Switching careers at any point is challenging. Switching careers during a time of global uncertainty is an even bigger challenge. That’s why we continue to be awed by the creativity of our UX Academy graduates who continue to pursue their dreams of a creative career despite the challenges they face.
As we enter our third calendar year of ambiguity, we are reassured by our student success at companies like Accenture, IBM, Meta, Pinterest, Shopify, and Squarespace. Students continue to transition from roles in education, finance, hospitality, healthcare, and marketing, as well as adjacent professions like fashion, graphic, or other design backgrounds.
A huge part of the career pivot is a unique UX design portfolio. While we regularly publish success stories of our students that profile how and why they made their career switch to UX/UI design, we also like to spotlight a few standout portfolio examples.
With the help of mentors and career coaches, the Designlab community continues to create noteworthy portfolios. Read on to explore a selection of UX design portfolios from Designlab students that are sure to inspire you.
10 Great Portfolio Examples from Designlab Students
Here are some of our top student portfolios, and insights into what we particularly liked about each. (Portfolios are listed in no particular order.)
1. Peter Noah
Peter's portfolio website stands out for many reasons (storytelling, strong UI, variety of work), but his About Me page really sums up his years of experience working in the design field in a straightforward, succinct way.
Career switchers have a tendency to overshare or digress, but Peter keeps his summary short, sweet, and to the point which is appealing to people who are trying to hire a talented Product Designer who also has a mind for the business of design.
We talk about keeping things clean and minimal in design, but sometimes going over the top with visual elements works out. Josie has a background in Graphic Design, and clearly illustrates her ability to surprise and delight in her own portfolio.
Her unconventional case study presentations challenge the norms, but the details are all there for someone who wants to take the time to learn more. In a sea of grids and san serif, Josie's work is a breath of fresh air.
3. Jason Mei
Jason's portfolio is clean, easy to navigate, and straightforward, but the little touches are what sets it apart from others.
The logomark travels with you down the homepage, and instead of just hitting the bottom of the page, you get a short summary of his background, links to other relevant sites, and work history. The scrolling "Always a work in progress," is also a nice way of acknowledging that design evolves, and so will your portfolio. If you click the message, it takes you to the Contact page with a brief manifesto of his design beliefs.
When recruiters or hiring managers are sifting through 50-100 UX portfolios for a single role, they may only look at one case study. Paula does a good job in her feature projects of summarizing the client/brand, task at hand, and work she did on the project in the rollover state.
By including that information, the viewer can choose what's most relevant to them, instead of clicking on a random project that might not resonate.
5. Gloria Ha
This is another great portfolio website that adds unexpected touches and a bold personal brand into the viewing experience. Elements on the homepage animate if you stumble across them, but aren't moving so quickly or intrusively as to detract from the work.
'Gloria also has a good variety of work: a skincare e-commerce experience, a bank feature, and a travel booking redesign. Showing your versatility in this way can certainly help when looking for your first UX/UI design role.
6. 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.
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.
10. 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.