Rosie Pritchard, Author at Experience Haus - Page 5 of 6

How to find a suitable training partner for your team.

Training Partner for your Team

One of the challenges that the corporate training market brings is the enormous selection of suitable partners. This is an area that is extremely important to Experience Haus as we continue to seek out new training opportunities, but more importantly build lasting partnerships with our clients. There is so much to consider in that the person or team that is responsible for making the training happen from the client side may actually be confused about which offer will best suit the company’s needs.

Training for all levels of your business.

There is a cultural shift needed – training is often looked at as something that the younger parts of the workforce need to do in order to gain experience, but truthfully, there is a mindset shift needed. Training is required at all levels from intern level to C-suite/executive level. Continuous learning is a must as it will help deal with the ever shifting global economy and growing demands.

Getting the best value from your training partner

The people purchasing the training will no doubt want to extract the best value and return on their investment – and the training needs to suit the way of working for the teams involved. In most cases (certainly what we have seen at Experience Haus) is that the company (or client as we would refer to them as) will want to see an overview of the content, how it will be delivered, and quality assurance that is so important to them.

Most teams will now look to hire in training partners as there is no suitable internal alternative. Most companies will have access to the same delivery tools, but it’s important to choose the right partner with a mix of well-delivered content, industry insight and desire to compliment the training with post training support. This is easier said than done however.

The amount of industry experience and quality of instructors is also key – if not perhaps the most important component of selecting the right training provider. What is the amount of experience they have? Who else have they worked with? Do they have any relevant case studies?

Blended learning continues to be a very popular way of delivering content – a mix between online, on-demand training supplemented by live virtual sessions or in-house workshops. This is certainly the way Experience Haus intends to build out its future learning platform.

Customising the training to fit your business needs

Another factor you should consider when looking for a training delivery partner is whether they have the ability to create customisable training. Selecting an ‘off-the-shelf’ product is no longer enough, and that can be a limiting factor for some of the training platforms that exist today. They are quickly lacking updates and relevance, and cannot keep up quick enough.

Personalisation and customisation will always be in demand, and this will allow for custom journeys that will tie in stronger with the employees specific goals, and help appeal to the different levels of experience within the cohort.

Bringing in a partner that can help align with strategic goals is key – both from the employee perspective and how they should benefit, but also from a business perspective too.

Overall, it is important that a chosen training partner has the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to help develop the most effective training delivery and implementation.

Exploring Design Thinking – What is it and how does it help?

Explore Design Thinking

Defining Design Thinking

Before we get started on exploring Design Thinking, it is important to discuss the challenge of actually defining ‘Design Thinking’.

There are two key words that make this up: design and thinking. It’s hard enough to define these concepts, let alone the two of them combined as design thinking as an approach (Rylander, 2009).

If you ask anyone who has discussed, used or regularly applies design thinking inside their business to help with problem solving, it is not surprising that many of them cannot exactly explain what design thinking is, the origins and how it was shaped.

Even the articulation of why it should be used is often difficult to arrive at – who needs to be involved? How long does it take? Why should non-designers inside organisations take notice? Sometimes teams and companies are actually applying design thinking without knowing it.

If you were to ask those that are around the design industry what design thinking actually means, it’s almost certain you will get different answers each and every time. The reality is that design thinking is quite complex and involves many strategic and creative approaches. It is more holistic than one can imagine. But done well, the output from the framework can be powerful.

At a high-level, design thinking is an iterative process that can be used to solve problems. Design thinking can be applied into any type of design work, regardless of discipline. It remains true that whole approach is what is good (and fun!) about the design practice. The divergent and convergent thinking, the iteration, the people that need to be involved, the ideating and testing of ideas – it’s all creative problem solving. And this problem solving has been a large part of the designers role almost forever. 

The term design thinking has grown in prominence over the last 10-15 years largely due it’s commercial use and social awareness. This approach takes the design process and methods and brings them to the limelight – in many cases however there is work done behind the scenes that no one sees (especially clients) that are truly powerful and help with decision making (Dorst, 2011)

The global design agency, IDEO, is often the company that is often credited with coming up with the approach of “design thinking” and it’s practical application. But the whole approach around design thinking is actually something that has been around for a lot longer (going back to the 1970s as a foundation) in fact, and has been slowly been applied with formal identification only just recently.

