We're super proud of the outcomes from all our students in the UX Academy program—but especially so in the last year, when the world has been so turbulent and uncertain. In a time where valid distractions are abundant, our students were relentless in their career-changing and upskilling pursuits.
In spite of it all, our students have continued to be hired at companies like Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, Sony, Adidas, and many more. Students have transitioned from roles in the healthcare, aviation, and architecture industries; as well as from more traditional pivot backgrounds like graphic design.
While we regularly publish success stories of our students, which profile how and why they made their career switch to UX/UI design, we wanted to spotlight a big part of what making that career switch is about: creating a clean and compelling UX/UI design portfolio.
With the help of mentors and career coaches, the Designlab community has produced some highly impressive portfolios. Read on to explore a selection of UX/UI design portfolios from Designlab students that are sure to inspire you.
10 Designlab Student Portfolios That Shine
Here are some of our top student portfolios that were produced in the last year, and insights into what we particularly liked about each. (Portfolios are listed in no particular order.)
1. Aurora Shao
Aurora’s portfolio is clean, easy to navigate, and consistent, all while showcasing her illustrative skills. She does an excellent job of creating case studies that provide all of the relevant information in an engaging way. It’s tempting to have long blocks of writing due to the nature of your projects, but she’s broken things up into sections, added graphics and icons, and kept design at the forefront of each presentation.
So many portfolios are grid images on a white page, and while there’s nothing wrong with that approach, Jared’s portfolio stands out for its light grey background and use of color in general. One important feature is the “Back to Top” button on the right-hand side of the case study pages. Instead of having to scroll all the way back to the top of the page after you’re done, he’s made it much easier to navigate and keep going.
Another great example of how a subtle color shift can make the design that much more compelling. Siriveena also has a nice variety of projects in her portfolio. It’s tempting to only pick what you find most interesting or exciting, but in the real world, you’d be much more likely to work on a very specific feature, or for an audience you have no expertise with. It’s nice to show that you’re interested and able to design for all, and it’s great to see Siriveena reflect that here.
4. Rebecca Jun
Clean, simple, consistent. Rebecca also has a strong “About Me” page. If you’re a career switcher, you’ll often need to create a narrative of why you moved into design. This doesn’t mean a thousand word essay, but something short and to the point that connects the dots for your audience and builds on former experience will do the job.
5. Soo Park
Soo manages to add moments of whimsy to her case studies with the use of emojis. Yes, your actual design and presentation of the work is the most important thing, but if you can show a bit of your personality in your portfolio it might help you stand out from the crowd.
Katherine’s portfolio is clean, consistent, and easy to navigate, with section buttons on the left-hand side of the page for navigation on the case study pages. She also shows how to feature a confidential project, which will often happen as a designer. The “Healthcare Staffing” case study shows you a bit of the branding, outlines the ask and deliverable, and when you click on it, brings you to a page where you can email her for access.
7. Jamie Choi
The scrolling experience in Jamie’s portfolio is almost calming. Text and images fade in gently as you move down the page. Case studies are also very clean, consistent, and well-laid out, making for a really lovely portfolio experience.
8. Katie Lewis
Katie's portfolio is a great study in how to showcase past work and interests in a way that's not distracting. She lets the viewer filter her work so you can quickly navigate from the homepage. We often emphasize the use of white space, but that doesn't have to mean literal white. Katie uses a range of rich jewel tones in her grid that bring her projects to life and make her portfolio stand out from the crowd.
9. Erick Brito
Erick’s portfolio shows how to feature work you may have had prior to Designlab. He puts his UX/UI design work first, but then includes examples of print and presentation design. If you have other portfolio-worthy projects, you should feel free to include them as long as they don’t take away from your primary focus.
10. Ben Griggs
Ben’s case studies are presented very well. Instead of straightforward screens on the homepage, he features a collage of sorts to introduce each project. When you click into the case studies, the background and design elements mimic the branding for that product or company. Ben also does a great job of featuring past work and other interests without detracting from his professional focus.
If you want to create a UX/UI design portfolio that inspires, we invite you to learn more about our UX Academy program for career-changers and upskillers. By the end, you’ll have completed over 100 hands-on exercises, and built a portfolio with 4 substantial projects.