Are you thinking about seizing some of the online opportunities the Internet offers? Don’t you think it’s high time you started thinking globally instead of locally?

All of this starts with building a website and coming up with an online marketing strategy that will drive your target audience to it, resulting in sales and profit.

Regardless of niche and industry, building a website is your first step to taking your business to the digital world, and that’s why we created a quick guide that covers all of the main aspects of creating a website.

There are 4 decisions you’ll have to make prior to launching your site: the type of platform you’re going to use to build your website, the domain name, your web hosting provider, and the design and content for your site.

1. Choose the Type of Website-Building Platform to Go For

The initial question that you will be asking yourself is what platform or website builder to go for. Choosing the right website-building platform is very important because the choice of your hosting provider and the future of your website depends on it.

Naturally, the type of site you want is going to dictate the website builder you pick. For example, BigCommerce would be an obvious choice for an e-commerce website, since it’s a platform tailored to meet the demands of businesses that sell online.

On the other hand, WordPress is the most commonly used and most popular website building-platform, as well as a safe choice for most websites. In fact, 35% of all active websites are created on WordPress.

The reason behind this is the flexibility that WordPress offers, the variety of plugins, the huge selection of free templates, and the fact that it’s a beginner-friendly platform that doesn’t require any coding knowledge.

If you think that these are the features that your website needs, go for WordPress. If not, check out what Drupal, Joomla, Wix, Launchrock, Squarespace, Weebly, and other platforms can offer you instead.

2. Select the Perfect Domain Name for Your Site

Next is the topic of domain name. The perfect domain name will make you stand out from the competition so consumers choose you instead of them.

Here are some tips that’ll help you choose a winning domain name:

1. Your domain name should be easy to type, easy to pronounce, and easy to remember.

2. You should go with the .com extension because most people will add it to your brand name by default.

3. Choose a one or two-word domain name excluding any numbers or symbols that can create confusion or mislead your customers.

4. Invent new words or use some interesting existing words that will make your domain name stand out from the competition.

5. Follow the examples of some successful companies that have created original brand names, such as Nike, Adidas, IBM, Apple, etc.

If you follow these guidelines and brainstorm a little, creating a domain name for your business should be simple enough.

The next step is to check whether the domain name you have chosen is available and make a purchase. All of this is available at Domain Name Sanity, where you can also get suggestions if your preferred domain name is taken. They also offer web hosting, but more on that in the next section.

3. Pick the Right Web Hosting Provider for You

With so many web hosting providers available, no wonder you’re confused about which one to choose!

You should be aware that the web hosting provider doesn’t only provide you with space on a server. Every web host also offers a variety of features that are very important for the success of your website.

But first things first: if the web hosting provider doesn’t have high-quality servers, they can’t offer you high performance for your website. The loading speed of your site is also closely connected to the web host you choose. If you think that’s not too important, you’d be wrong—speed is another determining factor that will influence your rankings and the overall user experience of your website, so choose wisely.

4. Conceptualize the Design and Content

The type of design and content you use for your website has a great impact on your users. This means that if they find your site appealing, it’s mostly because they like the design and can’t wait to read your next post.

This is the biggest way in which you can attract new users and make sure the ones who enjoy your content come back for more.

You can hire a professional designer and a content writer to do this part for you, or experiment on your own at first. It all depends on your budget and which section you’d like to invest in the most.

Now that you know all the steps that you’ll need to build a website, are you ready to go for it and turn theory into practice?

— Gavin

A Web addicted Geek stuck inside Tron.


Nicolas Ferney

Generally speaking, because of time-constraints, lo-fi and hi-fi comps are the most recurring deliverables during the product design process but no -or very few- interactions are detailed or designed.

Then, the rest of the story could go like this: Prototypes are quickly built (using the highly desirable and sexy Hi-Fi comps) because Stakeholders want to see «the final result» and «cannot project themselves without the sketch file».

