Prototypes by UX & UI Career Development Bootcamp Students
In this series of startup profiles, we speak to the people behind the startups that provide real-life design challenges to our students. Today, we speak to Paul Jenkins, Founder and CEO of League Leaders.
Paul, can you tell us a little about your company and your current team?
League Leaders is a charity that supports young people who are disengaged with physical activity – using the power of creativity and youth co-creation. Developing active citizens and leaders who have 360° opportunities to be, and to stay active.
Through our work young people engage in sport, build life and employability skills, develop and deliver real-world projects and create career opportunities.
We help 11-25 year olds across the UK, especially those from lower socio-economic backgrounds, to realise their potential, power and influence – using creativity and physical activity as catalysts.
Founded by Paul Jenkins, who is the charity’s CEO, his lived experience and personal journey from age 13 represents the same young people we aim to engage. Using his own barriers to launch the charity and give young people the support he didn’t have – having worked with young people across community and education settings for 15+ years.
The charity’s 8 Trustees provide expertise, passion, professional skills and personal experiences that are instrumental in making sure, under the leadership of Paul, young people are supported in effective ways. The expertise includes: Food & Nutrition, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Sports for Development, Youth Work, Creative Direction, Media, Fashion, Technology, Programming & Governance.
Jade Harris (Chair) has supported young people for 12+ years across the UK, creating meaningful sport, community and food programmes and campaigns that have engaged 1,000,000+ young people.
John Jones has 17+ years experience of sport and youth work, creating and championing opportunities for young people from undeserved communities, so they have the safety net, support structure and springboards to fulfil potential.
The team work with specialist staff to support delivery and have a growing volunteer base. If you’re interested in volunteering for League Leaders, you can register here.
Alongside the Trustees’ leadership, we also have an Advisory Board that provides League Leaders strategic advice and promotes our charitable aims. Advisors come from organisations including Google, London Sport and Wembley Stadium.
What design challenges have you supplied to Experience Haus?
We are uniquely set up and positioned as a charity that first delivers on the ground, but we also have the ability to educate and advocate about putting young people first, being equal partners across society.
This means we deliver and develop our own programmes, whilst also being commissioned and funded by others to support young people. Experience Haus students worked on one of our own programmes: virtual activity resources we are developing and currently piloting. This is about creating fit for purpose exercise and movement short-form videos, made by young people, for young people.
Their brief was to identify different users that would make use of such a resource, from young people, to parents and influential people across sectors and develop a concept for a future-facing version of the programme, contained with a native mobile app.
What did the individual student/teams of students manage to produce for you?
Given the complexity, which is why it’s critical work, of young people’s needs when it comes to physical activity, the EH students completely blew us away with what was produced in a short amount of time.
Firstly, and rightly so, they immersed themselves in the world that is a young person’s mind and gathered insightful research and user insights about the real challenges and barriers of being active as a young person. It’s not always what you think.
We see this day-to-day as a charity, but I was very impressed with what was presented back, with a few of the students noting this was their favourite part of the process.
These insights led to focused core user journeys for the platform idea, brought to life in high fidelity user interface designs and animated prototypes – did I say how much was produced in a short amount of time?!
Ultimately what the students have supported us with is a future-facing vision of what our programme could look like, but with immediate ideas we’ve taken away and started working on. Underpinned by sound research and understanding of young people: the most important thing.
How have you been able to implement the outputs?
We’re currently busy behind the scene working on the virtual activity resources programme’s pilots and the students’ work is helping us as a collective team to make sure we’re thinking about the future, not just the here and now.
Where do you see the company in 5 years?
This is a tough question!! But the world we’re creating is for every young person to have the right to design how they are physically active – so we’ll be on that journey.
There are many reasons why people choose to transitions into a career in design: money, a fresh start, opportunities to work remotely…the list goes on. For many, when deciding to take that leap into the industry, they want to choose a design course that ultimately reflects their career goals. At Experience Haus, we offer a number of different UX/UI courses that are taught in different formats, in order to match with a student’s preferences.
In this article, we look at the different courses offered at Experience Haus and which is most suitable depending on your career goals.
Product Design (including UX & UI Design)
Starting with our most popular course, the Product Design (including UX & UI Design) course is a 12-week, part-time course that is taught in-person from our studio in Shoreditch. You will learn the entire end-to-end design process used for designing digital products, including design thinking, product strategy, user research, journey mapping, ideation and UI with Figma. All the while you are applying what you are learning onto a real-life design challenge, set by a local start-up.
