How to Create Case Studies for Your UX Design Portfolio When You Have No Past Projects and Experience

if you’re new to ux and wanna get yr 1st job, you mite find yrself stuck in a paradox. you see, to apply for yr 1st job, you’ll nd'2 ‘ve a ux design portfolio which contains round 3 case studies. but without prior ux experience or projects, how ‘d you create these case studies? you’re thus stuck in a loop: t'get a job, you’ll need a portfolio; but to build a portfolio, you’ll need a job. howzit solve this paradox? well, the good news is thris no paradox, not really. you see, even though you ‘ve no prior experience, you can still create case studies for yr portfolio. we’ll show you how—in concrete, practical steps.

1st, let’s start with wha’ you’ll nd'2 create yr ux case studies. we’ll get inna'da details l8r; however, to start building yr portfolio, you’ll need:

  1. some primordial design knowledge and skills. this means you’ll nd'2 know some design methodologies—for ex, design thinking—swell as key ux deliverables s'as personas, usability reprts and prototypes.
  2. a project t'work on—don’t worry, this is simpler than it sounds.
  3. finally, you’ll ‘ve to apply yr design knowledge and skills to a design project you choose.

to create yr case study, you ‘ve to start witha solid cogging of ux, find a project t'work on and then apply yr design knowledge to the project. author / copyrite holder: teo yu siang na interaction design foundation. copyrite terms and license: cc by-nc-sa 3.0

the good news? atta interaction design foundation (idf), we cannelp you in each and every step! that’s rite, with our online courses, you can gain primordial design knowledge and skills, get access to gr8 design project briefs and apply yr newfound skills to the projects. we think you’ll enjoy how efficient and effective we’ll make yr portfolio-building process.

here’s a quick summary of how we cannelp you (we’ll dive into + details l8r):

  • you can learn key design knowledge and skills n'our pop beginner courses s'as:
  • you’ll find realistic ux project briefs n'our courses which contain build yr portfolio projects, where you’ll be guided to create yr ux case studies:
  • as you take our courses, you’ll also work on our build yr portfolio exercises, tch'mins by the end of yr courses, you’ll not 1-ly ‘ve gained industry-recognized course certificates b'tll so ‘ve ux case studies!

atta idf, you’ll get access to over 25 ux courses witha flat membership fee, and you’ll learn from courses taught by leading design experts.

learn these courses and + atta interaction design foundation for a flat fee. author / copyrite holder: teo yu siang na interaction design foundation. copyrite terms and license: cc by-nc-sa 3.0

through these courses, we’ll guide you every step of the way, from acquiring knowledge to applying them in yr own projects.

in all of our courses, we give you pdf templ8s which you can download and print to use in yr projects. for ex, if you’re goin to do usr interviews, we help you c’oer the basic ?s and you just ‘ve to gear the ?s towards yr usrs.

n'our online courses, you’ll find a wide collection of templ8s which will help you apply design methods. author / copyrite holder: teo yu siang na interaction design foundation. copyrite terms and license: cc by-nc-sa 3.0

ready to dive inna'da details of how to build yr ux case studies from scratch? let’s go!

step 1: get foundational knowledge and skills in ux design

the most demanding pt of creating yr 1st case study is gettin yr design basics rite. it can make or break yr case studies. that’s cause if yr design knowledge and skills are inadequate, even the most interesting project will not lead to a gr8 case study. after all, if you’re not qualified enough, you mite apply the wrong design processes. doin’ thall lead to, at best, mediocre results.

there are no shortcuts here: to create yr case studies, you ‘ve to ‘ve a solid cogging of ux design. this means you ‘d know how to exe some design methodologies and how to carry out design methods to produce ux deliverables. let’s break down wha’ these terms mean, and how you can master them to build yr ux case studies.

best practice design methodologies to help you create case studies

design methodologies are approaches towards how to solve a design problem. they consist offa design workflo that contains tek knicks, procedures and tulz required to craft solutions that work.

some pop design methodologies you ‘d know include:

  • design thinking. this pop methodology is bout how you design solutions by 1st empathizing with pplz, defining their problems, then coming up with ideas, prototyping solutions and testing them with usrs. our design thinking course is one of our most pop, and for good reason. if you’re new to ux design, we recommend that you start with design thinking for a holistic approach towards designing solutions.
  • agile design, where you’ll design continuous, iterative improvements, while gettin frequent feedback from usrs. as opposed to a traditional “watafall” approach, where you hand over fixed designs to developers, inna agile method you’ll work closely with developers and evolve yr designs constantly. among other things, you can learn agile design n'our course interaction design for usability.

these methodologies aint mutually exclusive. rather, they are ≠ angles of looking atta same problem. you’re good t'get started with just one methodology s'as design thinking, but knowing + will help you think better as a designer

design methods you’ll use to create yr case studies

in contrast to design methodologies, design methods are tek knicks, procedures and activities that you’ll perform in order to solve the design problem. design methods are used in isolation (i.e., they’re not necessarily pt offa grand overall process). thus, two design methodologies can share the same design method—for instance, the design method “usr interview” is comm1-ly used in design thinking swell as in agile design.

some pop design methods are card sorting, field studies, usability testing and personas. all our courses include practical design methods, but you ‘d take these courses in pticular to learn + bout design methods:

  • usr research – methods and best practices will teach you how to plan and exe qualitative usr research and present yr findings. you’ll learn how to conduct design methods s'as usr interviews and usability tests.
  • conducting usability testing, where you’ll learn bout the tek knicks and procedures involved in planning and conducting usability tests, swell as analyzing yr results.

ux deliverables you’ll create for yr case studies

ux deliverables are tangible records and results of the work you’ve done. they’re the natural end result offa design method. for ex, after you’ve conducted a usr interview, you’d produce the ux deliverable offa usr interview reprt. primordial ux deliverables include storyboards, customer quest maps, usr flo diagrams, prototypes and usability reprts.

all our courses are practical-oriented and thus will equip you to create ux deliverables. these courses espeshly will help you:

  • mobile usr experience (ux) design will provide you with all the design knowledge and skills you nd'2 create prototypes for mobile devices that work gr8.
  • become a ux designer from scratch introduces you to ux design and practical exercises to create key deliverables. one of our most pop courses, it also guides you through common ux deliverables—quest maps, personas, paper prototypes and heuristic evaluation reprts, just to name a few.
  • ui design patterns for successful software will provide you with knowledge and exercises n'how to implement design patterns to support various usr needs. you’ll be able to produce best-in-class prototypes that contain excellent ui components s'as top navigation menus, site fters and input fields.

as you can see, you nd'2 equip yrself with design knowledge and skills so u can begin creating yr 1st case study. that’s why we said earlier that this tis most demanding pt of the process.

once you’ve learnt the basics of design, you’re ready to move to the nxt step of creating yr case study.

step 2: find a project t'work on

there are two ways you can find a project: you either work na' hypothetical project for a product or srvc that you know, or work for a real client na' real project.

work on hypothetical projects to create yr case studies

hypothetical projects refer to unsolicited work for a product or srvc you know or use. this is common among pplz starting out in ux, and we recommend this approach cause you can get started rite away without having to find a real client.

you can go ahead and take some of our online courses which are tailor-made t'give you both the knowledge and skills you need. they guide you through a design project where you apply ux design tulz and methods, and you n'dup witha case study for yr portfolio.

you can also do hypothetical projects on something you use daily: an app, yr local government’s website, etc. for ex, you can analyze the usability of yr local cinema’s website and prototype an improved design. or you can study the experience of commuting on yr local subway system and make suggestions n'how to make it + pleasant. everything is designed, so u’ll never run out of things to analyze and improve.

as a rule of thumb, you ‘d think twice b4 picking essentialisms or srvcs by major companies like apple or g. you mite think the big brand name will sound impressive on yr portfolio. but cause these companies ‘ve large design teams and well-established practices, you’ll be hard-pressed to find genuine, well-founded ux problems and create better solutions. if you’re up for it, you ‘d definitely dweet, but be warned that few pplz manage to pull it off.

volunteer yr srvcs or find freelance projects to create yr case studies

you mite ‘ve a hard time finding projects from real clients if you ‘ve no prior experience. you can volunteer yr srvcs for free to increase yr chances. whether or not you’re charging yr client, you ‘d tell them that you’re new to ux and that you’re taking onna project to grow yr skills. to make yr srvcs + attractive, highlite to yr client that you’re eager to learn and willing to spend lotso' time and effort.