But eventually, the team members take a step back and imagine another solution, so the designer goes back into sketch, spends two hours modifying the latest version… and so on and so forth.

For sure. This solution has the advantage to give a final overview of the look and feel of the user interface. But it is far from ideal if the team wants to streamline the work and gain in speed and efficiency.

Moreover, designers generally hate updating the Hi-Fi screens with heavy structural changes as every modification needs to be carefully crafted, every screen needs to show the final consistency (font, colour, balance, spacing, contrast, structure, hierarchy, etc) before being re-uploaded into InVision and be ready for approval.

Let’s face it. This process is time-consuming and quite exhausting for everyone, and yes. Specifically… for product designers.

The workflow I’m about to describe ticks many boxes:

✅ Engaging the whole team in the design process;

✅ Keeping track of the interactions between screens;

✅ Ensuring better communication within the team and specifically towards software engineering;

✅ Layering different renderings of the user experience;

✅ Giving the opportunity to observe the design solution under many angles/approaches and securing the best experience possible;

✅ Crafting an improved and well thought-through experience before final delivery.

Here are the 6 steps (and types of deliverables) that are recommended before considering that the team has reached a satisfying product design solution.

In principle: This first step allows the team to design a solution as a whole entity and reduce the amount of back and forth between product ownership, users and designers.

Following an agenda and precise timing (20 minutes for sketching, 2 minutes for presenting, etc), the group is spread across multiple micro-teams (2 people minimum) and tries to have a multi-disciplinary approach to problem solving by sketching solutions using pens and paper.

Photo by picjumbo.com from Pexels

The output: Several screens can be produced if necessary. The participants have to really focus on the interactions and the flow. The look and feel is secondary and needs to be roughly sketched, nothing more.

Following this framework, the team members and the users are the designers, the UX practitioners are to be considered as facilitators. It’s sometimes challenging for designers that are new to UX practises because they no longer are at the origin of the design decisions. But hey, fellow designers get yourself a cup of coffee and let these people work for you, they’re smarter than you think.

Put it more simply: Some people in the team have brand new designing powers, others (managers, designers) just need to let go and become facilitators. But in the end, everybody wins.

In principle: This flow represents a high level view of the actions that your user is going to take in order to achieve a very specific task. The user flow replaces and/or complement any written documentation by showing a very simple and logical path. This visual representation is really useful as it allows the team to take a step back and turn some specs (or a user story) into a very simple and yet exhaustive representation.

The output: This step can come before, during or after the co-design session to clarify a scenario or a use case. Just make sure this deliverable is built with the participation of the team. I personally always start with a white board session in presence of fellow designers and/or product owners, software engineers… then I switch to a clean digital version using Axure RP.

Photo by Christina Morillo

Put it more simply: The user flow gives an overview of how the story is going to be told on screen. I strongly recommend UXers to not skip this step. ??‍♂️

In principle: This relatively recent technique allows the UXers to communicate more thoroughly with the software engineering team. It’s particularly suitable for complex digital products embedding lots of interactions. I personally love this deliverable more than any other one because it encompasses many tools and deliverables in one without sucking too much of the designer’s precious time.

The output: the user flow generally works with a simplified version of the wireframes and gives a visual representation of all the interactions between the screens and the various components within the page. No need to detail the whole content here, but some notes can help the team to understand this deliverable better. The content really needs to be roughly represented on screen. Nothing too fancy, let’s keep this quick and elegant.

Wireflows are particularly suitable for complex applications and generally include a really small level of copy. This useful and free set of wireflow components for Sketch was designed and shared by Marcelo Pérez.

Put it more simply: wireflows give a more precise idea on the decor of the story – the presence and positioning of the components in the interface and the output given when these components are triggered. More details here.

In principle: Once the wireflow has been defined and has allowed the team to get a clearer vision, we need to put the actual content in wireframes to start building a lo-fi prototype.

