Design a Portfolio

The clarity of your portfolio is a critical part of presenting the quality of your work. Thus, each portfolio piece should be paired with a brief statement describing it to tell your story. We look for five characteristics: concept, craft, communication, process, and empathy. When considering each piece you include, consider how each might contribute to your story across these five criteria.

Submitting your Portfolio

You are required to submit a portfolio of work that demonstrates a point of view about interaction design. Interaction design portfolios are likely visual but need not be, as we look for a broad range of references as parallel influences to the field.

You must submit a portfolio as a URL or PDF. No physical portfolios will be accepted.

We recommend you include five or more projects. These projects can be a range of work from design to code to writing to filmaking to music. 

You are strongly encouraged to submit one case study. The case study should describe one of your projects from concept through completion, detailing: the project problem, your approach, and outcomes with supporting sketches and images. Emphasize your process and thinking using between one and six pages in PDF format.

For inspiration purposes only, the following are examples of project types you may include in your portfolio; this is not a list of requirements:


  • Design work that demonstrates visual literacy, craft, process, and the corresponding product/service.
  • Usability and social science research that emphasizes the concept and ultimate findings.
  • Strategy and writing projects that communicate audience, challenge, and outcomes.
  • Coding projects that show samples, process, and outcome.
  • Project management accomplishments that make clear the responsibilities, challenge, and problem solved.

Personal interviews may be required. If you live beyond a 1,000-mile radius of New York City, you may request a Skype interview.

Above and Beyond

Because this is an interaction design portfolio doesn’t mean that it should only include interaction design work. Demonstrating that you have a design range that spans multiple disciplines, and that you have fluency across multiple media demonstrates that you have a holistic approach that will be not only valuable to other students and to the program. While we suggest that you consider including at least five pieces in your portfolio, you should use that as a guideline. You should only include pieces that you are proud of.

Most of all, your portfolio should be easy to use. Consider your audience — the portfolio committee. You are the curator. If you were designing a space, you’d consider whether you’d like us to turn left or right through the gallery. Make the same considerations with your portfolio and the experience of your portfolio committee.

Don’t be afraid to show details. We’re equally interested in reviewing a final product as we are the concepts and sketches that comprised the process. Consider including process sketches as portfolio pieces in their own right as they contribute to a visual story of your personal design process.

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