At Experience Haus, we truly believe it requires a shift in mindset, and if done well, it’s value moving forward is immense. If you compare it to more scientific approaches, that have been around for centuries, design thinking as a more practical (and perhaps applicable) approach has been around for 10-15 years, so it is essentially in it’s infancy. It is still far from global widespread adoption – in many cases teams look at the individual stages and use them to guide the development of products and services, but we will look at the why the mindset shift is actually more important.

The Framework

The design thinking framework aims to help inspire creative problem solving and strategic thinking that will help designers (of all kinds) create value-driven products and services, across various industries and sectors. (Kolko, 2015)

It is not, however, as it may seem, a linear path. Working through the stages in one defined path can often lead to failure. Iteration is key, and the willingness/need to step back as required. As you progress through the stages new ideas may come up and progress you forward, but new findings/gaps may come up that cause a need to step backwards to action further work.

Let’s take a look at each stage in further detail.

Empathy

This stage is where everything starts – in many way the foundational stage. It involves understanding the viewpoints of current and potential customers/users to see their views on current products and services, their behaviours and desires, the competitive landscape, and all done without bias.

If empathy is not something that designers have, there is a monumental task in place in order to design user-centred solutions. Empathy helps build a crucial understanding between the target audience and the product or service that is being potentially designed for them (Brower, 2021).

Other aspects that are often used at the stage include:

  • Bringing in experts (often referred to subject matter experts, “SMEs” to ask about their views, experience and design insights.
  • Contextual inquiry in order gain a more point of view perspective, essentially stepping into their shoes. Service safaris are where designers immersive themselves in a physical setting where a service, or product, is being current delivered.
  • In-depth conversation and research with designers who have tackled this challenge in other industries, sectors or disciplines

This is a crucial stage as the motivations, behaviours, perspective, pain points and past experiences of the target audience will all help towards understanding how to solve the users problem.

Define

At this stage, after gathering useful data points through empathy, discussions with experts, and stakeholders, the design team brings together the design challenge that needs to be focused on. Identifying the customer segment, the problem areas and opportunities as well as a refreshed problem statement are all key here.

A lot of what happens in this stage can be referred to as data synthesis. The problem statement that comes together at the end is an expression of the design challenge that includes who will be targeted and why. This can take the angle of either a business-centred problem, or a human-centred problem.

Some of the questions here could include

  • Who is our target user?
  • What does their journey look like and where are the opportunities to improve it?
  • What business objectives are we trying to meet?
  • What does success look like?
  • Who else do need to involve along the way?

Ideation

This stage is really where creativity gets to come into play. So much of what has been done so far is heavily based on empathy and data that sets up the ability to generate ideas that solve the design problem with creativity and innovation.

Initial ideation sessions may revolve around thinking “big”, and removing any kind of constraint, and then narrowing down to focus on an idea or two that are feasible and viable. It’s important to note that no idea is a bad idea, and that “bad” ideas can easily become good ideas with a slight twist. These ideations sessions are a must for designers as it builds up confidence around creative problem solving and the sharing of ideas.

The more ideas the better, as this provides more ideas for the team to discuss, investigate and potentially test to see how they solve the users problem.

It’s important to note that by now you should have a very good idea of your user base, so that you can focus on creativity and generating ideas for discussion.

Prototype

The previous stage brought us lots of ideas that we ultimately narrowed down through focusing on viability, feasibility and desirability (remember, design thinking is all about perspective, more on this later) – it is important to take an idea or two and see through testing if they actually solve the problem well. This is where a prototype (or early version) of the idea is needed. This should be done as quickly as possible, like paper sketches, or physical models using easy to access resources are needed. 

At this stage it is all about building potential initial solutions rather inexpensively and at small-scale. They should include the features that will act as gain creators or pain solvers, which are decided through the process after understanding what pain points and motivations the user base has. When testing, there needs to be open discussion about works well and what doesn’t work well, and the open willingness to move backwards in the process if an idea doesn’t land well.

As we move forward into the testing stage, it is important to start to discuss what is needed to bring the product to reality – address any outstanding user experience issues, and testing to bring out further behaviours and expectations for the future.