The benefits of building a lo-fi prototype are numerous. In a nutshell, the lo-fi prototype emulates the reality of what the user will experiment with the hi-fi prototype. The huge benefit being that it’s much faster to produce and can allow the team to have a demo-able product in a few hours.

The output: The html files generated in Axure, for instance, can be shared in a matter of seconds and allow the team to play with an interface while consuming the whole content.

This step is crucial especially if the team needs to be immersed in an emulated environment before pivoting or taking decisions that could have a strong impact on the overall design. If this step is neglected and the team chooses to jump straight into hi-fi prototyping, it would actually be too overwhelming and require too much time to redesign the final comps each and every time.

Put it more simply: The equivalent of a rough/animated storyboard for a film or anime. Huge time saver. Great tool to effortlessly get an overview of the final feature. Helps to streamline the efforts and structure the design process before jumping into final rendering/ fancy eye candy stuff.

In principle: This step is necessary to give the final look of the digital product. Its goal is to craft the user interface that will solve the user problem and generate a desired output. It’s generally built using specific grids and a design system.

The output: The final comps are to be produced in a specific software like Sketch, Figma or Adobe Xd, then uploaded to InVision for usability testing and Zeplin for sharing the resource with the developers/ software engineering teams.

A simple and clean UI for a an app concept that compares interest over the years for various loans. Sketch Freebie by Lorenzo Perniciaro

Put it more simply: everybody liked the studies and the rough sketches, now we’re going to paint a beautiful (and very usable) picture.

In Principle: The final step before iteration is the evaluation of the new feature that was built during the sprint.

The output: Many techniques do exist and the team should not limit their choices: Usability tests, heuristic evaluation, usability scales, cognitive walkthrough, etc. There’s literally hundreds of user experience research methods and the job of the product designer is to pick the one that’s more adapted to the context.

Photo by Fauxel

Put it more simply: This step is crucial, especially if KPIs have been set. The team should always rely on the evaluation to iterate and verify their initial assumption when they took a design decision. Even if users were present during the co-design session.

We’ve seen that the team should first draft the broad lines of a feature with pen and paper, crafting the experience together. The designer’s job is to take the next steps and create the various views that will progressively zoom in on the final result.

Imagine being on Google Earth and zooming progressively on a continent, a country, a city, a block of houses, to reveal an environment that we’d like to visit virtually (yeah we’ve all done that circa 2006)…

Photo by Pixabay

Let’s consider here that the higher view is the User flow. If we zoom in, we reveal the wireflow and a bit more details on the interface and the interactions, If we still zoom in, the wireframe appears and it’s embedded in a prototype. Let’s zoom one last time and we see colour, contrast, hierarchy and accessibility features appearing. Our final product is revealed step by step progressively instead of tele-transporting us directly into this new environment.

What’s the advantage to this? Well. It breaks down the design process into many quick steps that will allow the team to take a step back on the design solution for each and every output created.

Flows, wireframes, lo-fi prototypes must be scrutinized by the team in a limited time frame to allow the product design team to bring the necessary modifications before jumping into the fancy hi-fi comps.

It is the designer’s responsibility to provide the team with the needed deliverable(s). It is the designer’s choice to structure his•her approach to product design.

There’s also a time constraint consideration here, and this is not always challengeable. Yet this type of decision is crucial and it will greatly impact the quality of the final product.

This succession of steps is a set of recommendations and best practises. It is non exhaustive. Countless deliverables can become handy when designing a product: Personas, empathy map, user journey, scenarios, storyboarding… specifically during the user research/discovery phase. The team needs to be aware that generally speaking, directly jumping into a co-design session without these could also be risky. Good design takes time. The designer should take the time to have these deliverables ready. Producing too much material will never be a bad option. Producing too few can on the other hand, become dangerous.

If the team is comfortable jumping straight into hi-fi, it could be fine, and it could work… but problems could also occur after a couple of sprints.

Because in the end, having the designer left alone to deal with heavy iterations for long periods of time is toxic not only for her•him, but for the entire team.

