User interface artist tip: Three tips for a better portfolio

Hello, UI artists! I’ve been going over a lot of UI artists’ portfolios — particularly contractors, hint hint — and I’ve noticed three things in particular that I love to see in a good UI artist portfolio.

  1. Wireframes. It helps me get a sense of your talent, planning and user experience sensibilities when I can see different treatment of UI layouts. Bonus points for explaining briefly and succinctly the requirements and constraints you were following when you created the wireframes.
  2. Multiple treatments on one idea. This helps me see your creative and overall user interface design process to see all the different angles from which you develop ideas. The closer to final these seem, the better. Coupling this with showing wireframes also shows how you weed out less effective ideas and know which ones to develop into a stage that’s closer to final.
  3. Who-did-what breakdowns. I usually see user interface artists skew in one of two directions. a) Someone that focuses on the UI design from the ground up and develops the wireframes then hands that off to a 2D artist to finish, or b) Someone who’s more of an illustrator that takes wireframes and beautifies them and takes them to final. There are certainly people that do both, but it’s not always obvious which is which when I’m looking at a portfolio. If you can clarify this simply and briefly, it makes it easier for me to understand what you did and what you do.

That’s a brief breakdown of what can turn a below-average or average user interface artist’s portfolio into one that’s much easier to view and understand. On a final note, presenting this information cleanly and efficiently is, in and of itself, an opportunity to demonstrate your ability. 🙂

What do you guys think?

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