Test

The final stage of the design thinking framework requires getting real, prospective and current users to review the product in order to gain real data that can be used to measure success and to learn from. 

But calling this a “final” stage is not necessarily correct, as this framework, and designers in general, should be prepared to iterate and move backwards if needed. Iteration is what will bring a product closer to solving the problem well. Testing should be done thoroughly and comprehensively, as without this it is difficult for solutions to scale to a larger user base.

Design teams should be expecting to receive feedback that will require changes and refinements – this may cause a whole sequence of restarting the process especially moving back to the ideation or prototyping stage. New ideas will generated will require a refreshed approach, and teams should not be afraid to seek out tangents in discussion and thinking – which is where innovation may lie.

Alumni Hackathon: May 7th, 2022

Alumni Hackathon

This event is an all-day meeting of like-minded people, hosted in our Shoreditch studio, where our Experience Haus community (experience designers, service designers, product managers, marketers and startup enthusiasts) will come together to share ideas, form teams, build products and hopefully launch some innovative ideas that meet our challenging design brief.

We give you the space, mentors and expert entrepreneurs to help you build a portfolio-ready project.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a startup enthusiast, or just want to meet like-minded people, meet us this Saturday to create something beautiful and solve real problems!

Why attend?

This event offers you the chance to:

  • Pitch your idea and have the chance to see it move forward
  • Receive coaching and mentoring from amazing entrepreneurs and advisors
  • Learn about validating your idea, product and customer development, learn startup methods, Minimum Viable Products (MVP) and so much more!
  • Make your CV stand out and increase your design skills

Sign up via the community Slack channel.

Student Success Story: Sydney Schaefer

Sydney

Looking back before you joined the course at Experience Haus, can you tell us a little bit about what you were up to and what led you to consider a course in Product Design?

I studied general design practices at university and as soon as I graduated, I got a job as a designer at an advertising agency, but it wasn’t really for me. I’m not necessarily a graphic or visual person, but it was a good steady job to have when I first left university. Over time, I felt it wasn’t the right place, it wasn’t the right fit, so I did end up leaving and searching for other jobs as I wanted to do something that was more Service Design/UX orientated. I pulled together my portfolio, but it wasn’t really suitable for those disciplines. I applied for lots of jobs and had lots of odd, small jobs and freelance gigs here and there that were closer to what I was looking for, but still not quite right for me. There were a lot of instances where I’d meet up with someone, they’d give me a bit of work but things didn’t always pan out. I think I got luckier than a lot of people in those situations, because I went out and talked to a lot of people which helps, but there’s only so much you can do! 

Then the pandemic hit and any kind of traction I had immediately stopped. I knew I was interested in UX. I knew I wanted to do some form of digital products. I thought this was a good transition for my skills and where I wanted to be in the future, so I started doing some independent projects. That worked out well for the time, but I kept hearing over and over again ‘you don’t have enough experience. Your portfolio isn’t quite right.’ It was always the same message of hearing I was good, but that I needed a bit more. Around that time I thought I had been doing this for a while, and it was time to figure out how to get that experience and get that certification under my belt.

How did you come across Experience Haus? What made you decide to pick our course?

It was actually my partner that found Experience Haus. He sent it to me because we were talking about doing courses and I didn’t want something big or long-term because I already had a design background. I just needed a top-up really! I already knew how to go through a lot of the procedures, I just needed someone there to critique my work, so that was what was really important to me. I had a chat with one of the team about it and he was the one who really sold me on it! It was a really good conversation and I actually felt like he cared about it. He was honest about where I’d learn things and where I’d potentially be repeating but I would still get something out of it.

Thinking about your time on the course… What did you want to achieve from your Experience Haus course?

The main things I wanted to achieve were getting my portfolio and just refreshing my skills. It was also a bit of a stress test to make sure this was the next direction I wanted to move in. I had committed a lot of time but actually going through a project from end to end was really important as well.

What did you enjoy most about the course?

The course was great! I think I was able to commit a lot of time to it. It’s definitely one of those courses where you get out what you put in. 

