How to create a UX Portfolio without experience

It’s sometimes difficult to create a portfolio if you don’t have any experience with UX. The short answer is- try to gain experience. 

Here’s some ideas on how:

1. Do a Heuristic Evaluation on a current site, and make recommendations on how to improve it. ✅

Heuristic evaluations or expert reviews, help identify usability issues with a website, which is benchmarked using a checklist of standard  issues. 

Here’s how to approach it:

1. Identify a website you think has usability issues.

2. Use this Heuristic checklist.

3. Create a report with the issues you identified.

4. Create wireframes and prototypes of the improved experience.

5. Run your prototypes by some “users” who would potentially fit the profile of the users of the website you selected.

6. Iterate on the design and prototype until it’s finalized.

👉🏼 You can break out this heuristic evaluation into a case study, and use this in your portfolio to highlight your understanding of usability issues and how to fix them. 


2. Identify a website, and volunteer to design it, using the User Centered Design process. 📍

Here’s how to approach it:

1. Find a local business (dry cleaner, museum, restaurant, anything really)

2. Identify some areas of improvement on the website.

3. Contact the business owner, and let them know you’d like to help improve some areas of the site.

4. Discuss requirements from the website owner, on what problems they currently have and design issues.

5. Create new designs, and work with the owner to determine a design direction. 

6. Prototype and test your design with some ideal customers.

7. Iterate on the design and prototype until it’s finalized.

👉🏼 Use this experience as a case study, to highlight your understanding of how to work with business stakeholders using the user-centered design process. 

Usability Tools 🤓

Focusing on the usability of a website, is great to add to your case study. You can use these tools, and synthesize some of information for your case study.

• System Usability Score (SUS) template

• Usability Test plan report template

• Usability Test report template

If you don’t have experience, you’ll have to find the experience to establish a portfolio. You may have to hustle, and reach out to a lot of business owners to find the right project, but it’ll be worth it 😉.