio that emphasizes the process of the sites that I
wish I never had to admit I worked on (but hey, the landlord is picky
about his rent), rather than emphasizing the product. I also say
things when asked about my experience like "I addressed [This Kind of
Problem] for [This Kind of Company] by doing this or recommending
this..." or whatever.

But even so, I basically have 15 years for which I can't show my best
work and the work I can show is fairly pedestrian and basically
illustrates my ability to wireframe or usability test or develop a use
case rather than applying a full-range of User Experience tools.

On the other hand, when I interview, I ask people to sketch out how
they would go about working a particular business issue -- They can
use post-its, white boards, sketch pads, computer...whatever, I'm not
interested in their tools, I want to see how they think, and saying
"I'd have to do some serious work over in this area because of..." is
okay, as long as they know they're skipping something to follow their
main narrative.

kt

Katie Albers
Founder & Principal Consultant
FirstThought
User Experience Strategy & Project Management
310 356 7550
katie at firstthought.com

On Jan 15, 2009, at 10:35 AM, Will Evans wrote:

> Along these lines, this discussion came up a lot this morning on
> Twitter -
>
> Imagine a world in which you work full time creating a lot of
> deliverables,
> sketches, wireframes, sitemaps, task flows, user stories, but
> because of the
> NDA and various work product ownership things signed - you can
> never show
> any work - none of your portfolio. Technically, having done this for
> 14
> years now, ever single deliverable I have ever done is locked up
> behind some
> legal contract, and I am pretty sure that is true for most IxDers
> out there.
> So how do you walk into an interview - legally - when we can't show
> anything
> we've ever done. There is no "you can't show any of this proprietary
> work
> unless you are applying for another job," - clause - and we are all
> guilty
> of this because sitting on the other side of the table - we all expect
> candidates to show a portfolio (even though we know they legally
> can't - so
> we are asking them to break a contract to get a job), and then
> before we
> give them a job, we say "We know we wanted to see your portfolio to
> get this
> job - but if you ever leave here, you can't show any work done here
> to
> anyone else - ever" It seems insane, hyprocritical, legally
> precarious if
> not bordering on pathalogical. Yet we all perpetuate this little
> "don't ask
> don't tell" policy as if everything is hunky dorey.
>
>
> ~ will
>
> "Where you innovate, how you innovate,
> and what you innovate are design problems"
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Will Evans | User Experience Architect
> tel: +1.617.281.1281 | will at semanticfoundry.com
> aim: semanticwill
> gtalk: semanticwill
> twitter: semanticwill
> skype: semanticwill
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>
>
> On Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 1:21 PM, Jen Randolph <jen at jenrandolph.com>
> wrote:
>
>> Scott:
>> Thanks for your detailed reply! I too feel much better about the
>> interview when the interviewer has me design something on the spot. I
>> can talk about my work until I'm blue in the face, but I feel like I
>> can really *show* the interviewer my strengths if I'm sketching
>> something out for them.
>>
>> As an interviewer, though, I'd like to ask you this question: when a
>> candidate for a job has come to your office for the interview, how do
>> you like to see them present their work samples to you? Maybe a
>> sketchbook, maybe a nice binder full of work, or something along my
>> method - loose pages that can be spread out? Or maybe has there been
>> any in-person presentation of work that has stood out to you in the
>> past, and that you wish more candidates did?
>>
>> I'm sort of trying to find out if there happens to be any sort of
>> "standard" for this when it comes to the IxD field. Many of my
>> graphic design friends bring a book to their interviews, and leave
>> some samples and a business card behind; my motion graphics friends
>> bring a demo reel. I want to know if something like this exists for
>> IxD interviews.
>>
>>
>> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
>> Posted from the new ixda.org
>> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=37179
>>
>>
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
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15 Jan 2009 - 2:50pm
Katie Albers
2005

Actually, the stickiest NDA I ever had to sign was for a product that
shipped...it also ran only on a particular form of *nix (that no
longer exists) so I couldn't even carry a laptop that ran the product.

And that doesn't even include the government stuff...

