Consistency helps visitors quickly move between case studies and find the information they need. It doesn’t mean the format of your case studies must be identical, but do include key structural elements in all of them.
Think of your case study as a story. The reader begins with no knowledge of you or your project. Take them on a journey through your work with a clear beginning (context/brief), middle (process/iterations) and end (final outcome).
When they’ve finished reading, they should have a few main takeaways about your approach to design.
The important elements to include are:
A concise overview of what the project is. One or two sentences is enough. For example, a one line description of the game, the stage of the project and your role in the team.
“Gumdrop Grab is a match-3 game for iPhone I created as a side project during my third year at college. Working as the UX designer in this small team, I was responsible for getting the tutorial in shape in preparation for an Android release.”
Again, keep it short. What problem did you need to solve? Why? Were there any constraints? Who was the intended audience?
“Through regular play testing, we knew players loved Gumdrop Grab’s gameplay, but we also found that new players had difficulty grasping the more complex power-up mechanics in level two. I needed to redesign the tutorial to make the game more approachable for players not already familiar with the match-three genre.”
Without a doubt, the most important - and longest - part of the case study, and the part where the format will vary the most.
This might include:
- How did you break down the problem? How did you learn more about it?
- What designs did you try?
- What worked, what didn’t work?
- How did you get feedback?
I can’t really provide an example here, but you can read some of my real case studies on my website.
If you have measurable outcomes from your work, great. For example:
“At the end of the original testing session, only one out of five users could accurately describe how the power-ups worked. After my improvements, all the players could answer correctly.”
If not, don’t worry - try to summarise the result in a positive way. For example: “The end result was a much more intuitive tutorial, with the result that our testers could understand the game without extra guidance.”