10 standout UX design portfolio examples to inspire your own

/ 11 min read
Paperform

This blog post offers essential tips and insights for crafting a standout UX design portfolio. It features expert advice from Kyro Samaan, a seasoned UX design professional, providing readers with 11 key strategies to enhance their portfolios. The post covers various aspects such as showcasing problem-solving skills, using video tours, displaying a mix of personal and client work, focusing on accessibility, teamwork, and the importance of testing and feedback. It also suggests using Paperform for creating contact forms and feedback tools, enhancing portfolio interaction. Additionally, the post includes a list of 10 inspiring UX design portfolios, offering practical examples and inspiration for readers to develop their own unique portfolios.

With the competition for UX design roles getting hotter every day, your portfolio is a key way to stand out to prospective clients and employers.

Your portfolio isn’t just a collection of your work; it's the key to unlocking new career paths and opportunities. To give you an edge, we've spoken to seasoned UX design professional, Kyro Samaan, to glean insights and strategies directly from an expert in the field.

How to make a UX design portfolio

Below are 11 essential tips to help you build a UX design portfolio that stands out, engages, and opens doors to new opportunities.

1. Provide an unfiltered view of your mind

This might sound like a cheesy pickup line, but it's really the best way to humanize yourself to a hiring manager who's just skimmed through 50 other portfolios.

As a UX designer, it can be tempting to focus too much on the aesthetic value of your portfolio. While it's important for your visuals to be on point, it's even more important to tell an engaging story about each project. The key here is to show the reader how you approach challenges.

For each project in your portfolio consider the following sections:

Portfolio ElementDescription
The Challenges FacedDescribe the specific challenges you encountered.
Tough Decisions MadeExplain the difficult decisions during the design process.
Decision Making and Problem SolvingDetail how you approached and solved the challenges.
Showcasing Product DistinctivenessDescribe what you did to highlight the product's uniqueness.
Surprises, Triumphs, LessonsShare any notable surprises, successes, or key learnings.
Mistakes During the ProcessReflect on any errors and what you learned from them.
Final Outcomes and ROIHighlight the successful outcomes and finished product, especially any ROI improvements.

Ultimately, this should help the reader get an insight into how your mind works and your overall workflow. Think of it as a movie—develop a full-fledged plot for each project. Outline the challenges, the key conflicts, your discovery phases and the ultimate conclusion.

2. Create personas and use cases for your portfolio

"Your portfolio should be like a chameleon, adapting to suit its audience," advises Kyro. It's essential to think about who will view your portfolio and what they're specifically looking for. Here's how to approach this:

  • Design Agency Applications: When targeting design agencies, emphasize your technical skills and proficiency in UX design. These audiences appreciate detailed, jargon-rich content that showcases your expertise.
  • Small to Medium-Sized Business Applications: Here, the evaluators might not be as versed in UX terminology. Simplify complex design concepts into relatable stories that clearly demonstrate the impact of your work.

Remember, relevance is key. Align your portfolio with the specific industry you're targeting. For instance, if you're eyeing roles in the food services industry, highlight any relevant experience, like projects in the hospitality sector. Tailoring your portfolio in this manner makes you a more attractive candidate for the specific roles you are pursuing.

For those with diverse interests or beginners in the field, consider creating multiple targeted portfolios. This strategy helps you appeal to a broader range of potential employers, showcasing your versatility and adaptability across different sectors and roles.

3. Consider building multiple portfolios

Diverse portfolios enable you to demonstrate versatility and specialization across various industries. Kyro advises, “tailoring individual portfolios to different personas enhances your visibility and establishes you as an industry specialist.”

Tailoring individual portfolios to different personas enhances your visibility and establishes you as an industry specialist.

As a beginner, your career is likely in an exploratory phase, making it challenging to commit to a specific niche. A one-size-fits-all portfolio might come across as too general.

By creating distinct portfolios for different target personas, you not only cater to a broader audience but also position yourself as a versatile and adaptable designer.

Your portfolio is a key marketing tool, necessitating different approaches for different audiences. For example, an HR manager in a SaaS company and a Design Lead in a digital agency will have much different expectations.

Modern design tools can assist in efficiently creating landing pages for each site, making the process less time-consuming than it might initially appear.

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4. Highlight problem-solving skills

A UX design portfolio is about presenting the design journey, just as much as it's about the final outcome. Start by clearly identifying the problem you addressed. This could be anything from UI issues to enhancing overall user engagement.

