Product Design Archives - Experience Haus

Student Success Story: Elrica Degirmen

Elrica completed our 12-week part-time Service Design course in April 2023 and is currently working as a Senior Service Design Consultant at Human Engine.

We caught up with her recently to see how the course helped her achieve her goals and if she has any pearls of wisdom for any budding service designers.

Tell us a bit more about what you were doing before you decided to pivot into design?

I was starting in the industry working as a service designer for the adult social care department of a local authority.

How was training at Experience Haus different from other providers ?

I liked how at Experience Haus I got to work on a live client brief. During my course it was within the University of Essex’s start-up service. This meant I was able to put the skills I learnt into immediate practice.

What was the highlight of your course?

The amazing help and support from my instructor Jack. I learnt so much from him.

What was the most challenging part of your learning experience?

Nothing for me! I really enjoyed the whole experience and would 100% recommend it.

Instructor Profile: Orok Brooks

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

I’m a drone flying, dog loving, car driving enthusiast from the North West with a lifetime of being creative. I’ve worked in the world of UX Research and Design for the past 10 years, having the curiosity of a toddler, and the bad knees that go with being 35 and deciding skateboarding and football were the best hobbies to have when I was young.

I’m currently the Head of Product Design and UX at a global education software company, alongside owning my own UX Consultancy: Omagood, and drone videography business: The Flying Ibo.

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?

The latter chapters of my UX career made me realise how important mentorship is, and how it impacted my own career trajectory. I’ve taught UX for the past 3 years and wanted to continue inspiring people who share my passion for design and problem solving. I love what Experience Haus is about, and I’ve learned so many things about myself that help me shape who I am as a leader in my own roles and businesses. Not to mention the interesting people I get to meet!

What is your teaching philosophy?

If you want to learn, I will do everything I can to help in the course and beyond. You get out what you put in, and if you’re willing to turn up and have the passion about the subject, I feed off that and reciprocate!

What do you enjoy most about teaching at Experience Haus?

Watching students from all backgrounds who have some hesitation about their own capabilities, and helping them unlock them. When a student gets back in touch to say how the course and myself helped in any way with the next phase of their story, it puts a huge smile on my face.

Instructor Profile: Burak Dogramaci

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

I am an entrepreneur and design studio owner based in London. I established Component Product Foundry in 2018. What started as a solo consultancy grew into a creative UX studio working in partnership with larger agencies to deliver UX projects for healthcare, finance, retail, automotive and e-commerce fields.

I started my career as a customer experience researcher in 2014, helping a boutique service design firm called Ethnogram after getting my master’s degree in marketing communications. During that time I also started learning to code, design and build websites as a self-taught freelancer. These two career paths turned out not to be so different when I discovered with UX design was and how I could apply them together for my clients moving forward.

My entrepreneurial journey has provided me with many valuable lessons and different aspects I need to think about when dealing with businesses. I use the UX skill set I’ve cultivated through years of experience to navigate through this journey, always keeping an open mind to learn new perspectives and find various ways to overcome obstacles.

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 previously mentored, taught occasionally and helped others with my knowledge, but students I’ve met in Experience Haus allowed me to understand their learning journey across a longer period of time and track their progress, assisting and coaching them session after session to help them build the right mental models around their creative output and thinking processes.

What is your teaching philosophy?

I am a practical and resourceful learner who can find information quickly and I intend to teach my students to be as resourceful as possible, supporting them to develop the mental pathways to get unstuck, think of solutions on the go and find necessary information to help them make the right decisions or test their assumptions.

I believe that learning requires different modes of thinking and experience in implementation, and therefore should involve more than just lectures in a classroom. I prefer combining my lessons with hands-on experiences, and small workshops to allow experimentation and discussions to keep the students engaged, fostering their confidence to self-express and build their design intelligence to advocate and express their ideas.

What do you enjoy most about teaching at Experience Haus?

As a self-taught entrepreneur, I know the importance of having real-life experience while honing your skills, and that the reality is often different from what is taught in learning environments.

