ABOUT 1 MONTH AGO • 3 MIN READ

#105 How to create a portfolio by volunteering

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The Win-Win Equation

In the dynamic world of UX design, volunteering isn't just about giving back; it's a strategic investment in your career and personal growth.

Beyond the noble pursuit of doing good, volunteering can be a dynamic opportunity to hone your skills, expand your portfolio, and make meaningful contributions to causes you care about.

Volunteering in UX can be particularly rewarding, offering a platform to apply your expertise in diverse contexts while fostering inner and professional growth.

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1️⃣ Contributing to a good cause

One of the most compelling aspects of UX design volunteering is the chance to contribute to a good cause.

Whether you're passionate about environmental sustainability, social justice, or education, there are countless organisations seeking UX expertise to enhance their digital presence and impact.


2️⃣ Passion projects

Volunteering allows you to align your UX skills with causes close to your heart.

By working on projects that resonate with your passions, you'll find greater fulfillment and motivation in your work, leading to more meaningful contributions and a sense of purpose.


3️⃣ Adding an interesting project to your portfolio


Every UX design volunteer opportunity presents a unique challenge and opportunity for growth.

By tackling diverse projects outside of your usual scope, you'll enrich your portfolio with compelling case studies that showcase your adaptability, creativity, and problem-solving prowess.


4️⃣ Gaining real-world experience

In the fast-paced world of UX design, nothing beats real-world experience.

Volunteering offers a low-risk environment to experiment with new techniques, tools, and methodologies while navigating the complexities of collaborative projects and stakeholder dynamics.


5️⃣ Developing soft and hard UX skills

From communication and collaboration to user research and prototyping, UX volunteering provides a fertile ground for skill development.

By immersing yourself in diverse projects and contexts, you'll sharpen both your technical proficiency and your ability to empathise with users and stakeholders.


6️⃣ Growing your network

Networking is key to success in any field, and UX volunteering offers ample opportunities to connect with like-minded professionals, mentors, and potential collaborators.

By actively engaging with nonprofit organizations, online communities, and industry events, you'll expand your network and open doors to new opportunities.


Where and how to find UX design volunteer opportunities?

🔸 Search volunteering websites

Platforms like VolunteerMatch, Idealist, and Catchafire are treasure troves of UX design volunteer opportunities.

Filter by location, cause, or time commitment to find projects that align with your interests and availability.

🔸 Reach out to NGOs directly

Don't hesitate to reach out to nonprofit organisations that resonate with you. Many nonprofits welcome pro bono UX support but may not actively advertise volunteer opportunities.

A personalized email expressing your interest and expertise can go a long way in opening doors to collaboration.

🔸 Showcase your expertise

Instead of waiting for opportunities to come to you, take proactive steps to showcase your UX expertise. Leverage your online presence through platforms like LinkedIn, Behance, or Dribbble to highlight your portfolio, skills, and passion for UX design.

By curating a compelling online presence, you'll attract the attention of organisations seeking volunteer support and position yourself as a valuable asset in the UX community.


So, why wait?

UX design volunteering is not just about giving; it's about gaining—gaining experience, skills, connections, and a sense of purpose.

Whether you're a seasoned professional looking to expand your portfolio or a budding designer eager to make a difference, there's never been a better time to dive into the world of UX volunteering.

Good luck!

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Chris
Founder @ UX Playbook

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