How to create interesting Portfolio?

23 May 2010 - 6:20pm
4 years ago
13 replies
10208 reads
Sunil Shrivastav
2008

Hi,

I need to create portfolio to show my ability to design end-to-end user experiences with examples of design proposals, scenarios, use cases, interaction flows, wireframes, UX architecture, visual designs and specifications.

I am looking for for some guidance and examples for how to create interesting portfolio.

Thanks, Sunil http://www.designindna.com/

Comments

24 May 2010 - 7:17pm
SemanticWill
2007

You already have all the tools you need, you just don't realize it yet.

The first step is to back away and re-imagine the problem space. For this particular one, you don't need to necessarily go all the way back to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, but pretty close. Getting work to put a head over your roof and food on the table would seem to be the most basic way to set the problem and solution - needing a job. This doesn't really require whiteboarding and blue ocean strategery. The next step is always harder, and I think most of us come at it bass-ackwards, as if every UX method, process, activity and deliverable we ever did was wipped from our memory like some godforsaken episode of Lost, leaving us quivering, alone, and drooling over a half-eaten pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. Instead of appling at least the semblance of UX to our own career development (and portfolio design), we jump right into the visual design and copywriting of our last 4 successful projects (leaving out our failures - just kidding - I'll get to this), crank open photoshop, or omnigraffle, or visio (shudder), and InDesign and begin from the end - our porfolio. I think this sucks. It is an afront the very craft we say we love.

What is the first thing we usually do when we take on a new UX project of almost any size and scope? If you answered "Kickoff Meeting" - then you get the cookie. What I mean though is not the traditional kick-off meeting with a bunch of knuckleheads gathered around a conference table with flourescent lights and stale baked goods from the local caterer. I mean engage in some of the following activities:

1. Project Definition, Goals and Objectives - ultimately this should be finding and getting your next perfect (or near perfect, or at least your next least sucking job/contract/gig). You need to have a vision of who you want to be in 2 years, not just that you want to eat next week. "Designers have a prescriptive job. We suggest how the world might be; we are futurists to some extent," said Bridget Botja de Mozota. Have a vision for where you want to be, and sketch out a strategic roadmap for how you think you can get there. Don't worry - that roadmap can and may include picking up some freelance gigs just to keep the rain off your head.

2. Competitive Analysis and Research: Identify and research your top 5 companies/agencies you would love to work for in a heartbeat. I think most UX Designers have this list floating around in their head, even if they never admit it. It could be a top tier agency like Ideo or frog, it could be reinventing the way social justice entrepenuers fund their next innovation - anything - but list it out, research those opporunities, gather data about the way the phrase their job requirements. Then identify at least 1 or two people at those companies and stalk them - virtually. Check them out on LinkedIn - try to find out what in their past, their writing, blogging, publishing, tweeting - got them hired at this dream position. Ask yourself these questions:
  2a: What do you need to learn, or skills you need to aquire to get where those people are.
  2b: What does your T shaped skill set look like? What additional disciplines should you spend time on?
  2c: What soft skills should you become better at? Do you talk constantly? Too fast? Do you never have a point? Are you judgemental?
  2d: What ingrained, annoying behaviors and personality defects have prevented you from succeeding in the past. Be honest about this - write it down and stick it on your monitor.

3. Stakeholder Interviews: Use your networks of friends, friends of friends, school connections, IxDA, IAI, SIGCHI, UPA, whatever - to engage with people that make hiring decisions at companies like the ones you want to work at. Have a simple list of 3 or 4 questions you would ask them about what they look for in a portfolio. Let them tell you what the portfolio should show, how it should be communicated, and at what level of details. While your at it, observe everything from their manerisms, tone, language to how the answer the questions. Then take this information combined with the information gleened from activity #2 above - and craft at least 1, possibly 2 straw-man personas based on that information. Your designing your portfolio (like a product or solutions) to meet a need of a target audience - that means you need a persona that identifies your users (hiring managers), goals, needs, pain-points, desires, background, aspirations, workhabits, etc. Be explicit in the detail, but remember - you will never show this persona to anyone - ever.


4. Write at least 1 if not 2 User Scenarios, or narratives, from the perspective of the hiring manager. Write into the narrative a day in the life, all the people they interact with, the team they manage. Make sure that if you can - try to identify other people on the team and bring them to life. Hiring decisions are rarely left to just one person. Write some dialog if you feel inspired. The key is to humanize these decision makers, place yourself in their shoes, and understand that you are designing your portfolio as a means to solving a problem *they* have - ignore your problem of needing a job - that's not their concern.