Next, narrate your approach. Describe how you brainstormed, conducted user research, and iterated your designs based on findings. This part of your story showcases your analytical and creative thought processes.

Conclude with the impact. Illustrate the effectiveness of your solutions with quantifiable results, like improved user metrics or positive feedback. This not only demonstrates your skill but also the real-world value of your work.

5. Use video tours of your designs

Almost every marketing medium is rapidly adopting videos and with reason. Internet video traffic accounts for 80% of all consumer internet traffic.

There's even more of a reason to use videos in your online portfolio. "Using videos and movement in your visual design portfolio can take users through your work as intended," says Kyro. "It adds a dynamic and interactive element."

Using videos and movement in your UX design portfolio can take users through your work as intended, adding a dynamic and interactive element.

Apart from product demonstration videos, you can also use videos to showcase your personality by having an introductory video in your portfolio that lets your audience put a face to your name. To showcase your workflow, you could record yourself conducting a usability test and interacting with users.

The potential to engage with videos is so much higher, especially considering most recruiters only spend around 30-60 seconds viewing a portfolio. By embedding a video in your portfolio, you can convey more with less time and ensure that those 30 seconds are as memorable as possible.

6. Display your passion with unsolicited redesigns

Spotify redesign via Nicholas Ergemla (Dribbble)

An unsolicited redesign is when a UX designer chooses to redesign an existing app or website without being asked or paid to. They're great to include in your portfolio for a multitude of reasons.

If you don't have a panoply of work to display in your portfolio, unsolicited redesigns are the perfect way to showcase your skills and passion for your craft.

"Unsolicited redesigns are a great way to showcase your skills and passion for your craft, adding substance to your portfolio," says Kyro, who used unsolicited designs to build his first portfolios.

Choose a small business that interests you and redesign the UX for their app or website.  It'll give prospective employers insight into your skillset and add some meat to your portfolio.

For experienced UX designers, there is still some value in doing unsolicited redesigns once you're further advanced in your career. To be candid—there aren't as many. However, they can be a great way to show that you work in the field due to a sheer appetite for creating better user experiences.

Important: If there's a company you really want to work for, you should consider doing an unsolicited redesign for one of their products, apps or website. It's a great way to show them what they're missing out on by not having you on their team.

7. Show off personal and client work

Don't think that it has to be all work, all the time. “Mix it up," suggests Kyro. "Your portfolio should be a blend of professional client work and personal experiments.”

Personal projects are your playground to showcase your creativity and passion without constraints. They reflect your style, interests, and the raw, unfiltered side of your design philosophy.

On the flip side, client work demonstrates your ability to meet real-world demands and work within specific guidelines or objectives. It's proof of your professional experience and how you navigate the challenges of client expectations and project limitations.

Your portfolio should tell the story of a well-rounded designer — one who is not only technically adept and professionally seasoned but also creatively vibrant and unafraid to experiment. This balance makes your portfolio relatable and appealing to a broad spectrum of potential employers or clients.

8. Focus on accessibility and inclusivity

Emphasizing accessibility and inclusivity in your UX portfolio is not just a trend, it's a necessity. Kyro Samaan puts it aptly: “Design for all, and you’re designing for the future.”

Incorporate elements like:

  • Screen reader-friendly layouts: Demonstrating consideration for users with visual impairments.
  • Color-blind accessible palettes: Ensuring your designs are perceivable by users with color vision deficiencies.
  • Easy-to-navigate interfaces: Catering to a broad user base, including those with motor difficulties or cognitive disabilities.
  • Adapted designs for different cultures or languages: Showcasing your ability to create globally accessible and culturally sensitive UX designs.

Doing so shows your mindfulness towards diverse user needs. This sends a strong message: you value and understand the spectrum of user experiences. It’s not just about aesthetics; it’s about empathy and creating an inclusive digital world.

9. Show you play well in a team

In UX design, teamwork is everything. Your portfolio should highlight projects where you collaborated effectively with others — whether it's working with developers, co-designers, or cross-functional teams, showcasing these interactions can make a huge difference.

“Show off how well you play with others. It’s a big deal in the UX design field.”

Include projects where your collaborative skills were crucial. Maybe you worked with a developer to integrate a complex feature, or with marketing teams to understand user personas better.

