This week I sat down with Head of User Experience Shaun Stilwell, who I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with over the last 3 years and placing him in multiple roles.

His design skills are second to none with equal strengths in both user experience and user interface design and I’ve never had anything but positive things said about this man.

Amongst debating who have the better rugby and cricket teams between England and South Africa, Shaun gave his personal insight into what would help junior UX designers break into the market particularly focusing on portfolios.

Here’s what he had to say:

“Breaking into a saturated market is a difficult task and hiring managers can see up to 20 portfolios in a day! A UX portfolio is the most important tool you have in getting that elusive foot in the door.

Your portfolio should have at least 3 pieces of work to showcase your UX experience. Yes I know what you’re saying, ‘but I don’t have any experience!’.

Experience is the teacher of all things ~ Julius Caesar

So create your own… If you don’t have work experience explore different avenues like personal projects, consulting or charity projects.

A portfolio with pixel perfect designs is great, but you’re not showing off how you solve UX problems. Managers want to see your thought process & strategy as UX professional.

Write a case study explaining your process for each project in your portfolio. A successful candidate should include wireframes, prototypes, user research/use cases, as well as an explanation of the original problem, the strategy & the solution with the finished product.

Interview tips: Be confident in your work and show enthusiasm for what you do. Hiring Managers will want you to talk through your portfolio projects, so be prepared in showing them how you approach and solve problems.”

I hope the advice has been as insightful to you as it was for me. If you are looking for any help, advice or more details on any of the above then please drop me a line on or 02072657800.

Written by Sameer Murtaza, Consultant – UX and Design


P.S. The winner is England obviously :p



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