The hiring process for UX professionals is somewhat different from other fields. In addition to a resume, cover letter, and references, UX candidates need to submit a portfolio with nearly every application.
A UX portfolio showcases your talent and gives hiring managers detailed insights about your work experience. It should include case studies that explain your past projects in detail using a blend of images, graphics, and written summaries.
UX portfolios are interview bait. While your resume may get the hiring manager’s attention, your portfolio should inspire them to schedule a meeting to learn more about your skills. That’s why your UX portfolio is extremely important and should never be treated as an afterthought.
Perfecting your UX portfolio takes time. Luckily, some talented designers have already created exceptional portfolios that newcomers can learn from.
If you’re ready to captivate hiring teams with an awe-worthy portfolio, read on. We’ll share tips and tricks for improving your UX portfolio, as well as 13 exemplary UX design portfolios that will guac your world!
At its simplest, a UX portfolio is a collection of your past work. Job applicants present their UX portfolio to prove that they are qualified for the position.
However, great portfolios also convey the UX designer’s personal brand. Portfolios help applicants make a great first impression by explaining exactly who they are and what kind of work they can do.
Overall, your UX portfolio should include 4 basic components:
These basic components ensure the hiring team can find all the information they need to invite you to complete the next steps in the application process.
Your UX portfolio should also answer 3 basic questions for the hiring manager:
Answer these questions clearly and completely, and you’ll be well on your way to landing a job offer.
Once the basic components are in place, creating a stellar UX portfolio requires attention to detail. Be prepared to go through your portfolio with a fine-toothed comb to ensure you’re meeting the interviewers’ needs.
Think of the hiring team as your users. If your portfolio provides a great user experience, you’ll seem like a promising UX designer they might want to bring onboard!
Here are a few characteristics that excellent UX portfolios share:
To create a seamless portfolio, start with a concise overview of its contents and your relevant experience near the top. This lets the interviewer review everything in less than 3 minutes. They’ll get a strong sense of you and your work without having to sift through all of your content.
Your portfolio should also feature clear navigation that encourages readers to dive into your process. Viewers should be able to find clear sections that explain your UX process in more detail.
By creating an overview section and clear navigation, you can make your portfolio user-friendly. The person reading can see a 10,000-foot overview, then can dive into points of interest without getting overwhelmed or lost.
Your portfolio should be more than a gallery of work you’ve done; it should tell the story of problems you’ve solved as a UX designer. Include clear, concise explanations of how your contributions to each project benefited the user.
The hiring team also wants to see the design decisions you made and why you made them. Start by explaining how you identified and defined the users’ problem through research, then explain how your design process led to an effective (and tested) solution.
Remember, the goal of a UX portfolio is to land you a job interview. As you construct your portfolio, make it as easy as possible for the hiring team to get in touch. Beyond your basic contact information section, consider adding calls to action and buttons like “meet with me” or “let’s work together!”
Your portfolio should be professional and polished, not boring. Some of the portfolios below are delightful, simply because the designers spent some time adding design touches to make them unique.
We don’t recommend focusing your efforts on creating a “pretty” portfolio— the quality of your content is still most important to interviewers. However, tasteful creative embellishments can definitely help your UX portfolio stand out.
In this section, we’ve collected fantastic UX portfolios to help newcomers get a sense of what their own portfolio can look like. Explore these examples to see how other designers create charming and polished portfolios that lead to job offers!
1. Riya Rana
Riya is a product designer at Granular. She’s held internships and other UX roles in the past, and before that, she earned her M.S. in Human-Computer Interaction at Indiana University Bloomington.
Riya’s portfolio features a friendly and attention-grabbing heading. Her portfolio also has simple, user-friendly navigation. She spiced things up by having interactive graphics that move when viewers mouse over them, inviting them to click and see more. We also love that she included recommendations from previous managers at the bottom of the page.
Want to emulate Riya’s portfolio? Try adding your own testimonials from users or past employers. You can also imitate the project overview she includes at the top of each case study.
Elisabeth is a UX designer at the Creative Alliance, and she’s also pursuing her M.S. in Information Experience Design at Pratt.
Her portfolio stands out for its simple, yet pleasing, setup. Her introduction section is straightforward, and she does a great job of listing all her skills in her About section so hiring managers can quickly understand all of her experience. We also like how the simple setup emphasizes her case studies above all else.
If you want your UX portfolio to stand out like Elisabeth’s, try recreating a similarly clean, bright template. Your viewers will be drawn to your case studies, which is where you want them to be!
Augusto is currently VP and Principal UX Designer at Truist. He holds a Master’s in Web Design & New Media.
This portfolio plays to Augusto’s strengths—the smartphone graphics make it clear that his work focuses on mobile applications in the e-commerce and online banking sphere. In one glance, the interviewer knows the kind of work Augusto does and can start imagining how he’d be a good fit for the role.
Augusto also makes the bold choice of including a large selfie right at the top of his portfolio. This has a humanizing, personal effect. If selfies are your style, it could be a great way to make your portfolio more memorable!
Serina has done a little bit of everything! She’s a product designer, occupational therapist, digital artist, project manager, and more! Serina is also an Avocademy graduate.