I enjoyed being able to have 1:1 sessions with people on a regular basis – I really appreciated that. That’s one thing a lot of people don’t realise about design: it is a team sport and not something you can just do by yourself. We all have our own assumptions and come from different places, so having someone to sit there and be like ‘you’re actually wrong here but it’s alright that you’re wrong as you’ve built up assumptions. Let’s talk about this’ or ‘Let’s test this to see if you are right’. It helps make my work better.

I liked the fact it was in-person. Everyone on the course was really lovely. Having that interconnected critique of everyone’s work was really useful and fun!

Student Success Story: Valerie Liuim

Varlie

Looking back before you joined the course at Experience Haus, can you tell us a little bit about what you were up to and what led you to consider a course in UX/UI design?

I studied Graphic Design and Art Direction in Milan and my first two jobs were in that field, but then somehow I started doing something completely different and was working as a data analyst and taxonomist. While working in that industry I realised I wanted to go back to something related to design, but I was trying to understand what I really liked to do because working as a graphic designer wasn’t what I wanted to do in life. So then I researched a bit, realised UX and UI design could be the right career path for me and I came across Experience Haus, and it seemed like a really good opportunity.

How did you come across Experience Haus? What made you choose to study with us?

I think the first time I saw Experience Haus was through an Instagram ad so I clicked the link and went through to the website. I got in touch with the team and compared this option to others like General Assembly and Career Foundry and found it to be the most reasonable in terms of price and the fact the classes were live. I wanted to be sure I was going to start and finish something, rather than sign up for a course that was ‘do it at your own pace’ which I never would have completed!

Thinking about your time on the course… What did you want to achieve from your Experience Haus course?

I wanted to have a portfolio and at least one case study from this course. I also wanted to meet people who were in the same field that could help me and I could collaborate with.

What did you enjoy most about the course?

I really liked the fact we were divided into smaller groups. This meant you could get involved in lots of parts of the project and be really hands-on, which you wouldn’t get if you were part of a big group. You could also really get to know the other members of your team and that was helpful.

You also felt like you were part of something by taking part in a live class, rather than a recorded session. With lockdown and people still working from home, this was a nice reason to meet new people and see other people’s faces, even if it was on camera!

What was your one big takeaway from the course?

Something that helped me was the fact our teacher pushed us to follow up with the client, and that led to something really useful because our group started collaborating with the client even after the course finished. It helped us portfolio-wise, skills-wise and mentor-wise. We were also pushed to do things we hadn’t even learned on the course! 

Student Success Story: Francesca Tiley

Francesca

Looking back before you joined the course at Experience Haus, can you tell us a little bit about what you were up to and what led you to consider a course in UX/UI design?

I come from an illustration design background and for the last 4 or so years I’ve been working as a commercial illustrator, a freelance illustrator and also did a bit of art tutoring and teaching. So I’ve always loved design and had ended up in illustration, which I really love and still do on the side, but I was getting to the stage where I was falling out of love with it. I felt like I wasn’t using all of the skills I have within that role and wasn’t being pushed enough. I also missed working with people as it’s quite a solitary career. There were a lot of things that made me think this wasn’t complete enough and I could do more. So I had been looking into other areas of design and looking at graphic design, branding and other areas that interested me. I spent a long time looking into things and then the pandemic hit so all of that was put on hold. Then it was last year that a friend of mind recommended UX design. He told me it’s still design and is a growing area and seems like something he thought I would be interested in. So I did more research into it and then eventually led me to find Experience Haus. I also really loved the course I did – the Online UX/UI course – as it’s really great that it’s got both UX and UI rather than just one or the other, as a lot of other courses seem to just focus on one.

How did you come across Experience Haus? What made you choose to study with us?

I came across Experience Haus through a contact. I’m part of the Prince’s Trust charity and they’ve helped me out a lot with illustration stuff and I have a mentor through that. He then put me in touch with Matter of Form, who put me in touch with Amit, so there’s a link of people connecting me to the course! It naturally happened but it was through contacts that I heard about the course.

I’d been looking at the other courses on your website but the fact that this was both UX and UI together stood out to me. It eases you in, it’s not too much of a jump into something completely new and felt like it was right for the stage that I was at as a beginner but with some design experience. The fact that it was online was ideal.

Thinking about your time on the course… What did you want to achieve from your Experience Haus course?

