This section can really scale up or down depending on what you have to show. Research shows that hiring managers don’t just want the final product, so it’s clear that showing some of your processes are helpful. Especially for students or designers without a fully built product to show, this can be a moment for you to shine.
Don’t worry about the low fidelity of these documents, but the rougher they are, the more you’ll need to guide readers through them. Everything you show here should teach the reader something new about your process and/or your users.
Artifacts you might include are:
- Pen and paper or low fidelity digital wireframes
- Site maps
If you did early testing or faced constraints that determined your future design work, be sure to include them here, too.
Final design solution
This section should include the most final work you did on the project (e.g. wireframe flows or color mockups) and any final product it led to (if you have it). Be clear, though, about which work is yours and which isn’t.
Explain any key decisions or constraints that changed the design from the earlier stages. If you incorporated findings from usability testing, that’s great. If not, try to call out some best practices to help you explain your decisions. Referring to Material Design, WCAG, or Human Interface Guidelines can show the why behind your design.
If you’re able to show the impact of your work, this can take a good case study and make it outstanding. If your project has already been built and made available to users, have a look at any analytics, satisfaction data, or other metrics. See what you could highlight in your case study to show how your design improved the user experience or achieved business goals. Ideally, you can refer back to your original problem statement and business goals from the introduction.
If you don’t have any way of showing the impact of your project, layout how you would measure the impact. Showing you know how to measure success demonstrates you could do this on future projects.
Next steps and learnings
Lastly, conclude your case study by sharing either your next design steps and/or some key insights you learned from the project. This isn’t just fluff! No project is perfect or final. Showing the next steps is a great way to demonstrate your thinking iterative approach (without having to do the work!).
Also, many companies do (or should do) retrospectives after each project to identify challenges and improve future processes. Use this process and the insights you gain from it to inform your case study. Letting employers know you’re capable of reflection shows humility, self-awareness, and the value you can bring to a team.
3. Final thoughts
Since each case study is a unique story you’re telling about your project, it’s a little art and a little science. But starting with the structure laid out in this article will show who you are as a designer and how you solved a problem. And those are two stories companies want to hear!