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What Is a Case Study?
When you’re performing research as part of your job or for a school assignment, you’ll probably come across case studies that help you to learn more about the topic at hand. But what is a case study and why are they helpful? Read on to learn all about case studies.
Deep Dive into a Topic
At face value, a case study is a deep dive into a topic. Case studies can be found in many fields, particularly across the social sciences and medicine. When you conduct a case study, you create a body of research based on an inquiry and related data from analysis of a group, individual or controlled research environment.
As a researcher, you can benefit from the analysis of case studies similar to inquiries you’re currently studying. Researchers often rely on case studies to answer questions that basic information and standard diagnostics cannot address.
Study a Pattern
One of the main objectives of a case study is to find a pattern that answers whatever the initial inquiry seeks to find. This might be a question about why college students are prone to certain eating habits or what mental health problems afflict house fire survivors. The researcher then collects data, either through observation or data research, and starts connecting the dots to find underlying behaviors or impacts of the sample group’s behavior.
During the study period, the researcher gathers evidence to back the observed patterns and future claims that’ll be derived from the data. Since case studies are usually presented in the professional environment, it’s not enough to simply have a theory and observational notes to back up a claim. Instead, the researcher must provide evidence to support the body of study and the resulting conclusions.
As the study progresses, the researcher develops a solid case to present to peers or a governing body. Case study presentation is important because it legitimizes the body of research and opens the findings to a broader analysis that may end up drawing a conclusion that’s more true to the data than what one or two researchers might establish. The presentation might be formal or casual, depending on the case study itself.
Once the body of research is established, it’s time to draw conclusions from the case study. As with all social sciences studies, conclusions from one researcher shouldn’t necessarily be taken as gospel, but they’re helpful for advancing the body of knowledge in a given field. For that purpose, they’re an invaluable way of gathering new material and presenting ideas that others in the field can learn from and expand upon.
MORE FROM QUESTIONSANSWERED.NET
May 26, 2019
8 Amazing Case Studies from Top Product Designers
By bestfolios.com — collecting the best designer portfolio websites, resumes and design resources.
1. Uber Scooters Platform
By Bre Huang, Product Designer at Uber.
2. Khan Academy: SAT review design
By Kejia Shao, former design intern at Khan Academy.
3. Airbnb VR
By Andre Le, Cofounder and designer at YVR.
4. Venmo: Splitting the Bill
By Cheechee Lin, product designer at Dropbox.
5. Facebook: Connecting Page Admins to Right Audience
By Sahil Khoja, former design intern at Facebook and Instagram.
6. Snapchat Payments
By Josie Xie — product designer at Venmo.
7. Slack Fund
By Alice Lee, an independent SF-based illustrator & designer.
8. Amazon: Free Trial 14 — Amazon Prime Onboarding
By Alexandria Won, UX design intern at Amazon.
Thanks for reading!
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A curation of best portfolio websites, resumes, articles from UX/UI designers, graphic designers and motion designers.
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6 Excellent Product Designer Case Studies & 8 Tips for Yours
What is the recipe for perfect product design case studies? The dozens of design leads and HR managers we’ve interviewed say that they expect a blend of
- stunning visuals and
This article will guide you through the steps of creating case studies that check all those marks, and more! This is your one-stop source of tips and steps based on actual research, and real-life examples.
Let’s be honest: putting together a case study can be rather difficult. However, there are some techniques and tools that can help you along the way. One of those tools is UXfolio , our portfolio builder that makes the whole process faster and easier. Obviously, these 8 tips apply regardless of the tool you are using to build your product designer case studies.
1. Inject your personality into your case studies
Showing personality in a product design portfolio , case study, or resumé can be challenging. Finding the balance between just enough and too much takes time and experimentation. Still, if you want to set yourself apart, you have to find ways to inject your personality into everything you submit with an application.
Here’s a pro tip: whenever you relate something back to yourself, to your personal experience with the project, you’ll allow a small bit of your personality to shine. If you don’t go overboard, you will show just enough of yourself for recruiters to see the type of person and designer you are.
Define what you do
There are ways to sprinkle tidbits of your personality into everything you make. Start by clearly defining what you do. Do this in your portfolio and at the beginning of every case study: In what quality were you part of the project?
Find personal connection to the product
Next, you can share your connection with the product. Your case study intro is perfect for this. Answer questions such as:
- How did it relate to you (if it did)?
- Did you have any experience in this niche before?
- Were you using similar products before?
Talk about your experience throughout the process
In the body of your case study go on and talk about your experience throughout the project. Maybe this was your first time using a specific UX method. Let your readers know! Then go on and share what you liked about it, and what you didn’t.
Juniors have it easier
Leslie’s Meal Planner case study is the perfect example of a product designer case study based on a mock project. Putting together a portfolio as a junior designer – who doesn’t have real-life projects yet – is challenging to say the least. Most design leads advise juniors to build a portfolio based on
- internship experiences ,
- mock projects, or
The secret is to treat these mock-projects exactly as you’d treat real-life projects. Put in the research, testing, and the same effort you’d put in a real-life project. The best thing about mock-projects is that they provide plenty of room for your personality to shine. Just base them on topics or apps that interest you and let your readers know.
Check out Leslie’s introduction:
“I’ve been struggling with food allergies for years, so it seemed obvious that I will try to find a solution to this common problem.”
Immediately in her intro, we learn something personal about her. It is easy to see why she’s passionate about the topic. By kicking it off on a personal note, she pulls in the readers immediately.
This approach aligns with the advice that Marc Greenberg , UX lead of Robotics at Postmates, gave to junior designers:
“Start close to you. Everyone can identify where their own frustrations, troubles, and difficulties lie. The first step is to design solutions to those things.”
2. Put everything in context
Both HR managers and design leads list ‘lack of explanation’ as a common reason for rejection. Our experience through expert reviews supports their statement.
