Overview Context Data Analysis Create Results

Project Overview

This is the story of how I designed my portfolio to be accessible, intuitive, and enjoyable to users while displaying my thought process for each case study.



Portfolios are useful to gauge candidate work and offer a glimpse into a person's natural user experience and design priorities.


Case studies are dense and require high information exchange without an exhaustive cognitive load.


○ Reduce cognitive load through progressive disclosure
○ Optimize user navigation
○ Cue user to most crucial information

My Role

I compiled research on successful portfolios and ran a multi-variate regression. I used this for defining my information architecture to make a wireframe. I built out my site from scratch and conducted a first-click test. I continue to iterate based on feedback.


User research, Balsamiq, first-click testing, A/B Testing, Data analysis (IBM Watson), Data Visualization(R), HTML, CSS/SASS



June 2020- Always Iterating

Primary Framework

Contextual Inquiry

General Research

I read through various UX and HCI blogs to get an understanding of what current portfolios are meant to do along with common complaints. My sources included UXPlanet, Smashing Magazine, Medium, and the Neilson Norman Group. I noticed similar themes arising from all of them and began my informal data collection.

I organized all these points into a few subcategories but the overarching pain point was the tradeoff between functionality and usability. This was an interesting insight but I wanted to quantify it to apply to my website.

Site and User Needs

Before going further I defined my original view of what the portfolio would provide me and the user.

However, I wanted to validate some of these themes and visualize them so I ran an analysis on a previously conducted data set in R.

Data Analysis

Three Factor Regression

Through Google Data I found a factor analysis study on the impact of the flow of a website on cognitive enjoyment. They conducted a questionnaire following an online shopping experience and deduced that the answers could all fit into three primary categories: Attention, Control, and Cognitive Enjoyment. They provided the raw data for their study as 12 variables; 3 samples for Control, 4 samples for Attention, and 5 samples for Cognitive Enjoyment. I analyzed their data in the following steps in Rstudios.

Once I loaded in the data I wanted to check for any immediate warning signs of correlation amongst the variables. The pairs plot here shows that no two variables have positive or negative correlation which is crucial for a regression analysis. This was stated by the authors of the original study and I double-checked it.

My goal was see which factor (attention or control) contributed more to cognitive enjoyment and at what rate. Since I had multiple samples of each variable I chose to regress a sample of Cognitive Enjoyment on A sample of Attention and a sample of Control until every possible combination was computed.

Based on the R-squared and t-values values for each regression, it was clear that Attention consistently contributed to Cognitive Enjoyment more than Control.

Since my goal was to get a quick and basic understanding of quantifying these user experience factors, I left the data analysis process here. If I wanted a more specific algorithm for exactly how much each factor contributed to Cognitive Enjoyment then I could have pursued optimizing R-squared and decreasing residual sums of squares and standard error to derive the beta coefficients. For the purpose of my portfolio, I chose to rather visualize these three factors on a three-dimensional scale.

As expected, higher Attention and Control lead to higher Cognitive Enjoyment for the user.


Content Requirements

I scribbled out the framework I wanted each case study to roughly follow so that there was consistency among my pages. It was difficult not to start picturing all the cool effects I could add, especially after seeing some awesome portfolios, so I made a indefinite small list to prevent it from occupying my attention.

Crazy 8's Ideation

Low Fidelity Prototype

This is the original framework for my portfolio

My biggest change was removing the home page and making the work page the index. I did this to reduce clicks and optimize the route to getting to know me. A helpful review I got was to keep my cases above the fold of the main page.

Task Analysis

I asked peers in Reddit groups and UX Facebook groups to use my wireframe to find case 3 Results, connect with me on Dribble, and identify where I learned UX.

The feedback circled around the extra searching on the original homepage and making my contacts the footer of each page rather than only available on the contact page.

Overall the flow of the website was beginning to be established.

Design System

I built my design system by first solidifying my color scheme. I used a split complementary setting and then tweaked it to match a graphic design of myself to create an identity for the portfolio. From there I looked into different typographies and realized that from an accessibility standpoint, the classic fonts like Open Sans do the heavy lifting.

Coding For Accessibility

I used VisualStudioCode to set up the main html framework every page would have (logo, menu, footer) and then began coding my front page. I used SASS because I wanted to code my website from scratch and I knew there would be a lot of CSS to keep track of. I optimized desktop first and then added in media-queries to optimize the mobile experience. I aimed to reduce my code as much as possible to make it easier for myself to return to.

Inclusive design is something I targeted from the first line of code that I wrote. I kept my HTML in a specific order so it could work with keyboard interactions and minimized any links. All my image tags have alternate text to be read aloud and I focused on adequate letter spacing, font sizes, and color contrast. To validate this I ran a chrome Lighthouse audit and the results are above. I lost a few points for having a lot of data to load per page because of case studies.


First-Click Testing

Once my website was coded I set up the same tasks on OptimalWorkshop to see where users clicked first for a given task. My results are displayed above. My iterations included clear labeling of projects on hover, progressive disclosure of project information, and making my work page my index.


The biggest challenge as the designer and developer, I understood the frustrations of not being able to copy my prototype into code.

This portfolio will change whenever I learn something about UX that I can apply and I am enjoying the ability to dogfood my own product.

creative thinking