Skill Set Expectations

This email was sent to all the members of the Information Architect Institute organization. Because I agree and feel the need to spread this information to new designers looking forward as they build their skill set; I have copied it to share:

The company I am working (kareo) for has been looking for good UX people for over a year. As we get submissions in and I am looking at a designers portfolio, out of curiosity, the first thing I do is look at the source code.

I want to see 2 things:
1. if they can produce good CSS/HTML
2. if they are using a CMS or wordpress blog.

I have come across more than a handful of candidates who have wordpress blogs and have purchased a theme to use for their portfolio. I feel that as a designer, your portfolio is absolutely one place where you should be representing your design skill. Generally, the expectation when someone visits the portfolio of a designer is that they designed their portfolio in addition to the works presented; not that they had another designer design their portfolio.

Those are just my thoughts. I am just wondering if there is something I am missing here and what you guys think about it? Do you use a theme for your portfolio? If you were hiring a designer and they had a killer theme, would you expect that they can produce similar quality work?




I think it’s very important to set those expectations up early… as
included in your job posting.

Lot’s of us hire researchers, IA’s, UXA’s, visual designers, and front end
developers for those discrete skill sets and the overlap, while potentially
helpful, is not a requirement. SImply expecting an IA or visual designer to
be a competent coder is a bit naive.


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