Stop defining UX methods in your case studies
Many designers will list the methods they have used during a project. They do a good job of explaining the general purpose of said methods. The only problem is that both HR managers and design leads are aware of what ‘A/B testing’ is and what purpose it serves. What they don’t know is:
- Why did you choose that method for that specific project?
- What did you learn (or did not learn) by using that method?
- How did your findings influence the project?
By failing to answer those questions, your case study will fail to fulfill its purpose. The key is storytelling. In the context of UX portfolios, the word storytelling refers to the story of a specific design project and not the story of UX design in general. Storifying your design process is not that hard of a task. Just follow the golden rule:
Whenever you mention something in a case study, explain why it’s relevant to the project at hand and how it influenced your process.
Better Cover, a product design case study by Joanna Yoon, illustrates how to place research in context. Joanna lists the methods she used, then goes on to provide numbers and results. She presents the results in a visual way, which makes it even easier to digest all the data. And this takes us to our next tip: visuals.
3. Keep it visually consistent
Your taste level will be judged based on your portfolio and case studies, and not only the products that you’ve designed. Ideally, while working on something, you think in personas, mood boards, and design systems. Do the same when putting your portfolio together! After all, it’s a product designed by you.
Don’t go overboard with your portfolio design. The more stuff you add, the higher your chances of not matching the tastes of others. What’s even worse, you’ll ruin the UX of your portfolio. Check out what Spotify’s Paul Farino had to say about over-designed portfolios:
“I see some portfolios that may take ten seconds to load and it’s very flashy and there’s a lot going on on the screen. But those animations and that extra flare don’t contribute to the story you’re trying to tell. It actually just makes it a poor experience.”
You might think that things floating into the screen left and right show that you are tech-savvy and on-trend, but you are actually over-designing, which ruins an experience that would be seamless otherwise.
There are many well-written product design case studies out there that fail because of presentation. Design is the easiest part of case studies, especially if you are working from a template, such as the templates that you can generate via UXfolio .
Be mindful of colors
Keep in mind: your case study will already include some colors from the product itself. The safe thing is to use matching colors. Introducing new colors on top of what you inherit from the product is a risk that you should not take. It creates a mess, especially if your viewer doesn’t have the time to take it all in. Focus on keeping your fonts and colors consistent throughout the case study, portfolio, and resume.
Make it easy to skim
UX/UI Recruitment Consultant, Joe Jackson , advises UX designers to
“Make it digestible, skimmable, and impactful.”
Your case studies’ users – recruiters and design leads – spend a maximum of 3 minutes with one portfolio. If you have 3 case studies, that’s less than a minute per one. This means that you have to prioritize visual hierarchy.
Take the text of your case study, and see how it would work without the images. Did you use enough headings? Are they applied consistently for the same type of content? Can you organize some of your data into tables or illustrations? Did you use matching colors on your visuals?
Visual consistency checklist:
- Is my content organized into logical chunks consistently?
- Are my fonts consistent throughout the case study?
- Do I have a good text-to-image ratio?
- Is the style of my illustrations and images consistent?
As you can see the keyword here is ‘consistency’
4. UIs matter
When you ask HR managers whether UIs matter in UX portfolios, the answer will be ‘yes’. They know that UI and UX design are not the same. But that doesn’t change the fact that having stunning UIs in your case studies will increase your chances of landing a job. It’s not right, but it’s true. If you want to maximize your chances of success, accept the fact that UIs matter.
Here’s what Tony Aube , Google AI’s Sr. Product Designer had to say about this:
“I believe UX portfolios have too much text and explanation about the design process, while they don’t have enough visuals. The truth is — and I have learned this the hard way — recruiters respond a lot more to visuals than to text.”
The thinking process behind this is very simple:
“If you can’t figure out something as simple as proper drop shadows, I doubt you will do a good job on a multimillion-dollar purchase flow redesign.”
Just leave them out
If your UIs are not yet polished, it’s better to leave them out of your case studies. Remember: you will be judged on everything you present. It doesn’t matter if you explain right next to it that you have just dipped into visual design. The image will linger. If you don’t do UIs, stick to wireframes and protos, otherwise, you risk shooting yourself in the leg.
5. Deliver on the promises you made in your resume
Your resume, cover letter, about page, and case studies must be aligned both visually and content-wise. If you promise serious research-game in your resume, your case studies should stand proof for that. This way, by the time the HR manager finishes with your submission, they will be convinced that you are indeed big on research. But for this to happen, your entire application must reinforce the statements you make.
Make everything match
When you are eyeing one specific position at a company, align everything you submit with the job description. From your resume to your case studies, everything should support the fact that you are the best candidate. It might seem like too much effort, but in the end, it’ll be worth it. The least, you’ll end up with a brilliant portfolio.
There are plenty of UXfolio users who make great use of the multiple portfolios feature. They create different (password-protected) portfolios, tailored for different applications, and even different positions, such as product designer and UX writer. They understand the impact of a customized application.
6. Show your best work only
If you do a bad job with your own ‘product’, how could they trust you to do a good job with theirs?
Avoid showing mediocre or unfinished work. As mentioned before, you will be judged on everything you present, regardless of any explanation you provide. If your case study is still “in the works” or “coming,” do not feature it in your portfolio! If a case study doesn’t feel right to you, it won’t feel right to the HR manager either. And so on. You get the message: if it’s shaky it doesn’t have a place in your portfolio.
Apply this to everything
The same applies to the visuals you present. If they are shabby, you will be the applicant with the shabby visuals. You must treat your portfolio like you would treat a client. If you do a bad job with your own ‘product’, how could they trust you to do a good job with theirs?
Ask your teacher, your peers, or literally anyone to give feedback on your portfolio. Spam hundreds of Facebook groups with your case study, ask your teachers to review it, send it to HR managers for review. In UXfolio , you can request peer reviews as well as expert reviews. The latter will be given by our designers, who have seen thousands of portfolios.
Here’s Trevor Denton’s advice on the matter:
“Quality over quantity. Many designers oversaturate their portfolio with projects. You don’t need to show me every single thing that you’ve done. Show me the things that you’re most proud of!”