Ideally, the team needs to come up with its own design strategy to optimize this whole process. A strategy that is robust, durable, adapted to the team’s needs and most importantly beneficial for the end user.


Finishing a web design project is simple, right? You hand it in; your client is satisfied, you wave each other goodbye, and that’s it. 

If you’re lucky, yes, but sometimes, it’s not so easy.

Clients are needy sometimes and any service contract comes with a long checklist of steps to take before you finish the project. By following these rules, you won’t find yourself in an endless loop of ‘What about…’ or contacting your client a few months later because you forgot something.

So here are nine steps for successfully offboarding your web design projects.

1. Send Final Email & Next Steps 

For this step, refer to your contract for completion and payment arrangements. Based on proper onboarding, your client should already expect this and know when it’s going to happen. 

Send an email to let the client know the work has been completed, the date payment is due and when the work will go live. Make it clear what your next steps are and likewise, what their next steps should be.  

Even if you’ve had a verbal discussion, a follow-up email is a great way to ensure both parties are on the same page and to confirm what was discussed. By having it in writing, you will avoid many possible inconveniences later.

2. Collect Final Payment 

Referring to your contract, the payment terms should be clear. The client should likely be making their final payment before the work goes live or is handed over. Again, consult and stay respectful with regards to the terms of your contract. Determine the sum the client still owes you and send the final invoice. 

At this stage, you can have clients sign-off on the final work and then make their payment. Using Better Proposals is a great way to do this.

3. Schedule & Hold Client Training Call 

Once your client has paid you, you should send another email to discuss a training call. Keep the message short, and ask them to schedule the call at their earliest convenience.

In the call itself, you will provide a behind-the-scenes tour of their newly created website. Show them how to edit content and make changes as they use the platform. 

Hold the call using video chat and screen sharing. It would be ideal that you make notes before starting this call so that it would be as efficient and informative as possible. The goal is to make your client capable of taking over once you’re out of the picture.

4. Provide Client With Account Details 

After the training call, your client needs some final pieces of information before they can start utilizing their website fully. You should send them:

  • Login information of any accounts you created along the way
  • Images or logos for them to use if they start cooperating with another designer in the future
  • A style guide in PDF format which future designers will use
  • Licenses for any design templates and images you used in the making of the website
  • A client dashboard (or client portal) for them to use in their business

It would be best to send all data in a single message, so they have it in one place for future reference.

5. Post Project Feedback 

You want to make sure that the work you’ve put in has been worthwhile, as well as check for any constructive criticism that may improve your future performance.

You should think about the following:

  • Are there any gaps? While answering this, keep in mind the original requests and how close the final product came to fulfilling all of them.
  • Are the goals of the project achieved? Consider the quality of the finished website, and especially the possible errors that may come up.
  • Is the client satisfied? If not, how can you make the changes that lead to satisfaction?
  • What did you learn? Try to identify the areas for future development based on the sample of this project.

6. Schedule Follow-Up Contact 

Follow-up serves as a reminder that your services are there in case they need any help with the website, after having used it for a while. Of course, those services will be paid for on top of the work you have already done.

Offering website maintenance and support is a great way to continue supporting your clients and maintaining a long-term relationship.

You should do this about 30 days after the wrap-up. That way, they will have enough time to work with the platform you created and gather their impressions about it.

7. Request Testimonial & Referrals 

Assuming the work represents future work you want (and you’ve done a great job of course), you want to showcase it to build a larger client base. One of the main reasons you’re not achieving this even though you deliver high-quality designs is – you’re not asking for it.

This is your time to ask!


Testimonials are comments on how well you did your job by your past clients. By collecting them, you’re ensuring any potential clients don’t have to take your word on a job well done. Plus, giving a testimonial takes only minutes of their time. Don’t be afraid to request a video testimonial too!


Referrals are a more direct way of steering clients towards you. Once you decide to ask for them, think of a reward system for clients that refer you to others. It could be as small as a gift card or as large as three months of free website maintenance – it’s up to you.

