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How to build a winning design portfolio

Meet the Team

29 November 2021

How to build a winning design portfolio

Almost all design roles require candidates to submit a portfolio along with their CV. We spoke with 3 of our designers who regularly evaluate portfolios and collected the most valuable tips for anyone interested in a design role at Wix


Ella Moscovitz, a DesignDev team lead at Wix, knows a thing or two about design portfolios. Obviously she has one of her own, but she also evaluates many of the portfolios that are sent to Wix by job seekers in order to assess their fit for our needs. Naturally, this position makes her tips on creating a winning design portfolio that will help you land your dream job very valuable.



Structure and curation

“One of the most common mistakes I see in people’s portfolios is the lack of curation,” Ella says. “Many people try to shove as much as they can into their portfolio instead of giving serious thought to the nature of the role they’re applying to. If you’re applying to a Web Designer role, your portfolio should reflect that. If you’re applying to an illustrator role, it should contain different content.. That’s why in my mind curation is the single most important thing when you submit your portfolio for review.


“My recommendation is to think very critically about your work and to pick up to 10 projects, and then design the portfolio well so it looks pretty. If you’re a person who knows how to do very different things, you should divide your portfolio into categories, but never throw everything you have in it. Being focused pays off,” she says with a smile.


Iris Koutchmar, one of our design team leads agrees: “You don’t really need to display a lot of projects in your portfolio. Even 4 of them can create an interesting, deep experience. You should remember that when your portfolio is evaluated, the curation of the projects shows your skill as a designer to deliver a message with a purpose.”



Storytelling and thought process

Iris also reminds us that a portfolio tells a story. “It’s a project like any other project you display,” she says. “It should express your design and creative skills: typography, layout, conceptual thinking, image curation, and user experience. It doesn't mean you need to create a crazy experience. In the end, it’s a brief like any other brief and should serve the purpose of your works and to tell a story.”


Head of the Wix Editor's Design team, Naama Hoffman, says that when she looks at a portfolio, she sees it as a whole. “Not only the projects and its content are important, but everything around it too: the layout of the portfolio, the typography in it, the hierarchy. Even the way a candidate's CV looks tells me a lot about whether he is a good designer. Pay attention to all the details!”



Ella: “The second thing I always tell candidates who seek my advice is to include at least one deep dive case study in their portfolio. When I interview candidates, I’m very interested in hearing about the work process. This is especially important for UX Designer roles, in which I’d like to see wireframes, but it’s also true for any visual design role. Basically, I‘d like the candidate to pick one project out of the portfolio and to explain what they’ve created and why it was done the way that it was. I want them to write about their thought process and to include sketches.”


Iris: “It’s always interesting to see sketches, personal projects, illustrations, images or any other asset that didn’t make it to a real project or were just part of your visual research. We are looking for creative designers and are always curious to understand your unique point of view, hobbies, personal projects or any other skills or passion you may have.”


Personalization

Ella’s third recommendation is to put some effort into your About page. “Write something personal about yourself. Add a pic. Give me an idea of who you are and what makes you tick. Don’t write more than a paragraph or two, and skip the generic ‘I was born here and I went to school there’ version. That’s boring. Tell me something relevant and interesting about yourself. We’re all human, and I’d like to know more about the people I might work with.”


Iris adds, “If any of your projects were made in collaboration with other designers or in your former studio or position, say it! We see a lot of projects, and showcasing something that was done as a team effort is okay. Also, remember that the textual content is important too, so go over the project’s description, the language, the spelling. Details are important and you should be ready to be asked about the content you delivered. Don’t copy and paste text or a translation of something.”


Lastly, Ella says that a surprising number of portfolios are missing the candidates’ email addresses or that they’re hidden in them so well that they’re hard to find. “It may sound trivial, but it gives me an idea about the candidate’s UX design abilities. Secondly, the whole idea behind this portfolio is to let people see what you can do and contact you, so help us do it and put the email address where we can find it. You can also add links to your social media accounts if they have relevant information in them.”


Need more tips to create a winning portfolio? Check out our guide on the holistic approach to creating a design portfolio and the one on tailoring your portfolio for the job you want.


Want to be a designer at Wix? See all open roles here.

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