7. Reflect and plan
Close your case studies with reflections and learnings. We work in an industry that evolves at a rapid pace. We must do the same to keep relevant. And openness to learn new things is at the core of evolution.
Mention what you’ve gained professionally from each project, even if it’s a mock-project.
Even the most mundane projects can bring something that contributes to your professional growth. It’s all just a matter of perspective. So, mention what you’ve gained professionally from each project, even if it’s a mock-project.
End with ‘Next steps’
As a product designer, you are well aware that a product is rarely finished. There are always tweaks that could make it even better. There are things that you find important but you couldn’t accomplish. Collect all of these into a ‘Next steps’ section, to show your awareness. Such a section also proves that you think ahead.
So, give your reflections and lay out your plans and ideas for future improvements.
8. Give credit for good karma
Paul Farino , Spotify’s Sr. Product Designer put it best:
“A lot of times we see case studies at a large company and you know they had a ton of other designers, whether researchers or product folks involved. It usually makes for good karma to give credit.”
Not only is it good karma, but it is also extremely beneficial for you. Most positions require the candidate to be a good team player. What better way to show that you fit that criteria than giving credit to the people that have contributed to your work? However, there is a way to do this right.
Let’s say, you have been working closely with front-end developers. When you mention this, describe what type of a collaboration it was. What did it involve? How did you make it work? Maybe you had a dedicated researcher to help you collect all the data. Mention how did you align the research and design. How did the researchers’ work influence yours? It’s all about giving context.
Take the advice of Google UX Design Lead, Koji Pereira :
“No good product gets created by one person. So you don’t have to mention names, but it makes for good practice to just say, ‘In this project, I had two designers and five engineers working with me.’ (…) We at Google want to know if you’ve ever worked with a researcher. Have you ever worked with an engineer or a PM?”
Build meaningful case studies with UXfolio!
UXfolio is a powerful portfolio and case study building tool that’ll save you hours of work. Our pre-made case study sections come with image ideas and text prompts that’ll guide you through the entire process. Your only job is to focus on the content! Try UXfolio for free!
Portfolio builder tool for UX designers
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Top companies want to see your design process and decisions in your portfolio
A typical mistake I see in UX portfolios is lack of content explaining their contribution to the effort, the images are only the final product and not the process to get there.
UX is very much about strategy and if the person is not showing how they got from A to B, they appear to be another UI trying to move into a UX role.
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How To Write a Product Design Case Study: Template & Guide
Learn how to write a product design case study that shows off your skills. Use our product design case study template to get started.
October 26, 2022
Art by Outcrowd
As a product designer, you spend most of your time focusing on user research, functionality, and user testing. But if you want to grow a successful product design career, you also need to present your work in a compelling way. This guide explains how to write a product design case study that makes other people want to hire you. It also includes several examples of amazing case studies to inspire you.
What is a case study in product design?
A product designcase study showcases your design skills to prospective clients, making it an important part of your product design portfolio . Whether you're a graphic designer or a UX design professional, you can benefit from showing clients how you think through tough design challenges and use your expertise to solve complex problems.
What is the goal of a product design case study?
The main goal of a product design case study is to share your design thinking process with hiring managers or prospective clients. Adding at least one case study to your product design portfolio can help you convince someone that you have the creativity and technical skills needed to solve their problems.
A well-written case study shows design managers that you have experience overcoming design-related challenges.
It's one thing to list on your resume that you're capable of designing high-fidelity prototypes, but it's another to show exactly how you've helped other businesses overcome design-related challenges. A well-written case study shows design managers that you have experience with prototyping, animations, wireframes, user testing, and other tasks, making it easier to land a product design interview , or even better, a job offer.
What makes a great product design case study?
To make your case study as appealing as possible, make sure it checks all the right boxes.
A great product design case study:
- Tells a story
- Makes text and visuals come together to show how you added value to the design project
- Shows that you made important decisions
- Gives readers an understanding of your thought process
- Clearly defines the problem and the result
- Shows who you are as a designer
Art by Laetitia Breedt
✏️ Product design case study template
If you're ready to add a case study to your portfolio, use this product design case study template to help your work shine in the best light.
Provide some background on the client featured in your case study. If you didn’t actually work with a client and are showcasing a course project, you can still provide context about the product or user you are designing for.
You should also include some information about the target audience for your work sample. This can help prospective clients or employers feel more comfortable about your ability to design products that appeal to their customers. If your case study focuses on a mobile app, for example, you may want to include some demographic information about the intended user base.
The design problem describes what problem you were trying to solve for your client. For your description to be as effective as possible, it should answer the following questions:
- What is the problem? This sounds like a simple question, but the answer depends on your client, their target audience, and your approach to design thinking. In some cases, a problem is simply a task that needs to be accomplished. A problem could also be a struggle that someone is having with an existing product.
- Why is the problem important? For minor problems, it doesn't always make sense to spend time and money coming up with a solution. If you explain why the problem is important, you can show prospective clients or employers the value created by your services.
- Where does the problem occur? It's helpful to explain whether the problem occurs in the physical world or in cyberspace.
- Who is involved? Defining the target audience is important, but you also need to list who else is affected by the problem. If your client's target audience is consumers, for example, the problem could be affecting shareholders or company management.
After you answer these questions, write your design statement from the perspective of your client. Here's an example: "ABC Company was selling 10,000 subscriptions per month, but its churn rate was over 35% due to a design flaw that wasn't discovered during usability testing. The company needed to redesign the product to reduce its churn rate and increase user satisfaction."
This section of the product design case study walks readers through your decision-making process and shows them you understand how to apply advanced design principles to each product. Here are some examples of statements that product designers can use to explain their thought processes:
- I realized that several flaws arose from the original design team's decision to turn a digital product into a physical product without making any substantial changes to the product's visual design. To address this issue, I read case studies on how other companies in the industry made the transition from digital to physical. Then I made a list of features the client would need to address the existing flaws.