5. Find one solid story that you can tell from your previous work life that tells a complete story of your skills, background, and thought processes. This is far better than showing wireframes across 10 different projects. Would you rather see 10 different decontextualized sex scenes or one epic movie with a love scene? Which do you think will get you the job? Tell a story - make it compelling, and ... wait for it... be honest about when you failed, how you dealt with it, and what you learned. Do not be some douchebag that frames failure as being everyone's fault, or state something meaningless and vapid like "I was just too passionate about making sure it was the most elegant, mind blowing social buzzword, buzzword, buzzword, and the rest of the team just lacked the desire to be as focused as me
 - save it for someone that cares or is stupid. In fact, move in the opposite direction and pwn that failure.Every project has some failure, and every project has to deal with the realities of resources, time, commitments, team dynamics and dickhead stakeholders/clients/boss' wife. Professionals take ownership and losers point fingers.


6. From the story (we're talking Ben Hur right now) you have crafted - as a long form narrative, make a visual resume that tells your story, in context, to your audience, understanding their needs, goals, desires - from their perspective.

7. Choose the best tools to tell the story. Also - never count on internet connection. Make print and web versions. Make them downloadable. Send your entire story to these people when they ask for a resume. Then the interview becomes a conversation focused on the only important thing: How you will make their lives easier so they can go home early and watch Lost.

Good Luck. Everything above are just my random thoughts. They could be more noise than signal. Caveat Emptor and all that.
@semanticwill

25 May 2010 - 2:38pm
pjohnkeane
2008

I love this line of thinking, Will. Resumés and portfolios are an area where there are obvious, established patterns. Everyone knows what a resumé and a portfolio looks like, so everyone's resumé and portfolio looks alike. Applying this alternative line of thinking is suddenly, with hindsight, obvious.

My sister is just in the process of looking for a new job, and I realised reading this that this was the sort of advice I was trying to give her - she was coming at her resumé from the other end (lists of skills, experience, etc) and I was trying to get her to think about her goals instead and work from there. This adds a bit of colour (a lot of colour in certain areas!) and, even though she's not looking for UX work, I'm going to point her to this because I think the principles hold across disciplines.

Coming back to my first paragraph, I wonder if it's risky to break those established patterns - if you're designing for the hiring managers/decision makers, then are these established patterns a constraint that you have to work under, a requirement for their "system"? This would come out during step 3 and 4 of your process above, of course. 

Great, unexpected, thought-provoking read. Thanks, Will!

John

25 Jun 2010 - 3:05am
wtubman
2009

Very helpful response and quite a creative approach to take. Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom - let your email find you!

-----Original Message----- From: SemanticWill Sender:
Date: Mon, 24 May 2010 20:55:42 To: Reply-To: discuss@ixda.org Subject: Re: [IxDA] How to create interesting Portfolio?

You already have all the tools you need, you just don't realize it yet.

The first step is to back away and re-imagine the problem space. For this
particular one, you don't need to necessarily go all the way back to Maslow's
Hierarchy of Needs, but pretty close. Getting work to put a head over your
roof and food on the table would seem to be the most basic way to set the
problem and solution - needing a job. This doesn't really require
whiteboarding and blue ocean strategery. The next step is always harder, and
I think most of us come at it bass-ackwards, as if every UX method, process,
activity and deliverable we ever did was wipped from our memory like some
godforsaken episode of Lost, leaving us quivering, alone, and drooling over a
half-eaten pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. Instead of appling at least the
semblance of UX to our own career development (and portfolio design), we jump
right into the visual design and copywriting of our last 4 successful
projects (leaving out our failures - just kidding - I'll get to this), crank
open photoshop, or omnigraffle, or visio (shudder), and InDesign and begin
from the end - our porfolio. I think this sucks. It is an afront the very
craft we say we love.

