Think of a case study as a way to tell the story of your UX design or research project. In it, you’ll highlight the process you took to address a specific challenge you were solving for your users and customers as well as the resulting outcomes.
UX designers and researchers often rely on case studies to include in their portfolio to highlight their capabilities and accomplishments
Why it’s important to have case studies in your portfolio
Getting to a finished product is never one simple step. More often than not, researchers and designers need to constantly iterate while talking to customers, before they get the design just right. How each team goes aout this process gives potential employers crucial insight into how a designer or researcher thinks and can be a powerful tool for career advancement.
What do you include in a case study?
Every case study is different, but most contain a few key components:
- Problem statement
- Description of key audiences, customers, or users
- Team description and responsibilities
- Project scope and objectives
- Detailed process
- Results and lessons learned
Tips for a great case study
While every case study will be different, there are a few components you should be sure to include to ensure you’re telling a compelling story.
Sketches, wireframes, and workflow diagrams
Showing all your notes is a great way to highlight your thought process throughout your project. Whether you’re including high fidelity or low fidelity prototypes or wireframes, or just a few diagrams and sketches, using visuals will help tell your story.
Customer videos and quotes
Talking to customers is an important component of every case study, so be sure to highlight interesting insights whenever you can. Some of the most interesting insights come from watching users get frustrated—or delighted with your product or process. Hearing the inflection in their voices and watching their body language as they try to achieve a goal is valuable insight into what’s working and what needs improvement.