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Break into a Career in Product Management

Product management roles are not just your typical 9-to-5 job. They are filled with excitement and the opportunity to drive change. As a product manager, you will have the chance to shape the future of a product, a startup, or even an entire company.

One of the most thrilling aspects of product management is the combination of strategic thinking and hands-on execution. You will be responsible for defining the vision and strategy for a product and then working with cross-functional teams to bring that product to life. From market research and competitive analysis to developing go-to-market plans, you will be involved in every step of the product development process.

Product management roles also provide plenty of opportunity for advancing your career in the tech industry. Many product managers go on to become boardroom level leaders, or entrepreneurs with their own exciting ventures. With the right skills and experience, product management could be the starting point of an exciting and fulfilling career path.

But where do you start? We’ve written some useful tips across up seven areas that should serve as a launchpad for your exploration into a product management career path.

1. Immerse yourself in the role.

First, you want to soak up as much information as possible. And this isn’t just about product management terminology, but go off and learn about design thinking, user experience design, user interface design, business strategy, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Research the skills required for product management and determine how they align with your strengths, interests, and transferable skills (think about what you’ve done in the past that may translate well into the product management role). Become familiar with the different roles in product development process and how product manager interacts with them.. And finally, start thinking about what kind of PM do you want to be – for example, technical, analytical, marketing, or the visionary type.

There are plenty of good book recommendations, check out some of the above for a good mix of topics that can feed into understanding how product management works.

2. Understand industry trends.

You must be aware of the latest technology and industry trends and developments. This world moves fast, so don’t get left behind. In order to do this attend industry events and conferences to learn from experts and network with other professionals. Go on social media and follow thought leaders and influencers in the product management field, and engage with their content. Join online communities or groups specifically focused on product management to stay updated on the latest discussions and debates. Read books and articles by experts in the field to gain a deeper understanding of current trends and best practices.

3. Build a support network.

Attend industry events and conferences to meet other product managers and professionals in related fields.. Join online communities and forums related to product management (start looking on LinkedIn for example). Reach out to any product managers in your immediate network and ask for informational interviews and conversations. Volunteer to be a mentor or mentee in a product management program – these can often lead to further opportunities and networking. You want to build some lifelong connections at this stage with those that will help you navigate the overwhelming amount of advice & choice that’s out there.

4. Sharpen your communication skills.

Learn about effective communication techniques and strategies. Think about where you need to improve in these areas and get to work. You will often have to pitch, present and run workshops as a PM, so it’s good to get practice immediately with public speaking and presentations. Learn how to write effectively, whether it’s emails, reports, or user stories. Communication is one thing, clarity is another. And just like user researchers do, practice active listening and learn how to ask good questions. You will have lots of things coming to you information wise, so make sure you are able to take it all in. And finally, you will have to learn how to say no, so learn how to handle difficult conversations and negotiations.

5. Hone your problem-solving skills.

You will want to start practice critical thinking and problem-solving through puzzles, games, and any other fun activities. Become familiar with design thinking and how it can be applied to product management. Read or watch case studies and analyse how companies solved problems in their products or markets. YouTube is full of great material, so use the free resources to arm yourself with good understanding. To go to the next level, practice problem-solving with a group to learn how to collaborate effectively. What about perhaps starting a little side business or venture? This way you can start to learn learn about decision-making techniques and how to apply them to product management. You essentially will be the first product manager of your own little startup business!

6. Get technical.

This is where you’ll want to get a little deeper with your knowledge. Research Agile, Scrum, and Lean methodologies and their applications – there are plenty of free resources online to help do this. And with your own personal project or own venture, try out different methodologies. Learn about user research methods such as surveys, interviews, and usability testing. What does a user researcher do and how do they feed into the product manager as part of the product development process? Read about user research best practices and case studies, and look into the latest industry tools and software platforms. And finally, start digging deeper into data – study statistics and data analysis techniques, and learn about data visualisation and how to effectively communicate data insights. You’ll be presenting these insights regularly, and using them to make decisions wise. Software wise, and if you can get a hold of some data sets, practice analysing data using tools such as Excel or Tableau.

