What Are Essential Tools for Creating User Experience Portfolio And Resume?

March 4, 2024

The paradox of choice is making it harder and harder to choose the right tools, platform and even style for creating your portfolio. But let me give you my perspective as a UX designer.

Illustration by Elisabet Guba from Ouch!

1. Choose a platform

Honestly, the platform is not that important as long as it doesn’t limit the presentation of your work or personal brand. Right? We are talking about UX portfolio after all, the most important part is to communicate your message and make the exploration process enjoyable and easy to consume. I believe your portfolio as a UX designer should aim to facilitate a good user experience, not flashy or cut-edge interactions that neglect functionality or usability. Let it serve you as the always work-in-progress project with which you can learn, test, iterate and improve. You got this! 😊

2. Collect your work

One of the best advice I got in terms of showcasing your work is to present the work you are:

  • Proud of
  • Want to get a project similar to
  • Passion projects or demo projects that showcase your interest and potential in a certain industry. Here I am not talking about just a UI redesign and fresh aesthetics, I am talking about encountered and researched problems that you can pitch a solution for, ideas that with the possibility of collaboration can meet user needs and serve business objectives.

If you have done a great job of documenting your process and projects thoroughly, having a before and after for example related to a redesign serves your portfolio greatly as evidence of you having the big picture figured out.

After some time don’t forget to integrate the after impact and results based on the redesign. If you can pull out some analytics and comparisons in performance or KPIs this would serve as a great full-circle moment with the problem statement.

3. Curate your content

  • Storytelling — Starting from the bone of your content, you first must figure out what kind of story you are trying to tell. Especially when it comes to case studies. And how are you going to tell it? What logic will your portfolio follow? Keep your focus on the highlights and important details of your work and consider each sentence as a unique value proposition.
  • Format — Then make a scenario of how you will present it. Yes, it's like making a movie. When telling a story we talk about goals, successes, fails, interests, uncertainties, struggles and wins. All those bringing the emotions out on the surface. So don’t forget to write your case studies with intention.
  • Language, easy to read, easy to comprehend — if possible avoid jargon, technical terms and acronyms or if you do use them make sure to include simple, supporting explanations for  them.
  • Evidence — something I am looking forward to implementing in my updated case studies are testimonials, quotes, and feedback from users and clients to add credibility to my work. Especially the ones from the usability studies and follow-up meetings.
  • Numbers — last but not least, don’t forget to include some metrics and outcomes to quantify the value of your work and show how you met or exceeded the project’s goals.

4. Write your resume

This is the most tedious thing in my opinion, but I found a way around it. After starting freelancing I thought I won't need to compile one of these in a while, but some platforms do require providing a resume. There are two teams of people that I am aware of when it comes to resumes.

  • Simple and ATS (Applicant Tracking System) friendly — including only strategic and valuable, keyword-friendly resume without any fluff.
  • Visually appealing, standing out — those resumes are often presented in a very visually supported way with impressive visuals like profile photos, infographics etc.

Whichever style you choose don’t forget to:

  • Aim to summarise your most recent education, experience, skills, and achievements.
  • If possible try tailoring it to the specific position, company, and industry you are applying for, and include keywords and phrases that match the job description and requirements.
  • Ensure a clear and understandable format and layout, and use consistent fonts, colours (if any), and styles.
  • Don’t skip the header with your name, contact information, and a link to your portfolio.
  • The meat: use a summary or objective statement to summarize your value proposition and career goals. Be as specific as possible.
  • Use bullet points to clarify your  responsibilities, tasks, achievements and contributions for each position with action verbs, numbers, and results to display your impact.
  • Show off your skills in a section with a list of your technical, soft, and design skills with a rating system or examples to show your proficiency.
  • If applicable add  awards, certifications, or publications section to showcase recognition or credentials in the UX field.

5. Get feedback

Seek constructive and honest feedback. And when you get it seed out the unnecessary comments and keep whatever is valuable to you. This phase you can consider as a mini usability testing of your portfolio and resume. So choose your user group carefully to get the quality output of this testing and research of yours. Ask questions like:

  • What do you think? What is going through your mind when you read this part?
  • How does it sound to you?
  • How do you feel when you are checking my portfolio?

And use AI to help you iterate the questions and your content. But again, take its advice with a grain of salt!

6. Update your portfolio and resume

That’s the advice. And it is enough. Schedule in your calendar to do this. Just came as an idea while I was typing this sentence.💡Just made a reminder in my Google calendar. Yes, I put everything in there.

The author’s Google calendar
I literally put everything in my Google calendar.

7. Here’s what else to consider

Don’t be shy to share interesting facts or learned lessons from projects. Also, feel free to share failed projects and how they have helped you shape your process, as it will demonstrate transparency and authenticity to the reader of your case studies. And we do learn best from our mistakes, don’t we?

You can also share some success stories, follow up with clients and share some metrics post-launch if applicable. That will help you update your portfolio, but also rekindle and maintain client relationships if you are a freelance designer. 😊


Thank you for reading! 🙏🏽🙏🏽

To support my writing, you can:

  • Follow me on Medium.
  • Want more stories? Find my blog and previous stories here on my website.
  • Subscribe to my newsletter for extended stories, news, materials and behind the scenes of my business.
  • 🎙️Have a listen to my podcast that I host with my friend.
  • If you enjoy my stories and want to support my work, you can buy me a coffee, sweet pastry or bubble tea! 🧋I have also created memberships with special rewards!

If you know someone who will enjoy my stories, please share them with them! 🙂

P.S. If you want to be part of my curious journey, you can find me on also on Instagram @angelova.nikoleta.design and LinkedIn (Nikoleta Angelova). Don’t forget to include a note on LinkedIn. 😉

Are you struggling with productivity or understanding design decisions? Join me on my YouTube where I explain web design and stream sometimes. 🤓

Want to collaborate?
Send me a message!

Currently available for collaborations.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.