- I asked users to test several iterations of the design. Based on their feedback, I decided to make the buttons dark blue instead of teal.
- When users tested the first draft of the landing page, they indicated that it was difficult to find the call-to-action button. To address their feedback, I moved the button from the middle of the page to the upper-right corner of the page.
Add plenty of visuals to make your skills shine. When possible, include several versions of your design to show how your thinking changed as you got closer to delivering the final product. Side-by-side comparisons are especially helpful, as they eliminate the need for portfolio readers to scroll up and down to figure out what changed. Here are some examples of visuals that can help convince people they should hire you instead of some other designer:
- Charts and graphs
- Flow charts and user journey maps
Create an interview-ready portfolio in Dribbble's Certified Course.
Product design case study examples
If you need a little inspiration, check out the product design case study examples below. The designers did a great job explaining their design decisions and showing off their skills.
Instabook App by Tiffany Mackay
Tiffany Mackay's Instabook case study starts out strong with a concise description of the client. She also includes a clear description of the design challenge: creating a social platform for authors, publishers, and readers. The case study includes wireframes and other visuals to show readers how Mackay developed new features and refined the tool's overall user experience.
- View the full case study
Art by tiffany mackay
Crypto App by Brittney Singleton
The Crypto App case study is an excellent example of how to create a case study even if you don't have much paid experience. Brittney Singleton created the Crypto App as a project for one of Dribbble's courses, but she managed to identify a problem affecting the crypto marketplace and come up with a solution. Singleton's case study contains plenty of visuals and explains the decisions she made at each stage of the project.
Art by Brittney Singleton
PoppinsMail by Antonio Vidakovik
Antonio Vidakovik's case study has some of the best visuals, making it a great example to follow as you work on your portfolio. His user flow charts have a simple design, but they feature bright colors and succinct descriptions of each step. Vidakovik also does a good job explaining his user interface design decisions.
Art by Micah Lanier
Super Walk by Micah Lanier
Micah Lanier offers a textbook example of an effective UX case study. It starts out with a quick overview of the client and a description of their problem. Micah also provides a detailed overview of the steps he took to identify user pain points, brainstorm solutions, and test several iterations before delivering a finished product. The Super Walk case study also includes plenty of visuals to show readers how the product evolved from the beginning to the end of the design process.
Art by Antonio Vidakovic
To the Park by Evangelyn
Evangelyn's case study is another example of how you can show off your skills even if you don't have years of professional experience. She created the To the Park app as a part of Dribbble's Certified Product Design Course, so she had plenty of opportunities to create appealing visuals and conduct user testing. Her product design case study explains exactly how her design solves the initial challenge she identified.
Art by Clara
How many case studies should I include in my product design portfolio?
If you have minimal experience, aim for two or three case studies. Like many junior product designers, you can use projects from a product design course you’ve completed if you don't have a lot of professional experience. More experienced product designers should have up to five. Too many case studies can be overwhelming for recruiters, so don't feel like you need to include dozens of projects.
Grow your product design portfolio
To get more product design jobs , try adding at least one product design case study to your portfolio website. Case studies include real-world examples of your work, making it easier for prospective clients and employers to assess your abilities. They're different from resumes because they show people exactly what you can do instead of just listing your skills, making it more likely that you'll get hired.
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How to Create a Case Study for your UX and Product Design Portfolio
I meet with a lot of designers who are unclear how to promote their work. They create beautiful apps and web sites and work hard on a project. Then have trouble summarizing them into a clear concise case study, and in the end, they sell themselves short.
I want to help designers breakthrough this case study funk. So I put on my detective hat, and asked them: “What is difficult about creating a case study?” Some replied they have trouble condensing information into a short concise page. They also struggle with:
“Case studies are hard. We want them to be interesting and not overwhelming. They take time and it’s tough to tell a story.” Lukasz Lysakowski, Design Director at Peek
Most UX and Product Design case studies contain too much information. Designers should summarize their projects into clear, concise statements instead of showing us this 10000px long document with endless examples of how they accomplished something, with no clear understanding of what the product is.In this article, I will teach you to put together your case study without overwhelming people.
How to Structure your Case Study
As a designer, it’s important to find what works best for you. Here is one way to organize your case study.
Create a success story for your project. Summarize the product, skills, the challenges, highlight features, and explain the outcome.
Explain your Process
Explain your process in a separate section of your site. Or, you can write a public or unlisted Medium post and link to it from your portfolio. Hiring managers want to understand how you solve problems. Your process includes wireframes, strategy, user flows, design thinking and anything else you feel is necessary to communicate how you achieved a result.
Part 1: Design a Case Study Landing Page
For this article, I’ll focus specifically on designing a case study landing page.
Think Like an Ad Agency
Advertising agencies win clients because they know how to sell their work. Every project begins with a creative brief and ends with a case study. The creative brief outlines the scope, the unique selling point, target audience, goals, deliverables, and schedule. When the project is complete, the agency publishes a case study to summarize the project, show the outcome, and its effect on the business.
Case studies tell a story with big beautiful graphics, clear objectives and metrics.
We should take hints from well-respected design agencies like Frog, IDEO, and DesignIt. They tell the story of their work with big beautiful graphics, clear objectives, and metrics. They make it easy for the client to understand the project and grasp the outcome.
A light bulb went off when Barrington Reeves, a Graphic Designer in the UK, gave me the idea to look at ad agencies for case study examples. I Googled top agencies around the world, took screenshots, and dissected them. Hold on tight because this is awesome. Here’s a breakdown of what I discovered.
Case study breakdown
Common patterns include:
- Project Summary
- Role and Services
- Product Features
- Animated screenshots
- High-resolution photos of people using your product
- Call to Action
1. Write a Project Summary
Describe your product and explain how it works in a few sentences..
2. Define the Objective
The objective explains an overview of the product, who the user is, what problem you are trying to solve, who was involvedand provides background information and technical details or specifications.
Who is this project for? What is the challenge?