7. Finally, be persistent but enjoy the journey.

Set yourself some realistic and achievable goals for yourself in terms of breaking into a career in product management, and while doing so stay motivated and focused by reminding yourself of your long-term career aspirations. Take advantage of any opportunities as they arise and be open to new possibilities. If someone says they are happy to have a coffee to talk product, make sure you go! Don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice from mentors or professionals in the field, you’ll find that many are really open to helping and supporting you. And importantly keep learning & upskilling, keep practicing and keep networking.

So to close this off, if you’re looking for a role that offers excitement, challenge and the chance to make a real difference, product management might be worth pursuing. It’s a role that requires a unique combination of strategic thinking and hands-on execution, and it’s a role that can be incredibly rewarding for the right person.

What are you waiting for?

The Power of Storytelling

If you work within the creative industries, storytelling should be considered an important part of your skillset for the future. It is a versatile and valuable skill that can be applied to many areas of work. It can help to build stronger connections with audiences, inspire innovation, and drive business success.

Storytelling continues to be a powerful tool for designers, entrepreneurs, and creatives. When used well, it allows you to connect with your target audience on an emotional level, communicate your company values and mission, and differentiate your product from competitors. But why is storytelling so important, and how can you improve your storytelling skills?

Let’s start at the beginning. Storytelling, broken down simply, is the art of creating and sharing a narrative, or even more simply, a story. It is a way to communicate information, ideas, or experiences to an audience in an engaging and relatable way. Storytelling can take many forms, including written stories, oral stories, and visual stories, such as those we see in today’s popular film and television series. The purpose of storytelling can vary, it can be used to entertain, educate, persuade, or simply share the vision of an experience.

Storytelling, pitching and crafting engaging presentations remain a core element of the Experience Haus curriculum across all of our courses.

Storytelling has been used for centuries as a means of passing down history and knowledge, and connecting people with one another. In modern times, storytelling is also used in many areas such as marketing, advertising, and entertainment, and in the experience design world, it can be used for internal communications, pitching and landing pages across the web.

We all enjoy a good story. We want to see the story through to a successful ending. Stories capture our attention, evoke emotional output, and create a sense of connection with those involved. In the same way, stories can help make a deeper connection between your brand and your audience. By sharing the inspiration behind your product or design, you can give your audience a glimpse into your creative thinking and process, and in turn, create a sense of community and belonging.

But storytelling isn’t just about sharing your story, it’s also about understanding your audience’s story. As a designer or creative, it’s important to understand the needs and wants of your target audience, and to craft your story in a way that resonates with them. By understanding your audience’s story, you can create a design or product that truly meets their needs and stands out from competitors.

Now let’s move into how a story comes together. There are numerous ways you can create a story arc, but a good story typically has a clear structure, with a beginning, middle, and end. It should have a central conflict or problem that is resolved by the end of the story. Additionally, a good story should have well-developed characters, descriptive language, and the ability to evoke emotions in the audience. Using descriptive language can help to create vivid imagery and bring the story to life for the audience. This can be done by using specific nouns, verbs, and adjectives, as well as by including sensory details. Additionally, using metaphors and similes can also help to create a more engaging story.

A great example of this is Apple’s “Think Different” campaign, which ran from 1997 to 2002. This campaign used storytelling to position Apple early on as a company that stands for creativity and innovation. The ads that were run featured photos of famous thinkers and innovators, accompanied by a voiceover that said, “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently.” This campaign helped to re-position Apple to eventually become the global leader in the tech industry it is today.

Storytelling should be considered an important part of your skillset for the future – so what are some top tips for designers or design teams needing to improve their storytelling?

Understand your audience: To create an effective story, it’s important to understand your audience’s needs and wants. As part of the process, know you are trying to convey your message to, Conduct user research to learn more and use this information to craft a story that resonates directly with them. Evoking emotions in the audience is key to creating a connection with them. To do this, it’s important to understand the emotions you want to evoke and to craft your story in a way that will elicit those emotions. This can be done through descriptive language, character development, and by using techniques such as foreshadowing and suspense. Share what you have learned with the rest of your design team. By sharing stories of people who have overcome challenges, or of new and exciting ways of doing things, you can inspire your team to think differently and come up with new and innovative ideas.

