Hi guys,

I am working on my portfolio this summer and collecting my best work as a student to showcase. I have been looking for full portfolios online, which are sometimes hard to find as I seem to mostly find teasers, but does anyone have any great examples of FULL portfolios, (and links to them) that showcase most importantly, how to present the findings of Design Research as well as User Testing? I am mostly seeking examples of student work, but ID professionals will also do. Just trying to learn how to lay out this sort of information, such as the results of interviews, questionnaires, ethnography, observations and then user testing and those findings too. Thanks everyone.


Ok, if anything, does one have to show the content of the actual surveys/questionaires given to users during testing, for example, or just the results formatted to show what conclusions are drawn from the actual testing? Or is even necessary to show in a portfolio? This student designer’s portfolio is VERY AWESOME, but from what I gathered, he doesn’t show user testing (I could be wrong) but does show A LOT OF PROCESS, which is very desirable to employers. I hope he doesn’t mind me posting it. Julius Tarng — Independent Software Creative

If anyone has their own portfolio that they wish to share privately, in order to give me some ideas of how to present this sort of design research info, that would be appreciated too. Thank you.


You are more than welcome to check out mine… if it helps. I show testing and research integrated into the story. Don’t have surveys etc. that I did. Just showing insights of what came out of it and the method to provoke those insights.

I suggest when showing user testing/research etc. you show how it for a few reasons.

  1. how it affected the decision making- led to creation of form, aesthetic, function etc etc.

  2. that you did indeed tested it with people (and the appropriate people/users that were targeted for that device)

  3. What were your insights- surprised you, was most interesting etc. (this point leads back into #1)

The design research/insights is integrated into the process. That could be shown in sketches, models, photos, diagrams etc.

Tell with photos and little text if possible. Just the key points. Enough to generate a conversation if you were asked about it in an interview, but not so much that you are overwhelming people with detail.

Good luck!


here’s a way to visualize one type of user research… ‘Mode Mapping’ as it’s called by SKD is a way of visualizing a user journey over a day. They had a DMI webcast on it last fall. They did this to call out opportunity areas where the design can be improved

I’ve seen this done in other ways for projects where it breaks down the user experience from approach to the product to when the user is finished and walk away from it

nice graphic. But I think the insights from that should be highlighted more.

I don’t think it matters in the presentation any persona definition facts (like has 2-3 kids) or raw data (like that chart). Data is useless without a context. In the case of research, the best way to present it is always to define your insights in a story or a scenario. Tell a concise story about a day in Jeri’s life, and focus on the points where you drew insights. A lot of students seem to think that showing charts and graphs means you can do research: it doesn’t. Design research is nothing without doing something with the data you collect. Analysis/synthesis is more important than how many users you talked to.


Oh hey, you posted my portfolio.

I don’t show user testing because (like I just said), it means nothing without the insights. I had many conversations in person, on Facebook, and on chef forums, but people only care about what you discovered. You could talk to 100 people and learn nothing. I clearly define the areas where I found there were issues, whether they resulted from user research or from my own personal intuition. If the employer asks in an interview (if they care enough, they will), then you can tell them. Honestly, any monkey can read a script and ask questions, but a good designer can draw insights intuitively.

I’m with you on the ‘research as a means to an end’…

the DMI webinar was entitled "making research actionable, " and was around how they used the journey chart to make a point and highlight opportunity areas… I didn’t see a graphic that showed it more clearly. If you have several of the flows and there is overlap, it makes a clear case for a feature on a product for those users.

Thank you to everyone for your insight. I always thought you had to show graphs, pie charts and other technical textual wordy analysis information to “prove” to the viewer that one did their homework, as far as consulting with users, etc and now I realize that it isn’t so necessary, as you all say. It can be shown in other ways. I have lots of photos of users showing the problem areas, and can provide small quotes from users about what they wish could be different in a product. A picture/photo speaks volumes and I have lots of proof showing what needs to be addressed and what I feel are the solutions.

And if they do ask, during an interview, I can always provide that info to whomever is asking; as I did get feedback from blogs, internet, in person interviews, surveys, etc. No need to clutter up a good presentation with lots of wordy graphs that might bore a viewer! Thank you everyone.