If you’re working on an experimental project and don’t have a real client, explain your intent for the project, the challenge, and the solution. I’ve listed a few examples but will go more into detail in a future post.
“I designed a system for NYTimes readers to cater to their busy schedule. They can select quick-read articles ranging from 2-5 minutes and receive smart notifications based on their Google Calendar.”
Example 2: “As a Slack user, I wanted to make the mobile app as good as the desktop. I analyzed in detail what could be revised and proposed a redesign concept.”
3. How did you Contribute to this Project?
This is where you show off your skills. List everything you accomplished to bring this project to life.
- Designed user interface for the mobile app
- Branding and graphic design
- Front-end development
- User Interviews
- Extensive Market Research
- Customer Journey Maps
- Affinity mapping
Capture your process with 1 or 2 photos
4. Take Animated Screenshots of Your Work
Use motion and animation to get attention and bring your design to life.
You can use motion capture tools like CloudApp to capture screenshots, record animations, and annotate on the fly.
5. Highlight Product Features
Show off product features while explaining your design process
6. Capture Gorgeous Hi-Res Photos of People Interacting with your App
7. Use Metrics
Measure the effectiveness of your design. How did it impact the business? Did it increase sales? Did you recruit new customers? Were you hired for a job? Keep it simple. Define the metrics and measurements used to evaluate a project’s success.
Examples of metrics:
- Increased Sales
- Increased Signups
- Customer retention
- New visitors vs. repeat visitors
- Create awareness
- Improve brand perception
- Prompt a specific action
- Retain customers
Metrics are important because they give a business case for you to get hired. A design is successful when you are able to increase sales or grow a customer base.
8. Gather Testimonials
9. Add a Call to Action
ABC –Always Be Closing. Finish each case study with a call to action that inspires the viewer to get in touch with you for future projects or employment opportunities.
A well-designed case study demonstrates your talent, skills, describes an overview of your process and makes a business case for your work. Get clear on what you’ve created, and simplify it. It might take a while to summarize into brief statements, but you can do it! Write it down, edit, edit, edit and keep editing.
Do yourself a favor, and spend the time to design a beautiful portfolio that shows the value of your work. Invest in yourself because you’re worth it.
More Resources for your Reading Pleasure
How to Create and Write a Case Study (+ 12 Case Study Examples)
G2 crowd assembled a list of effective methods to sell your skills through case studies. These don’t relate directly to product designers, but are still useful.
The Minimum Viable Product Design Portfolio
Kostya Gorskiy, Design Lead at Intercom, shows us how to simplify our design portfolio so it’s more effective.
About Andi Galpern Andi Galpern is a UX Strategist at CloudApp. She is also the founder and producer of Cascade SF, an experience designorganization in the Bay Area. Her events provide a go-to space for product designers to learn new skills, connect with industry leaders, mentor, and stay ahead of the job market. Everyone works together toward a more fulfilling career.
Since 2011, Andi has organized hundreds of design and technology events to bring communities together. She regularly works with designers around the world to help them create presentations and become leaders. Follow her on Twitter @andigalpern.
Over 4 million people use CloudApp's screen recording software. Work faster.
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Learn how people design digital products. Join to get curated UI/UX case studies in your inbox weekly.
Product case studies.
Product case studies focused on great stories from designers openly sharing their design process.
Designing a video creation platform
Sascha, currently a design lead at Any.Do, shares his process for designing a video creation platform for Promo.com. Also worth checking out his other case studies, which include a VR Gallery for Daydream app.
Democratizing access to bike maps
Cristiano shares his process for designing an open platform to democratize access to bike maps of Brazilian cities.
Productivity Tracker App
Ilija shares how he imagines an ideal productivity tracker would look and feel like.
The Safest and Easiest Way to Use the Internet
Judit and Matt give you insight into their UX process in re-designing a VPN service.
Burner for Android
Lex Roman is specialised in Growth Design and shares her process trough interesting case studies in her portfolio. I also recommend taking a look at her blog, if your interested in the field of Growth Design.
The Design of ConvertKit Over the Years
I've been following Nathan Barry for a while and listened to several interviews, it started as a true maker story and evolved into what it is today; a multimillion-dollar business. In this case study, Nathan describes all his iterations from 2013 to 2018.
Social and Discovery Mobile App for Action Sport Lovers
Natalie walks us through her process for designing the user experience of a niche based social media and discovery platform.
Putting Usability Ahead of Expressivity
Rachel shares her process of designing a meal-planning app. Structured into two parts, and this final part shows how important user testing and feedback is to your design process.
Shine Bank 80% Conversion Onboarding
An interesting case study on growth design. Arnaud explains how his team on Shine creates trust with users and achieve 80% conversion from their onboarding experience.
Impact — A Crypto Platform
Eftakher shows us his step-by-step process of designing a crypto platform.
From Idea to App Store
Robert Cooper shares his process of how he designed, built and launched his idea into the App Store.
Resume Maker Side Project
There's nothing like a good maker case study. A lot of great products start as side projects and learning how people do it is inspiring to kickstart your own ideas.
Carrd: the making of.
This indie project is such an inspiring story. AJ, the maker, has documented the whole process from idea to launch.
There are a few UX lessons in this case study, and if you're into coding, there's some of that for you as well. Thanks to Jake for this excellent tip.
