No, this is not enough. It may have been ok in the past (only for entry-level jobs), but probably very very long ago. Even before covid, I remember talking to one UX design hiring manager in a tech company and she shared her frustration with the quality of the just-out-of-school candidates’ portfolios. They were indistinguishable from each other and very shallow. All of them were following the same template, which makes it almost impossible to stand out and get noticed. Now, it is even more critical to be different and start branding yourself.

The first thing I would do is to start working on your personal side project that you are genuinely interested in yourself. Think of the day-to-day problems you experience. Choose the most interesting for you and treat it as a real client project. Maybe, the local library app is confusing, or your kid’s school website is frustrating, or the self-checkout process pisses you off every time you go through it. Choose 1 problem, imagine that the business owner of this service/product hired you to identify existing problems with their product and design a better solution, and follow the full user-centred design methodology to come up with a better solution, capture each step and each question or assumption you made to move forward, document the whole flow and explain your rationale for the key decisions you are making.

As a result, you will get another (not cookie-cutter) project in your portfolio, practice design and research skills, practice writing and storytelling for the case study, and grow your confidence, as well. This is a huge topic in itself and could be a whole multi-part series on how to choose the problem, how to choose the right methods, how to prioritize features and dozens of more how-tos.

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