The real-life startup projects come to Experience Haus from startups or accelerator partnerships and guiding students through understanding those real challenges might be the most exciting part.

Student Success Story: Luis Montanha

Luis completed our 12-week part-time online Service Design course in July 2023 and he has recently landed a Service Designer role at TPXimpact.

We caught up with him recently to see how the course helped him achieve his goals and if he has any pearls of wisdom for any budding service designers.

Tell us a bit more about what you were doing before you decided to pivot into design?

I had just been made redundant and found myself at a crossroads in my career. Despite the initial shock, I saw it as an opportunity to reassess my priorities and overall perspective on work. After a period of self-reflection, I decided to enrol in a Service Design course at Experience Haus.

How was training at Experience Haus different from other providers ?

There were a couple of reasons that made training at Haus stand out from other providers. Firstly, the small class setting. For many career switchers like me, starting over isn’t easy and getting attention and support from your instructor is key to keep you engaged and motivated to do the work.

Secondly, the opportunity to work for a real client. For someone now in a consultancy role, this exposure was invaluable. Stakeholder management is widely considered one of the most crucial skills in the consulting world, and this course provided me with firsthand experience in it.

Finally, the flexibility it offered, which allowed me to balance my studies with work – a stark contrast to some courses that demand a full-time commitment and leave little room for anything else.

What was the highlight of your course?

The hands-on nature of the course, as it provided a more practical and immersive learning experience. I’m not going to lie that at times it felt a bit daunting, but proved to be the most effective way to build a real understanding of the frameworks and mindset of a Service Designer.

What was the most challenging part of your learning experience?

Learning how to effectively collaborate with other team members. There were a lot of uncontrollable variables, which are particular to training courses with a more flexible structure. We would have benefitted from having someone responsible for leading the project, for example. Having no well-defined roles and responsibilities was initially difficult, but ultimately offered invaluable lessons in teamwork.

Instructor Profile: Jon Bennallick

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

I’m a Product Design Director & Consultant with over 12 years of experience. Specialising in SaaS & Enterprise Platform Design, Design Systems, AI implementation, Chat Platforms, Digital Transformation, and Device Agnostic Design. I’ve lead teams within and built solutions for big brands like Coca-Cola, Kraft Heinz, L’Oreal and many others. I’ve also worked with startups and smaller companies to help grow their offering into highly profitable products.

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 wanted to help others on the strange and challenging journey in the world of Product Design. It’s such a wonderful and exciting space to be working in, and to share the keys with others is a unique opportunity. Selfishly too, teaching others often helps us understand where our own strengths and weaknesses in our craft may be. Since starting with Experience Haus, I’ve felt the need to go the extra mile in staying up to date on the tools, techniques and strategies being used by the best in class, to ensure I can be a pro performer!

What is your teaching philosophy?

Making sure everyone feels like they’re in a safe space is key. It’s good to make mistakes, failure is a core part of product design, and people need to feel comfortable with that. I try and ease them into this thinking as pain free as possible!

What do you enjoy most about teaching at Experience Haus?

There are some wonderfully talented future Product Pros out there, and helping them grow their career is incredibly rewarding. It’s very inspiring to start a course with people who have absolute zilch understanding of the product world, and within such a short period have the crafting tools that would impress Zuckerberg or Bezos!

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.

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.

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.

Instructor Profile: Dr Anthony Giannoumis

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

I am a motivational speaker on inclusive leadership, social entrepreneur, equality advocate and hamster dad! At Experience Haus, I get to teach the online Service Design course.

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 lifelong mission has been to use my position to empower others. Experience Haus has helped me realise this mission by teaching and empowering some of the most amazing students I’ve ever met!

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is based on the industry’s needs and student’s needs. The most important thing is that the students get the knowledge and experience they need to excel at work or finding a job. The second most important thing is that the student gains the self-confidence and strength to showcase their talent.

What do you enjoy most about teaching at Experience Haus?

The community at Experience Haus is the most supportive and nurturing group of people I’ve ever met. I am privileged to call them my friends and colleagues!

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: 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.