Use storytelling throughout the design process: Incorporate storytelling throughout your design process (we’ll talk about user testing in the next point). Use stories from your audience to inspire design decisions, drive innovation, test ideas and communicate early design concepts to key stakeholders. Storytelling can help in problem-solving by providing authentic contextual understanding and perspective. It can be used to describe a problem, impact, how it was identified, and how it was eventually solved.

Use user testing to finesse your storytelling: Use storytelling as a tool to understand your user’s product experience. Encourage your users to share their stories about how they interact with your product (you could ask for descriptive reviews) and use this information to improve the design. In today’s increasingly competitive landscape, being able to differentiate your brand or product is necessary, not just essential. Storytelling can be used to create a unique and compelling narrative that sets you apart from all of your competitors. A/B testing is a great way to optimise your stories. Test different versions of the proposed story with current users and use the feedback to refine the story before moving forward in the design process.

Collaborate with other team members: Storytelling is not a one-person job. Encourage collaboration between team members, and gather input from different departments to co-create a more comprehensive and cohesive story. Storytelling remains a powerful tool for communication for design teams as a whole. It helps to convey so many types of information in a way that is relatable and engaging, making it more likely that the audience will retain the information and take action off it.

Use different mediums to tell the story: Don’t limit yourself to just one medium to tell your story. It’s not uncommon to try and put an entire story into a presentation slide deck. Use different mediums such as videos, images, and animations to bring your story to life in a more engaging way. Explore including these where possible. Storytelling requires creativity, which is highly valued in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing creative economy. With storytelling, individual designers and design teams can think outside the box, come up with new ideas, and create highly memorable experiences for the audience. Leave the audience wanting more.

Finally, like any skill, storytelling takes practice. Take time to study different storytelling techniques, and try out different approaches in your design work. The more you practice, the better you will become at crafting compelling stories that stick. And once you’ve mastered the art of storytelling, add this to part of your growing leadership skillset.

Storytelling can be used to inspire and motivate teams, communicate a vision, and build trust and alignment within an entire organisation.

Social Impact: Why Experience Designers Should Get Involved

As an experience designer, you are in a unique position where you are tasked with creating meaningful experiences (and change) for users. But what happens when those experiences can also make a positive impact on society? Can experience designers play a role in designing for social impact? The answer is a resounding yes.

There is little doubt that the experience design profession has the power to make a real and lasting impact on society. By understanding the needs of users and the larger social issues at play, designers can come up with viable solutions that not only meet those needs but also promote a more equitable and just society. Designers have the right mix of skills and expertise to create impactful solutions that can address some of the most pressing social issues of our lifetime, from poverty and inequality to environmental degradation.

To dig deeper, for example, designing for sustainability can help promote environmentally-friendly practices and mitigate the effects of climate change. And designing for community engagement and empowerment can help to build stronger, more resilient communities. By using design thinking and human-centred design methodologies, designers can create solutions that are tailored to the needs of specific communities and that can have a positive impact on society.

Experience Haus design days feature real-life social impact design challenges, where our alumni work through the design process in a day to rapidly create innovative solutions.

But designing for social impact is not without its challenges. Experience designers must be aware of the ethical implications of their designs and consider the potential consequences of their actions. They must also be willing to collaborate with key stakeholders, such as community leaders and social activists, to truly understand the needs of their users and the larger social issues at play. It’s easy to push forward in the design process with excitement, but it takes a firm step back sometimes in order to create a design that can impact.

So, what skills are required for experience designers to design successfully for social impact? First and foremost, empathy is key. By understanding the needs and perspectives of users, experience designers can design solutions that truly meet their needs. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills are essential for identifying and addressing larger social issues. However, designers cannot do it alone, effective social impact design requires collaboration and partnerships between designers, communities, and other stakeholders. This helps to ensure that solutions are grounded in reality and that they are tailored to the specific needs of the communities they are designed for. Relationship and network mapping is key here.