What is the first thing we usually do when we take on a new UX project of
almost any size and scope? If you answered "Kickoff Meeting" - then you get
the cookie. What I mean though is not the traditional kick-off meeting with a
bunch of knuckleheads gathered around a conference table with flourescent
lights and stale baked goods from the local caterer. I mean engage in some of
the following activities:

  1. Project Definition, Goals and Objectives - ultimately this should be
    finding and getting your next perfect (or near perfect, or at least your next
    least sucking job/contract/gig). You need to have a vision of who you want to
    be in 2 years, not just that you want to eat next week. "Designers have a
    prescriptive job. We suggest how the world might be; we are futurists to some
    extent," said Bridget Botja de Mozota. Have a vision for where you want to
    be, and sketch out a strategic roadmap for how you think you can get there.
    Don't worry - that roadmap can and may include picking up some freelance gigs
    just to keep the rain off your head.

  2. Competitive Analysis and Research: Identify and research your top 5
    companies/agencies you would love to work for in a heartbeat. I think most UX
    Designers have this list floating around in their head, even if they never
    admit it. It could be a top tier agency like Ideo or frog, it could be
    reinventing the way social justice entrepenuers fund their next innovation -
    anything - but list it out, research those opporunities, gather data about
    the way the phrase their job requirements. Then identify at least 1 or two
    people at those companies and stalk them - virtually. Check them out on
    LinkedIn - try to find out what in their past, their writing, blogging,
    publishing, tweeting - got them hired at this dream position. Ask yourself
    these questions:   2a: What do you need to learn, or skills you need to aquire to get where
    those people are.   2b: What does your T shaped skill set look like? What additional
    disciplines should you spend time on?   2c: What soft skills should you become better at? Do you talk constantly?
    Too fast? Do you never have a point? Are you judgemental?   2d: What ingrained, annoying behaviors and personality defects have
    prevented you from succeeding in the past. Be honest about this - write it
    down and stick it on your monitor.

  3. Stakeholder Interviews: Use your networks of friends, friends of friends,
    school connections, IxDA, IAI, SIGCHI, UPA, whatever - to engage with people
    that make hiring decisions at companies like the ones you want to work at.
    Have a simple list of 3 or 4 questions you would ask them about what they
    look for in a portfolio. Let them tell you what the portfolio should show,
    how it should be communicated, and at what level of details. While your at
    it, observe everything from their manerisms, tone, language to how the answer
    the questions. Then take this information combined with the information
    gleened from activity #2 above - and craft at least 1, possibly 2 straw-man
    personas based on that information. Your designing your portfolio (like a
    product or solutions) to meet a need of a target audience - that means you
    need a persona that identifies your users (hiring managers), goals, needs,
    pain-points, desires, background, aspirations, workhabits, etc. Be explicit
    in the detail, but remember - you will never show this persona to anyone -
    ever.

  4. Write at least 1 if not 2 User Scenarios, or narratives, from the
    perspective of the hiring manager. Write into the narrative a day in the
    life, all the people they interact with, the team they manage. Make sure that
    if you can - try to identify other people on the team and bring them to life.
    Hiring decisions are rarely left to just one person. Write some dialog if you
    feel inspired. The key is to humanize these decision makers, place yourself
    in their shoes, and understand that you are designing your portfolio as a
    means to solving a problem they have - ignore your problem of needing a job

    • that's not their concern.
  5. Find one solid story that you can tell from your previous work life that
    tells a complete story of your skills, background, and thought processes.
    This is far better than showing wireframes across 10 different projects.
    Would you rather see 10 different decontextualized sex scenes or one epic
    movie with a love scene? Which do you think will get you the job? Tell a
    story - make it compelling, and ... wait for it... be honest about when you
    failed, how you dealt with it, and what you learned. Do not be some douchebag
    that frames failure as being everyone's fault, or state something meaningless
    and vapid like "I was just too passionate about making sure it was the most
    elegant, mind blowing social buzzword, buzzword, buzzword, and the rest of
    the team just lacked the desire to be as focused as me  - save it for someone that cares or is stupid. In fact, move in the
    opposite direction and pwn that failure.Every project has some failure, and
    every project has to deal with the realities of resources, time, commitments,
    team dynamics and dickhead stakeholders/clients/boss' wife. Professionals
    take ownership and losers point fingers.

  6. From the story (we're talking Ben Hur right now) you have crafted - as a
    long form narrative, make a visual resume that tells your story, in context,
    to your audience, understanding their needs, goals, desires - from their
    perspective.

  7. Choose the best tools to tell the story. Also - never count on internet
    connection. Make print and web versions. Make them downloadable. Send your
    entire story to these people when they ask for a resume. Then the interview
    becomes a conversation focused on the only important thing: How you will make
    their lives easier so they can go home early and watch Lost.