8. Add to Portfolio or Create Case Study 

Whether or not you get a testimonial or a referral, you will need proof of what you made the next time you’re applying for a job. That is why any piece of work you’re satisfied with goes into your portfolio.  


Screenshot the website and then optimize the image using Photoshop before adding it. You could also add a text describing the particular project, the work you did and the goals of the project.


You don’t want to gloss over your best work. For this reason, you should create a compelling case study that shows how capable you are as a designer. When creating a case study, you will want to include these five areas:

  • An overview of the project at hand
  • The context and difficulties you faced
  • The workflow you follow when designing
  • A detailed solution to any problem you encountered
  • The result and testimonials you got 

9. Promote Your Work 

Last but not least, you should put yourself out there for the public to see what you can do. Here, social networks are your best friends. You could put together a video clip of the before and after work, write up a complete overview, showcase before and after images or before and after results or write a full blog post or case study. If you’ve received a written or video testimonial, this is a great place to add it!  

Also, update your portfolio on popular websites. Designers tend to use them, so clients often visit them as well. Remember to ask for permission if it’s an active project, though.

You could also go the extra mile and enter a competition if it’s some of your best work. Either way, you should allow people to see it.

The Bottom Line

This set of steps isn’t revolutionary. Nevertheless, there’s so many of them that it’s easy to forget something important. 

Use this offboarding web design clients checklist for a more comfortable journey towards the end goal – another project well done.



Rachel Krause


August 4, 2019


Summary: A portfolio highlighting your design process and past work shows others who you are as a designer. The process of creating a UX-design portfolio allows you to reflect on your skills and achievements.

The word “designer” can mean many different things and a designer role comes with many possible skills and responsibilities. UX-design portfolios showcase who their owners are: the areas in which they specialize, their strengths, their processes, and their design styles.

In this article, I refer to a ‘designer’ as anyone who designs one or several components of the user experience — interaction flows, discrete interface elements, visuals, or omnichannel journeys, whether on a desktop, a touchscreen, or on some other device.

Many of our top 10 recommendations for UX-research portfolios also apply to design portfolios. A common misconception about design portfolios is that they are only made up of final UI designs and screenshots. This article will guide you through the steps of creating a UX-design portfolio that encompasses your entire UX process and not just the shiny artifacts.

What Hiring Managers Are Looking For

As part of our current research on user-experience careers, we surveyed 204 UX professionals in charge of hiring about what they look for in a portfolio. Here are some things they mentioned:

  • “Show me how you started with an opportunity and produced real value for a user and the organization.”
  • “I’m curious to know what isn’t in the design and why, just as much as I’d like to know why elements made it in.”
  • “Don’t just show me the finished product. I want to see the messy process and all the work and research that was put in to land on that shiny polished design. Tell me the problem you were trying to solve, your role, any constraints, project timeline, changes from iteration to iteration and how the research informed the design.”

The “users” of your portfolio will be hiring managers, recruiters, or fellow UX professionals, so your portfolio must appeal to these different groups of people. Think about which capabilities you want to showcase and how each group will understand this information. Very rarely will hiring managers take the time to read your entire portfolio word for word — which is one reason why your portfolio should be scannable and not contain unnecessary detail.

Before designing your portfolio, prioritize what you want to communicate. What are the top three things about you and your work that a reader of your portfolio should take away? Revisit this question once your portfolio is completed to make sure you achieved your goal.

Putting It Together

Step 1: Take Inventory of All Your Projects

UX professionals work on many types of projects and tasks. Therefore, it may be difficult to narrow down what to include in a portfolio. The first step is to take inventory of the projects you’ve worked on.

You’ll want to showcase your specialties through multiple types of work. To do this, consider all your projects and ask yourself the following questions:

  • What am I really good at?
  • Which UX activities do I really like to do?
  • What differentiates me from other designers?
  • On which projects did I bring the most value?
  • From which projects did I learn the most?
  • What interesting stories can I tell about the work that I did?