Serina’s UX portfolio exemplifies all of the qualities we recommend. It features clear navigation, provides a great introduction, and it emphasizes her case studies. Visit the About page to see how Serina also injected a bit of her personality into her portfolio.
If you want to emulate this portfolio, consider recreating Serina’s straightforward four-tab navigation at the top. You can also check out her case studies to imitate her helpful step-by process explanation.
5. Codey Smith
Codey is another Avocademy graduate. He has a background in digital marketing, a B.S. from Colorado State University, and a great UX portfolio!
Codey’s portfolio grabs the viewer’s attention with a great opening headline in a pleasing, dynamic font. Then, he lets his work do the talking with two strong and well-organized case studies. We also like the simple four-button organization of the home page.
Codey’s portfolio shows that sometimes, less is more. If you like a minimal layout and only have a couple of case studies to share, consider imitating this approach.
Kelsey is a product designer with lots of visual design experience. She studied psychology at Elon University, and she also studied UX design with us at Avocademy.
Kelsey’s portfolio has a strong opening introduction, and her case studies are engaging and straightforward. She went above and beyond to include clickable prototypes of her past projects to really show an interviewer her talent.
If you want your portfolio to stand out, consider imitating Kelsey’s thorough case studies and engaging prototypes.
7. Alex Infante
Alex is a product designer with a background in sales and marketing. He’s also an Avocademy graduate!
Alex’s portfolio stands out because it breaks away from the clean, white look while still being very polished and modern. The hero image and blue accents make it look like a business website, and frequent calls to action like “let’s work together!” make it easy to connect with Alex.
Rebecca is a UX designer and Avocademy graduate with a background in graphic design. She also holds a BFA in graphic design from Villa Maria College.
Rebecca’s portfolio is clean and straightforward. It has a friendly introduction, and it includes a link to Rebecca’s graphic design portfolio to showcase even more of her talent. She also plays to her graphic design strengths by including colorful, thematic graphics throughout her case studies.
If you want to imitate Rebecca’s portfolio, be sure to emphasize your own strengths as well! Like Rebecca, you can include testimonials in your case studies, add a link to your other work, or rebuild her engaging introduction section.
Mina is a product designer at APPRL in Sweden, and she also holds a bachelor’s in IT engineering.
We like Mina’s portfolio because it focuses completely on her case studies. She moves her introduction to the About section to let her work take the spotlight. Her portfolio features large images of her projects to give the viewer an immediate sense of her past projects and experience. Each case study also has very clean sections to help the reader stay oriented.
10. Alexander Kirov
Alexander is a principal product designer and UX lead at Logitech. He holds a master's degree in design and visual communications.
Alexander’s portfolio has a perfect balance of personality and non-distracting professionalism. We like the friendly “howdy” opening and emoji, but we like his clean layout and navigation even more. Alexander also does a great job of providing brief summaries next to each case study so the viewer knows exactly what to expect when they click.
If you want to imitate this fun-yet-functional portfolio, try adding fun design touches and helpful summaries next to your case studies.
11. Audrey Chou
Audrey is a Chicago UX designer with a background in mechanical engineering.
We love her portfolio because it’s so captivating. Not only are the colors and graphics gorgeous, but the simple overall layout is quite effective. Audrey’s stylish introduction conveys her personality and talent quickly, and her case studies clearly lay out her process.
If you want to imitate Audrey’s portfolio, focus on the simple layout and her direct, engaging writing first. Once the main components are perfected, you can spend some time adding color and flair!
12. Lital Karni
Lital is a multidisciplinary designer with a focus in UX. She previously worked as a graphic designer and holds a bachelor’s of education in design and visual communication.
The first thing that strikes a viewer about Lital’s portfolio is her saturated, shocking color scheme. To balance the bright colors, this portfolio has simple and inviting navigation.
Lital also uses clear calls to action that encourage viewers to start a conversation with her. Her case studies even feature a floating “let’s talk” button. As soon as the hiring team gets interested, they can connect with her immediately. That’s a portfolio hack worth imitating!
13. Carson Young
Carson is a digital product designer and an incoming associate at Google.
Carson’s portfolio is another great example of beauty in simplicity. His home page features large images for each case study, but otherwise, the design is spacious and focused. He also included friendly calls to action, and in his Toolbox case study, he gave detailed sketches alongside explanations of design challenges and his decision-making process.
To imitate this portfolio, embrace Carson’s clean and open design. You can also try including explanations of any setbacks you face so the hiring team can see how you make tough design choices.
It’s hard to look through all of these great UX portfolio examples without getting inspired! Before you rush off to start beautifying your portfolio, remember that the content is most important. These portfolios are excellent not only because they look good, but because they clearly convey the talent and experience of each designer.
Remember—portfolios are interview bait. While having a degree from Cornell might grab a hiring manager’s attention, your portfolio confirms the knowledge and experience your resume conveys. No amount of accolades will outshine a thoughtful and thorough UX portfolio.
If you’re ready to start building a portfolio of your own, set up a mentoring session with Avocademy. We’ll help you cultivate great UX projects, build an impressive portfolio, and land your UX dream job!