My analysis of six usability testing sessions of my UX portfolio website revealed insights, hypotheses and suggested changes. The participants were senior UX and recruiting professionals I recruited from online communities, including Slack, LinkedIn, and ADPList.
Portfolio websites are an essential piece of the application package for most UX roles, but hiring managers and recruiters rarely offer feedback. After applying unsuccessfully for dozens of jobs, I realized I had no idea how my site was being received by potential employers.
Research question and goals
What does a hiring manager or recruiting professional learn about me as a candidate from browsing my portfolio?
The goal of this project is to identify issues and insights to inform future changes to my portfolio.
Remote moderated usability testing
Recruitment criteria and process
I recruited six participants from online professional communities, including Slack, ADPList, and LinkedIn, based on their professional title and experience:
UX or Human Resources professional with 3+ years experience (mid/senior-level)
Experienced with portfolio review for hiring or mentorship
The test was divided into three sections:
- Background information
- Scenario and tasks
- Follow-up questions
You’re the Senior UX Designer for a large technology company that has gone fully remote. You are looking to hire a junior to mid-level UX Designer/Researcher to replace a team member who recently took another job. Drew Long recently submitted an application, and you want to take a closer look at his portfolio to get a sense of his level of experience, communication skills and personality.
- You want to learn more about the applicant’s relevant work experience and process. Visit the case study of a project(s) that draws your interest (up to 2 min). What works/doesn’t work as anticipated?
- You want to view the applicant’s resume. How will you proceed? Describe the experience and what works/doesn’t work as anticipated.
Example follow-up question:
- After viewing this portfolio for a few minutes, what do you remember about the candidate?
Analysis and synthesis
I used affinity mapping to organize the data visually, including participant comments, actions, and my own observations.
My analysis revealed four key insights:
- Portfolio lacks memorable value proposition.
- Imprecise wording, titling set false expectations of candidate qualifications.
- Case studies are cluttered, have poor readability.
- Users struggle with contact information, resume
For each issue, I proposed an explanation, in the form of a hypothesis, and suggested changes.
I modified the header and footer links to increase access to my contact information and resume.
I reduced case study content to bullet points, increasing readability.
I rewrote my hero text to clarify my prior work experience and articulate a value proposition.
Hi, I'm Drew Long, a UX designer and researcher with over ten years' experience in the education sector.
Hi, I’m Drew Long, UX Researcher/Designer and former educator. I create research-informed experiences that solve real problems.
Next steps and recommendations
- Create UXR-only case studies and place at highest visibility on homepage
- Incorporate new projects and cycle out older content
- Solicit ongoing feedback from UX research professionals