Katie Albers
Founder & Principal Consultant
FirstThought
User Experience Strategy & Project Management
310 356 7550
katie at firstthought.com

On Jan 15, 2009, at 11:07 AM, Russell Wilson wrote:

> The problem is that you can't always show stuff just because it
> shipped. There are still issues with exposing parts of the ui to
> non-customers
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> On Jan 15, 2009, at 1:01 PM, "Scott Berkun" <info at scottberkun.com>
> wrote:
>
>>
>> Good question. This is one reason it pays to work on projects that
>> ship -
>> then you can always show the stuff that made it out the door, which
>> makes it
>> easier to talk about the things that didn't.
>>
>> By way of perspective, programmers have a similar problem. They
>> can't show
>> their code, algorithms, etc. so it's worthwhile to ask how the larger
>> programming world handles it. Generally they solve it by talking
>> through
>> programming problems in the interview (whiteboards), or asking
>> people to
>> look at code, critique it, or rewrite it. But I'm sure there is
>> always some
>> discussion of proprietary knowledge - it's just up to the candidate
>> not to
>> go too far.
>>
>> And lastly, this is another good reason to do pro-bono work,
>> especially if
>> you are a junior designer, as it's a way to build a portfolio that
>> dodges
>> the issues Will points out.
>>
>> -Scott
>>
>> Scott Berkun
>> www.scottberkun.com
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
>> [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf
>> Of Will
>> Evans
>> Sent: Thursday, January 15, 2009 10:35 AM
>> To: Jen Randolph
>> Cc: discuss at ixda.org
>> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] IxD Portfolios @ Interviews: What Do
>> You Do?
>>
>>
>>> So how do you walk into an interview - legally - when we can't show
>> anything we've ever
>>> done. There is no "you can't show any of this proprietary work
>>> unless you
>> are
>>> applying for another job," - clause
>>
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

15 Jan 2009 - 3:00pm
Katie Albers
2005

I absolutely agree, Mark. In fact, I think one of the major failures
of the whole portfolio model is that human beings react strongly and
vicerally to pictures, even when they're assessing processes. We are
just as guilty as other people of thinking "I don't like the blue"
when we see a screen, and even if you treat an interview as a design
review, you're stuck with that original reaction and the candidate is
stuck with trying to overcome it. More to the point, as you point out,
complex interactions do not translate well to static formats, and User
Experience is not principally about pictures.

When I'm interviewing, I tend to treat requests for a portfolio as an
Employer Intelligence Test....A remarkable number fail.

Katie

Katie Albers
Founder & Principal Consultant
FirstThought
User Experience Strategy & Project Management
310 356 7550
katie at firstthought.com

On Jan 15, 2009, at 11:17 AM, mark schraad wrote:

> In a standard one hour interview I think it is pretty easy to get to
> the
> heart of deliverables such as use cases, process flows, wireframes
> and even
> taxonomies and nav structures. A 30 minute white board session with
> some
> well thought out problem statements or project briefs help.
> Complex interactions aren't much help in static form anyway. I know
> I am in
> the minority here... but regardless of whether you are interviewing
> visual
> designers, interactive designers or information architects, if your
> are
> interviewing for user experience, I think you cane learn much more
> from
> conversation than viewing a picture book or web site (or resume for
> that
> matter).
>
> None of this, however, helps the sometimes clueless (to IA IX UI and
> UX)
> recruiter. That being said... there are some very sharp recruiters
> that
> specialize in our field and subscribe to this list.
>
> Mark
>
>
>
> On Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 1:35 PM, Will Evans <wkevans4 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>> Along these lines, this discussion came up a lot this morning on
>> Twitter -
>>
>> Imagine a world in which you work full time creating a lot of
>> deliverables,
>> sketches, wireframes, sitemaps, task flows, user stories, but
>> because of
>> the
>> NDA and various work product ownership things signed - you can
>> never show
>> any work - none of your portfolio. Technically, having done this
>> for 14
>> years now, ever single deliverable I have ever done is locked up
>> behind
>> some
>> legal contract, and I am pretty sure that is true for most IxDers out
>> there.
>> So how do you walk into an interview - legally - when we can't show
>> anything
>> we've ever done. There is no "you can't show any of this
>> proprietary work
>> unless you are applying for another job," - clause - and we are all
>> guilty
>> of this because sitting on the other side of the table - we all
>> expect
>> candidates to show a portfolio (even though we know they legally
>> can't - so
>> we are asking them to break a contract to get a job), and then
>> before we
>> give them a job, we say "We know we wanted to see your portfolio to
>> get
>> this
>> job - but if you ever leave here, you can't show any work done
>> here to
>> anyone else - ever" It seems insane, hyprocritical, legally
>> precarious if
>> not bordering on pathalogical. Yet we all perpetuate this little
>> "don't ask
>> don't tell" policy as if everything is hunky dorey.
>>
>>
>> ~ will
>>
>> "Where you innovate, how you innovate,
>> and what you innovate are design problems"
>>
>>
>> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Will Evans | User Experience Architect
>> tel: +1.617.281.1281 | will at semanticfoundry.com
>> aim: semanticwill
>> gtalk: semanticwill
>> twitter: semanticwill
>> skype: semanticwill
>>
>> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>
>>
>>
>> On Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 1:21 PM, Jen Randolph <jen at jenrandolph.com>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> Scott:
>>> Thanks for your detailed reply! I too feel much better about the
>>> interview when the interviewer has me design something on the
>>> spot. I
>>> can talk about my work until I'm blue in the face, but I feel like I
>>> can really *show* the interviewer my strengths if I'm sketching
>>> something out for them.
>>>
>>> As an interviewer, though, I'd like to ask you this question: when a
>>> candidate for a job has come to your office for the interview, how
>>> do
>>> you like to see them present their work samples to you? Maybe a
>>> sketchbook, maybe a nice binder full of work, or something along my
>>> method - loose pages that can be spread out? Or maybe has there been
>>> any in-person presentation of work that has stood out to you in the
>>> past, and that you wish more candidates did?
>>>
>>> I'm sort of trying to find out if there happens to be any sort of
>>> "standard" for this when it comes to the IxD field. Many of my
>>> graphic design friends bring a book to their interviews, and leave
>>> some samples and a business card behind; my motion graphics friends
>>> bring a demo reel. I want to know if something like this exists for
>>> IxD interviews.
>>>
>>>
>>> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
>>> Posted from the new ixda.org
>>> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=37179
>>>
>>>
>>> ________________________________________________________________
>>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>>
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

