IDSE402 Portfolio Development

About this course

In Portfolio Development, students will develop and produce a portfolio of work that communicates their distinct point of view, experience, capabilities, and pursuits.

Outcomes and competencies

The following outcome statements articulate the competencies, abilities, and skills a student will have as a result of completing this class. Students will...

  • Communicate their personal design philosophy or point of view across mediums.
  • Articulate their experience, capabilities, and aim in varying formats and channels.
  • Shape content for specific opportunities and audiences.

Core concepts and ideas

This class emphasizes the following main ideas, themes, and concepts:

  • Write personal design philosophy
  • Position themselves within the current and future design landscape.
  • Define work goals and objectives.
  • Critique other ac4d and non-ac4d Designers’ portfolios.
  • Sketch copies of other Designers’ portfolio layouts.
  • Outline their portfolio content in a google doc.
  • Write a user scenario of their intended audience experiencing their portfolio.
  • Sketch feasible layouts from web design tools and related templates.
  • Sketch several layout variations of their portfolio content.
  • Create personal brand and accompanying assets.
  • Build a digital portfolio.


DatesThemeIn classOut of Class


Introduction to Portfolio Management

Introduction to Portfolio Development

Class Expectations & Calendar

Assignments & Materials

Complete design landscape and roles exercise.

Source 3-5 portfolios that inspire you and prepare to share 1 or 2.



Review other portfolios and personal brands (instructor- and student-provided)

Sketch copies of portfolio layouts (individual)

Guest Speaker John Berry on realizing your value

Outline your portfolio narrative.

Explore Squarespace templates and identify 3-4 to experiment with your outline.


Personal Narrative

Complete portfolio narrative exercise (individual)

Layout narrative within Squarespace or Webflow templates (Individual)

Refine 1-2 rough portfolio layouts to share next class.


Portfolio 1.0

Pin up and review rough portfolio layouts

Determine and document what changes need to be made and what further exploration must be done

Move low- to mid-fidelity portfolio to digital format. Can be in sketch or illustrator or in web design tool.


Portfolio 1.1

Pin up and review portfolio on web

Refine portfolio


Personal Brand Workshop

Guests: Ivan Alonso and Ashlee Harris

Complete personal brand activity (individual)

Pin up and review portfolio

Refine brand intentions, define attributes, and create brand elements such as mark and color palette.


Web Accessibility

Review web accessibility standards and how they’re applied

Complete accessibility check of portfolio and address issues (individual)


Portfolio 1.2

Alumni Guest Crit with Anna Krachey (remote), Eric Boggs, and Cheyenne Weaver

Move portfolio to hi-fidelity.


Work Session


Visual Design Review and Optional Webflow Workshop

Pin up and review with Visual Designers Steven Hanley, Martha Fierro, and Laura Rillera

Refine portfolio.


Portfolio 1.3

Recruiters and Directors Share Hiring Perspective and Guest Crit


Portfolio Evaluation

Review student-curated list of opportunities that interests them.

Evaluate portfolio against specific opportunities (entire class)


Portfolio 1.4

Peer critique


Physical Portfolio

Create rough draft of paper portfolio for a specific work opportunity





Interview Role Play

Interview Role Play