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A product designer is a person that is in charge of the design and advancement of a product.
Due to the complex and diverse product design ecosystem, a product designer often comes with different names and fields of expertise, such as:
Despite all the differences, they all share common universal roles, which include:
Unlike most non-design professions, product designers depend a lot on a good portfolio to showcase their skills and design styles. Therefore, it is essential to craft a complete and outstanding product design portfolio to catch the recruiter’s attention.
The most general purpose of a portfolio is to earn a chance for an interview. Therefore, it is very important to provide the best first impression through a well-made product design portfolio that can showcase your full potential as a product designer.
To understand what to include in a product design portfolio, first, let’s go through what a product design portfolio is.
A product design portfolio is a collection of the greatest design ideas and projects that highlight a designer’s skills and personal characteristics. It serves as a summary of previous works ranging from professional projects, case studies, personal design, etc.
However, not everything should be included in a product design portfolio. The best product design portfolios usually have a great product design portfolio layout to make them easy to read and follow.
To create an outstanding product design portfolio layout, several important things that need to be included in your product design portfolio:
The about me section can include your personal story that tells the recruiters more about yourself, your characteristics, your value, and your goal.
A winning project design portfolio should include a well-written resume section. A resume could let the hirers have a better grasp of your background and experiences.
A resume in a project design portfolio should have:
Visual aids can give a beautiful touch to your product design portfolio. By providing images of project outputs in your product design portfolio, the audiences could have a better idea as to what extent your product design skills are.
Images could also help with your product design portfolio layout and make the whole portfolio pop out.
After providing images of project outputs, now is the time to elaborate more on them. The context of each project could include information that will help the hirer understand your design and workflow better.
The project context in a product design portfolio usually includes information such as:
The process of each project can highlight the specific methods you adopt that might interest the hirer.
It could include information such as:
The outcomes will be an interesting part to look into. After looking at your result and approach, the hirer would be interested in what this project has achieved.
There are two approaches that you could use to describe the outcomes:
There are many elements and factors that contribute to how good a product design portfolio is. Take a look at some of the factors that can make a good product design portfolio.
A good product design portfolio, of course, should be designed beautifully. It could be the first impression that the audience will get from your product design portfolio. People could understand your aesthetic value, your design skills, your personality, and your style based on how your product design portfolio looks.
No matter how many amazing projects you have done previously, you need to be smart on how you organize them so that people can easily understand the points you are meaning to deliver.
Therefore, you have to keep your product design portfolio clean and tidy to help audiences navigate through the entire portfolio.
A great product design portfolio should include content that will be beneficially helpful for the clients to decide on whether or not to use your service.
Therefore, it is important to understand the audience’s demand and style and try to tailor your product design portfolio according to what they might like.
Some product designers struggle with what to put inside their product design portfolio. Sometimes quantity does not equal quantity. So, it would be okay to include only your best works that are relevant to the hirer’s needs.
It is not wrong to send your product design student portfolio in a PDF file or upload them to a cloud drive. However, many professional designers have their exclusive product designer portfolio website that showcases their works professionally and beautifully.
It is very important to ask yourself these questions before designing and organizing your product design portfolio, as a portfolio used to land a case with a client is very different from a portfolio used to apply for a higher degree in design.
Once again, carefully select the project that you are including in your product design portfolio. The project of your choosing should be relevant and beneficial to close the deal with a client.
The tip is to include an adequate number of projects just to show that you have enough experiences, and include only your best projects.
Compile and keep all the material organized and in one place. It will help the client to navigate through all your previous projects easily without getting lost somewhere in between.
You can create case studies on your own to make you stand out from another product designer. Please make sure to include why you are choosing this specific approach, and what you have benefited from it. Hirers are more interested in how your minds and approaches work.
An attractive front page cover can catch the client’s attention to look further into your product design portfolio.
Your front page cover could also signify your characteristic and personality that reflects on your overall identity as a product designer.
Grammatical errors or typos may be a deal-breaker for most people. It shows that you are not attentive enough to details. By making sure of no typos and grammatical errors, it will show that you are a mature and professional product designer with a great sense of responsibility to complete any projects given your way.
For most product designers, it will be helpful to regularly update your product design portfolio considering the growing projects and masterpieces that you are producing each day.
Not only will it save you a lot of time when making adjustments to show to the clients, but it will also show that you are having a progressive career in this field, especially if your product design portfolio is on the internet or in the form of a product design portfolio website.
Create your online presence and personal branding by creating your very own online portfolio. Check out these creative online portfolio designs and portfolio examples, and create your very own online portfolio for free on CakeResume!
A good industrial design student portfolio could include projects that are elaborated by addressing the issue, the solution, the application, and the result. It is important to show how your industrial product developed from scratch ideas to a practical model.
Industrial design portfolio by Callum Beal
A packaging design portfolio should focus more on the overall appearance of the packaging design and how it reflects on the whole product branding. It is advisable to provide product images in a different context of application to make the packaging design portfolio more professional.
Packaging design portfolio by Olga Cuzuioc Sinchevici
A footwear design portfolio could include research on users’ behavior and need, and the process of creating certain footwear with a certain design.
A toy designer portfolio usually includes several images and explanations of different specifications and parts of toys. It could show how your design is so well-thought and could be easily understood by children and parents.
Accessory design portfolio could include information on the accessory specifications, such as the color, size, fabrication, etc. The more detailed your descriptions are, the more thoughtful your designs are.
UI/UX designer portfolio could emphasize what new elements or changes you have done that could bring more convenience to the end-users.
Lifestyle accessory design could highlight the extensive research and brainstorming of the user’s lifestyle and what they need in daily life. The process could be interesting as it turns out into a practical model.
An apparel design portfolio can include your inspiration, sketching, draping, and even the process of fabric modification. You could include details of the making and idea development process.
While text description could help the clients understand the meaning behind all the images you include in the product design portfolio, you should not include too much text to throw the whole portfolio balance away.
Please remember that the main purpose of the portfolio is to gain a first great impression of your design skills and qualifications. Too much text description could be excessive to some extent.
Aside from various works that have no relation to one another, recruiters will be more interested in the project that you have done before. They are interested in your approach in how you tackle the project, what your work process is like, and how efficient and capable you are in achieving the end goal.
Avoid overcomplicating your entire product design portfolio. Some designers tend to overcomplicate their portfolio that they end up with a design that is irrelevant and less impactful.
Try to stay away from a design that is too abstract, such as a sophisticated-looking logo, hard-to-follow layout, etc.
Most product designers failed when they tried to show hirers of the abundant amount of work they have ever completed. While it is important to show experiences, however, you still need to pay attention to the quality.
On the other hand, including too few previous projects will raise the question of whether you have the ability and experience to take on this job.
The golden rule is to keep the project from 3 to 5.
It is important to show the hirer of your professional skills in this field. Also, remember to clarify your stated skills in the relevant projects and experiences.
--- Originally written by Fedrik Hansen ---