Designing a Text-To-Speech App From The Ground Up
Creation of a virtual skilled service marketplace, a needle in a haystack — validating our dating app idea, how we built goodshows app, how we built freshclub, a fish in your ear, case study: watering tracker, ui and ux design for a mobile photo editor, designing a theme for travel bloggers, quill app – case study, designing the new gyant health for ios, the inside story of reddit's redesign, how a product system can help you focus on what matters, how we designed whimsical for speed, what it’s like to spend 326 days on a massive product release, google design exercise: faces app, inside typeform version 2, the windows 95 user interface: a case study in usability engineering, optimizing sketch files, how i designed otomate - smart home app, the new headspace, look at your product from a new perspective, how we designed our bank account: nuconta — part i, case study – zepl - making #bigdata friendly, color hunt: behind the scenes, how i accidentally launched a startup while waiting for my visa, kindara: my first ux case study, ui/ux case study : a brand new “get taxi experience”, creating a first product design system in sketch, case study: helping you find nearby people to run with, banco galicia - mobile app design, fitgenie case study, gmail: an unsolicited redesign (#1), chatbots: your ultimate prototyping tool, designing glitch — where we started, mideast tunes, zara: a usability case study, instagram ios redesign, building version 1 of your app, building soundcloud, lessons learned while designing a fun personal finance tool, designing the new flipboard, plasma design system, case study: peek launcher, we launched our company with a parody product, zoombot — our journey on creating a chat bot for real estate, redesigning sidebar, break this safe, oneshot, a one week design case study, news, in context, the making of gyroscope running, design principles: choosing the right patterns, fontspiration, designing the new foursquare, you might also like.
5 Case Studies of Big Brands Evolving in 2018
In 2018 we saw a lot of big brands evolve into something new. These curated rebranding case studies all show their new strategic brand direction. Learn more →
Curated UX design case studies. Delivered to 28.000+ members.
Oct 11, 2022
15+ Realistic Problem Statements for your next Product Design Case Study!
In this article, i am going to share 15+ realistic problem statements that you can pick up for your next case study..
The industry’s benchmark for good design is increasing at a very steep rate. Higher the supply of designers, the higher the demand for good designers.
Now everyone who starts learning product design knows that in the end, they need to have a portfolio with 1 or more case studies to demonstrate their product design skills.
Many people who enter this profession either by self-learning, design boot camps, or design schools underestimate what it takes to be a good product designer and barely understand what product designers do and why they do, what they do.
And as a result of that, their case studies fail to meet the industry’s benchmark of the skills a good product designer needs to have.
Here are some of the top reasons,
- Poor UI design skills.
- Not knowing how to craft a framework to solve a particular problem.
- Using the wrong research methods to solve a problem, mainly because they don’t understand WHEN and WHY to use a research method.
- Picking poor problem statements.
Here are some examples of what I consider to be weak problem statements/projects.
- Generic apps such as e-commerce, food delivery, and ed-tech.
- Landing Pages for selling a product, service, or promoting something/someone.
- Redesigns of really popular apps such as Instagram and WhatsApp.
- Designing solutions for problems that aren’t really problems.
These types of projects don't give you the opportunity to showcase your product thinking skills which are very critical to work as a product designer.
It’s not having the Case Study that matters. It’s the Quality of the Case Study that matters.
💥 The root cause of the problem
With so much content online, opinions and information online, people learning design get very confused about what is right and what is wrong.
And honestly, a very significant portion of the content online gives a very false picture of how the product design industry works.
I was shocked to see some of the design briefs given by some design boot camps across the world and even the Google UX Certification Course. And when they graduate from an online course, they tend to trust it blindly without questioning it because they paid a hefty sum for it.
So people spend 3–6 months working on it and end up with a case study that barely meets the benchmark.
And this is why the industry is witnessing one of its worst nightmares. Companies across the world are struggling to hire designers because of this. Let me give you an example.
A restaurant doesn’t want someone who can cook an omelet. They want someone who can cook a full-course meal or a complex dish.
🌟 Problem Statements/Design Briefs
Seeing this problem, at the beginning of this year, I decided that I would share some real problem statements that will give you an opportunity to demonstrate your product design skills and set you up for success.
You can check out all the problem statements on my Instagram Account , but I’m going to give you a sneak peek into each one of them.
Many people have worked on these problem statements and created case studies on them, resulting in bagging good jobs. I keep updating the list as and when people send them to me.
Technically these are called Design Briefs and not Problem Statements. But in this case, I still chose to call them as Problem Statements since it resonates better with freshers learning design.
Now for those who are actually interested in picking up one of these problem statements, here are a few things to keep in mind.
- There are many ways of understanding the design brief. Hence it’s your job to identify the core problem you want to solve.
- You can pick the target audience of your choice as you see fit.
- You are more than welcome to deviate from the problem statement if you find a more interesting problem to solve.
- Try to focus on finding user problems rather than having the urge to come up with fascinating solutions. If you pick good problems, you’ll have a good solution.
- Read the whole brief completely and try to understand the requirements and not jump to solutions.
- Feel free to make any assumptions when solving the problem.
🚀 Mega Product Design for Beginners
If you’re looking to up your Product Design skills which are industry relevant, check out my FREE course on YouTube.
Here is one of the most watched videos on solving problem statements!
Alright then, let’s take a look at each of the problem statements now.
🔗 — Link to the Instagram Post
Aspects to think about
- How do you help users discover the new store?
- How can you make them buy more?
- How do you ensure that focus is not taken away from the core experience of watching content?
- How can you design a smooth checkout experience?
- Consider the pain points in the entire process of getting a job.
- How do you make it flexible and scalable to fit the use case?
- How do you enable effective communication?
- What makes the app a SMART app?
- Can you take advantage of any technologies that exist out there?
- How can you cater to both tech-savvy and technically challenged people?
- How can you make the whole system of planning apps more organized?
- Everyone plans trips in different ways. How can you design a scalable solution?
- How would you help users make decisions faster?
- What actionable insights are players looking for? And why?
- How can the dashboard assist users in achieving their goals and meeting their needs?
- How can you enable hotel staff and guests to communicate faster?
- How can design an experience with the least friction such that it’s faster than the manual way of communication?
- Find creative ways to help people understand what would be the most optimal gift.
- Refrain from making it look and function like an e-commerce product.
- What would make the most sensible business model for this product to have?
- What are the many use cases for using this app?
- What are the various use cases for the app?
- Can you solve the many ways in which hostels are run?
- How do you motivate users to give away food instead of throwing them away?
- How do you create a sense of trust and transparency?
- How can you personalize the information so that users can find what they want?
