I’m going to let you in on a little secret:
There’s a damn good chance your portfolio — no matter how visually impressive or cleverly worded it may be — is working against you.
It’s the reason you’re not getting messages from recruiters.
It’s the reason those job applications or messages you’ve sent to recruiters seem to have disappeared into the void.
It’s the reason prospective clients suddenly go dark on you and stop responding to your calls and emails.
Earlier this year, a client came to me asking if I could help them develop a recruiting plan and screen candidates for a new UX department in their company. Naturally, I said yes.
Working with external recruiters and the company’s HR department, we screened more than 250 UX- and UI-themed portfolios.
And I was completely shocked at what I saw.
Every single portfolio I saw was unbelievably underwhelming.
Every single one of them did a terribly poor job of communicating the person’s skill, aptitude, talent and experience.
Every single one of them made the same critical mistakes.
At one point I even resorted to Googling “Best UX Portfolios” to find articles curating what I hoped would be the best of the best. Which, of course, I found, published by high-profile UX organizations.
But you know what?
The links in those articles only showed me more of the same.
I. Could. Not. BELIEVE It.
This led me to believe that there had to be a fundamental problem in the way UXers, designers and developers are taught to put together portfolios. That the advice these folks are getting is inaccurate, uninformed or just non-existent.
In many ways, the formats and presentations I saw obscured the things that actually made some of these folks excellent candidates. Things we only discovered after hitting the wall and forcing ourselves to spend a lot of time we didn’t really have revisiting them in depth, digging deep into navigation and case studies.
I got the distinct feeling that, were I to see Google Analytics on some of these portfolio sites, the page abandonment numbers would likely be very significant.
In any event, I felt like something needed to be done — specifically, this course.
A path to quickly illustrate these critical mistakes and show you a better, more effective way to structure and present your work and your value — to recruiters, hiring managers, employers and prospective clients.
Because if it’s anything like the hundreds I saw, you’re not doing yourself any favors.
So in this course, across 14 lectures, I’m going to give you everything you need to do it better, from the perspective of the person doing the hiring.
Whether that person is a recruiter, an HR or company exec, or a prospective client looking for freelance help, I’m going to walk you through what works and what doesn’t, with real-world examples.
I’m going to show you why you’re making it harder for yourself to get noticed and get hired. Because even if your work itself is spectacular (which I’m sure it is), I have no doubt you’re making many of the same mistakes I’ve seen thus far in my own recruiting endeavors.
More importantly, I’ll show you exactly what you should be doing instead, from the very first screen. You’ll learn:
In addition to lifetime access to the course materials, you'll also get a LIVE 2- hour session with me where I will answer your portfolio questions and — if you'd like me to — review, critique and give you suggestions for improving YOUR portfolio.
Everyone who enrolls gets FREE, exclusive access to this online workshop. And we'll record the session and make it available to all students as well.
You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain — enroll now and put yourself on the path to doing the strategic UX work you’re meant to do, for the money you’re meant to make.
I’ve had the great honor to teach (and learn from) all of those folks — they are some of the most supportive, driven, determined and smartest people I’ve ever met. And the one thing they all have in common?
They have all gained real, clear, measurable benefit from my courses and workshops.
Not because I say so, but because that’s what they’ve told me.
So instead of me bending your ear about that, I’ll let them speak for themselves.
"Joe's portfolio workshop gives you specific, concrete advice you can apply to structuring your portfolio based on the criteria hiring managers and recruiters actually use to evaluate a portfolio.
You don't get 'in a perfect world,' theoretical musings. You get real steps you can take to best showcase your work."
- Anne Dougherty, UX Architect
"Getting knowledgeable and quality feedback for my portfolio was invaluable. Joe's portfolio workshop was eye opening in not only giving advice, but providing specifics as to what recruiters are looking for when they look at your work.
Not only does he show examples, but he goes over participant sites and says DO THIS. I wasn't the only one scrambling to update their portfolio during the workshop!
Seriously, for the low cost of the workshop, this investment could make all the difference in having you stand out against the waves of people applying for the same position.
Joe gave the example of reviewing 250+ resumes and portfolios for a position and only one being relevant. This will make YOU that one."
- Todd Young, UX Analyst
"This is the best investment in learning that I've made in 7 years of my UX career! I recommend this course for everybody who's looking to create their portfolio or improve it.
I took the workshop because when I was recruiting and applying for jobs, I found the same things that Joe pointed out in his website and social media posts.
But also I recommend the course for recruiters, because it will teach you how to analyze and evaluate portfolios from a UX perspective."
- Miguel Baeza Menz, UX Designer
"If you find yourself struggling with what to include and exclude in your portfolio look no further. This course doesn't just tell you what you need, but why you need it.
Joe does an extremely good job at teaching by example and breaking down the steps to building a successful portfolio. Building a portfolio is time consuming and mentally exhausting. I am confident by taking this course - my time is well spent and my confidence is higher than ever before."