These examples illustrate not just your design skills, but also your ability to communicate, adapt, and work towards a common goal.

10. Make sure potential clients can contact you

Your UX design portfolio is your bridge to future opportunities. "Having a direct line of communication is key in establishing professional relationships," advises Kyro.

By integrating a contact form, you’re inviting potential clients or employers to initiate a conversation, making your portfolio not just a showcase of your work, but also a platform for networking and opportunity.

Paperform stands out as an ideal tool for creating custom contact forms. Its ease of use, combined with powerful customization options, aligns perfectly with the needs of UX designers who value aesthetics and functionality.

You can design a form that not only matches the style of your portfolio but also offers a user-friendly experience.

  • Tailor the look and feel of your form to seamlessly blend with your portfolio
  • Embed your Paperform contact form directly into your portfolio, whether you use Squarspace, WordPress, Webflow or any other website builder
  • Receive notifications and track responses easily, helping you engage promptly with potential clients or employers.

contact us form

10. Always be testing

You rigorously test your designs, right? Apply the same principle to your portfolio. "Testing your portfolio on different people helps find any potential issues early on and allows you to see it from a different perspective," says Kyro.

Start by crafting a simple, user-friendly feedback form using Paperform. You can easily share this form across various platforms, like Facebook groups such as The Give Good UX Company of Friends or Slack communities like Designer Hangout. These spaces are goldmines for constructive feedback from fellow professionals.

What sets Paperform apart is its intuitive design and flexibility. You can tailor your feedback forms to reflect the style of your portfolio, maintaining a consistent brand image.

Plus, the insights you gather are neatly organized, making it easy to identify areas for improvement. Regularly updating your portfolio based on this feedback ensures it remains relevant, engaging, and a true reflection of your evolving skills as a UX designer.

Enhance your portfolio now with Paperform's customizable feedback forms

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10 UX designer portfolio examples

We've put together a list of 10 great UX portfolios to give you some inspiration while you cook up your own.

1. Arsen Kolyba

Arsen Kolyba's portfolio is a mix of innovation, practicality, and user-focused visual design that spans a variety of platforms and tools.

2. Hanson Wu

Hanson Wu's portfolio showcases a deep and versatile skill set in UX design, a track record of significant roles in high-profile projects, and a clear commitment to creating user-centric designs that align with business objectives.

3. Jan Losert

Jan Losert's website serves as a comprehensive portfolio of his work and expertise in product design and Webflow, offering resources and insights for both aspiring and experienced designers and developers.

4. Simon Pan

Simon Pan's site is clean and effective. His portfolio shows a wealth of experience in product design and user experience, highlighting his impact on notable projects for Uber, Amazon Prime, and more, each demonstrating his skills in UX design.

5. An honest UX design portfolio

This website presents a unique and humorous take on a UX designer's portfolio. It is filled with self-deprecating humor and tongue-in-cheek commentary to highlight and critique common experiences in the UX design field. Join the trend or use it as a base for what to avoid—the choice is yours!

6. Ryan Robinson

Ryan Robinson's website is certainly bold. He uses bright colors to draw the viewer in, then below the fold, allowing the work to shine with a more muted color palette.

7. Emi Lantz

This portfolio by Emi Lantz doesn't just display her work, it explains her design philosophy and gives potential clients a peek into her design process. A perfect example of the importance of adding storytelling and context to your portfolio.

8. Gina Yu

Gina Yu's portfolio is a testament to her ethos of human-centered design. The site exemplifies clarity and effectiveness, integrating her personal philosophy with her professional achievements.

9. Dalya Green

Daly Green's portfolio is a striking one-page showcase that blends professional finesse with personal flair. It stands out with its interactive elements—a gradient background that visitors can personalize; a clickable button inviting visitors to discover fun facts about Dalya.

This interactive layer not only captures the visitor's attention but also highlights Dalya's creativity and skill in crafting user experiences that are both smooth and memorable.

10. Sam Hox

One of the problems with using videos on your portfolio is loading times. But Sam Hox's portfolio gets around this by using high-quality gifs, that load super fast and make his designs pop. Also, love the fun cursor.

It's your time to shine

Creating a UX portfolio may seem daunting, but as long as you remain authentic in your messaging, it will resonate with your audience.

Above all, make sure you explain your workflow with clarity, let your personality shine, and remember the reason you're doing it all in the first place.


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