- Define the business model and how would you monetize it if you had to.
- How can you ensure that introducing an app won’t create much additional effort?
- How can you inculcate the habit of using the app for the parents?
- Take time to understand how Hoarding Advertising works and how companies make decisions when putting up ads on hoardings.
- How can the app give the power to the disabled to communicate effectively?
- Focus on understanding the current behavior of deaf and mute people to understand how they communicate.
- Think about the experience of groups vs individuals.
- How can you solve for trust in this case since you might be traveling with strangers?
- Try to identify problems with the way walking tours currently function.
- How can you use technologies like AR for making the entire guided tour experience much more engaging?
- Ensure tourist guides can perform all activities that they would like to perform such as promotions, sharing updates, chatting payment, etc.
- This app can also be used by travelers to find touristy guides and go on budget travel that costs less than what travel agencies charge.
- Try to understand why users don’t get enough matches.
- What are the common patterns people follow when looking for someone to date?
- How can you help users understand how to use the A/B testing feature and understand actionable insights?
So that’s all the problem statements I’ve been able to come up with so far. I will keep posting more of them on my Instagram. So make sure to follow me there.
And of course, make sure to check out my Mega Product Design Course for Beginners on YouTube !
More from Bootcamp
From idea to product, one lesson at a time. Bootcamp is a collection of resources and opinion pieces about UX, UI, and Product. To submit your story: https://tinyurl.com/bootcampsub To find UX jobs: https://tinyurl.com/uxjobboard
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Product Designer • Ex - Apple, Unacademy
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13 best product design case studies
Product, Behind the scene
Very clear and easy to read case study with video explains how it works, and great visual.
Behind the scene
Tumblr Queue V2
Aileen, an intern shared the story of her internship project at Tumblr. Great visuals and ease of reading make it a great case study!
Freshalian Pasta - UX Writing Case Study
Discover how words shape User Experience and how to find them
Designing Facebook Collage
Christophe shared an inspiring process on how his team created Facebook Collage
Designing the UI of Google Translate
The design story behind making Google Translate
User research, User retention
Very detailed case study on how to increase user engagement and retention
Product, User retention
8 tactics tested on 300M users
Learn how Duolongo gets people to come back.
The evolution of HEY
Learn how Hey.com was built, from idea to launch.
The making of Bloggi
A full story of how Hernán built Bloggi. An inspiring story for you to write about your side project.
Product, Process, Redesign
Uber - Perfecting the Pickup
Simon shared the whole process when redesigning Uber Rider. A greate example on creating a case study.
An in-depth retrospective on building SoundCloud from Michael Nino.
Apple Music Case Study
Jason Yuan got rejected by Apple Music. So he spent 3 months to redesign it.
Web, UI Design
This case study from Ueno is agreat example on how to write and design a case study for a web project.
Curated design portfolio inspirations and case studies. Delivered every Monday.
New Case Study
Episode 1: Can Bing's new AI search challenge Google?
Mental Models: Why expectations drive user behaviors
Zeigarnik Effect: Why it's hard to leave things incomplete
Typeform: How to offboard users the right way
How to increase signup confirmation rates with Sniper Links
Email confirmation UX
Labor Perception Bias: Why faster isn't always better
Labor perception bias
Tech ethics: If cookie consent prompts were honest…
Amber Alert Redesign: 5 UX Improvements That Could Save Lives
Amber alerts UX
Google: How to increase feature adoption the right way
Google feature adoption
How Linkedin Increased Notification Opt-in Rates by 500%
The Psychology of Advertising: Why this ad made me stop scrolling
The Ugly Truth About Net Promoter Score Surveys
Net promoter surveys
The Psychology Behind Amazon's Purchase Experience
Amazon purchase UX
One Simple Psychology Framework To Improve Your Onboarding
How Blinkist Increased Trial Conversions by 23% (Ethically)
Trial paywall optimization
YouTube’s Attempt To Solve The Paradox of Choice
Adobe: The Psychology of User Offboarding
Signal: How To Ethically Boost Your Revenues
Chrome vs Brave: How To Use Ethical Design To Win Customers
The Psychology of Clubhouse’s User Retention (...and churn)
The Scary Future Of Instagram
The Psychology of Misinformation on Facebook
The Psychology Behind TikTok's Addictive Feed
Tiktok feed psychology
How To Properly Apply Jobs-To-Be-Done To User Onboarding
How To Notify Users Without Being Spammy
User Onboarding: Is HEY Email Worth It?
7 Product Team Pitfalls You Should Avoid
Product team pitfalls
How Tinder Converts 8% Of Singles Into Customers In Less Than 15min.
Coronavirus Dashboard UX: How Design Impacts Your Perception
COVID dashboard UX
How Morning Brew Grew To 1.5 Million Subs In 5 Years
Morning Brew retention
Uber Eats: How To Ethically Use Scarcity To Increase Sales
Uber Eats retention
Airbnb: How To Reduce Churn With Personalization
6 Ways Mario Kart Tour Triggers You Into Gambling Your Money
Mario Kart monetization
Strava: 7 Strategies To Convert More Freemium Users
Tesla: How To Grow Through Word-of-Mouth
Tesla charging UX
How Hopper Perfectly Nails Permission Requests UX
9 Ways To Boost SaaS Revenues With A Better Upgrade UX
Superhuman's Secret 1-on-1 Onboarding Revealed
Trello User Onboarding: 7 Tactics To Inspire You
5 Deadly Onboarding Mistakes You Should Avoid
Duolingo's User Retention: 8 Tactics Tested On 300 Million Users
Calm Referral Strategy: Drive Viral Growth With Simple Rewards
Spotify vs Apple: How Spotify is betting $230M on podcasts to win over Apple users (Ep. 2)
Spotify vs Apple: How Spotify is betting $230M on podcasts to win over Apple users (Ep. 1)
Spotify vs Apple
We Put In Work A Selection Of Case Studies
It Takes Courage To Be Who You Truly Are
Providers Solving Complex Problems
Sound design. Transformative care.