- Maggie Paparella, UX / UI Designer
"I whole-heartedly recommend Joe. He has a wealth of knowledge that’s been refined by real world experience making his observations pinpoint accurate.
His substantive, actionable feedback makes upgrades and revisions easy to implement. Leveraging an individual's skill set, he helps to shape your portfolio to tell a clear story that showcases your strengths. He knows the current trends, but keeps his eye on what matters to help designers solve problems quickly.
The time I spent with him was a worthwhile investment in my future."
- Mark Haven Britt, Art Director & Designer
"This is my first course with Joe Natoli and it's fantastic. He is so easy to understand and follow along with.
I feel like everything that I have had questions about is being answered in this course. This is exactly what I was looking for."
- Robin Ridgway Roberts, UX Designer
"Instrumental in getting my new job!
This course added much needed structure to my design process and really clarified a lot of the terminology surrounding UI/UX. In fact this course was a bit of a career life changer for me.
It helped me realize how dissatisfied I was in a job where I was supposed to be doing UX Design but really wasn't, and was also instrumental in getting my new job. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have nailed the application/interview/presentation for my current role if I hadn't done this course first. Thank you so much!!!”
- John Braine, Product Designer
"I got my dream job thanks to this course!
I am a long time visual designer. I [took this course] specifically to give myself a crash course on UX in order to qualify for a Sr. UXD position at a very reputable company. I gave myself 2 weeks to go over all of the content and had no problem at all learning the phases. I even used some of the stories and examples in my interviews. Very engaging points and a fantastic presentation!
Joe — you're a life saver. Thank you for putting together such a stellar course!"
- Anthony Gracey, Art Director & UX Designer
"Life-changing course — helped me get my dream job!
I want to thank the author. This course helped me to systematise my UX knowledge and what's more important it helped me to get my dream job!"
– Alexey Tretina, UI/UX Designer / Freelancer
Because they're all selling misinformation.
The fact that there is an enormous vacancy across the globe for UX roles — and still so many people looking for UX jobs — tells me that the advice UX professionals and designers are getting is woefully uninformed and/or incomplete.
As I mentioned above, I've put my own eyes on well over 250 portfolios, and I am at a complete loss to understand why and how they are all making the same critical mistakes. Your portfolio is your first job interview; it stands in your place and speaks for you. The purpose of this course is to teach you what it should be saying, and how.
One simple reason: because I've been helping Fortune 500 & 100 organizations build product Design and UX Teams from the ground up for 26+ years.
I've helped them define team roles for new hires, and I've advised them on how to screen potential candidates — and what to look for in their portfolios and resumes.
As you’ve probably heard me say before, I have no magic powers, no UX omnipotence that makes me smarter than everyone else. What I do have is a lot of time spent helping clients build UX and Design teams, and that time has produced a mountain of evidence about what works and what doesn’t.
Because everything I deliver is based in reality, in the less-than perfect world most of us live in. I’m not interested in jargon, proprietary, complex processes or high-minded theory that fails when the rubber hints the road.
I’m interested in results, because at the end of the day that’s the only thing that counts: did that thing I showed you how to do work, or didn’t it?
More than 70,000 students (yes, that’s a real number) have found my courses and workshops valuable because they deal with the reality of working in the messy corporate world — instead of the UX fantasy land far too many authors and so-called "experts" describe in their speeches, articles and courses.
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like — across any and all devices you own.
Joe Natoli has been preaching and practicing the gospel of User and Customer Experience to Fortune 100, 500 and Government organizations for nearly three decades. That work includes commercial industry leaders like Broadridge, Condé Nast, Johns Hopkins, Mettler-Toledo, PHH Arval, SC Johnson and Wolters Kluwer, as well as government agencies like NSF/NCSES, NIH and the Dept. of Homeland Security.
Joe devotes half of his practice to writing, coaching, and speaking. From guiding students at the beginning of their careers to integrating UX into the work of seasoned veteran developers and designers, he is immensely passionate about the inherent power of UX and design.
He has launched six successful online courses, with more than 70,000 students enrolled to date. His new book on UX Strategy and Product Improvement/Development, Think First, was published worldwide in 2015.
The remaining half of Joe’s practice is dedicated to training Enterprise Design and Development teams, helping them integrate best practices in UX into their product development efforts. In addition, he does a limited number of UX Audit engagements to help organizations identify and overcome UX-related obstacles to product adoption.
Joe has been speaking publicly on the topics of User Experience (UX) and Design for 26 years, from national conferences like Interaction South America, HOW Design Live, DevWeek and QCon to regional events like PechaKucha. He also makes it a point to spend time talking to students across the country at colleges and universities, in an effort to give back what others have so generously given him.
In addition, he has written numerous articles about the roles Design, UX and CX play in business success for publications such as Fast Company, HOW, SmartCEO, The AIGA Journal, The Baltimore Business Journal and Business Monthly. His articles, advice and videos can be seen at his website, givegoodux.com.