Good Luck. Everything above are just my random thoughts. They could be more
noise than signal. Caveat Emptor and all that. @semanticwill

(((Pl

25 May 2010 - 2:06am
kojo
2008

I am sorry is it just me or is there anyone else around here that finds reading this a nightmer, what sort of torturous UX reading that was, was it meant to be fun read ..and for who???

Please spare us your unpleasant metaphors and over stretched unnecessary time-wasting crap.

25 May 2010 - 7:08am
Vicky Teinaki
2008

For the record, I thought it was useful and detailed (as someone who was in that position a couple of years ago, and now know a bit of the other side)  ... yeah, maybe the metaphors were on the blue side, but for those of us who see Will's tweets that's nothing new.


Vicky

On Tue, May 25, 2010 at 11:19 PM, kojo <shourbagui@gmail.com> wrote:

I am sorry is it just me or is there anyone else around here that finds reading this a nightmer, what sort of torturous UX reading that was, was it meant to be fun read ..and for who???

Please spare us your unpleasant metaphors and over stretched unnecessary time-wasting crap.

(
25 May 2010 - 7:08am
Julie Strothman
2008

It sounds like you didn't find the portfolio-as-UX-project post pleasant to read. This very busy list reaches 1000's of people at varying levels of expertise. We're all bound to find some posts useful, some not, and must do our best to tune in to the posts we find most signal and least noise.


I'm grateful when one of our best writers and experienced UXers takes the time to share valuable advice. I admit, I'm always happy to cash in some of my extra time reading Will's musings, but imho this post was solid practical advice.


Please spare us from complaining on the list.
- Julie Strothman
@strottrot


On Tue, May 25, 2010 at 5:24 AM, kojo <shourbagui@gmail.com> wrote:

I am sorry is it just me or is there anyone else around here that finds reading this a nightmer, what sort of torturous UX reading that was, was it meant to be fun read ..and for who???

Please spare us your unpleasant metaphors and over stretched unnecessary time-wasting crap.

25 May 2010 - 8:06am
elvenmuse
2010

I wouldn't be that rude, but I wouldn't hire the author for anything Design-related.

> I am sorry is it just me or is there anyone else around here that finds > reading this a nightmer, what sort of torturous UX reading that was, was > it > meant to be fun read ..and for who??? > > Please spare us your unpleasant metaphors and over stretched unnecessary > time-wasting crap. > >

25 May 2010 - 9:05am
Matthew Green
2010

Kojo,
I could not disagree more with you. I found Will's piece really helpful. He obviously put a lot of thought into it. Sunil's original question was honest and open as was Will's response. A good UX portfolio site is something that I have struggled with and I found will's approach useful. 


I really think it is important to not flippantly dismiss someone's writing with a response with such a negative tone as what you said."Please spare us your unpleasant metaphors and over stretched unnecessary time-wasting crap." 


IXDA is a community of people trying to help each other. If you don't like WIll's response, then please say why without being demeaning. Okay so you thought it was too long.  What would a good response look like according to you? How would you answer Suni's question?  


Matthew

On Tue, May 25, 2010 at 5:54 AM, kojo <shourbagui@gmail.com> wrote:

I am sorry is it just me or is there anyone else around here that finds reading this a nightmer, what sort of torturous UX reading that was, was it meant to be fun read ..and for who???

Please spare us your unpleasant metaphors and over stretched unnecessary time-wasting crap.

(((P
25 May 2010 - 11:04am
Jared M. Spool
2003

Whoa, Dude!

Nobody forced you to read anything.

Will wrote a great, detailed response. He obviously spent a good amount of time thinking about his response, writing it down, and editing it.

If you don't like it, don't agree with it, found it hard to read, then so be it. You might even take the time to craft your own response, something you like better than Will's.

However, if I had to nominate which post was more "unnecessary", "time-wasting", or "crap", I think it wouldn't be Will's response I'd vote for first.

So, I suggest you skip any posts you don't like and leave the attitude at home. That's not what we're about here.

Jared

25 May 2010 - 4:50am
Karl Herler
2010

 

I am also working on my portfolio at the moment so if you find any great examples, please do share them. Oh and great writeup Sematicwill :)

On your original question; here are some sites that I've at least found sort of inspirational:

 

A off-topic note: Why oh why have you messed with the x-height of some typefaces on your site? It really really hurts the eyes of anyone with typography experience.

 

Kal

25 May 2010 - 12:37pm
David W.S. Shaw
2009

Some great ideas in this thread.