Students get to work on real client briefs on all of our courses, but the stand out feature of the brief on this course is that it is your own individual brief, and you also get more of an input on the type of company or industry the brief comes from. This isn’t something that is offered on another course! At the end of the course, you will stand up in front of your classmates, instructor and stakeholder to present everything back that you will have worked on in the 12 weeks, including your high-fidelity prototypes. This is a fantastic opportunity to work on an entire project by yourself.
Therefore, if your goal is to work in a particular industry in the future, or maybe to work in a small design team where you will have a lot of autonomy over projects, then this is the course for you.
UX & UI Design (Online)
Next up, we have our online UX & UI Design course: a 10-week, part-time course held over Zoom. There is no pre-recorded content for this course (something that is quite prominent in other online courses delivered by other course providers!) All the sessions are held live, however rather than sitting in one of the rooms in our studio, you will be learning from the comfort of your own home.
The UX and UI content covered on this course is very similar to the Product Design (inc UX & UI) course, and students will learn things such as design thinking, user research and how to prototype on Figma. Students still get the chance to work on a live client brief but this is done in groups of 3 or 4, rather than on their own. This is a great opportunity to gain experience working as part of a design team, and learning how to do this all remotely.
This course is the perfect option for those who are passionate about developing themselves but prefer to learn online, as opposed to an in-person setting. For those who are interested in remote working, the opportunity to work on a client brief when your group are all in different places is a good chance to learn how to collaborate as a team, when you’re all working remotely.
UX & UI Career Development Bootcamp
Finally, we have our flagship course, the course designed to help you land your first design role: our 12-week, full-time UX & UI Career Development Bootcamp. Based in our studio in Shoreditch, we work through the design process and apply learnings to three real-life client briefs. This allows students to go over the design learnings multiple times and just solidifies their understanding of the entire process, giving them the confidence when talking about their own process in interviews.
Sprinkled within the course are sessions on building portfolios and interview workshops with recruiters. We want to give our students the best possible chance of landing a role as soon after finishing the course as possible.
This bootcamp is the perfect choice for those who are ready to immerse themselves within the industry, with the aim of landing a role within a short timeframe. Students leave the course with a portfolio full of case studies, ready to chat through in interviews. Previous students have gone into roles at a variety of different companies, from startups to well established companies, working in-house or for agencies, working remotely as well as from the office. Whatever your career goals for the future are, this is the perfect course choice to kickstart your design career.
We regularly have conversations with prospective students about their experience and career goals and make recommendations on which course would be best suited to them. If you are interested in having a call with our team about what course is best suited to your current skillset and future goals, book in a time that works for you here. Alternatively, check out our list of free workshops and information sessions that will give you a good insight into our courses and how we teach at Experience Haus.
Tell us a little about yourself and your current work outside of Experience Haus?
I am currently living and working in London. My current role is for a global health tech company where I work on various projects both on the Research and Design side.
Over my career I’ve worked in various industries and sizes of companies, from startups (in sectors such as e-commerce and construction) to large scale companies such as EON, TBS, PRS and Citizens Advice, both agency side and product side. I definitely find healthcare the most challenging and rewarding so tend to steer towards this type of work.
One a personal note, I love to keep active, be it a random dance class or hike, geek out on podcasts, salsa (learning!) and travel. We are actually in the process of renovating a camper van to do a bit of living on the road.
Did you have a specific goal you wanted to achieve before you started teaching at Experience Haus? Do you think your time here so far has kept you on the right track?
I have taught and mentored a lot in the past and I really enjoy the process. From meeting new people, the reward in seeing them do well, and also the discipline it puts on you as the instructor to keep relevant, constantly checking for the latest on each of the topics for any further developments in the field.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I have a few! I think a huge element is to be passionate about what you are teaching. Show how you’ve done things ‘in the real world’ and the journey you had along the way. I love my work so I think it’s nice to showcase what it is at the end goal of the course.
I want the students to get the most out of the course so will make sure they feel pushed to achieve their potential and get the most out of it.
I want the class to be enjoyable, so make an effort to foster a collaborative environment.
Finally, I also believe in autonomy, the students will be trusted to do work on their own and a lot of it also comes from you get out as much as you put in.
What do you enjoy most about teaching at Experience Haus?
Without sounding cliche it’s the new people you meet and seeing how new groups of people can get together and produce such great standards of work. I also really enjoy meeting the new clients on projects too as this opens up completely different industries each time with a whole new learning curve.
Dr Anthony Giannoumis is American by birth, Norwegian by choice, and a man of many talents. His incredible journey from computer programmer to opera singer, to professor, to comedian is a testament to his diverse experiences. All of which have culminated in his role as the co-founder of Inclusive Creation.