15 Jan 2009 - 3:20pm
russwilson
2005

I love that!

- Russ

> When I'm interviewing, I tend to treat requests for a portfolio as an
> Employer Intelligence Test....A remarkable number fail.
>
> Katie

15 Jan 2009 - 3:26pm
Mark Schraad
2006

There are a few requests that applications and employers ask that are worth
ignoring or sidestepping (IMO)... such as "salary range" in the first
conversation. These are the sort of filters that you can use to weed out
companies you will have absolutely no interest in working for. For me... the
mention of genius or rockstar is one that also comes to mind.

On Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 3:20 PM, Russell Wilson <russ.wilson at gmail.com>wrote:

> I love that!
>
> - Russ
>
>
>
> > When I'm interviewing, I tend to treat requests for a portfolio as an
> > Employer Intelligence Test....A remarkable number fail.
> >
> > Katie
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

15 Jan 2009 - 3:34pm
SemanticWill
2007

"genius" and "rockstar" tend to be used more often than not by folks who may
consider you one, but relative to them, the threshold is so low that a
mammal with an intact frontal lobe probably qualifies. It's all relative.
~ will

"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Will Evans | User Experience Architect
tel: +1.617.281.1281 | will at semanticfoundry.com
aim: semanticwill
gtalk: semanticwill
twitter: semanticwill
skype: semanticwill
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 3:26 PM, mark schraad <mschraad at gmail.com> wrote:

> There are a few requests that applications and employers ask that are worth
> ignoring or sidestepping (IMO)... such as "salary range" in the first
> conversation. These are the sort of filters that you can use to weed out
> companies you will have absolutely no interest in working for. For me...
> the
> mention of genius or rockstar is one that also comes to mind.
>
> On Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 3:20 PM, Russell Wilson <russ.wilson at gmail.com
> >wrote:
>
> > I love that!
> >
> > - Russ
> >
> >
> >
> > > When I'm interviewing, I tend to treat requests for a portfolio as an
> > > Employer Intelligence Test....A remarkable number fail.
> > >
> > > Katie
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> >
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

15 Jan 2009 - 4:08pm
Angel Marquez
2008

I had an acquaintance from Northern California contact me about a project
and I said this sounds like an NDA situation.

*Effective Date: *12/22/2008

*Participant: *Angel Marquez

In order to protect certain confidential information that may be disclosed
by Discloser ("DISCLOSER") to the "Participant" above, they agree that:

