Instructor Profile: Olivia Hall-Smith
Olivia has been teaching our Product Design course at Experience Haus since 2023, and has been working as a Product Designer at Lloyds Banking Group
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.
How would you describe your dream classroom?
Curious and inquisitive students. Lots of pens, paper and post-its. A conversational session with healthy debate and lots of questions.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I’d like to be leading a design team somewhere, or running my own startup (just need the idea first!) However, I’d also like to have a bit more of a work/life balance, so something will have to give!
How do you keep up to date with your industry and the courses you teach?
Reading the news, keeping an eye on LinkedIn and chatting to designers in my network.