Dr Anthony has received numerous awards, including recognition from the United Nations for his groundbreaking work in inclusive innovation. He’s also the author of 50 scientific articles, the founder of the EQUALS-EU Network for Gender-Inclusive Innovation, and the mastermind behind the four fundamental principles of universal design. In this article, together with Dr Anthony, we explore the sins and wins of inclusivity and how they work with design.
Teaching Businesses how to Effectively Incorporate Inclusivity into their Everyday
Together with some of his colleagues, Dr Anthony co-founded Inclusive Creation, an initiative with the aim to create a more inclusively designed world, helping teams put their inclusive promises into practice. This is done through a variety of different ways. Companies will hire Dr Anthony to speak at their corporate events, with the intention of driving the audience to rethink what they are doing and to think more critically about what they are doing.
Off the back of this talk, Anthony will run a workshop with the client, typically getting 30-40 people from across the business in a room and putting them into teams. At first, the workshop will focus on innovation rather than inclusion, getting teams to look at a number of trade-offs that they would have to be making in terms of decisions.
Finally, at the end of the workshop they will look at the science of inclusion, looking at all the research that has shown more inclusive organisations to be more innovative, more profitable, have higher productive teams and are more creative. By giving teams all this research and data, it backs up the best practices and work Anthony’s team are doing in this field. These workshops encourage companies to have critical discussions amongst one another, including amongst colleagues who would normally never have these types of conversations, to establish their views on the status of the business at that time.
Three Key Areas within Design That are Still Ripe for Change
Firstly, no surprise here, but artificial intelligence would be the first area to look at. Specifically, the inclusivity of artificial intelligence, both on the design stage and output stage.
Secondly would be the issue of intersectionality: how to integrate an intersectional perspective into the design process. For clarification, intersectionality is the idea that an individual can have multiple forms of disadvantage and face multiple forms of discrimination. So it’s not just based on a single characteristic, like somebody’s age or disability or gender, but it’s based on multiple identities. For example, a woman with a disability can face discrimination both because of her gender and disability. Therefore it is incredibly important to think about how to put people who hold intersectional identities at the centre of the design process. In doing so, you’re creating work that’s going to work better for everyone.
Finally, mental health within the workplace. This is an area that is absolutely underserved when it comes to dealing with design and understanding design processes within a workspace. This is a more internal process, but nonetheless critical for businesses to find effective solutions for bringing people into the workplace who do face mental health challenges, but enable them to feel included and supported in the work environment.
This article forms part of a discussion conducted between Dr Anthony Giannoumis and Experience Haus Creative Director, Amit Patel on the Experience Haus podcast, ‘A Conversation About Design’. In this podcast, we explore the fascinating world of design featuring insightful conversations with some of the brightest minds and inspiring individuals who are making waves in the industry.
Listen to the full interview with Dr Anthony here.
Chris Do is an Emmy-award winning designer, director, CEO and founder of The Future – an online education platform helping people successfully build their businesses and brands. He has nearly 1 million followers on Instagram, 35K subscribers on YouTube and over 100K followers on X. Those who want to join his online community can choose from memberships ranging from $83/month to $18,000/6 months giving them different tiers of coaching support, feedback and even the opportunity to have private calls with Chris himself. Over the years he has managed to create a vast community of loyal followers who hang onto his every word.
It’s safe to say he’s a pretty in-demand guy who is hard to pin down. As such a ‘celebrity’ in the design world, we were over the moon (and honestly, quite surprised!) when after a random introduction to Chris, he asked whether we could host an evening with him in our studio in Shoreditch. It was obviously a no brainer!
It was a busy and eventful day from the off, starting with Chris having to hunt down his lost luggage at the airport. From the early afternoon, exclusive members of the Futur Pro community were invited to spend a couple of extra hours with Chris, catching up and picking his brains on extra advice for their own businesses. Then, from 4pm we opened the doors to the public and other community members to join. For over 4 hours (and without a break!), Chris captivated an audience of 80+ people, on topics such as pricing strategies, price vs value, making your business stand out, and more. Whether it was to do with an individual business or general business question, he took the time to answer every question that was thrown his way.
From the moment Chris arrived in the studio, to when the last person left our studio, the energy throughout the day was absolutely electric! It was also a great opportunity for us shout about Experience Haus and the community we are building. A huge thank you to Chris and his team for choosing us as the hosts of such an unforgettable event.
On Saturday 30th September, around 50 of our alumni came along to our studio to participate in a new kind of Experience Haus Design Day, designing solutions for some of London’s most pressing needs.
On this day we officially introduced our alumni to Hauslabs is a new internal innovation lab designed to build out impactful ventures. These ventures will provide our students with incredible learning opportunities, and the chance to lead these projects and join the world of entrepreneurship. We spoke to some of our students, including those who had never been to one of our Design Days before, about how they’ve found the day and why this is another reason why they enjoy being part of our ever-growing Experience Haus community.