Prioritize projects that align to the work you’re looking for. When seeking a new job, tailor your project selection to the job duties you want to perform. For example, if you really enjoy prototyping, showcase projects where you created prototypes and how they benefited the ultimate outcome. You don’t want to promote work that you don’t like doing, so be sure to avoid adding in projects that don’t align with your future career goals.

Step 2: Choose 3–5 Projects as Detailed Case Studies

Quality over quantity is the best rule to follow when putting together your portfolio. Since hiring managers don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to each candidate’s portfolio, it’s best to choose a few of your best projects to showcase from your prioritized list you made in the previous step. The projects you choose should align to the work that is described in the job description.

The number of projects you include is not important per se. What’s important is that your portfolio showcases a wide variety of work and skills — so, if you had substantial, varied contributions to a small set of big projects, emphasize the many different activities that you were involved in. 

In addition to visuals for each project, create a case study that includes the following information:

  1. The problem(s) you had to solve or the hypothesis you came up with for solving it
    1. Example: Our application got negative reviews because users weren’t receiving alerts about new sales on the site. Based on the content of the reviews, we hypothesized that users were not aware that they could adjust notification settings in the application.
  2. Your specific role in the project and how you collaborated with others
    1. Example: I was the sole UX designer on an Agile team comprised of 3 developers, a product owner, a scrum master, and a quality engineer. I was responsible for determining the overall design direction of the project, while collaborating with the rest of the team on ideation.
  3. How you came to your proposed solution(s)
    1. Example: Usability testing showed that users did not realize that they could adjust their notification settings. We decided to design the notification settings to be more prominent in the site navigation.
  4. How your proposed solution(s) solved the problem
    1. Example: We conducted additional usability testing with the same tasks and our new design, which showed an increase in findability compared to the previous round of testing. Users were able to adjust their notification settings, which gave them access to new sales alerts.
  5. Challenges you faced, including design concepts that were ultimately not pursued
    1. Example: During ideation, we went through several different design concepts that ultimately did not completely satisfy user needs. One design concept that we prototyped displayed the notification settings in a modal when users logged in, but it caused frustration because people had to close it to complete their original task.
  6. How the project affected the users and the business
    1. Example: Because users were now able to turn on new-sales notifications, sales increased by 15%. Our application reviews have skewed positive and customer-satisfaction survey scores have increased.
  7. What you learned
    1. Example: Because of this project, we realized the importance of prototype testing for exploring new design concepts. It made us test new designs to make sure they were viable solutions before putting in development effort.

These case studies should be displayed in a way that is scannable and easy to follow. Include relevant photos and screenshots that tell the story, including early sketches, whiteboards, research documentation, or final images.

Remember, the final screenshots only tell part of the story. Hiring managers want to understand how you work and giving them a glimpse of your process will help them envision how you fit in with their teams.

Step 3: Choose Your Desired Format

Regardless of format, your portfolio should tell a story. Break up text with visuals and make a clear distinction between projects.

There are three common formats for designer portfolios:


A web-based portfolio is a website or online service that displays your work. Web-based portfolios are the most common medium for designers. Resist the urge to go overboard on a flashy template. Your content should be the main focus and your site should be easy to navigate and consume.

Web Portfolio
A typical web-based portfolio has some form of navigation along with a collection of projects. Users are able to click each project individually to learn more about it.

PDF / Slide Deck

Another popular medium for portfolios is a digital PDF or slide deck, which acts as a presentation of your projects. When creating a digital portfolio, keep a master PDF or slide deck with all of your projects included so you can hide projects depending on the job you’re applying for or the skills you want to highlight.

PDF or Slide Deck Portfolio
Keeping a PDF portfolio based on a slide deck allows you to tailor the projects you show to different audiences. Simply hide the projects that are not relevant to the job.

