Author: Kora Manheimer and Misha Vaughan
Recently, the UX team was honored to participate as mentors in a Career Incubator with an organization called BRIDGEGOOD.
BRIDGEGOOD is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that prepares student Creatives for meaningful design & tech (e.g., UX / UI / Visual Design) careers. They run a 14-week training program to help individuals build skills and careers into technology, as well as providing resources and professional opportunities. These are folks who might not normally have access or an entryway into technology careers.
Shaun Tai, Co-Founder & Executive Director at BRIDGEGOOD, says about the program: ”Our goal is to create opportunity and inspire – those values are at the core of BRIDGEGOOD. Leveling students up and getting them excited for a career in tech or design. We’ve focused on teaching UX design, and it’s been a game changer. Teaching that process is equally as important as visuals, which is central to UX.“
The UX team presenting to BRIDGEGOOD students about portfolios, and other advice on breaking into a career in design and technology.
The user experience team saw value at a couple of levels for this engagement, first and foremost was giving back to the design community. Design as a profession requires a mentorship model to really develop. Second, we see a lot of value in building a relationship and a pipeline with this organization. If we don’t build bridges for future talent, we won’t have any. Third, the research shows the value of bringing diverse benefits into an organization, from financial performance to decision making, so why not design? We want to continue building a design organization that will help us build better products into the future.
Our presentation to the students, “Building a Portfolio for UX”, was shared by Jeff Hunt, Senior Manager, User Experience with fellow mentors Benson Lam, Senior UX Architect and Somnath Lokesh, Senior UX Designer.
Recommendations for portfolios included:
- Show your design process – sketches and workflows should be part of a UX portfolio, not just finished designs.
- Start with the user, clearly communicate the goals of a project.
- If there was collaboration inside a project, describe your place in the team and share what you learned.
- Do not overload the portfolio, 3 projects are great.
- At least one project must be Web or Mobile-based.
- If you have a project done outside classroom assignments, include it.