1.
2. The confidential information disclosed under this Agreement is
described as: website ideas, designs, keys to the magic kingdom.
3. The Participant shall use the confidential information received under
this Agreement for the purpose of: website building, design, funky crazy
coding, throwing things against the wall.
4. The Participant shall protect the disclosed confidential information
by using the same degree of care, but no less than a reasonable degree of
care, to prevent the unauthorized use, dissemination, or publication of the
confidential information as the Participant uses to protect its own
confidential information of a like nature.
5. The Participant shall have a duty to protect only that confidential
information which is (a) disclosed by DISCLOSER in writing and marked as
confidential at the time of disclosure, or which is (b) disclosed by
DISCLOSER in any other manner and is identified as confidential at the time
of the disclosure and is also summarized and designated as confidential in a
written memorandum delivered to the Participant within 30 days of the
disclosure.
6. This Agreement imposes no obligation upon the Participant with respect
to confidential information that becomes a matter of public knowledge
through no fault of the Participant.
7. The Participant does not acquire intellectual property rights under
this Agreement except the limited right of use set out in paragraph 2 above.
8. DISCLOSER makes no representation or warranty that any product or
business plans disclosed to the Participant will be marketed or carried out
as disclosed, or at all. Any actions taken by the Participant in response to
the disclosure of confidential information by DISCLOSER shall be solely at
its risk.
9. The Participant acknowledges and agrees that the confidential
information is provided on an AS IS basis.
DISCLOSER MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, WITH RESPECT TO THE
CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION AND HEREBY EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ANY AND ALL IMPLIED
WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. IN NO
EVENT SHALL DISCLOSER BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, OR
CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES IN CONNECTION WITH OR ARISING OUT OF THE PERFORMANCE
OR USE OF ANY PORTION OF THE CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.
10. Upon DISCLOSER's written request, the Participant shall return to
DISCLOSER or destroy all written material or electronic media and the
Participant shall deliver to DISCLOSER a written statement signed by the
Participant certifying same within 5 days.
11. The parties do not intend that any agency or partnership relationship
be created between them by this Agreement.
12. All additions or modifications to this Agreement must be made in
writing and must be signed by both parties.
13. This Agreement is made under and shall be construed according to the
laws of the California.

15 Jan 2009 - 4:22pm
Angel Marquez
2008

fyi, that is what he sent me.

15 Jan 2009 - 2:02pm
Karen McGrane
2005

I was a hiring manager at a large agency for more than 10 years, and
in that time I did hundreds of interviews and saw every conceivable
sort of portfolio. A few thoughts on what I expected to see:

- From my experience, there is no "standard" for interaction
design, as compared to what students in graphic design or other
fields are taught to present. Because the interview is often more
about process than end product, people present their work in a
variety of ways.

- That said, having a nicely organized and designed book does reflect
well on the candidate. I have seen both a spiral bound book and a
loose-leaf binder with clear plastic pockets for documents work well
when presented.

- Bring samples of the full range of deliverables you're experienced
in producing. If it's a very large document (like a spec), you can
bring just a section. Pick out a representative page that you can
highlight and talk about.

- Many deliverables (wireframes, sitemaps, inventories) are really
quite dull to look at without some context, and they all tend to look
the same after a while. Being able to tell an engaging story about the
"why" and the "how" is crucial. (This sounds obvious but many
people are not prepared with this.)

- Showing multiple iterations of a design is also a nice way to
illustrate your thinking; I always enjoyed seeing this but did not
see it that often.

- I always ask to see more strategic documents, illustrating how
decisions got made based on user research and business goals. Many
candidates did not have examples of this nature.

- I believe that having a printed portfolio to bring to the interview
is an absolute requirement, even if one also has an online portfolio.
It is frustrating to want to review work samples in the interview and
be told that "it's only online" which often means having to go
fetch a laptop. (Also, always bring a printed resume to the interview
as a courtesy.)

- Never leave work samples with the interviewer that you expect to
get back. If it's your only copy of a document, consider using a
photocopier. Asking for things to be returned will result at best in
the interviewer being annoyed and at worst in tears and
recriminations.

- YOU CAN edit your documents to be appropriate for your portfolio.
They don't have to be exactly what you showed the client. For
example, you can add a cover page that explains the goals of the
project, and rearrange the structure of the document if that seems
more appropriate.

Per Scott's point on getting the candidate actively engaged in
problem solving -- I have used a variety of approaches like this over
the years. The ideal interview for me is when the candidate is so
engaging that I don't feel the need to resort to exercises.
Conversely, sometimes I will jump to a portfolio review or a design
exercise when I feel the interview is going badly and I want to give
the candidate a chance to shift gears. One of my favorite exercises
is to ask the candidate for a review of our own corporate website. It
puts the person on the spot a bit and I can see how well they can
offer constructive feedback.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=37179

15 Jan 2009 - 9:49pm
DanP
2006

Hi Karen,

Can I impose on you to describe an example of how this item would be
accomplished? I'm curious if you'd seen this done well, and how it was
achieved.

Thanks for the great description,
-Dan

> - I always ask to see more strategic documents, illustrating how
> decisions got made based on user research and business goals. Many
> candidates did not have examples of this nature.

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