Have you ever been to an Experience Haus Design Day before? If not, how have you found your first one?
Reena: I first came to an Experience Haus Design Day a couple of years ago whilst I was still on my course. This is now the fourth one I’ve done (both at Experience Haus and other locations). I really enjoy them as you get to work on a completely new design challenge with a new team of people. It’s a great way to learn from one another.
Memori: It’s been really fun and engaging, though sometimes challenging at points when there are lots of ideas flying around!
For me, being at work and having completed the course, I found it difficult to stay in the habit of practicing, but today has been really helpful in terms of learning new skills and meeting new people.
Demi: This is my first one! I didn’t realise these days were such a regular thing so I look forward to joining more in the future.
It’s been really fun and invigorating – so far I’m loving it! I’ve been engaged from the moment I stepped back into the studio. The energy is electric and everyone is really passionate about designing an impactful solution and presenting at the end of the day.
It also feels good to be back in the Experience Haus/Matter of Form studio and working in this way. I don’t know if it’s going through the design process or the students here, but it always feels really good when I’m designing here, and reminds me why I love being a designer.
Iria: It’s been a really intense day, but fun! Being able to meet new people, people who have the same interests as me. It’s been fun to work on a new project, but can also be a challenge working with a new team of people you don’t know. I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with. Even though we have the same brief, I think everyone will have come up with very different ideas.
Eunice: The design day I was at before was pretty big! It was the project with the police where we were looking into young people’s perception of them and vice versa. It was very very busy that day, but really rewarding! All the young people that got involved were incredibly interested in what we were doing and curious. I think through the day, we helped them look at the police from a new perspective, which was great.
Today is equally as enjoyable, although much more relaxed as there are less people around! It’s still very rewarding as the themes Experience Haus tend to choose are very thoughtful and something that benefits people. They always focus on something that can make the world a little bit better, and that’s something that I really appreciate.
Amy: Good! It’s been really interesting and really good to work with people who have different experiences of UX. I’ve learned quite a lot from people with different backgrounds, and it’s been good to work with people who are quite competitive! We’ve all been critiquing each other’s work and ideas, and this has meant we’ve come up with even better ideas. It’s actually taught me quite a lot about teamwork and collaboration.
Vish: It’s been so nice to collaborate with other designers and meet people from previous alumni and from other courses, and just get together and mesh and brainstorm different ideas and design concepts.
What have you been up to since finishing your course?
Reena: I now have a new job at the BBC doing an apprenticeship in UX digital design. I only started a couple of weeks ago but I’m really enjoying it and it’s amazing to be part of such a big organisation. It’s really fun, I’ve met a lot of new people, including those who have pivoted into UX/UI just like me!
Memori: I’m freelancing in UX and UI.
Demi: I’m now a Digital Product Design Intern at The Lego Group. I work on all the marketing channels and technology, working to enhance the digital touchpoints of consumers and shoppers, as well as users who are non-customer facing such as store associates, with the applications they use to convert sales and making transactions. Just making life easier for anyone involved in the process!
Vish: Since finishing my course in July, I worked on a client project for Wellx who are a health-tech startup based in Dubai. They took me on as an intern and I’ve been working with them giving them UX/UI support and helping them with the designs and development of their mobile app.
Do you have a favourite part of being a member of the Experience Haus community?
Reena: I like having events like design days because it’s a way for Experience Haus students to come together, not only to work on projects, but also network with one another.
I also liked the support I received from the team. Everyone in the team was really friendly. I had a lot of questions in the beginning as I was a bit anxious as to whether I should do the course or not as it was quite a big career change and Rosie managed to help me quite a lot. Amit was also really good to talk to to hear more about the course and what I’d be getting myself into!
Memori: Definitely the support, as well as meeting new people. Today I have met people who are in a similar position as me of just starting out, as well as those who already have experience and are working in the industry, and also those who are still on courses.
Demi: My favourite part? I think it’s the support as it goes beyond just graduating. I’ve always felt like the Experience Haus team have kept in touch with me, to find me opportunities. I graduated back in February but still, here I am! Some of my team members actually graduated years ago but are still coming back because it’s such a great community and the opportunity to come to these design days is something you don’t really get elsewhere. I really appreciate the fact that Experience Haus go beyond just handing you your certificate!
Iria: I think being in the agency environment really helps bring everything to life. Networking, meeting new people, speaking to people who are already working in the industry. Everyone is really lovely! The instructors have so much knowledge and so much to give, so so far it’s been great!
Amy: Days like these are really great opportunities and experiences. The opportunity to speak tutors for in-person courses is quite rare as a lot of courses out there are just virtual and just pre-recorded content that you work through without interacting with anyone! Having the in-person aspect is really good.
