Rosie Pritchard, Author at Experience Haus - Page 2 of 6

A Conversation About Design: The Pivotal Role Design Can Play in Healthcare

Dr Anushka Patchava is an experienced healthcare leader and strategist who has navigated the intricate landscapes of product innovation and commercial strategy across the pharmaceutical, health and medical devices sector. But her journey doesn’t stop there.

Anushka’s career has been a tapestry of diverse experiences, from practicing medicine for six years in the US and UK health systems, to being a Strategic Advisor to the UN on artificial intelligence and blockchain in healthcare. She is now the co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Wellx, an insurtech platform based out of Dubai, bringing together digital medical insurance, onboarding and wellness that will mould the way forward for insurers and bring in a new dimension to underwriting and pricing. In this article, we’re going to delve into her experience in healthcare, her passion for innovation, and how design plays a pivotal role in solving complex challenges.

Using a medical background to influence the approach to healthcare innovation and design

As mentioned above, Anushka had extensive experience in the medical industry before moving to tech, but she has managed to find ways to fuse both her past ways of working with what she’s doing now. Where before she would use the information given to her to formulate a treatment plan for a patient, this process is something she has carried into the innovation space. In innovation you’re ingesting information from all around you, especially from the customer who is at the centre of it all. In this way you’re then pulling all that information together to design something that isn’t only user centric, but also useful and resonates well, to get that engagement with the customer. It’s being able to ingest lots of information and make it meaningful in some way.

Improving customer or patient healthcare experiences through design

For Anushka, this is about letting the customer or information you gather play as small or as big a role as you would like. As an example, her and the team at Wellx put the customer at the centre of everything. The reason for this is that there are so many digital products and health & wellbeing apps out there, but none of them are really mandated. It’s not like banking where you have to log into your digital banking app to know how much money you have, or what you’ve been spending. Therefore for the Wellx team to get a customer who is not only engaged in the fact they have to download the app, but to also keep coming back to the app and become a bit dependable on it, it’s important to move with the customer on their journey. You have to be really keep in their mindset and not only build out their persona, but build out their persona of today, their persona of tomorrow and the persona as it changes as their health does.

The other thing is knowing how to engage customers. Recently there was a Dubai Fitness Challenge held and the Wellx team understood from their customers that they wanted them to do something as part of this challenge in the Wellx ecosystem. So the team designed something that resonated with customer’s goals around keeping healthy and staying well, but also resonated with the external environment and the goals of the Dubai Fitness Challenge as a whole. During that time, their engagement went up 3X because they’d spoken to the customer, resonated with things that were happening in their day-to-day life, and then added an augmentation to that.

Anushka’s advice to others in the medical industry looking to move into the tech space

Her first bit of advice is that they key thing for anyone wanting to change careers is curiosity. Gone are the days where you needed to go to university to learn a subject, to then perform and practice it. There is so much out there, like the courses offered at Experience Haus, where you can learn a whole new subject on your own. There are also a number of fantastic books that cover all manner of subjects from switching careers, how to build successful products, becoming an entrepreneur, and so on. As Anushka says, if you have the curiosity to learn, then you’re going to succeed. In the world we live in today, where everything is changing an lightning speed, staying on top of things is the biggest advantage you can give yourself.

Secondly, accompany that learning with networking. By surrounding yourself with people in the area you’re interested in, that can give you a real insight into what your life could potentially be like and these people could ultimately help shape your future career. LinkedIn is a great place to start with this. Reach out to people and go have a coffee! This is how you can learn quickly and how opportunities arise.

The future of healthcare and design/innovation

What is exciting is the coming together of clinicians and the healthcare sector in appreciating the importance of bringing in diverse perspectives, not only in terms of product design from a digital perspective, but also in terms of clinical design.

Hospitals and the way hospitals are run hasn’t changed in decades (probably even centuries!), and it needs to.  It needs to work in a risk stratified manner so those that need it most get the services, and also needs to do it in a way that the customer enjoys the experience. Typically the clinical world has never listened to the customers wants and needs and adopts a ‘doctor knows best’ approach but it would be interesting to bring in designers to see what they would do to change these spaces. We need to see this shift to value-based care that really delivers for the customer’s needs and mindset. 

The other area that would be revolutionary is AI in healthcare. What effect could it have on healthcare delivery and healthcare products? How can we design  healthcare products to serve the customer at home? Finally, it is really important to not only rely on clinicians and what they say, but bring more creative people into this industry as they offer a completely different perspective on how to approach things.

This article forms part of a discussion conducted between Dr Anushka Patchava 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 Anushka here.

Elevate Your Career Change with UI Design For Figma: The Course That Helps You Build Exciting Digital Products

How many times have you hear someone complain about how bad the Zara website is? Or, discussed how easy it is to use Airbnb? Well behind all these websites and apps are UI design teams working hard to try and build seamless online experiences for users (not that they always get it right of course!)

User Interface (UI) is the industrial field of human-computer interaction. A user interface is where human interacts with devices or computers. The primary goal of UI design is to make this interaction efficient and user-friendly, leading to maximum usability.

What is the difference between UX & UI?

User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) are two area that are highly linked to one another, yet require very different skill sets. UX primarily focuses on research, analysis and the data side of the process. UI is primarily focused on visual engineering and design theory. Those who are starting their career change are recommended to learn both sides of design as they feed into one another and it’s important to know how both sides of the process work, but by learning both you might realise there is one part of the process you enjoy more than the other.

Learning the Leading Design Tool

There are a number of design tools that UI Designers can use to help develop their concepts and Figma is definitely leading the way. About four years ago, the design tool on everyone’s lips was Sketch, but fast forward to now, it is very uncommon to find anyone still using it! With all the tools you would need in one place, the opportunity to design in-browser and not only on a desktop app ONLY suitable for Apple, and the ability to collaborate with your team in real-time, it’s no wonder Figma is now the industry-leading tool used by agencies across the world.

