Bestfolios Redesign Concept
Case Study

Bestfolios is a website that showcases a curation of designers’ portfolio sites, case studies, resumes, and other design resources. A new feature that Bestfolios is developing called "Talent List" was meant to provide services to recruiters. However, several disadvantages are identified in the current UX design on portfolio showcases that might compromise its goal of including recruiters as users. Our team took a comprehensive approach to analyze and improve the user experience of the Bestfolios website.

Project length: 2 weeks
Team: Jeffrey Li & Grace Yuan

Project Scope

Bestfolios used to target designers as the major user of the website, as they could look for inspiration from other designers' portfolios. For this reason, they chose to curate top quality portfolios for this reason. However, as the talent list function rolled out, a new intended user group is introduced: Recruiters. This change brings disadvantages to current designs and created usability problems.

The redesign  is focused on improving the Portfolio showcase feature as well as the talent search system. While enhancing the experience for both designers and recruiters, the other functions of the Bestfoilos should be preserved and integrated.

Click on image to enlarge

The current flow of Bestfolios (before redesign) allows user to browse portfolios through a traditional paged structure, featuring 4 posts per page. The "Talent List" tab lists self-submitted designers but is not integrated with other features, including portfolios and search function.

I. Challenges

• How to make the portfolio viewing experience more immersive that stays up-to-date?
• What can we do to make search function usable to recruiters?
• How to strengthen the creditability of the submitting process, while keeping its simplicity?

How did we define these challenges? Please continue reading.

Initial Usability Test

We ran an early user test with 3 users to see their experience with Bestfolios, on tasks including viewing certain numbers of portfolios, search designers, and viewing original site. While the site is almost usable, all the users found experience difficulties in the tasks. We included these findings in personas and user journey maps.


We made two personas based on two types of user: Recruiters viewing portfolios and talents and Designers showcasing works and looking for opportunities. We also considered the original user group: designers looking for inspirations, but we didn't make it a persona for this particular redesign, because their needs partially overlaps with a recruiter's (who would have a higher standard for the quality of viewing experience).

Click on image to enlarge

User Journey Map

We turned the initial test experience into user journey maps, and here are the findings:

Recruiter / Viewer Experience:

  1. The viewing experience varies drastically, depending on whether or not the site is up-to-date.
  2. Location info is important to recruiters, it determines a recruiter's interest when deciding what portfolios to open in the first place.
  3. Searching for particular types of work works okay, but other filters such as locations and availability is not usable.
  4. Constantly switching back and forth between the designer's website and Bestfolios.
Customer Journey Map

Designer / Submitter Experience:

  1. Submitting experience lacks creditability:  sign-in is not required. It is convenient, but it decreases creditability (anyone can submit any website) and creates issues 2-3.
  2. Uncertainty remains after the portfolios site is submitted, and there is no notifications for when and whether the site will be featured. It is impossible.
  3. Users cannot find, and has no control over  particular website they submitted.
  4. Featured sites is presented in screenshots, which cannot update with the original site, or show motions, animations, and interactions.
Customer Journey Map
Click on image to enlarge

II. Ideate


Based on the problems and challenges summarized in the define stage, we brainstormed possible solutions to each challenge.

Competitive Analysis
Click on image to enlarge

Site Map

We were planning adding major functions to Bestfolios, which made the site more complicated, and an updated site map is needed to sort things out.

Site MapSite Map
Click on image to enlarge

Paper Wireframe

Click on image to enlarge

III. Prototype & Testing

Lo-fi Prototype

This Lo-fi prototype was created to test out the most basic functions of the app while lacking many minor functions. I wanted to test how this app affords a basic task (e.g. check detail, unsubscribe, or find discounts).

Hand-drawn Wireframe
Click on image to enlarge

Usability Test

The lo-fi prototype was tested by 3 target users. They spoke out their thoughts in each step of the task and gave me feedback afterwards. I consider this user test very successful because helped us realize crucial points that we missed. A major flaw we had was not giving users assurance on if and when their site will be featured.

Hi-fi Mockup

For best viewing experience, please access this section on a desktop.

Thank you for your time.
Feel free to contact me or view more projects below.