Lessons from reviewing 370 UX Job Applications

Also in this UX roundup: Figma tips, 5 things I hate about UX, things to know about switching into UX, and a Krispy Kreme case study review!

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I just reviewed 370 UX applications

I, a junior UX designer, am guilty as charged by many of the statements in this article.

Yan Grinshtein describes in his story that last year, he reviewed about 370 applications of the 600 he received for his junior UX Designer and junior Product Designer roles. He found some trends… one of which is the one I’ve trying to escape – similar portfolio styling. 

It’s the case of the cookiecutter UX portfolio. 

When I was in Designlab, I created my portfolio with 4 projects (all of which are still on my current portfolio btw) with a fantastic template provided by my mentor. While it was approved for graduation, I quickly realized that the internet is teeming with the same resume format and portfolio intros. 

While UX resume templates and minimum viable UX portfolios are helpful to kickstart your job search, it pays to tailor your UX job application.

Templates may be impressive to recruiters desperately scouring for candidates but a hiring manager can easily see through whether or not I had put much effort into the portfolio. I was not standing out. And I’m still working on this for when I apply to my next role because a portfolio is meant to show the best work that represents me. Right now, it doesn’t quite demonstrate that yet. 


Little Figma tricks that saved my time

My company has officially made moves from Sketch to Figma this year and while I convert files and create new ones, I’m looking for ways to be efficient with my workflow. This article has awesome tips to learn: 

  1. Auto Space anything and everything
  2. Resize instantly
  3. Figma’s color magic
  4. Rename frames in seconds
  5. Auto layout is your weapon
  6. Variations are a lifesaver


Revisiting your old designs

One of our designers shared this on Slack yesterday and we got to discussing how our designs have evolved over the years… Well, I think it’s safe to say, sometimes, we design good things and other times, we just work with what we’ve got.


What I wish I knew before I changed my career into UX Design

Here are some tips covered in the article:

  • Get a mentor
  • Relax, you don’t have to know everything
  • Decide if you want to work for a start-up or a big company
  • UX Design is not making everything pretty

Deciding to change careers is never easy – there’s going to be new things to learn and the grass isn’t always greener. But once you’re in the field, you’ll learn to love it so take it one step at a time, and soon, you’ll be sharing your transitioning tips with others too. 


“Software projects can be thought of as having two distinct stages: figuring out what to build (build the right product), and building it (building the product right). The first stage is dominated by product discovery, and the second stage is all about execution.”

– Marty Cagan, Inspired: How To Create Products Customers Love


5 things I hate about UX Design

mimi michi gives us her personal opinion on things that she hates about UX Design, even though she loves her job. 

  1. Things will get uncomfortable
  2. Amount of criticism
  3. Ambiguous  job descriptions
  4. Meeting fatigue
  5. Debate


100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People

“People are very willing to click multiple times. In fact, they won’t even notice they’re clicking if they’re getting the right amount of information at each click to keep them going down the path.”

This book uses behavior science and psychology to explain why the UX design process is critical to the final experience. It discusses how our brains process visual cues, connects the relationship between typography and pattern recognition, as well as explains why people forget things… Or maybe they don’t forget and it’s just not a learned pattern yet.


Icon Shelf

Icons, icons, and more icons. Here’s a free set that comes in SVGs as well as a hand full of coded forms for easy use. Designers can never have too many icon options. 


Krispy Kreme App

Designer: Sharanya Dutta

Case Study: UI Design Case Study: Krispy Kreme App

This is a design process to create the mobile interfaces for Krispy Kreme’s food delivery app. 

Why this case study is awesome:

  • Doughnuts – the topic is relatable, delicious, and I can totally go for a donut right now.
  • Straight-to-the-point – most style guides are fluffed up with why certain fonts and colors were chosen but this one states that the theme is uniform and minimal and then lists the fonts, colors, and icons used. 
  • Visuals – from sketches to lo-fis, and then to hi-fis, readers get to see the progression of the app from start to finish.

This case study is lightweight and relatable. Delivery apps are practically everywhere so picking up something like this is a no-brainer. It’s concise and describes the design process used. 

If I were to add something to this case study, it’d be more research. Because it is a food (donut) delivery app, a competitive analysis could have been done with Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, Tim Hortons, and McDonald’s to name a few competitors. There was space to study what these apps are doing to grab inspiration from and create an app that reduces learnability.


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