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How to write impactful case studies

As a part of my designer leadership role at Leapfrog, I am also responsible for screening and vetting UI/UX design job candidates in the company. A general workflow when we receive a new application is that we ask them to prepare and present case studies (or at least one case study). They’re required to select a project that they like and present us a walkthrough of the case study.

While I agree that I have seen some top-notch case studies presented in the job interview, I’ve also seen many many case studies that are not just passable, but created with utmost neglect. I have spoken in an earlier blog how to write a kick-ass CV, but a designer’s job application is incomplete with just a CV. What we also require to look at is at least one example of the work that you did. Or, what we call in our terms – the case study.

I really want to emphasize the importance of presenting a solid case study. If you’re applying for, and looking forward to work as a designer, it’s superbly important that you’re able to explain your process and choices to another person. If you’re unable to do this, then you’re just one half of a designer.

So how do I write good design case studies?

A design case study is storytelling. It’s explaining the other person what the situation was, what you problems you discovered and how did you solve the said problem. A case study begins with an introduction, what role you played in the project, what was/were the goals of the project and how you achieved it.

In this video, I try to explain what a typical design case study should look like using the example of a made-up pharmaceutical app (namesake “Medapp”), and what steps I’d typically take to come to a conclusion to solve a problem. In the video, I only talk about one problem of patients not being able to know when they need to refill their prescription. But in a real app you would have dozens or even two dozens of such problems.

For the full case study, please refer to this Notion page.