So, you’ve decided you want to become a UI/UX designer. You have done your research, watched multiple videos, and now you’re ready to get your career started.


Now, apart from knowing UX principles and practicing your UI skills, in order to have anyone take you seriously, you need to a . No ; no chance at an interview.

So how do you build that real-world portfolio if no one gives you a chance? Well there are a few things you can do. You can seek out people or non-profits and volunteer your skills, or, you could look for freelance work opportunities. But even in these cases, people or employers want to see some kind of prior work. They want to see the work you are capable of creating.

Just Create It Anyway

The solution: Just create it anyway! I believe the is the best way to begin adding to your portfolio as quickly as today. This can include a concept or a redesign of an existing product. I’m sure there are many ideas, solutions, and/or issues you have had with many of your favorite apps or websites. These may be the reason you decided to enter into the field in the first place. So, start there!

  1. Write Down, Mind-Map and Sketch

Write down your ideas, solutions, or issues you have regarding the product. Start to brainstorm ways to improve these problems using critical thinking. Do your research and look online to find issues other people have had with the product. When you think you have enough information, start sketching low fidelity wireframes and task flows. Search on Google, Dribbble, and Pinterest for ideas and UI inspiration.

2. Create Mock-Ups and Prototype

When you have your sketches/task flows complete, it’s time to create your high fidelity mockups. These can be created using design tools like Sketch, Adobe XD, InVision Studio, or Photoshop. Continue to use Google, Dribbble, and Pinterest as guides of inspiration during this phase. Once complete, build prototypes linking all screens or pages together. This can be easily done in Sketch or InVision (both of which I recommend).

3. Test, Share with Friends/Family, and Modify

Now you have a beautiful product of your own. To see how well it functions and flows, it must be tested. Hold user testing interviews with family, friends, etc., observe their actions as they navigate your product, and remember to take notes. You may find many simple interactions you have missed or did not design clear enough. With notes in hand, head back to the drawing board and improve your mockups. Repeat this process until the product is near flawless.

And there you have it! Your very own personal project with the full UI/UX process (in a nutshell) documented within it! The last thing to do is add it to your portfolio for others to view. Oh, and share it with people too!

On a side note: If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas of what to design, I recommend browsing the app store. Pick a category that interests you and choose apps that have lower ratings. Read the reviews and see what people didn’t like about it and what they struggled with. You’ll be surprised at how many people complain about the same issue. Then, consider one of these apps as a redesign project.

Remember that building personal projects…

  • Helps you craft your design skills, so keep building them!
  • Shows your dedication! You didn’t have any reason to build it for anyone; you did it because you love design, want to become a better UI/UX designer, and love creating products that make people’s lives easier.
  • Allows you to show your individual thought process.
  • Gives people/employers an idea of the kind of projects you like to work on.

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