The main goal was getting a job! But also strengthening my understanding of what UX Design and what UI is. I had been teaching myself before the course, but this was really nice to work with other people on a project as this gives you first hand experience of the role you would be stepping into.

What did you enjoy most about the course?

Definitely working with other people and getting a real client brief, but also I was interested to see how it would work online, but it totally did! I looked forward to each session so much and everyone was really lovely. It always felt like a really nice environment, even though it was on Zoom! It was a mixture of both having first hand experience on a live project, but also working with other people, learning new software as well.  

What was your one big takeaway from the course?

I do feel using your network is super important and being open and flexible. Even if you have a certain direction of where you want to go in mind, just be open to other options. The role that I’ve started a few months ago isn’t just UX, it’s graphic design as well and UI, like a classic Junior role and that’s ended up being really ideal as I’m using skills that I had before the course and also skills I learned on the course. When I was applying for jobs I was open to anything that was out there, which ended up being a really good thing to do!  

Student Success Story: Alexandra Nurse

Alexandra Nurse

Looking back before you joined the course at Experience Haus, can you tell us a little bit about what you were up to and what led you to consider a course in Product Design?

I have a background in product design, but more industrial design, so I studied that at university but I struggled trying to apply for jobs in physical product design. I did get a grad job at a company where they designed retail display units for make-up and cosmetic companies like Selfridges, Dior, Mac, places like that! I worked there for just over a year but then due to a lot of circumstances it just didn’t work out. I also realised the company just wasn’t for me! They were also going through a redundancy stage as well, so I decided to learn and after that I was working part-time as a casual worker at the Design Museum in retail. During that time, when the pandemic was just starting, I started researching into UX/UI design because whenever I was applying jobs searching for product designer, all I could see were UX Designer jobs, or it was say ‘product design’ but kept talking about wireframes and I didn’t know what wireframes were and didn’t know if I could do the job! So that was why I really decided to go into UX design.

How did you come across Experience Haus? What made you decide to pick our course?

During Covid I was doing a lot of research into courses and stuff. At first I was on Skillshare and doing lots of little courses for free just to make sure my understanding was there, but then I decided I wanted to do a proper course and I had seen your name pop up before. I started looking at courses but then my friend saw you come up on Instagram and sent it to me.

Doing it in-person was also an important thing for me. With the way I learn, I feel if I go physically somewhere there’s more understanding, whereas I feel it’s easier to switch off when you’re doing it online! I had done a lot of video learning already through YouTube and Skillshare so on this occasion I felt like I needed someone there explaining it. I also need that accountability to make sure I finish doing what I need to do! It’s one of those things that if someone’s watching you, you just feel you need to get everything done!

Thinking about your time on the course… What did you want to achieve from your Experience Haus course?

Definitely a portfolio piece. The fact that Experience Haus offered live briefs and you could work with a client was really good. My client was happy to meet with me twice a week so it felt more like a working relationship going through all my processes with them and showing what I had been working on. I felt that was a really good experience as it felt like I was working for them. I wanted that experience of working for someone but not like a freelancer so I found that really beneficial.

What did you enjoy most about the course?

Being able to come into the studio! To be able to come into the office and see people was great as I wasn’t seeing people that much.

What was your one big takeaway from the course?

The real life experience and having a full rounded understanding of UX and UI.

Instructor Profile: Cory Hughes

woman-sitting-in-design-studio

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

I’m an experience design strategist, consultant and advisor. In other words, no-one in my family has ever really understood what I do for a living! My career in the creative industries has taken me around the world working with agencies, nonprofits and multinational brands. Right now, I’m Head of Strategy and Co-Founder of Inside Edge, a transformation consultancy that helps organisations own their digital future.

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?

My experience-design career path has been unorthodox. I wanted to share what’s possible when you back yourself to transition into a new industry. I also believe that the best creative leaders should do a bunch of interesting things outside of their day job, and work hard to demystify an industry that can often feel exclusive and hard to break into. Joining the Haus has packed my evenings with imagination, ideas and inspiration – everything I’d hoped for, and more!

What is your teaching philosophy?