Thanks to semanticwill for some brilliant ideas and useful information

27 May 2010 - 3:08pm
SemanticWill
2007

Sunil,

As I've had a few more days to think about it, I realized I really didn't go quite as far as I could have to offer some real solid advice in my post above (scroll to the top of this page) - and what really is the point of posting if you can't walk away with more insight - as subjective as mine might be, to the process of creating a portfolio. Your question really is important, and deserves a well thought out answer. So without further exhortations - more thoughts on the portfolio design problem space.


Another way to think about the design of your portfolio is to use sketching to frame it as a conversation between yourself, your work, and your audience. For this reason, sketching out your past, present, future with respect to career options may be a good exercise, which Laseau calls "a conversation with ourselves in which we communicate with sketches," to better make sense of the problem itself which is why you can actually think of the pre-portfolio sketches in the problem space as cognitive artifacts in that they aid in our cognitive abilities by helping us think through the problem. For those just joining the show, cognitive artifacts as defined by Don Norman as " "those artificial devices that maintain, display, or operate upon information in order to serve a representational function and that affect human cognitive performance." You might also see that it is also related to Schon's concept of a reflective conversation with the materials of the design situation, where you as an ux designer shapes the situation in a way that is in accordance with the initial understanding of it, and then the situation talks back to you, which allows you to respond to that back-talk, which hopefully given our rampant narcissism should be far more interesting than what passes for conversations around the water cooler these days now that most television shows have ended and we're forced to talk about sports and celebrity overdoses, as if that leads to greater connection with our fellow human being, than, say, exploring our dead feelings left rotting on the fence-post of our failed childhoods.

But I digress, through this dialogue between you and your portfolio sketches (both as cognitive artifact and as conversation), perhaps you come to realize things about yourself in your current situation which you previously didn't see; for instance realizing that you thrive best in a process-free organization, or that you succeed best when you act as a team catalyst for design ideation, or that you really hate user testing, but love the process of synthesizing other people's findings assuming, of course that the people in your team haven't been hired by the local recruiter mafia with an education that barely qualifies them to run the tilt-a-whirl at the traveling carnival. To further explain: In a good process of design, this conversation is reflective. In answer to the situation's back-talk, the design reflects-in-action on the construction of the portfolio problem space, the strategies of action, or the model of the phenomenon, which have been implicit in your moves such as choosing who to interview, what artifacts to present, as well as more sticky issues such as how you explain the way you dealt with personal or team failure. (See my post at the top of the page for thoughts on failure)

What's interesting about this approach of using sketching and problem framing as a process of self-discovery and design itself is that for those of us in the user experience field that, for various reasons (like iron-clad NDAs), can't show our work - we now have a process and a mechanism that is artifact (portfolio), a story (narrative of self-discovery), and documentation of our process - sure it's a little recursive, and you can almost taste the snake's tale in it's own mouth, but it will solve the original problem of creating in context the solution to the portfolio problem space through the application of user experience design processes themselves. Escher would be proud.

So enough theory on framing of the portfolio problem space - let's get into some specific examples, assuming that you haven't already turned back to the latest manifestation of the god of Abraham, that 50" television which is sucking your brain, whole, faster than a hungry dog on a meatsicle. I think that to design an artifact like a portfolio (which is not just an artifact but a process), means not only to design the artifact for a specific kind of activity, but also the way the artifact is created and the context in which it creates a conversation with your audience - in this case hiring managers, because the use of artifacts is part of social activity, we can design new conditions for collective activity (e.g., new division of labor and other ways of coordination, control, and communication). This is why I talked about in my previous post, interviewing potential hiring managers, or at least proxies for them, and generating design research artifacts such as personas - you are now, like Heidegger's concept of our self being a process of becoming projected into the future such that we feed a notion of our future self back into the process of discovering and then communicating who we are right now to the people that may hire us.

I must admit this was not my idea, but started with a conversation spurred by Russ Unger who then asked for participation by Todd Zaki Warfel, Fred Beecher and myself. Now the initial framing was not to create a portfolio but to actually show our work - to explain through documentation our processes and deliverables instead of simply talking about our work - as so many in our field prefer to do. This turned into a workshop that we ran at the Interaction10 conference:


"This workshop will be presented in two parts and will revolve around a single design problem. Before the workshop, a third party (TBD) will provide clear business requirements to the four user experience designers leading it. They will each choose their own tool and method for exploring the requirements via wireframes and specifications. They will each work with their own graphic designer to develop and apply a visual design."


