“Can they draw straight lines?”
That’s what my boss asks me each time I meet a new UX Design candidate.
I’ve interviewed a lot of UX Designers over the past two years. Inevitably (and at my request in most cases) we end up going through some of their past deliverables. Whether it’s in a book or an online portfolio, a series of wireframes is typically shown along with some kind of flow diagram, perhaps an old spec or a use case template as well. What I’ve found from these hours of interviews is that, for UX Designers, an online portfolio is overrated and rarely useful.
“Sure they can draw straight lines.” That’s my response because everyone can draw straight lines in Omnigraffle.
But those lines ultimately convey an experience– an experience that you’ve thought out, iterated on and designed through some kind of internal process. That’s what I’m interested in. I want to know why you made the decisions you did and how you got to those decision. Your online portfolio won’t tell me that.
Drawing straight lines on wireframes is the price of entry for any UX Designer. Save yourself the time of building out a robust online portfolio. Consider, instead, publishing a case study of some work you did and describe your thinking. Better yet, blog. Get your thoughts, ideas, philosophies and processes out there. That will tell a potential employer much more than a deck of de-contextualized Visio wireframes.