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About UX Research Portfolios

Hi there! 👋 Thanks for stopping by. USERWEEKLY is your weekly email to understand what is happening in User Research. It's the best way to keep up on trends, methodologies and insights in UX Research. It is written by me, Jan Ahrend. Each week I capture the pulse of our community and answer a simple question: What mattered in User Research this week?

As a UX Researcher, I'm always looking for new ways to demonstrate to clients and stakeholders the importance and effect of our work. Making a UX research portfolio is one efficient way to accomplish this.

A collection of documents and artifacts that illustrate the procedures, approaches, and conclusions of UX research initiatives is known as a UX research portfolio. These portfolios can be used to inform stakeholders about the importance of UX research, offer specific instances of how our work has had an impact, and demonstrate the team's reputation and knowledge.

We will examine the elements of a solid UX research portfolio, the advantages of doing so, and some best practices for doing so in this multi-part essay.

Part 1: The Components of a UX Research Portfolio

Typical components of a UX research portfolio include a wide range of distinct papers and artifacts, such as:

  • Project briefs: These are succinct summary of a UX research project's aims, methods, and major discoveries. Project briefs can be used to give stakeholders a summary of the project and are simple to distribute to clients or other team members.
  • Research plans: Research plans describe the participants, methods, and deliverables of a UX research project. They offer a comprehensive road map for the research procedure and can be utilized to make sure the project stays on course and achieves its goals.
  • Research reports: Research reports are thorough documents that describe the outcomes of a UX research effort. An executive summary, an explanation of the study methodology, a discussion of the major conclusions, and suggestions for further action are frequently included in these reports.
  • User personas: User personas are fictional characters that stand in for the various user types that a product or service is designed to appeal to. Design teams can use these personas, which are based on actual user data, to better understand the demands, objectives, and motivations of their consumers.
  • User journey maps: User journey maps show the different processes and interactions a user has when utilizing a product or service. These maps can be used by design teams to pinpoint user experience problems and potential solutions.
  • User flows: User flows are diagrams that display the several directions a user might go when utilizing a product or service. These flows can be used by design teams to analyze how people move through a product and spot potential stumbling blocks or friction points.
  • User testing videos: Videos of user testing sessions provide as a visual record of those sessions. These movies can be used to show the efficacy of various design ideas and can be useful for pinpointing user experience enhancement opportunities.
  • Design mockups and prototypes: These two sorts of models are used to test and evaluate design concepts. They are visual representations of a good or service. These artifacts can be used to demonstrate how a design has changed over time and to demonstrate how UX research has affected the finished product.

Part 2: The Benefits of Creating a UX Research Portfolio

The UX research team and the organization as a whole can both benefit from building a UX research portfolio. The following are some of the main advantages of building a UX research portfolio:

  • Providing specific instances of the worth and impact of our work, a UX research portfolio can be used to display the procedures, techniques, and conclusions of UX research initiatives. This is particularly helpful for training stakeholders who may not be aware of the advantages of UX research.
  • Establishing credibility and knowledge: A well-designed UX research portfolio can aid in demonstrating the team's competence and trustworthiness. We can show stakeholders and clients that we are informed and capable by demonstrating our work and the significance of our discoveries.

Part 3: Best Practices for Creating a UX Research Portfolio

Although it takes time and work to build a solid UX research portfolio, the rewards are well worth the effort. Here are some guidelines for creating a successful UX research portfolio:

  • Pick your UX research projects carefully because not all of them belong in your portfolio. When deciding which projects to include, pick those that emphasize the most important and fascinating discoveries while showcasing the breadth and depth of your team's expertise.
  • Maintain clarity and navigability: Only a UX research portfolio that is well-structured and simple to use will be useful. For every project, take into account adopting a consistent format and structure, and be sure to utilize clear, succinct language.
  • Tell an engaging story: A UX research portfolio is a tool for storytelling, and the most successful portfolios are those that do so. Create a story out of your project briefs, research findings, and other artifacts to demonstrate the significance and impact of your effort.
  • A picture is worth a thousand words, and this is particularly true in a UX research portfolio. Show, don't tell. Mockups, prototypes, recordings of user testing, and other visual artifacts can be used to demonstrate the results of your study and the significance of your effort.
  • Keep it current: A UX research portfolio should be updated frequently with the most recent studies and conclusions because it is a live record. To keep your portfolio exciting and relevant, be sure to constantly examine and update it.

A UX research portfolio is a useful tool for convincing stakeholders and clients of the importance and impact of UX research, to sum up. A UX research portfolio can assist demonstrate the worth of our work by containing a range of papers and artifacts and adhering to best practices for storytelling and organizing. It can also help build the credibility and expertise of the UX research team.