The Portfolio Puzzle: What’s an Interaction Designer to Do?

Ever since user interfaces got all GUI, a sticky problem for interaction designers has been, “What the heck do I show when folks ask for a portfolio?”

While visual designers can dazzle with shiny icons, illustrations, and animations, the stuff of interaction design tends to be reams of product spec, process flows, and HI reviews–none of which tell a particularly catchy story that’s easy to sum up with a quick visual.

So what do you folks think? Is there a better way for an interaction designer to strut his or her stuff other than simply showing off screen shots of famous products they’ve had a part in (whether that person actually designed the shiny icons or not)? What’s the coolest portfolio for an interaction designer you’ve seen that involves real-world products?

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