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How much process can I / should I show in my portfolio?


Question

I have some cool visuals to do with process of developing an end idea or product, but I was wondering how much process I should show in my portfolio.

2013/08/05
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8/5/2013 12:54:00 PM

Accepted Answer

I think in general the answer depends on where in your career you are.

Early in your career, (good) recruiters may be even more interested in the process than the end results: your skills will improve quickly on the job, but if you don't know how to go about developing ideas, understanding client's needs and making it all work, that's much harder to learn as you go. So, two or three or more good examples of working process may be a good idea.

Later in your career, it'll be much more about the end result - so it might seem odd to have examples of working process unless it was an exceptionally interesting process (example).

Mid career, it'll be somewhere in between.


In general, showing working process is a great way to show off potential - but naturally means you have less time and space to show off actual completed work. They're also good for showing depths and difficulties in a project where the deceptively simple-looking clean end result hides a huge amount of difficult-to-balance requirements.

Add process related stuff where you feel like you have potential and ability beyond the actual output of what's in your portfolio. To me, process examples in a portfolio say "I made these things, but look at this - I'm capable of so much more as well!". So the amount depends on how much you want to say that, against how much you think the end products speak for themselves.


Just be careful that the presentation of the process is simple, clear, clean, and shows how that process led to this end product. Be particularly careful with examples of process in student work or unusual projects - if it's really off the wall or far removed from the day-to-day reality of wherever you are trying to work, it might put people off.

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8/5/2013 1:29:00 PM