‘Start where you are, with what you have’ – that’s a quote from Pema Chodron that I always return to. There’s no magic moment where you are ‘ready’ to be a designer. Design is a continual process of polishing and iterating and the learning journey is no different.

What do you enjoy most about teaching at Experience Haus?

The community is incredible – warm, welcoming and human. Everyone lives the mission of making design skills accessible and sharing knowledge generously. I love that real world experience is baked into the course and that battle-scarred practitioners are leading the teaching.

Instructor Profile: Oli Puttick

male-product-design-instructor-sitting-in-studio

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

I relocated to London from Australia in 2019 and have been working as a Senior Product Designer at a small travel startup called Seafrog since.

During my short career, I’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with early stage startups, agencies and big established corporates across a range of industries including Fintech, education, hospitality, travel, real estate, gaming, settlement, music, insurance and many more.

Outside of my design work, you’ll probably find me falling off a skateboard, digging into a Murakami novel or shooting film on a camera that’s a bit of an ancient relic!

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?

What drew me to Experience Haus was the opportunity to collaborate with people at the beginning of their journey in the industry. There’s something invigorating about taking what you’ve learnt over the years, and sharing it in a classroom environment where your ideas can be built upon and even challenged. Also, the bonus part of being an instructor is that you’re learning just as much as you’re teaching!

What is your teaching philosophy?

Get feedback early, get feedback often. When people first start out in the industry, they’re usually cautious of charing their work as they want it to be perfect (me included!) However, the best part of design is its collaborative nature, critiquing your work in a group environment is one of the most effective ways to make it better.

What do you enjoy most about teaching at Experience Haus?

Reflecting on what I’ve learnt and passing on the best bits. When I first started out, I made plenty of mistakes (some necessary and some not). However, I’ve been extremely fortunate during my career to have access to great mentors that really helped me grow and develop. It’s only fair that I return the favour.

Instructor Profile: Érin Delaney

female-ux-and-ui-instructor-sitting-on-sofa

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

I’ve recently started working as a Product Designer at frog, but prior to that I was a Senior UX designer at Foolproof. I came to this role after five years in branding and a Bachelor’s in visual communication.

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 first started teaching at Experience Haus to keep up with the youth! I always get great inspiration from fresh blood in the industry and love being around the passion, hunger and enthusiasm students just breaking into the space have for user experience and product design.

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe people learn by doing so I really try to hero participation in all classes and coaching students through methodologies rather than too much preaching.

What do you enjoy most about teaching at Experience Haus?

Teaching at Experience Haus has meant joining a huge community of designers in similar spaces but different roles where we all learn from each other. The environment of knowledge and discovery really keeps me motivated about the space in general.

Student Success Story: Dave Robson

Service Design student at Experience Haus standing in front of a brick wall

Looking back before you joined the course at Experience Haus, can you tell us a little bit about what you were up to and what led you to consider a course in Service Design?

Before I joined the course, I was working at Accenture. My work had always been around transformation and over the last 3 years I have been applying the human-centered design mindset and methodologies to projects. It had been fantastic; but I recognised I had gone as far as I could with human-centered design at Accenture. I needed to venture elsewhere to challenge my understanding of design thinking and grow my abilities in service design.

What made you choose Experience Haus?

I can’t remember exactly how I came across Haus…but from the minute I spoke to the coach I knew it was the course for me! Why? Two reasons. First, there aren’t many long-term service design courses out there. There are mostly 4-5 days ones and I knew these wouldn’t go into the depth that I needed. Haus’ course offered an experience that would go as deep as I needed to go. Second, the hybrid nature of theory and practice. I wanted to test my application of the service design toolkit in the real world – not something many courses get right! – and the Haus course offered that. My understanding, conceptualising and application of service design has evolved so much since day 1 of the course.

Thinking about your time on the course… What did you want to achieve from your Experience Haus course?

Ultimately, I wanted to challenge everything I knew about service design. My goal was to learn about its history, theory, practical application, how others ‘do it’, and have a go within the sandpit of the course itself. 

I achieved every one of those ambitions. It took me from the peak of mount stupid to the plateau of sustainability. Understanding how others interpreted service design and its associated methods/worlds has been so crucial in understanding what my reflections and views are on it, and developing as a service designer. 