Vish: I think just being able to be in a design agency and studio and collaborating with other people. You don’t really get that with an online course. It’s a lot more engaging when you can be here and meet people and be in-person. We also get a lot of opportunities to present and do public speaking and I think that’s really great.
If you were going to recommend Experience Haus to anyone, what would be our USP that you would tell them?
Reena: They have a vast selection of courses and workshops you can join, showing they’re very innovative in the way they come up with new ways for people to learn and grow.
All the tutors are really lovely and supportive. It also really helps that they don’t just work as teachers, but are actually working in the fields that they’re teaching in. It’s so useful as on the course they can give us the actual knowledge from the working world.
Memori: The community and Slack channel. Just being able to reach out to people and knowing you’re not on this journey alone (because it is very competitive out there and there are a lot of things that need to be learned!), but the support from Experience Haus really helps with that.
Demi: Honestly, I would say it’s the people that are in the building that can support you. The teachers here are top notch! They’re really good in their roles and very informative and supporting in teaching you. I had a substitute teacher when mine fell ill, and the insight he gave me that day has never left me.
I think the fact that Experience Haus isn’t just about the teaching; it’s about so much more. I just don’t think anyone could get that elsewhere with other providers, so I highly recommend Experience Haus! It feels so nice to still be part of the community.
Iria: Working with a real client. Getting real work experience is one of the main reasons that made me come here and is definitely one of the main selling points. Also, being able to come in-person to a creative design studio makes it more personable and valuable than doing an online bootcamp.
Eunice: I can’t really compare to any other courses, but the thing that sold me was the fact that there was a real brief, there were real clients that needed our expertise, and that makes a big difference as you have someone to engage with and you are designing something that can make a difference.
Amy: I think it would be the value for money. I did quite a lot of research before I picked this course, and a lot of the other ones out there are a lot more expensive and don’t have such small groups. I was part of a small group on my course working on a client brief, making it a very real world scenario. You got a real tutor that you could speak to and ask questions to. All the sessions were recorded so you could go back and re-watch them if you needed to, and you actually gained experience that you could put on your portfolio.
Vish: I think it’s the fact they’re building this community. We can always meet up for socials and are always welcome to come back into the office and chat to people. It’s a meeting point for everyone and helps it’s in London! By being able to meet new people gives you further opportunities to collaborate on projects with and as the time goes on, the community is just getting bigger and bigger. With other courses, they were much bigger groups and all remote so you don’t have that level of community and personal factor.
ActionAid UK is crafting a new regular giving fundraising product called Women in Action. To help bring the project to life, ActionAid UK handpicked a group of Experience Haus alumni to collaborate on the project. In this article Keri Lickfett, Senior Innovation Manager at ActionAid UK, gives us a bit more of an insight into the project, as well as the valuable work our alumni have produced.
This innovative concept has emerged from work done through the collaborative efforts of the Innovation Collective, a dynamic group spanning 12 countries within the ActionAid Federation, all united in their quest to generate resources for our invaluable work with women and girls worldwide.
Women in Action is fundamentally a fundraising product supporting women’s collectives worldwide. We fervently believe in women leading the way to shape their futures, with these collectives playing a crucial role in our mission. The initiative highlights exceptional women worldwide working together to overcome challenges, create lasting solutions, and fostering community growth.
In return for regular contributions, generous donors gain access to an enriching learning platform, featuring exclusive content like immersive films, live webinars, personal stories of remarkable women, and a curated library of articles and podcasts.
Following successful testing, we identified a strong resonance with audiences aged 18-44 who support social progress and value virtual communities. To solidify the concept, we needed to breathe life into the concept by creating a working prototype for 1-1 interviews, with testing taking place in Sweden, Brazil, Spain, and the US in November.
To bring the concept to life, a group of nine skilled alumni from Experience Haus supported ActionAid in building a prototype. They divided into project management, facilitation, UI, and UX teams, using tools like Figma and Miro. The alumni demonstrated great motivation, exceptional expertise, and collaboration in completing the project in a short period of time.
One Alumni team member shared her feelings with the rest of the Alumni team, “Thank you everyone so much for the amazing past week. It was so energising and gave me a lot of new stamina to continue working as a UI with a renewed perspective. It was so gratifying knowing that we were working for a wonderful cause.”
Another Alumni team member shared their feelings about working with ActionAid, “It’s been great and I’ve learnt a lot from you. You’ve been an ace client/team member/mentor for us to work with. You’ve been very much part of the team and guiding us through this project. You’ve let us work through things and do the work we all love to do. I appreciate the trust you’ve given us and the work, data, references and general availability you’ve shown throughout. I can really appreciate how you champion innovation, being flexible, practical, open and driven, all at the right time. All this done with ease.”
