9 of the best UI design portfolios that will inspire you
In the eyes of future employers and clients, a UI designer is only as good as their portfolio. But what does an impressive UI design portfolio actually look like—and how can you take your portfolio to the next level?
Whether you’re a UI designer in the making who’s starting from scratch, or an experienced designer looking to breathe new life into your existing portfolio, we’ve rounded up nine gorgeous UI design portfolios that will serve as inspiration. As we go through them, we’ll highlight some best practices and key takeaways that will help you to take your UI design portfolio from “okay” to “eye-catching.”
Before we dive in, let’s touch on why UI design portfolios are so vital, and some general notes on what they should include. Rather skip straight to the portfolios? No problem, simply select one from the list below!
- Sam Small
- Jeremiah Shaw
- Mengdi Zhang
- Tom Parkes
- Stefan Hiienurm
- Bradley Haynes
- Corey Snyder
- Sinem Kurt
What’s the point of a UI design portfolio?
A UI design portfolio is so much more than cherry-picking your favorite projects and arranging them neatly in a visual gallery. It’s an opportunity to showcase your methodology, how you rationalize your design decisions, and your creative flair—as well as giving future employers and clients an insight into what it might be like to work with you.
UI design portfolios should have the perfect balance of personality, practicality, and information, ensuring your projects and case studies are presented in an aesthetically pleasing and easy-to-follow manner. Ultimately, portfolios are about storytelling; who are you, where do your passions lie, and what design principles do you follow?
With that in mind, let’s look at nine amazing UI designers who have really nailed their portfolios—and what we can learn from them.
1. Sam Small
Kansas City based UI/UX designer Sam Small has a passion for design—and it’s immediately crystal clear when you land on his portfolio homepage. With a background in web design, branding and identity, environmental graphics, and advertising, his portfolio is a testament to his versatility.
After a brief yet enticing headline summarizing his offering in a single sentence, we’re inevitably curious to know more about Sam—and sure enough, his portfolio delivers. Boasting clean, bright colors, Sam’s portfolio is a real feast for the eyes. He cleverly uses a blue gradient as the background that changes as the mouse moves around, adding a playful touch of dynamism.
2. Jeremiah Shaw
Jeremiah Shaw is an artist/designer focused on 3D illustration, animation, interface design, and branding, currently working at Google.
There are several devices at play in Jeremiah’s portfolio that are impressive. First of all, he’s opted for a right sidebar for his navigation rather than a standard left-hand sidebar. He even takes it a step further by flipping the text on its side to be read vertically rather than horizontally. While it’s always a risk to challenge conventional UI design patterns, it’s really paid off—giving the otherwise stripped-back homepage a subtle edge.
3. Mengdi Zhang
According to her portfolio, New York based product designer Mengdi Zhang strives to create emotional connections and social values through design. Right off the bat, we get to know her personality through her personal values.
The first thing you see on Mengdi’s portfolio is a stunning illustration of a boat, which instantly tells us that she’s so much more than just a designer. What further grabs our attention is her decision to opt for a one-screen layout, meaning you have to click right rather than up or down to view more pages.
Remember the previous portfolio, when we talked about the importance of scannability? Singapore based UI designer Bady’s portfolio hits the nail on the head. Without having to navigate away from the homepage, a quick scroll down provides us with an overview of his projects, a short round-up of his experience, and a list of his key clients. This means that within a few minutes, we’ve learned everything we need to know about who Bady is.
5. Tom Parkes
The second we arrive onto Tom Parkes’ portfolio homepage, we can sense that he’s a cut above the rest. Using parallax scrolling to bring the content to life, Tom Parkes introduces himself as a digital designer with a focus on ethical branding. With nine years of experience under his belt, he names user interface design, brand design, and illustration as just a mere few of the core skills in his arsenal.
6. Stefan Hiienurm
Experience and product designer Stefan’s website is the perfect example of a well-rounded portfolio. It starts with a short yet impactful “about me” section, before taking us on a journey of discovery through his projects.
7. Bradley Haynes
Product designer Bradley’s portfolio is a testament to the power of good storytelling. Opting out of a conventional homepage, Bradley’s portfolio gets right to the point, displaying his project for travel giant Lonely Planet. The use of imagery in Bradley’s work is immediately striking, and it quickly becomes clear that he’s a design mastermind. Using complementary colors and text to frame the imagery perfectly, Bradley’s designs flow like a waterfall.
8. Corey Snyder
Tangerine Industries is the personal portfolio of award-winning interactive designer Corey Snyder—and why he’s won so many awards is almost immediately evident the second you arrive on his site. Featuring projects that stretch across a range of sectors, it’s clear that Corey is something of an all-rounder.
9. Sinem Kurt
We couldn’t round off this list without including a little CF portfolio magic, now could we? CareerFoundry UI design graduate Sinem finished the program in 2019 and is now a UX/UI designer. Let’s look at what makes her portfolio worthy of being on this list.
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