Students who recently started the latest cohort of our UX/UI Career Development Bootcamp have spent this week exploring how to design solutions that can improve the carbon footprint of individuals. And again it starts with empathy – by going out into the real-world and speaking to people across the city directly about their ways of travelling, working and living, they’ve been able to use design thinking to define the challenge that exists and understand how high carbon footprints are endangering our planet. These findings can often have a profound impact, and can provide the stimulus required to build a desire to work further on social impact projects.

So how else can experience designers expand on their skills and get involved in designing for social impact? One way is to seek out opportunities to volunteer or intern with organisations that focus on social impact. This can provide valuable hands-on experience and the chance to work with experts in the field.

Additionally, participating in design thinking workshops, design days (for example, we recently ran a design day here at Experience Haus for our alumni where we explored tacking the often fractured relationship between young people and the police), hackathons, attending conferences and workshops, or taking classes on social impact design, can help designers to expand on their skills.

You could even decide to start your own social impact venture and take your fledgling startup concept into a socially focussed incubator program for further mentorship, support and enablement.

I firmly believe that experience designers have the power to make a real difference in the world. You have the skills and expertise to create solutions that can address some of the most pressing social issues of our time, and by working in partnership with communities and key stakeholders, you can create solutions that are inclusive, equitable and that can have a real and lasting impact on society.

So let’s make this a call to action: Designers, you have a responsibility to use your skills and expertise to make a positive impact on society – use more of your talents, creativity and problem-solving skills to improve the lives of people and the planet.

The Future of Work: How design education is preparing students today.

As Experience Haus enters its 6th year of operations, it continues to be part of our mission as an educational team to ensure that our students leave prepared for the rapidly changing job market and the future of work.

The impact of technology on the future job market and workforce is undeniable (the last few weeks have been dominated by exciting conversations around the potential of ChatGPT for example), and it has become essential, if not critical, that we are providing our students with the skills and knowledge they’ll need to succeed in the future.

It is important to recognise that the future of work, however, will not just solely be about technology. It will also be about unlocking creativity, innovation, and problem-solving. These are the skills that are at the core of what we like to call design education, and the pillars of the Experience Haus offering. By teaching our students to think differently and to approach problems from a design perspective, we are equipping them with the skills they need to succeed in the future of work, and to become the leaders of tomorrow.

But what does the future of work actually look like? What are the jobs of tomorrow, and what other skills will be in demand? These are important questions that we must consider as we prepare to further enhance our product set and course outcomes.

One thing is certain, the future of work will be highly dynamic and constantly shifting. The jobs of tomorrow may not even exist today. This is why it is crucial that we are teaching everyone who comes through our doors to be adaptable and to continuously learn new skills. The mindset of continuous learning must be embedded within each learner, and we must do our best as educators to ensure all students understand the now almost mandatory requirement to be lifelong learners. This will ensure that as they enter their careers, they can adapt and evolve as the job market and the world around them changes.

It will remain an important part of our mission that we design, develop and provide a holistic education that integrates design, business, and technology. The future of our society will require even more well-rounded designers who can ideate, design and create innovative solutions, and also plan how to deliver them successfully to market. Furthermore, they need to be able to understand the perspectives of others through empathy, and be able to sell the vision of their impact through effective storytelling.

By providing opportunities for hands-on experience, real-world projects (our students are matched up with live design challenges from startups led by passionate founders) and problem-based learning, design education can help students develop the skills they need to succeed confidently, and credibly, moving forward. We have always aimed to be uniquely positioned to foster these skills in students, and it’s a delivery challenge that the Experience Haus instructional team enjoys taking on.

I am excited about the future of work and the opportunities it presents for everyone. By providing the skills, knowledge and resources that students need to succeed in the future of work, we are not only preparing them for the jobs of tomorrow, but also for a lifetime of success.

Moving forward, I implore everyone to think about the following:

  • How do you feel design education is preparing students for the future of work?
  • What skills do you think will be in demand in the future of work and how are you yourself developing them?
  • How do you see the impact of technology on the job market in the near future, and how are you preparing for potential challenges and changes?
  • What strategies do you think design education institutions like Experience Haus should adopt to better prepare its students for the future of work?