Certificates of thanks are being created by ActionAid especially for this fantastic group of Experience Haus alumni to show our appreciation and to share on their social media accounts.
Thank you to:
Amran Ali whose exceptional project management and facilitation skills have been the driving force behind the remarkable progress of the Women in Action prototype.
Roberta Molaschi for her exceptional contribution to the Women in Action prototype through her outstanding UI design skills.
Swarali Dalal for her exceptional contribution to the Women in Action prototype through her outstanding UI and UX design skills.
Melissa Matos, Mabel Chien, Amir Khoshsokan, Rasheeda Adedokun, Oladele Akinnusi, and Olumide Olayinka for their outstanding contribution to the development of the Women in Action prototype.
Picture: Women’s Collective of fisherwomen in the Maya Island in Senegal who are training to adapt to the rising sea levels. The group are also planning to build a bridge that connects their village with a local school to help children access an education.
Tell us a little about yourself and your current work outside of Experience Haus?
I’m originally from Brighton but moved to London about ten years ago. I live in the East with my ragdoll cat, Heinz.
I have worked for many different tech organisations, ranging from small startups, to large established businesses like Haven and Tesco. I even did a stint at the infamous scale-up, Pollen (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, see the ‘Crashed: $800m startup fail’ documentary on iPlayer!). I have always been in the Product/Design space and recently I started my own consultancy, Lucid Launch.
Did you have a specific goal you wanted to achieve before you started teaching at Experience Haus? Do you think your time here so far has kept you on the right track?
I love helping people and I’m super passionate about product design, and the difference that good design can make to users and businesses alike. My main goals were to grow in my ability to coach and teach others, to help me establish better mentor/management skills to take back to my day job. I think it’s going well so far!
What is your teaching philosophy?
Everyone is welcome, everyone has a voice, everyone deserves to learn. There are no stupid questions, there is no judgement. Whoever you are, wherever your starting point, I want to help!
What do you enjoy most about teaching at Experience Haus?
I enjoy meeting new people and watching them progress through the course. It is always so satisfying at the end, when the students have pulled together amazing prototypes and presentations for their clients. I love celebrating with them and seeing where they go next.
Honor completed our 12-week full-time UX/UI Career Development Bootcamp in April 2022. A couple of months after her course, she was offered an internship position at Societe Generale, and now works there are a full-time Product Designer
We caught up with her recently to see how the course helped her achieve her goals and any pearls of wisdom for any budding product designers.
Tell us a bit more about what you were doing before you decided to pivot into design?
I had just completed a degree in Politics and International Relations and was debating what step to take next for my career. I knew I didn’t want to go into politics, but I enjoyed understanding people, human behaviour and our interaction with the increasingly digital world. I started to talk with people, mostly in tech start-ups, and was introduced to the world of digital transformation, product and design.
How was training at Experience Haus different from other providers?
The training at Experience Haus was much more ‘hands-on’ than other providers. By that I mean we were working on real projects with clients from week 2! The process didn’t involve book learning, rather practical work which meant we could learn quicker. The small classes also meant we got very personalised training, where the instructors could help in areas where our skills were perhaps less well developed or we needed more specific support.
What was the highlight of your course?
There were many highlights! I think the group of people in my cohort made the experience so great. We genuinely got on (which made the late hours at the studio more bearable!) and it felt like a real group effort when the project work we produced was well received by our clients. I think also seeing how far I progressed from week 1 to week 12 (for example, my Figma skills and capabilities) was highly rewarding and gave me confidence that I had sufficient skills when I would eventually start job hunting.
What was the most challenging part of your learning experience?
I’ve mentioned Figma, but I’d say the greatest challenge was trying to get my head around Figma and being confident in using it, especially having to work under tight deadlines when I was struggling to use Figma to create highly polished prototypes. Having not used many design/digital softwares before, it definitely took a while to understand it, and get proficient in using it, but I got a lot of support from my UI/Figma instructor so that by the end I had picked up the basics and could use it with confidence.
Every year, we try to organise at least three Design Days for our alumni as a way to catch up with fellow course mates, network with others, and work on an additional project they can add to their portfolio. Previously, this has involved working on a client brief in just one day to solve a design challenge. This year, however, things looked a little different.
In previous years, Experience Haus alumni were given the opportunity to complete an additional client project by taking part in our popular Design Days. Clients have included the City of London, ActionAid and the MET and City of London Police. During these days, students have created some amazing outputs for the clients, but the issue was ‘what’s next?’ Some of the clients used previously have been able to implement some of the concepts from these days, but only a few. This is where our new venture comes in.