Physical Artifacts

Physical portfolios are more common with print designers, but you can bring physical artifacts that you use during your design process — such as sketches or paper prototypes — into an interview. Couple your physical pieces with either a web-based or PDF portfolio so that hiring managers can see your work prior to an interview.

Physical Artifacts
Physical artifacts allow you to show rough sketches and process diagrams, including design options that didn’t make it to the final product.

When deciding between formats, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Did the hiring manager specify a format?
  • What costs are associated with this format?
  • How much knowledge do I have of the software that I’ll be using?

If the answer still isn’t obvious, below are some pros and cons of the possible formats.





Easy for hiring managers and UX professionals to find and view organically

Many options for setup that don’t require coding knowledge

More difficult to tailor your portfolio to different job types

May force you to adapt your info to a predefined template

PDF / slide deck

Allows you to have multiple unique, job-tailored portfolios 

Harder to access (e.g., may have to be explicitly shared with the hiring manager)

Physical artifacts

Can be brought along to interviews to help you talk through your process

Very limited access, hard to share with hiring managers

Step 4: Create Your Portfolio

Now that you have a plan for your projects and format, you can start putting everything together. Regardless of which format you’ve chosen, create a basic template that you’ll follow so that all of your projects look cohesive.

Example templates for the 5 basic components of a UX-design portfolio: title page, project introduction, images with captions, and results
Example templates for the 5 basic components of a UX-design portfolio: title page, project introduction, images with captions, and results

Step 5: Get Feedback and Iterate

Once your portfolio is created, send it to others to provide feedback. Another set of eyes on your portfolio will catch spelling or grammar errors, confusion about content, and the overall usability of your format.

As you interview with hiring managers, make note of what resonates with them and what is unclear. Then iterate on your portfolio.

As you work on new projects going forward, save any artifacts or process documents to use as future case studies in your portfolio. Your portfolio will always be a work in progress and having an efficient method for keeping track of projects will make updates simple.

Navigating Roadblocks

“My work is under a nondisclosure agreement (NDA).”

Nondisclosure agreements are common when doing UX work — and even more so if you’re doing government work. These contracts prohibit you from displaying identifying information about the company, its users, or the project details. Restrictions can be frustrating when you’re crafting your portfolio, but there are ways to show your work without violating the NDA.

Show process images. Rather than showing the polished UI and visual designs that display company-specific information, showcase your process for these projects. Highlight communication skills like workshop facilitation or early design concepts through sketches or black-and-white wireframes.

Workshop whiteboard
Workshop photos give potential employers insight into your design process.

Redact or blur out information. If you have wireframes or prototypes that you’d like to show, blur out identifying information. (Blurring is especially important for applications displaying financial or medical information.)

Redacted information
Redacting personal information like names and contact information protects privacy of individuals while still allowing you to show your designs.

Make it generic. Recreate your designs using different styles. While this approach is time-consuming, it ensures that you are not using brand colors or styles that would identify the client.

Generic design elements
Remove company logos, change branding, and update copy in order to show the layout and design without compromising company information.

“I don’t have a lot of time. What should I focus on?”

If you’re short on time but still want to make a big impact, focus on a project or two where you had to incorporate a wide variety of UX and design skills. These case studies will be in depth and will show off your versatility.

“I had great ideas/designs, but they were never implemented.”

As designers we often generate many candidate solutions for a single problem and ultimately choose only one. In this process, many great ideas are left on the cutting-room floor. As you’re writing your case studies, include candidate solutions and explain the thought process behind the designs. Hiring managers want to know that you’ll be able to navigate challenges and constraints, and you can show them that your work lives in reality instead of an ideal world.

“I’m a student.”

The first job is the hardest to get. It’s difficult to present a compelling design portfolio if all you can show for yourself is student projects. We strongly recommend having an internship in a company, so that you have at least one real-world project to show.