I look forward to more conversations around this topic in the coming months. In closing, as an educator reading this, it’s your job to ensure you leave an impact on your students as they prepare for the future of work, and as a design student who may be reading this, it’s your job to think about how to take advantage of the opportunities in front of you today, in order to take advantage of tomorrow.

How the Metaverse Could Transform UX Design Education

As the world becomes increasingly digitised, the concept of the metaverse – a virtual shared space, created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical reality and physically persistent virtual space – is gaining more and more attention. And with the rise of the metaverse comes the opportunity to explore new and innovative ways of teaching and learning.

It is likely that the market for metaverse-based education and training will continue to grow as the technology matures and more organisations begin to explore its potential uses. Of course, it’s hard to predict the exact size of the opportunity in the education and training field, but given the increasing interest in the metaverse and the potential benefits it can offer for online learning, the market is expected to be substantial.

Also worth mentioning is that in general, the global e-learning market size has been valued at close to 200 billion USD in 2022 and is expected to grow each coming year, And this global e-learning market growth is driven by technological advancements and increasing adoption of digital and online learning platforms, which is exactly where metaverse can fit in. Impressive right?

One area where the metaverse has the potential to revolutionise education is in the field of user experience (UX) design. Traditionally, user experience design has been taught through a combination of lectures, workshops, and hands-on projects. There are virtual reality platforms that are currently being used for education, including virtual reality simulations and online virtual learning environments. However, the main question has always come down to how engaging these approaches are, and if students truly benefit from them.

What the metaverse brings to the table is the possibility of creating immersive, interactive learning environments that can take students on a journey through the design process in a way that is both engaging and realistic.

Photo by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash

Imagine being able to walk through a virtual version of a website or app, exploring the user interface and user flows in a fully immersive environment. Students could work through design challenges and user testing scenarios, getting immediate feedback and guidance from instructors and mentors. What about the co-creation opportunities, for example, running research workshops in a virtual version of the exact environment a future product may be used in? The metaverse opens up the possibility of virtual collaborative design sessions, allowing students to work on projects with their peers from around the globe.

The potential of the metaverse to transform design education is exciting and limitless. By leveraging this technology, we can introduce dynamic and interactive learning experiences that engage and inspire students in a way that traditional methods simply can’t. As the metaverse continues to evolve, it’s important for design educators to stay up to date and consider how it can be used to enhance the teaching and learning process.

And as a design school, Experience Haus is always looking for ways to enhance the learning experience for our students and prepare them for the future. The metaverse offers a unique and exciting opportunity for us to do just that.

By leveraging the power of virtual reality and immersive technologies, we aim to bring our design curriculum to life in a way that is engaging, interactive, and relevant to the real world. And giving our students the opportunity to learn and apply design in this manner will provide valuable hands-on experience that will prepare them for long-term success in the design field.

We believe that the metaverse has the potential to revolutionise the way we teach design, and we are excited to be at the forefront as we begin to experiment with this exciting new frontier in education.

Stay tuned as we share our experiments, learnings, thoughts, and of course for the announcement of our first metaverse-based course.

Why Maths Skills Are Crucial in Design Roles.

Rishi Sunak’s announcement last week that he wants all students to study maths until age 18 is great news for the creative world. Improving any nation’s numeracy skills is a crucial step in ensuring a strong and capable workforce for the future.

As a creative director of a design school with a focus on education that aims to help individuals move into creative roles within the workforce, and as someone with a Mathematics undergraduate degree, I believe that mathematics education should be a top priority in our plans. Investing in this now will pay off for both individuals and the economy as a whole.

Will it be suitable for everyone? No. Will not studying mathematics stop people from being successful? No. When I first enrolled in my maths undergraduate programme way back in 1999, I have to admit that I didn’t fully see the value of what I would be learning until quite a few years later. I can now fully understand why my mathematics education has played a pivotal role in how I’ve navigated my career. All I hope is that this announcement will encourage young people to see how this can be an advantage for them if they wish to pursue certain creative and design careers.

Before I explore the value of maths in specific roles, here are a few reasons why maths is important for those aiming to work in creative fields.