Hauslabs is a new internal innovation lab at Experience Haus, a natural next step in a mission to build out impactful ventures. These ventures will provide our students with incredible learning opportunities, and the chance to lead these projects and join the world of entrepreneurship.
On Saturday 30th September, 2023, hauslabs was officially launched to our students and the first challenge to create solutions to some of London’s most pressing needs.
That means they are struggling to make ends meet, secure good-quality affordable housing, or tie down the decent work they need to rise above the poverty line. And this affects people from all ages:
It is estimated that one in three children living in London are living in poverty
Around one in nine London pensioners are living in material deprivation, unable to access daily necessities
Our students were split into eight teams of five, working through the entire design process to come up with a product or service that would enable those living in poverty in London to improve their current situations. Teams were given the following areas to look at and focus on:
Access to education and necessary skills
Access to healthcare
Financial literacy and inclusion
Improving individual health and wellbeing
Gaining employability skills and jobs
Projects included a platform to allow single parents improve their employability skills and so apply for higher paying jobs, a mental health app that helps those dealing with financial stress, and a programme that allows those with limited resources to access laptops, tablets and computers, especially those with children at school who need one for their studies.
Now, the next step is exploring how each of these projects can be taken forward, and assessing the viability and feasibility of the approaches so far.
If you’re interested in taking any of these projects forward or are interested in participating in a design day in the future, please get in touch. Keep an eye on our hauslabs site as we add more solutions tackling some of London’s most important issues.
As part of our ongoing passion to nurture the next generation of creatives, we regularly work with companies who are equally as dedicated as we are, and also provide additional platforms and support to allow budding desginers to showcase their work to a wider audience. This year we have worked closely with the Helen Hamlyn Centre of Design, part of the Royal College of London, on choosing the finalists and winners of their annual Helen Hamlyn Design Awards.
The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design is a leader in inclusive design and creative leadership and the winning projects from these awards represent the best in human-centred and inclusive design across the entire College. There were five awards in total, including one that was put forward by ourselves: The Experience Haus Award for Impact and Change.
On Wednesday 6th September, our Creative Director Amit Patel formed part of the judging panel that would decide which project would win each award, with the winners announced at their official awards ceremony two weeks later. In addition to having the honour of presenting our awards, Amit also closed the ceremony with a keynote speech, recognising the students for their hard work and inspiring ideas.
The Award Winners
From a phonetic language application, to a device that can help those with respiratory health conditions to monitor and clear their airways, all projects demonstrated inclusivity and meaningful engagement, and how they can still be used in the future.
Here’s a bit more information on each winner below:
Northumbrian Water Award for Inclusive Innovation
How would you feel if people regularly mispronounced your name, if you corrected them over and over? This is a common problem when it comes to English people trying to pronounce Chinese names. Freespeak is a language conversion service that allows English speakers to communicate in Chinese, without any prior knowledge, by phonetically writing out the pronunciation of various Chinese words.
The Snowdon Award for Disability
Winner: We Are In This Together
This project addresses the issue people with disabilities face navigating higher education. It is a communal inclusion plan that welcomes all into the conversations about disability and neurodiversity. Within this pack, you are given a handbook, a set of discussion objects and activity cards designed to provide guidance, prompt conversations around related topics, and assist self and peer reflection.
Helen Hamlyn Award for Creativity
Pleural is an airway clearance device designed to help individuals suffering from respiratory health conditions easily clear their airways. It uses intelligent analysis to monitor patients and provide the most effective treatment to relieve them and reduce infection risk.
The Experience Haus Award for Impact and Change
Winner: Channi, byPriyanshu Mukhopadhyay
Channi is an accessible, quickly deployable and adaptable water based particulate matter filtration system for at-source emission capture, reducing air pollutants in developing countries, while preserving cultural livelihoods. As part of his prize, Priyanshu is able to take an Experience Haus course of his choosing, in order to further his own design skills.
Congratulations to all award winners and nominees, and to the team at The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design and the Royal College of Art for letting us be part of such an amazing event.
Take a moment to think back to your school summer holidays… six weeks of uninterrupted fun where school was the last thing on your mind. Whilst many students take a complete break from anything remotely studious, there are those that seize the opportunity of having free time to further their education and explore future career options, putting themselves ahead of the game.
This summer, Experience Haus ran a number of one-week UX Design Bootcamps, specifically designed for 16-19 year olds who were interested in exploring the field of design. Some students had just finished their GCSEs and were moving into Sixth Form, whilst others had recently received their A-Level results and were on the cusp of throwing themselves into university life. Some students had entered a competition to win a place on our bootcamp, followed by a week’s work experience within the UX design team at luxury design consultancy, Matter of Form. We were also lucky enough to have a couple of students sponsored by Digital Skills Consulting who had recently finished their programme and could now put their newly learned skills into practice.
