5 Ways to Strengthen the Research in your Product Design Portfolio

So here you are, a product design student interested in design research. You want to pursue a career in design research, but your portfolio is heavily product design focussed. Below are opportunities in the typical product design portfolio to highlight your understanding of and experience with the design research process:


1 /  The Problem Statement Page:

How did you identify the problem you are solving for? Did you talk to any users? Did you ask them about their current experience?

// We want to know their likes and dislikes with their current experience. We want to hear from the user what the problem is that you are designing for. Visualize their current process, identifying the pain points and love points.


2/  The Target User Page

How did you select who to talk to? Did you ask them about their current experience?

// We want to know who the user is. What they look like and where they are from. Highlight demographical information on the user (i.e. age, geographic region, financial bracket, etc.).


3/  The Competitive Analysis Page

Did you do secondary research? Did you identify who was doing well in the marketplace and why? Did you identify gaps in the current marketplace?

// We want to see that you classified and organized types of information that you collected. Organize products in the current-marketplace by the benefits they are delivering to users.


4/  The Mood Board Page

Why did you pull these images for inspiration?

// We want to know what the visual and functional criteria were that drove the imagery selection. Group the imagery by their prominent design details and explain your thought process behind the groupings.


5/  The Prototype Page

Did you ask people for feedback on your mock-up? Did you use their feedback to refine the design?

// We want to see what individuals said and want to know what the synthesized feedback was. Annotate the different prototypes with the feedback received on them.