  • Maths can help with creative problem-solving: mathematics can help designers and product managers to approach problems in a logical and systematic way, and to break complex problems down into smaller, more manageable pieces. This helps ensure that all relevant factors are considered and that potential solutions are thoroughly evaluated.
  • Maths enhances design skills: many design principles, such as symmetry, balance, and proportion, are based on mathematical concepts. Understanding maths can help designers create more visually appealing and effective designs.
  • Maths can help with budgeting and planning: Creatives often work on projects with tight budgets and deadlines, and maths can help with budgeting and planning by allowing them to make more informed decisions about how to allocate resources. They might use financial modelling to predict revenue or profitability, or use statistical techniques to forecast demand for a product.
  • Maths enhances teamwork: Creatives often work in teams, and maths can help facilitate communication and collaboration by providing a common language and framework for discussing ideas.
  • Maths helps with data visualisation: Many creatives work with data in some capacity, whether it’s creating infographics or designing user interfaces. Maths can help with data visualisation by providing the tools and concepts needed to effectively represent data in a clear and concise way.
  • Maths helps with communication: Math can help product managers, designers, and strategists communicate effectively with stakeholders by providing a common language and framework for discussing data and ideas. For example, they might use data visualisation to present information in a clear and concise way, or use statistical analysis to support their recommendations.

Product Managers can use maths skills to help with demand forecasting, financial projections and helping to turn data into meaningful insights that can be presented to stakeholders in order to get crucial buy-in.

Mathematics can be a valuable tool in creative problem-solving, user experience design, and product management in a number of ways. Some specific ways that mathematics can be helpful in these fields include:

  • User Experience Designers: Maths can be used to create data-driven designs that are based on user behaviour and preferences. For example, mathematicians can help to analyse user data and create algorithms that can be used to optimise user flows and increase conversions.
  • Product Managers: Maths can be used to analyse market trends, forecast demand, and create financial projections for products. This can help product managers to make informed decisions about product development, pricing, and marketing strategies.
  • User Researchers: Maths can help user researchers determine the size and composition of a sample that is representative of the population they are studying. This is important because the study’s results will be more accurate and reliable if the sample is representative of the population. Maths can also help user researchers analyse the data they collect to identify patterns and trends. For example, they might use statistical analysis to determine whether there are significant differences between groups, or use regression analysis to understand the relationship between different variables.
  • Service Designers: Maths can help service designers simulate and model different design options to evaluate their performance. For example, they might use mathematical models to forecast the demand for a service or to understand the impact of different design choices on customer satisfaction.

Learning maths at a secondary school level can be incredibly beneficial for a creative or design career. Maths helps with problem-solving, enhances design skills, aids with budgeting and planning, facilitates teamwork, and helps with data visualisation. It is a valuable tool that can be applied in a variety of settings, from user research and product management to strategy and experience design, which we know are important roles in industry-leading organisations globally.

So, for those young people that are considering a creative or design career, don’t underestimate the importance of maths. It may just give these people the edge they need to succeed.

An Experience Haus Design Day Like No Other

Experience Haus Design Day

Young people and the police often have a negative relationship. Reputations differ on both sides and it often harms this particular relationship – it’s a complex challenge to address.

On Saturday 24th September, Experience Haus invited 50 students (16 – 21) from across London to join an inspirational and challenging one day event in our Shoreditch studio.

The task? To work alongside Experience Haus design alumni, as well as the City of London Police and Metropolitan Police, to create a series of digital and service concepts that will determine this relationship between young people and the police. The ultimate goal for this event was to build young people’s trust and confidence in the police.

Experience Haus designers spent time asking both students and members of the police a range of questions to help them shape ideas around ways to improve relations between the two. The experts provided advice and guided the process to ensure the end solution was viable and technically possible.

Similar to previous hackathons, this design day was conceived and hosted in our Experience Haus studios, and we were lucky enough to be supported by a fantastic host of companies. The entire event was led by Digital Skills Consulting and sponsored by Amazon Web Services (AWS). Other organisations taking part included Barking & Dagenham College, Activate Learning, Hackney Youth Parliament, The Crib, The Wickers, Women’s Inclusive Team and the Osmani Trust.  