A Collaboration Giving Students Real-World Experience
Digital Skills Consulting and Experience Haus have worked together on a number different projects through the years that focus on helping young people, especially those who don’t have the same kind that others have, to get not only the right skills, but the experience of real life that goes with those skills. When these students are brought to the teams at Digital Skills Consulting, many of them have been through the standard school system but don’t fit into the ‘cookie cutter’ student profile.On some occasions, their schools may have called them stupid or failures, but Digital Skills Consulting know they have skills but need to be put in an environment to bring these skills out.This particular project that Experience Haus have been involved in for the past 7 years is all about helping 16/17 year olds develop the right skills to be successful in a career. Digital Skills Consulting work with these young people for 12 weeks, developing their skills, and then they come on bootcamps offered at Experience Haus to start putting those skills into practice and increasing their knowledge. This means they can go out in the future and succeed in careers they never have thought of when they first started!
Mastering the Design Process in Just Five Days
Whilst on the course, the students learned the entire end-to-end design process for designing digital products. From research tactics, design thinking, client management, user experience and user interface design, students were equipped with all the knowledge needed for designing digital products in the future. Similarly to our longer courses, all of this knowledge was immediately put into practice and the students were given a live client project to work on, tackling a design challenge for a real-life client.
The client? Budgie, is a virtual finance manager designed to help people on their money journey, not just by providing them the right tools, but offering a structured, more personalised approach. Their problem, however, has been trying to settle on the user experience, which is essentially their unique selling point. This user experience starts when you first sign up to the app, going through the stages of sorting your finances, setting your goals, and ultimately forming your own personal financial roadmap. Budgie has also realised there is a serious gap in financial literacy, not only for young people, but even older adults! During these bootcamps, the students explored what a finance app could look like that would appeal firstly to 16-19 year olds in offering financial education and rewards for achieving their goals.
In the space of just five days, our students had a call with the stakeholder to understand more about what he was looking for, conducted interviews with people around the agency, created personas and came up with working prototypes in Figma for a finance app that would appeal to younger and older audiences, and offer the financial literacy many people find is lacking. Whilst students on our part-time courses have 10-12 weeks to learn all of this, these students only had a few days to produce these designs. It was amazing to see how quickly they picked it up and the high level of creativity they all brought to the project.
The Bootcamp From a Student’s Perspective
Suhali did the bootcamp at Experience Haus followed by a week’s work experience at Matter of Form, doing some ideation, customer journey mapping and building low and high fidelity wireframes. She had recently finished her GCSE’s (actually receiving her results during the bootcamp!) and was interested in doing the course as she has a keen interest in fine arts and other creative subjects like music, photography, art and so on. We had a quick chat with her to understand a bit more about her experience on the bootcamp and thoughts for her future career.
Can you give us a bit of a summary of your experience on our summer bootcamp?
I found it quite interesting. It was nice to have a real client to be dealing with so it felt a bit more important, but it was also nice to have a team to be working with and someone to guide us through everything. I didn’t have any background knowledge before this but I didn’t find it an issue which was good!
Everyone was very friendly and it was nice to see what this sort of environment was like. I really enjoyed it!
Did the course help you think about what you want to do in the future, or help you learn any new skills that you could take into your future career?
I have creative hobbies and interests and I wanted to see if that could be carried forward into a career. So UX/UI seemed like an obvious first step to explore, especially looking at popular careers now with technology and what not. It was definitely helpful to figure out what this industry is like. As I mentioned, It was also useful working as a team and working on team building skills. These are always going to be important, no matter where you go. Learning the software like Figma was really interesting.
What did you enjoy most about the course; did you have a favourite part?
I do think I enjoyed the Figma stuff most – being able to put your ideas onto paper first, and then putting them on a screen and seeing it all come together.
What advice would you give someone who might be thinking about doing a summer bootcamp?
Give it a go! The worst that’s going to happen is realising it’s not for you and either way that’s going to help you moving forward if you have a clear idea of what you do and don’t like. Then if you do end up enjoying it, you have a bit of a head start into getting into the field you want to. It’s always nice to have as much experience and support as you can, and altogether it’s a great experience to do. I’ve really enjoyed the last two weeks and definitely found it helpful!
Thanks to the generosity of companies like Matter of Form and Digital Skills Consulting, we are able to offer students from all backgrounds the opportunity to learn skills they might never have thought of, and give them the chance to see what life is like in a working agency in London.
We look forward to running even more bootcamps for young people next summer. Get in touch if you would like to find out more.
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