As a UX/UI design mentor, students often ask me, “What tool should I use to build my UX design portfolio?” Having been a UX Academy student myself, and then having been both an interviewer and interviewee, I have learned a lot about the best UX/UI design portfolio website builders out there.
To start, you need to consider why you’re making your portfolio in the first place, and you should know your user (hint: we’re talking recruiters, design managers, hiring managers, etc.). Your portfolio is a UX project in itself. It’s very meta. Your personas are recruiters who have just put out a job posting and received over 100 submissions in the first two hours.
Recruiters look through portfolios very quickly for this reason, which might not seem fair, but that’s just how it is. How else can they get through all those submissions when they need to hire someone right away? Many recruiters are used to seeing a specific layout which helps them to digest the content quicker. To quote Korin Harris from one of my favorite articles:
There’s nothing that makes me happier than opening a portfolio and seeing eight equally sized, thoughtfully crafted rectangles. After all, recruiters have to skim hundreds of portfolios for hours at a time. We’re a lot more likely to go through every project in a portfolio if the landing page has an aesthetically pleasing system to it. It takes less mental energy to comprehend it!
Choosing the right UX design portfolio builder can be a daunting task—there are so many options, and it’s a lot of content to plan and implement—but don’t let it become so daunting that it paralyzes you. Think of your portfolio as a gift box. Don’t spend so long focusing on the wrapping paper, only to have the recruiter open the box to see a note that says, “Case study coming soon~”.
Here are some of the portfolio builders that our mentors and group critique facilitators suggest to our students—from those that require the least amount of effort, to those that are the most customizable. We hope it will help you decide what works best for your UX design portfolio!
Least Amount of Effort
These are some of the portfolio builders that require the least amount of effort, provided that you don’t mess around with the template too much. Keeping in mind that the most important part of your portfolio is finishing it and getting it out there, these options are speedy and convenient.
However, it’s advised to understand and accept the constraints that come with these types of builders. The templates are used for a reason, so don’t try to fight it by over-customizing.
Many UX/UI and product designers use Squarespace. Designers who choose Squarespace do so because they do not have time to mess with the pixel-perfection of customizable platforms. What matters to them is getting the content out, front and center, for recruiters to peruse with ease. This platform utilizes templates that many technical recruiters are already familiar with, providing a meta UX experience for this particular audience.
Check out these examples of Squarespace portfolios.
Wix may have gotten some slack in the past but, like all products, it has been iterated and much improved. What’s also good to note is there’s a little more customization that can happen here that doesn’t require heavy lifting in the way that other builders do. There are some lovely, fresh new layouts that can catch the attention of potential recruiters while being user-friendly in displaying content.
Check out these examples of Wix portfolios.