For more information, you can check out the full description.

What is interesting, though, is that through the process of design framing, sketching, ideation, wireframing, prototyping, and finally documenting every aspect of our designs - we each generated music videos to show the entire process for one shared design process. Though we didn't intend this exercise to lead to a portfolio, we have all heard positive feedback from fellow user experience professionals that the final videos have been successful at communicating our work, or process, and the deliverables we create, irregardless of the particular tools that we use, which we thought was far less important than our thought process itself. I suppose there are some that think that debates over tools - omnigraffle, fireworks, axure - certainly provide a certain escape for some, like watching TV. You know what I mean, because I have no doubt known some serious, bright people whom I used to respect that now stay home and watch hours of American Idol or Celebrity Apprentice meaning that their brains have been turned into the body's new appendix - no real function, but were it not for American Idol would be raging over teh interwebs discussing the relative merits of, say, balsamiq versus visio and which tool leads to more creative ideas and executed designs - but that, again, digresses from the point of sharing the final artifacts created from our Right Way to Wireframe workshop. Perhaps this might give you some ideas as well. I would say check out the first three if any because I believe Todd, Fred, and Russ did an amazing job of capturing the entire lifecycle from research and ideation through final designs or prototypes. These guys are good and not only are their videos an exegesis on the design process, but they turned out pretty slick final designs as well.

Here are some examples of the videos for the Right Way to Wireframe workshop:


Todd Zaki Warfel - Right Way To Wireframe

Fred Beecher - Right Way To Wireframe

Russ Unger - Right Way To Wireframe

Will Evans - Right Way To Wireframe

Hope these "Portfolios" help in some way. They are all active members of this list, and perhaps if time avails itself - chime in with their own thoughts on portfolio design. They are great, approachable members of our community.

Another person that might be useful - and I hope he joins into the conversation, is Jeff Gothelf, who currently works as the Director of User Experience at TheLadders. I have both worked with him, and for him, and know he has extentive experience on both sides of the UX interview process.

Final Note: What might be interesting - as mentioned above - would be if executives for some of the leading user experience design boutiques would weigh in with exactly what they look for in portfolio design. I am talking about companies known for superlative UX: Bahavior, Adaptive Path, messagefirst, devise, kickerstudio, bolt|peters, Huge, meld studios, and Eight Shapes.

There is an old saying, "If the meek inherit the earth, it is only because the strong have abandoned them," so what I think is - people who have been practicing this craft for 10+ years - we have an obligation to show our work, document our processes, and then teach, show, and write about how other UX professionals can get where we are.

Another issue that gets my goat, so to speak, is that many companies just want to hire senior ux talent. Where do we think they come from? Trees? We have an obligation to make them. Companies that don't invest in training up the next generation of ux talent might last a few years, but the sad reality is they will soon collapse into themselves for lack of a talent funnel. If you run a UX shop and you have your UX talent burning 35+ hours per week on billable client work with no rules or formal process for training, education, and skill development - shame on you - your stealing from the future to fill your mouth today. Communities of Practice, much like society itself, advances because we long ago realized that after every harvest, we must set aside 10% of our crop as seed so we have can plant next season. Is this not the case with an obligation to assure we create the next generation of user experience design professional? Are employers setting aside 10% of work-time for learning and skill development or are we consuming the entire crop leaving nothing for next year? Just a thought.



Cheers,
@semanticwill

11 Jun 2010 - 7:02am
SemanticWill
2007

Sunil,

I thought I would follow up on this initial thread because I spent a lot more time thinking about portfolio design in the context of career development for people in one of the many ux professions (IxD just being one discipline within the rubrik of a larger ux meta-context). These thoughts turned into a presentation that I gave at the UPA Boston mini-conference this past Wednesday. I expanded the topic to focus on leadership, but you may find some useful insights in the presentation. Because I consider this such a big topic of importance to the community, I also created a website around the problem space of leadership.

You can read or download Designing Ass Kickery aka Designing Leadership in the User Experience Community as well as check out all the associated resources.

I hope this is useful. The website is a work in progress - and I will be changing, adding, and refining the site over the coming weeks. Thanks for the inspiration so that I could start this new project. I think it's been fun, and might ultimately benefit more than just you.

Cheers,

@semanticwill

UXLeadership.com

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