The workshop gave these young people a fantastic opportunity for them to explore future careers in design, tech and the police force. They met with mentors, employers, business and government leaders, and other students, helping to develop their communication, teamwork, creativity and networking skills.

Following the success of this event, future workshops have been planned with the students to develop their concepts, and business and personal skills.

Commenting on the event, Experience Haus’ Creative Director, Amit Patel said:

“It’s important to us that every voice is heard during the design of important products and services, especially when we are talking about tackling challenges that have social impact.

Experience Haus is proud to play a pivotal role in this, and days like today bring together our growing design community, as well as inspiring the future creatives of tomorrow.

It’s been enjoyable watching the empathy, storytelling and collaboration unfold between everyone involved, throughout the day.”

Chief Inspector Ray Marskell from the City of London Police said: 

“This exciting event allowed us to engage with young adults from across London. We understand how important it is to maximise opportunities to meet and get to know the communities we serve better. We are grateful to AWS for their support, along with partners from the Metropolitan Police Service. It was an enlightening experience to hear the group’s ideas about how we can improve our relationship with younger people, and we are committed to building on their solutions and bringing them to life where possible.” 

Chief Inspector Lucky Singh from the Metropolitan Police said:

 “This was an amazing event that allowed the Metropolitan (Met) and City of London Police (CoLP) to focus and actively engage with young people, especially from underrepresented groups and females. 

We are extremely grateful to Experience Haus for hosting the event. There were many great ideas, suggestions and possible solutions put forward that we are confident will help build better relations between young people and the Police services. The Met and CoLP will continue working alongside AWS and Digital Skills Consulting to deliver these workshops” 

Amazon Web Services, Head of Justice and Public Safety, John Pittaway said: 

“This was an inspiring event that gave young people the opportunity to have their voices heard by City of London Police (CoLP) and Metropolitan Police (Met) and be involved in designing solutions that will help to improve relations between young people and police. We look forward to continuing the partnership with CoLP, Met and young people from London to address these important topics.” 

Digital Skills Consulting develops projects with the private sector, working with FE colleges, Institutes of Technology and charities to provide students with real-world challenges and experience. Director Julia Von Klonowski said: 

“It has been amazing to see these young people confronting real-world, social issues that affect them in their daily lives and working closely with representatives from law enforcement and the technology sector. “These students have shown tremendous courage, ingenuity and a sense of community. Some really interesting and exciting ideas were shared. We are extremely grateful to our sponsor AWS and all the stakeholders who gave their time to make the event such a success. We look forward to seeing how these ideas are developed.” 

Introducing our 5 Day User Experience Design Bootcamps…

User Experience Design Bootcamps

The Experience Haus 5 Day User Experience Design Bootcamp ‘at a glance’

  • An immersive course that covers the end-to-end process used for designing digital products
  • Specifically for 16-24 year olds (current secondary, college and university students)
  • Class will be held everyday in our Shoreditch design studio (from 9:30am-5:00pm)
  • Learn design thinking, product strategy, user experience (UX), and user interface design (UI)
  • with the industry leading tool, Figma.
  • Work on real-life design challenge set by a local business
  • Set in a leading design agency in the middle of London’s creative hub
  • Lunch and refreshments will be provided each day.

Founded in 2017, and in partnership with leading design consultancy Matter Of Form, Experience Haus has become a market leader in Design Education.

We believe that Design Education will be pivotal in changing the world. Design Education puts an emphasis on the real problems facing businesses – the need for a balanced focus between business strategy and customer experience.

What is User Experience Design?

User experience (UX) design is the process design teams use to create products that provide meaningful and relevant experiences to users. This involves the design of the entire process of acquiring and integrating the product, including aspects of branding, design, usability and function.

A User Experience Designer is the person who is responsible for conducting user research, defining who the customer is, figuring out the right features and flows a product should have, and designing the concepts that are ready for developers to go away and build. UX design is a fast-paced and growing skillset, and an exciting career path moving forward.

About the 5 Day User Experience Design Bootcamp.

