Skip to main contentRacial Equity in Design

It’s about time
to share your work
and display your
most authentic self.

Don’t be afraid of the word “portfolio.” It’s simply the word that designers use to describe a collection of your work that showcases your style and skills. Your portfolio is an opportunity to express your personality and tell your unique story in your own way. Use your portfolio to highlight your inspiration, creativity, and problem solving. A portfolio is always an imperfect work-in-progress, and that’s totally OK.
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use the more you have.”
Maya Angelou


Roosevelt Faulkner, IBM Design researcher, discusses using the STAR method for presenting your portfolio.

Here’s an easy playbook to follow when you present your portfolio:

Problem

  • Tell which project is your favorite and why
  • Talk about the team setup, your role, and activity in the project
  • Explain what the task was

Action

  • Describe your process
  • Mention methods and user insights

Result

  • Show your solution
  • Elaborate on one major design decision
  • Showcase the results
  • Share your learnings
  • When presenting your portfolio, remember that first (and last) impressions count. Break up presentation of similar projects, and arrange your presentation so that the most impactful elements of your portfolio are the first and last thing you share.

  • Each interview will be unique,so it’s great to mentally prepare for questions you may be asked and questions you may want to ask.

    “Good design is about process, not product.”
    — Jared Sinclair

    Show the “messy bits” of your design process that lead to the final solution. Think about showing low fidelity prototypes, moving into mid-fidelity prototypes, and finally, high fidelity mock ups.


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Tailor your work to your audience and practice your presentation.

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Make the presentation generic.

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Keep a consistent look and feel between all visual elements — resume, portfolio, web presence, etc.

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Change color schemes mid-presentation — stay "on brand."

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Use a grid to organize your layout.

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Fill every inch of the visual space. Negative space helps to let the work "breathe."

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Include text comments to support your visuals.

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Claim work that’s not yours, especially in team efforts.