Portfolio Evaluation

A quick individual evaluation of the candidate’s portfolio website and any other websites that showcase their work, like Dribbble and Behance. The goal is to get early signals to determine the experience level of the candidate. Most effective as a gauge rather than a weed out tactic.

If possible, find their portfolio on your own. A recent trend is more portfolios are behind passwords. When the candidate says they’re interested in the role, request access to their portfolio for the team to better understand their work experience.

Product Designer

Competencies Evaluated


Process Is there a detailed & thorough process for each case study to describe the decision making?

  1. Is there variability in every case study rather than the same boilerplate process? Typical process learned at bootcamps or articles that design get stuck on: Competitive Analysis -> Interview -> Personas -> Wireframes -> Final Mockups
  2. Is divergent thinking represented? *Examples: sketches or multiple concepts
  3. Is there clear storytelling of design decisions? Is it represented that this happened with internal partners?
  4. Was user research conducted?
  5. Did they define design goals and principles upfront?

Artifacts (User Research & Analytics) How well did they visually define the problem and solution space outside of final output?

  1. Are there UX artifacts?
  2. Are there non-typical UX artifacts (typical: affinity diagram, journey map, persona, flow chart)?
  3. Are the artifacts high-quality that appear to be shareable and build confidence that they are understand the subject matter well?
  4. Includes quantitative data analysis?

UI Quality (Visual & Interaction Design) Is there high quality output present?

  1. Do mockups have clear visual hierarchy and information design?
  2. Are the mockups polished with modern color and typography usage?
  3. Are there detailed interactive prototypes present? Do the interaction models make sense?

Service Design

  1. Are there process or touchpoint maps that capture the context of the user experience?
  2. Do they demonstrate an understanding of what happens before and after the user experience they’ve designed?

Collaboration How well did they include others in their process?

  1. Did they facilitate design workshops?
  2. Were engineers brought in early?
  3. Were their multiple design feedback gather moments?


For every yes answer, add a point. Use as a gage to compare candidates and expected role level.

Disclaimer 1 There are many intangibles that can be signals for a great candidates. This is a guide and not a decision framework.

Disclaimer 2 The skills you’re looking for can heavily influence how you want to assess. For example, sometimes you’re looking for a visually strong candidate so you’re more willing to look past UX defencies, such as detailed process with research.