if you choose to charge yr clients for yr 1st few ux jobs, do make sure to set a reasonably lo price so that both pties can calibrate expectations. you won’t undersell yrself if you remember that gr8 feedback is primordial for building up yr reputation and that the dy will come when you can charge +.

step 3: apply yr design methodology and tek knicks to yr project

once you’ve learned one or two design methodologies na rel8d key ux deliverables, you’re ready to apply yr knowledge to yr 1st project. this tis final step to create yr 1st case study. exciting!

you ‘d use the design methodology and tek knicks most relevant to the role you wanna apply for. if you wanna be a usr researcher, you ‘d apply usr research tek knicks s'as usr interviews. if you’re looking for a general ux role, you mite wanna go through the design thinking process to identify flaws inna current design and create alternative solutions.

if you’re aiming for a general ux role, you can apply the design thinking process to yr project to create yr case study. author / copyrite holder: teo yu siang na interaction design foundation. copyrite terms and license: cc by-nc-sa 3.0

at this step, the most primordial thing is to do, do, do! wanna conduct usr interviews? get yr friends’ help and ask them yr ?s. nd'2 do usr testing of an app? sit down with yr friends or neighbors, or even with strangers at a cafe. start sketching yr ideas on paper. create a quest map based on yr friend’s dy as a commuter onna subway. start lil, use wha’ you ‘ve access to… and do.

how to find design projects and apply yr design skills and knowledge

1-odda best wys'2 create yr case studies is to apply yr newly learned knowledge to a project, just as you learn it. this way, you’ll not 1-ly create yr portfolio faster b'tll so reinforce and better remember wha’ you’ve just learned.

the gr8 news is we ‘ve courses specifically tailored to help ye do just that. think of these as supercharged portfolio-building courses: we’ve created a realistic project brief and added tailored exercises throughout these courses to guide you to build a case study. when you take these courses, you’ll not 1-ly ‘ve a perfect project t'work on—you can also create yr case studies as you learn. we think they’re perfect 4u.

the supercharged portfolio-building courses are:

these courses will guide you step by step to help you apply yr knowledge within yr own design projects inna easiest way possible. that means'dat once you’ve taken one of these courses, you’d also ‘ve a case study for yr portfolio. yes, it can be that simple!

for each course you complete w'da interaction design foundation you’ll also get a course certificate to prove that you’ve gained new skills and you can insert yr course certificate(s) rite into yr portfolio. it’s primordial that you also include the unique link you get for each course certificate so recruiters can verify each o'em.

if you wanna stand out from the crowd as a candidate with solid ux skills and knowledge you can also show and link to each course certificate on yr resume, cv and linkedin profile.

interaction design foundation course certificates are trusted by industry leaders s'as adobe, accenture, philips and ibm who’ve taken up company memberships w'da idf.

we wish you all the best in yr exciting quest of creating yr case studies!

the take away

creating yr 1st case studies for yr ux design portfolio can seem challenging, b'that’s not the case. you can start creating case studies from scratch by folloing these steps:

  1. get foundational knowledge in ux: through learning (from books, the idf or elsewhere) design methodologies and common ux activities. this tis most demanding step.
  2. find a project t'work on: either a real project for a client (which can be difficult to find) or a hypothetical project na' product you know (which you can find easily).
  3. apply yr knowledge to the chosen project: when you’re starting out, doin’ tis best way of learning. in “real ux work” you mite need well-selected samples for usr research, but you can use wha’ever you ‘ve access to when you’re starting out. do, do, do!

if you take one of our portfolio-building courses mentioned just above, you’ll ‘ve covered all 3 steps and be ready to start applying for yr 1st job in ux—cause you’ll ‘ve the primordial knowledge, you’ll ‘ve a'bitto experience witha project, and you’ll ‘ve a case study for yr portfolio.

we’re here to guide you along the way. by taking one of these courses, you can find yr ft onna rite track and turbo-charge yr progress as yr knowledge base snowballs:

references and where to learn +

you can find our entire ux course catalog here: www.interaction-design.org…

you’ll also find don norman’s seminal book the design of everydy things useful for gaining design knowledge. you can find it on amazon here: www.amazon.com…

hero image: author / copyrite holder: thomas quaritsch. copyrite terms and license: unsplash license.

original content at: www.interaction-design.org…
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