NAxtract™: Benchtop Automation
Ensuring Equal Access And Opportunity
Supporting Faculty Equity
Simple Eyewear Disinfection
Lighting The Way To Safety And Security
A Village For Mothers
Workout Gear that Doesn't Follow the Rules
Revitalizing A Town
Ergonomic Fit For Riders Of All Sizes
Are You Covered?
Infusion Device Changes The Game For Rapid Recovery
Safe Swimming For All
Shoelaces With Purpose
Healthcare In Action
Screening With Screens
Dentistry Made Fun
Discover who we are.
Trig is an award-winning design firm that offers clients guided experiences in understanding their customer needs, designing successful products, and developing lasting brands. Our comprehensive innovation process includes insights and ideation, product design, and brand and digital experiences for start-ups, mid-sized, and Fortune 500 companies. We teach the principles of design thinking to use safe-fail techniques help manage risk and uncertainty in navigating the complex domain of innovation.
Mar 24, 2020
Product Design Case Study — Diario
‘ I will not be impressed by technology until I can download food ’
Although, I find it a bit unusual to imagine this kind of device in the near (or any) future, but we are indeed, a step closer. You cannot download, but certainly, Order food online :)
This Case Study is about the process of developing and designing an online Food Delivery Application — Diario
The last decade saw a tremendous amount of digitization, with every domain of service getting itself registered on the online platform. Online food ordering trend has spiked and a number of restaurants/cafes/outlets are getting connected to these online platforms everyday.
People like the idea of receiving meals at their doorstep instead of going through the hassle of actually driving to the place. Hence, this is an area of great potential.
This research was held over 16 countries and can provide you with further insights to this trend.
This case study primarily focuses on the D esign Research and other aspects of creating a B rand Identity of this application.
View the Behance project — here
There was no hard limit on the age, gender or economic background of the target audience. Everybody loves food :)
Hence, the User Interface of the application had to be simple, intuitive, uncomplicated and offer effortless navigation.
Nevertheless, the interface was a little skewed towards providing ease of access to the millennials as those were the ones who contributed majorly to this market.
By ‘ skewed ’ I mean making assumptions such as the user is familiar with the traditional function of a hamburger menu, meaning of the magnifying glass at top of the screen (search bar) and other common conventions.
Let’s talk design!
Nobody wants to be bombarded with irrelevant information just after opening the app, right?
Hence, the splash screen of the app is kept minimal with the least amount of elements possible. As can be seen from this screen, the application mainly uses 2 colors, the blue shade ( primary color ) and the yellow shade ( secondary color ).
Here, the user is given the option to Login or Sign up
Low Fidelity Wireframes
The initial wireframes that were produced of some key screens
The screens are modeled to be intuitive as outlined in the previous section. Cluttered screens often do not provide a good user experience, hence care has been taken to provide enough breathing room for the elements in the UI.
The Information Architecture lays out the complete flow of screens presented to a user while interacting with the UI.
It outlines the primary paths that a user follows as he/she navigates to reach the end goal. In this case, the goal is to successfully place an order.
Note: The steps after sign up are one-time only, i.e. they are shown only once when a user registers for the platform. Hence, the routes that will be navigated frequently (those after the login step) are pretty straight forward and uncomplicated (which was one of our goals).
The designs of the introduction screens that the user encounters after registering on the application.
The witty designs ensure that the user does not abandon your app soon after sign up, aids in building a physiological connection and makes them feel native to your product.
High Fidelity Wireframes
Remember the hand drawn wireframes? Well, they grew up to look like this
There’s nothing more relaxing and soothing than seeing your design come to life, gradually.
Each and every layout decision is taken with great care and has its own story rooting from the basics of User Experience theories. Details of some principles can be found on this amazing website .
Icon sets used in this product were diligently selected such that they do not appear out of the overall architecture and were colored according to the theme of the product, which leaves us at another important aspect of product designing — Branding
Branding your product
The key of promoting your product is not just to notify the user of your product, it is to make them remember your product.
There are a couple of ways to achieve this 1. Be consistent with the nature of the design elements you use with your product. 2. Use the same combination of colors that represent your brand. 3. Use Motifs
What are Motifs ? Motifs are small, recurring elements, patterns that define your brand and tie your design together. These pattern can be reflected in your logo, the fonts that you use, your website and other aspects of your organization.
You can learn more about Motifs here .
The final goal of branding is to associate a certain set of elements, color schemes or components with your product, so that the consumer will be reminded of it whenever he/she comes across such patterns.
Now , time to analyze one of the pages that was designed
The profile page provides a concise view of all the information most relevant to the user, while keeping the design lightweight (again, one of our initial goals).
Switching tabs design (Settings and Order History) has been adopted to present more information in the limited space. The page provides basic information that you entered and an option to update that information as well.
An Order History tab has also been provided, in case if one wants to repeat a previous order.
This is just a glimpse of the journey from the initial idea to the final prototype of the application. In the final product, we were able to incorporate all of our initial goals in the design while keeping the interface minimal and easy to use.
If you feel you have something more to add, feel free to comment or connect with me over LinkedIn !
You can view the original project on Behance here.
Thank you for reading!
More from UX Planet
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When you’re performing research as part of your job or for a school assignment, you’ll probably come across case studies that help you to learn more about the topic at hand. But what is a case study and why are they helpful? Read on to lear...
Case studies are important because they help make something being discussed more realistic for both teachers and learners. Case studies help students to see that what they have learned is not purely theoretical but instead can serve to crea...
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Now everyone who starts learning product design knows that in the end, they need to have a portfolio with 1 or more case studies to demonstrate their
13 best product design case studies. Learn and improve your product skills with real-world portfolio examples.
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Reviewing case studies in product design help you learn the process for bringing products to market. Here are a few examples from working with stellar
Product Design Case Study — Diario · Brief · Analysis · Design Process · Splash Screen · Low Fidelity Wireframes · Information Architecture.