What did you enjoy most about the course?

I enjoyed the course in many ways. The theoretical and seminar-based nature of the beginning was great fun and took me back to what I truly enjoy – learning! The chance to define what my project looked like and delivered was great. Freedom is a fantastic way to fail, learn and succeed!

What was your one big takeaway from the course?

One of my big takeaways from the course is that service design is about more than just design thinking – it’s rigorous design research, it’s service planning, it’s roadmapping, implementing, ideating. It is the meeting of many worlds coming together – the traditional “business” world, the novel “design” world, and everything in between. Only by appreciating all these parts can you become a truly impactful service designer. 

Another big takeaway was to just start doing service design. Don’t wait for anyone to tell you. I basically thought with every  work project, “how can I leverage the service design discipline here?” This is a good way to build skills as well.

Student Success Story: Ali Watson

Experience Haus ux and ui student walking in the park with sunglasses on her head

Looking back before you joined the course at Experience Haus, can you tell us a little bit about what you were up to and what led you to consider a course in UX/UI design?

Prior to doing the course I was in between jobs – I was unemployed. My background is in interior design so I was doing that in London and then I moved to Glasgow two weeks before the first lockdown, so I came up here with no job and wasn’t sure whether to stay in interiors or not. Due to the pandemic I ended up out of work and worked in a care home for 6 months which was a real eye opener! But I needed to be working and those were the only jobs available at the time. 

I started thinking about what direction I wanted to go in and actually spent a long time in lockdown doing online workshops and seminars, and tapping into different areas and looking into UX. I did a digital business promotion course online and I thought the way things are going, I’m very interested in people and my personality matches – I’m very empathetic, a good listener and all the skills I gained from previous work experience would lend quite well going into UX. 

It wasn’t actually until I delved a bit deeper and understood a lot more about the industry and UX design that I realised I should do a course. It was important for me to be learning whilst getting hands on experience with clients at the same time.

What made you choose Experience Haus?

Through Googling and doing lots of research. There were so many courses that were ridiculous prices like £5,000+ that just wasn’t affordable for me. When I came across Haus, I had a chat with Amit and he put me in touch with someone who had done the course before and I had a really good chat with her. It was good to get her insights on the course and how to get the most out of it. I really liked the fact it was a small class size so you didn’t just feel like one of many sitting on a Zoom call!

Thinking about your time on the course… What did you want to achieve from your Experience Haus course?

It was important for me to get back into working on a project, working with a client and working with other people. It had actually been a long time since I had done that and I really wanted to build up my confidence. I put a lot of pressure on myself at the beginning like “this has to work, I need to get something out of this.” I was stressing myself out about it. Then I just enjoyed the process and applying myself to the course and showing up and getting on with it. You need to be motivated to do something that’s online rather than in the classroom.  

I feel like I really built my confidence up and was realistic with myself that I wasn’t going to learn EVERYTHING in a 3 month course. But there are areas to look at, touch on and you decide which direction to go in or what you enjoy the most.

What did you enjoy most about the course?

I liked the element of working in groups. I like the collaborative workflow as that’s how you’ll be working in real life context in a company. I also really liked seeing the process – going through the different methodologies and seeing how things flow.

What was your one big takeaway from the course?

My main takeaway from the course was going in thinking I’ll need to know everything when the reality is quite different! I felt quite overwhelmed thinking I had to know how to do every little thing to do with UX and the instructor said to me “you’ll find you’ll come out of this course and you’ll have the tools and then you can go off and start developing/start going down to a niche”. And Amit said the same thing – you find a niche for yourself. He said you won’t be able to do the UI, the research – you’ll be spreading yourself so thinly that you almost need to be really good at one thing. Obviously it is good to have an understanding of the UI side and how wireframing works etc but it was interesting as he said ‘you’ll go into a company and probably focus on one area and then build on your skills and get really good at that.’ I was talking to another mentor from Experience Haus who said you go into a company thinking you’ll be doing all these things and actually end up focusing on one thing! But I guess it does depend on the company…I have done it before where I’ve been good at lots of things and had lots of transferable skills, but now it’s time to focus and hone my skills on one area that I’ll then get really good at. Once you’re good at that one thing, that’s when your skills are in demand!