Advance Your Skills on our UI Design with Figma Course

Available both online and in-person, our 8-week part-time UI Design with Figma course focuses on UI best practices, both for existing and upcoming technologies and trends. From fundamental design theory through to launch-ready Figma prototypes, we have designed this course for those who have already built a bit of a foundation when it comes to Figma (knowing how to at least create a prototype) but want to master the detailed workings of the software and elevate themselves from beginner level to an advanced UI designer. Starting with visual design and UI fundamentals, you will then continue with Figma, learning advanced features and tips including: tools, design systems, taxonomy, styles, auto-layout, constraints, and so much more!

Work with a real client

One of the fundamental pillars of Experience Haus is our ‘learn by doing’ approach. We believe students learn best when they can immediately apply what they have been learning onto a real world scenario. This is why across all of our courses, you will work on a live client brief as part of your learning journey. at the end of the course you will present everything you’ve worked on back to the client, and have a project you can put straight onto your portfolio. In future interviews, this real world application will give you the edge against other candidates who may have only worked on concept projects.

If you’re looking to take the next step in your design career and want to explore the creative world of UI, get in touch with us today. On our 8-week part-time UI Design course, we will teach you all the skills needed to become an advanced UI designer, giving you the edge over the competition.

Instructor Profile: Daniel Souza

Tell us a little about yourself and your current work outside of Experience Haus? 

My experience in digital projects spans financial services, consulting, healthcare, media, e-commerce and telecommunications. I am a collaboration specialist. I help teams create clarity, supporting structures and safe spaces. Most recently, I was leading teams at BT and Farfetch, and I have worked as a Creative Director at Publicis Sapient and Isobar.

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 was aiming to develop my facilitation and teaching skills, particularly in service design – a practice that sometimes is conflated with IR activities. I believe I am on the right track, and the feedback from students is quite positive.

What is your teaching philosophy?

I am a Freirean educator. For me, there are no questions that are not valid, and I believe that through dialogue and practice, we grow as designers and human beings.

What do you enjoy most about teaching at Experience Haus?

The students and the hands-on project based approach.

Crafting Impactful Programmes for Student Entrepreneurship

In today’s rapidly evolving world, fostering the entrepreneurial spirit among students is not just an educational initiative; it’s a catalyst for economic transformation.

Let’s look into the profound impact of entrepreneurship on economies, offering a roadmap for crafting effective programmes that not only empower young minds, but also contribute to the growth of nations.

The Economic Impact of Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is the heartbeat of economic progress. Beyond individual success stories, the cumulative effect of entrepreneurial ventures plays a pivotal role in propelling economies forward. These ventures stimulate job creation, introduce innovative solutions, and inject vitality into markets. By fostering a culture of entrepreneurship among students, we not only shape future business leaders but also contribute to a more robust and resilient economy.

Crafting Skill Development Paths for Young Entrepreneurs 

Empowering young entrepreneurs requires more than just theoretical knowledge – it demands a tailored approach to skill development. Programmes must map out skills development for young entrepreneurs, ensuring they acquire the tools needed at each stage of their entrepreneurial journey.

From the early stages where curiosity is sparked to the advanced levels where strategic leadership takes centre stage, these skill development paths are designed to nurture a well-rounded entrepreneurial skill set. By providing targeted learning experiences, educators can cultivate the capabilities necessary for turning innovative ideas into thriving businesses.

The Transformative Power of Teaching Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship education extends far beyond the classroom – it shapes futures and drives societal change. By instilling an entrepreneurial mindset, educators empower students to become agents of change. They learn not only how to create businesses, but also how to approach challenges with creativity and resilience. The societal impact of a generation versed in entrepreneurship is profound, with potential contributions ranging from job creation, to innovative solutions for global challenges.

Soft Skill: The Hidden Treasures

While entrepreneurship education equips students with practical business skills, the hidden gems lie in the development of soft skills. The goal is to transform students into adaptable, communicative and collaborative individuals.

From effective communication and teamwork, to resilience and adaptability, these soft skills are the unsung heroes of entrepreneurship education. They not only enhance personal development, but also prepare students for success in an ever-evolving professional landscape.

Empowering Visionaries, Enriching Economies

Crafting effective programmes for student entrepreneurship is an investment in the economic prosperity of nations. By understanding the economic impact, mapping out skill development paths, recognising the benefits of teaching entrepreneurship, and acknowledging the value of soft skills, educators play a vital role in shaping a generation of visionary leaders.

At Experience Haus, we firmly believe it is important to empower the entrepreneurs of tomorrow and enrich the global economy with innovation, creativity and sustainable growth.

Meet the Startup: League Leaders

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.

Find out more about Paul:

LinkedIn: Connect with Paul

Submit a Design Challenge for an Experience Haus student: https://experiencehaus.com/submit-a-project-brief/

Online vs. In-Person: Which Type of UX/UI Course is Right for Your Career Goals?

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.

Instructor Profile: Cece Lynes

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.

A Conversation About Design: The Sins & Wins of Inclusivity

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.

The Chris Do Effect

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.

 

An Experience Haus Design Day From Our Student’s Perspective

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.

Reena, Demi and Eunice completed our part-time Product Design course. Eunice also did our Design Leadership course.

Memori and Amy completed our part-time UX/UI Design online course

Vish completed our full-time UX & UI Career Development Bootcamp. Iria is currently completing the bootcamp.

How Our Alumni Helped a Leading Charity Bring Their Latest Concept to Life

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.

You can access the prototype here.

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.

Instructor Profile: Olivia Hall-Smith

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.