A key aspect of any design is the ability to deal with constraints. Student projects often have made-up constraints — including made-up users and personas — which make them uncompelling proof of your ability to design for the real world. If you’re still working on your student projects, select problems that have business relevance (i.e., will make money) and realistic constraints. If you’re already done, at least acknowledge any unrealistic elements of your student projects in your portfolio description, so that managers don’t conclude that you don’t know any better.


Portfolios will always be a part of a designer’s process. Creating a portfolio that showcases your strengths in a way that appeals to your audience will help you land your next UX-design job. The act of creating a portfolio allows you to identify your skills and achievements while reflecting on the work you want to do in the future.

When creating your UX design portfolio, remember these tips:

  • Curate, curate, curate
  • Show real work, even if it’s messy
  • Highlight collaboration with teams
  • Reflect on who you are as a designer and where you want to be


Once a primary differentiator, reliable customer service has now become a mandatory commodity. With rising consumer expectations and automated technologies, experience has replaced this long-heralded advantage.

Brands positioned with a customer-first, always-on experience optimization approach and those who build for personalization are poised to be market leaders. Becoming an experience-focus brand has been painted as more difficult than it is. The answers and truth are right in front of us. Your consumers have those answers, you just need to ask – and pay attention.

In working with more than 30 brands on their experience strategies, I’ve found four critical steps to helping brands successfully migrate to become customer experience leaders in their market. The simple formula is to identify, measure, build and test.

Identify audiences and journeys

Identify your audience

Let’s start with an exercise. Suppose money is no object, and you get to pick out a new vehicle. Take a moment to picture what you’d like to buy. Now that you have that vehicle in mind, let’s assume that this is the vehicle everyone else wants. It seems ridiculous that the vehicle you want is assumed to be the vehicle everyone else would want. But, how often do you create experiences using that same assumption? As you design an experience, you need to have an audience in mind, but oftentimes, experiences are developed in a vacuum without consumer feedback. In our current environment audience strategy and experiences should never be developed without some type of consumer insight.

Here are a few questions to help you get started in assessing your audience(s).

  • Who is my current audience? 
  • What data sources do I have available to me (research, analytics, databases, etc.)? 
  • What do they prefer? What are their motivations? 
  • Who is/not responding?  
  • Do my loyal customers look different than everyone else? What type of data and insights am I missing? 

Identify audience journeys

I often think of the journey as the foundation. The good news about building out an audience journey is that there are a lot of good approaches. I do not believe there is one single source of truth to creating an audience journey. The important thing is that you create one. If your budget, resources, and time only allow for a whiteboard brainstorm session, then do it. If you have behavioral data at your fingertips and can look at connected event stream data by specific channels and by individual, then do it. If you have the ability to conduct primary research, please do it.

After building a journey, the first mistake I see is that too many brands try to tackle fixing all of the possible interactions they’ve discovered. Prioritization becomes key; if you are able to gather consumer-driven insights to measure and help you prioritize experiences, then that should be your next step.

How do they behave? How do they buy? What are the most common paths to purchase? What are all of the possible interactions?

Measure experiences

best-in class experiences based on consumer insights. Along the way, an audit of data and technology will become critical to supporting the automation of personalized, people-based experiences. The alignment of key stakeholders across the organization will be another critical component to driving change, which is why a data-driven approach to prioritization from the consumer’s perspective is needed for the potential political battles you’ll be up against.

Another supporting point for your internal journey will be the results from prioritized quick wins. A four-dimensional prioritization of experiences allows the brand to hit the ground running, making immediate improvements to prove out the work, while also laying out critical interactions that may take more significant efforts to improve for long-term planning.

Who are the key stakeholders (detractors/supporters)? What quick wins are we going to tackle? What is our long-term experience roadmap? What technologies/data do I need? 

Test experiences

Nick Brien sums it up best when he says, “There’s been a fundamental shift in the balance of power. When I started in marketing, I lived in a brand-led world – you changed consumer behavior. But now we live in a consumer-led world. It’s about changing your brand behavior, it is about personalization, it is about relevance, it is about engagement.”

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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