This comprehensive 5 day bootcamp is specifically designed for 16 – 24 year olds looking for a real-world learning experience. It covers everything you need to design digital products in the future – user research tactics, design thinking, how to manage clients, product and business strategy, user experience (UX) and user interface design (UI). All of which will come together to play an important role in making successful products.

Students will enjoy a mix of lectures, talks and collaborative workshop time, where they will get to practice learnings immediately and apply them to a real-life project set by a local business.

Who is it for?

This course is specifically designed for 16-24 year olds (including current secondary, college and university students). Our mission is to make our training fully accessible for everyone. So with Experience Haus there is no application process as such, no interview and no waiting to find out if you’ve ‘made the cut’.

There are no pre-requisites to take the course, but having a keen interest in design definitely helps. The course is perfect for anyone who is looking to add digital product design skills to their existing skillset and knowledge areas, and to gain valuable work, life and career experience. There is no need to have any knowledge of particular software as you will be taught everything along the way.

Dates and Costs.

We will be running this bootcamp 4 times this summer. 
Choose the week that works best for you.

  • August 1st, 2022 – August 5th, 2022
  • August 8th, 2022 – August 12th, 2022
  • August 15th, 2022 – August 19th, 2022
  • August 22nd, 2022 – August 26th, 2022

Classes will be held each day, Monday to Friday, from 9:30am to 5:00pm.

Each group will be capped at 8 students.


The bootcamp cost is £995.00 per student.
 Discounts are available for group bookings.

To book your space:
Visit www.experiencehaus.com/ux-bootcamp, select the week that works best for you, choose your preferred payment option, receive your pre-course work, then wait for Day 1.

If you have any questions please email enrol@experiencehaus.com​​

Experience Haus x City Of London Alumni Hackathon


On Saturday 7th May, 40 of our Experience Haus alumni descended on our studio in London to take part in another of our popular full day design hackathon. These events are open to everyone across our Experience Haus community, so we had students coming in who had taken part in various different courses, from product design to service design. Our alumni started arriving from 9:30am and at 10:00am we revealed the most anticipated part of the day: the brief and client for the day. 

Who was the client?

For this hackathon, we were lucky enough to be given a brief from the City of London Education Strategy Unit (ESU). The ESU is a strategic team within the City Corporation that exists to extend and enrich education experiences in the City and beyond to help all learners realise their full potential. Their focus is on ‘additionality’ – the parts of the education experience that sit outside of their core, statutory requirements of a school.

The design challenge

All over the world, there’s a growing belief that traditional models for schools and curriculums are broken. Employees have made it clear that increasingly, entry level employees aren’t equipped with the most sought after skills. At the same time, young people increasingly feel like what they learn, and how they learn it, is completely detached from the people they are and the world they live in. 

For the first time in decades, the global education landscape is in a state of radical change. Efforts to explore the future of schooling are underway all over the world – but often without the involvement of the most important stakeholders – the learners. 

The ESU wants to ensure they deeply understand the learner perspective on this topic, and they believe technology can really help this. Therefore, the challenge the ESU proposed to our community was to come up with a digital solution that helps secondary-age learners show the world how they would re-invent school or the education system, if they were given the chance to do so. What would they want to learn about and why?

Tackling the challenge

With a wide, and incredibly exciting challenge to get to grips with, we split our students into seven groups of 5 and from 11am – 6pm, they worked through the entire end-to-end design process, from research to ideation to prototyping, and finally pulled together a presentation at the end of the day that met the design challenge. It was amazing to see how much work they all managed to achieve in seven hours and has given the ESU lots of food for thought! 

Reflecting on the day, Torri from the ESU commented that ‘the whole exercise will help [the ESU] to be super focussed and effective with our next steps on this project.

A huge thank you to Experience Haus. It has been a real privilege to be involved in the project and for so much work to have gone into this, on behalf of trying to crack one of our challenges.”

Amit Patel, Creative Director & Founder of Experience Haus said: “This was the fifth time we’ve run this event and we look forward to running them even more frequently in the future. We have a fantastic studio for our students to enjoy, so we look forward to hosting them again in the future.”

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.


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.