Mentoring

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I am providing pro-bono virtual mentoring to product designers on Sunday afternoons. By this, I'd like to help young designers around the globe. Book a 30 min session by clicking on the Calendly button! We can have a Portfolio Review, a conversation about the career in Product Design or about Leadership.

FAQ

How should a web portfolio look like?
A classic web portfolio includes work, the introduction to yourself or a resume, contact details. In a case study, show a user-centered approach, maybe first research, basic flows, and how a problem is solved. The effort pays off—a well described process beats a pure collection of images. Don't be scared to give a glimpse of your personality when writing about your profile. You may want to connect on a human level as well. Here are some good examples:

needajamil.work
kevincook.co/roger
francescamey.com/work
thatedchao.com
chengsuchen.com
mahimoto.com/projects
casestudy.club/case-studies
How do I optimize my portfolio?
What if I have no experience in the wild?
Many companies ask for 1-2 years work experience for a Junior UX Designer position. Let's face it, this is unfair. Be honest about lacking that experience, but emphasize that you are eager to learn and undermine that with an action plan. When creating speculative cases, I recommend to NOT reinvent Netflix, Google, Spotify—they do a pretty awesome job already. Choose a meaningful problem which interests you the most e.g. housing, food supply, sustainable energy, and explore how technology can contribute. Apply popular frameworks such as the Google Design Sprint. That's a real-life scenario and very relevant for companies.
How do I land my first job?
Firstly, start to think about where you would like to work. A global brand? A startup? A digital agency? Build your presence on LinkedIn (and alike) early on. Share projects, reflections, and interesting articles regularly. Set goals for each week, e.g. send 10 new applications, subscribe to newsletters & channels of your fave companies, take part in their online events. While applying to full-time jobs, evaluate if a freelance job aside helps you to level up the portfolio. Landing your first job is difficult, never give up!
Which trainings can you recommend?
This depends on your time and budget. I had a good experience with DesignLab and Hyper Island—both running for a few weeks. Also programs from Ironhack and CareerFoundry are popular. Here is a Google doc with options:

Google Doc presentation
https://www.userexperience.guide
Which books can you recommend?
This is just a short list of thin books—but with great content. Loved every single one of them. The first three books are about processes, methodologies, and getting started. "Rework" will teach you a mindset rather than skills. "Business Model Generation" will get you more grounded on the business side and seeing the bigger picture.

"Lean UX" by Jeff Gothelf & Josh Seiden
"Sprint" by Jake Knapp
"Design Thinking Doing" by Telekom Design (PDF Download)
"Rework" by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson
"Business Model Generation" by Alexander Osterwalder …
Which general tips & tricks do you have for me?
In progress
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