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Instructor Profile: Joe Dollar-Smirnov


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

I am a Dad of two little kids with a long and varied background working in the tech space as a designer. Privileged to now be able to focus on an early-stage project close to my heart: cycling and the circular economy. In other words, rescuing bicycles from landfill, upcycling and renting them out on an all-inclusive subscription basis to our lovely customers.

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 goal I am always trying to achieve is work-life balance! It turns out that work-life balance does not mean equal work and equal life, of course, life needs to take priority. If anyone has found the key to this please let me know!!

I get a lot of enjoyment from teaching and sharing experiences from my career to date, so being at Experience Haus definitely helps to keep things in perspective.

What is your teaching philosophy?

Honestly, I have not thought about this too much, but it is important to always stay open to change and even more important to be open to the fact that you learn huge amounts from people (and students) around you. Learning and teaching are two sides of the same coin. Being a learner improves you as an educator.

What do you enjoy most about teaching at Experience Haus?

Small class sizes gives everyone a chance to form good relationships and allows instructors to be more proactive when it comes to helping students. Generally speaking the size of the business means it’s easier to know each other and there is a shared sense of responsibility for the success of everyone involved.

Instructor Profile: Oli Puttick


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: Dimitri Hadjichristou


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

I’m a Digital Product Designer at gohenry, a financial app service where children have a prepaid debit card that parents can transfer into in exchange for chores and allowances. I personally lead design in our network stack, where we focus on features and products that allow the child’s wider family network to send them money, increasing money channels, but also introducing lots of growth opportunities! 

I’ve been there for just over a year and a half and it’s been so much fun getting our product features into the hands of hundreds of thousands of customers and seeing how they use our product.

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 think I’ve always liked teaching and sharing knowledge. It started in school where a lot of my classmates would ask for my help with maths! I always got a bit of a kick out of helping people, which spurred me on to be a product designer as well as a course instructor.

If just one of my students per class is engaged and manages to land a new role or promotion, then I’ve done a good job. So far, a good few of my students have landed new roles or done entire career pivots, and that’s thanks to the hard work they put in both on and post-course.

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy focuses on learning through doing, always having a two-way dialogue rather than just telling the students what to do, and making sure things are current; creating contemporary case studies, rather than teaching outdated content. 

What do you enjoy most about teaching at Experience Haus?

My favourite thing about teaching is it always keeps me on my toes! I’m constantly looking for new ways to teach things, and make them more understandable, which not only dictates how I teach my classes but also helps me improve and adjust my design processes at work.

Additionally, during the process of moving from teaching in-person to online, I really had to step back to re-evaluate how I run workshops and making that format both engaging and appropriate for an online environment. It’s super rewarding when students get it at the end of a class, and so far I’ve seen some amazing engagement from our students which you can tell from the quality of their work.

Instructor Profile: Bart Weaver


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

Hey, I’m Bart! I’m a Product Designer working in London. My current role is with Trint AI, a transcribing and translating tool used by companies such as Airbnb, Nike and the New York Times. I wasn’t always a designer; I dabbled in the PR sector working for Adidas, Beats by Dre and Jack Daniels and have done my time in the events industry, building stages and assisting in event setups and festivals all over the UK. I have to say I have never been happier where I am now as a designer.

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?

You never stop learning in the digital design industry. Working alongside and skill swapping with other industry heads at Experience Haus has sharpened my skill set and kept me on an upward trajectory in my career.

What is your teaching philosophy?

Enjoy the ride, take it in your stride and trust the process.

What do you enjoy most about teaching at Experience Haus?

I get a buzz from helping prospective product designers find a new gig in the digital design industry. I’ve seen both students on the course and friends I’ve referred make a leap and get the role they wanted along the way.

Instructor Profile: Érin Delaney


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! 

Student Success Story: Andy Finlay

Male product design student sitting in Experience Haus studio

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?

Before I joined the course at Haus I was working as a designer at a business consultancy. They have large scale clients like HSBC and Virgin Media. The problem with working there was when you are employed as a designer you have a specific role and you don’t really flex away from that. Compared to my previous company which was a start-up where there was always lots going on and you can get involved in a lot of different thing, I felt I was a bit stuck in this role and wasn’t growing much. I was doing lots of UI and was very comfortable in that scope but I felt very stuck there with no room for flexibility. I felt I needed to keep learning and growing and really needed some UX skills, so thought joining a short course like Experience Haus would give me that exposure.

What made you choose Experience Haus?

Honestly, I think it was a case of Googling and looking at what was nearby…and you guys are literally round the corner from me!

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

My main goals were to grow my skill set and get exposure to UX. In my view the UI space is a little under threat because you have a lot of material design websites where you can download everything you want now like pattern libraries, free stock photos, logos etc and it’s almost eliminating the need for UI designers. And so if you are a UX’er with no UI skills you’ll be ok as you can download everything you want from Google, but if you are a UI designer with no UX skills, you don’t really have anywhere to go.

What did you enjoy most about the course?

The course all round was a very memorable experience. The classes were really engaging and interactive with great tutoring and good contextual examples to help us learn about the process which is what I enjoyed the most. I get curious about things I don’t fully understand and I was keen to learn more about UX. The courses helped me understand the product design process and filled those gaps in my knowledge. I was then able to put it into practice on the live brief which helped it stick in my mind! I can now easily recall the process from experience.

What was your one big takeaway from the course?

With quite a bit of industry experience behind me, I thought the course would be straightforward for me to understand, but it certainly wasn’t! It was a real challenge and I felt as if I was starting my design career from scratch. So one thing I took away was to be humble and more open minded as every day is a learning experience from which we can always improve ourselves, regardless of our background.

The Importance of Digital Skills in a Post-Pandemic World

In the last few years, as businesses have digitised, the demand for digital skills has soared and during the pandemic the digital space has become even more competitive than ever as businesses digitised to ensure their survival. With 150 million tech jobs set to be created in the next 5 years, the demand for professionals with digital skills has never been higher.

So what exactly are digital skills? 

The term ‘digital skills’ is fairly broad and can range from simply sending an email to designing the user experience of a website. A number of digital skills that are classed as ‘basic’ are no longer something employers ask whether people have, it is something that is immediately expected, and assumed! Some of these might include:

– Digital foundations skills: having access to and being able to use the internet.

– Communication: being able to send emails and use social media channels.

– Handling information and content: knowing how to access content on various devices and being aware that not all information on the internet is correct and reliable.

– Transacting: filling in online forms, setting up accounts and using secure payment methods when purchasing goods or services online.

Having knowledge of more advanced digital techniques can open up new career avenues, be it a new job in a completely different sector or an opportunity to get a better job in your current field of work. These skills can include, but are not limited to:

– Digital marketing skills: using tools such as pay-per-click advertising, search engine optimisation, email campaigns and pulling all of these together in a strategy.

– Social media management: looking at different channels, using tools to measure performance and schedule posts, refining your brand presence and voice on social media, and using influencer marketing.

– User Experience (UX): the experience of using a website or app is crucial to leading users to do what the website or app owner wants them to do. UX is key in making sure these websites, apps and any other digital platforms are intuitive and enjoyable for users. 

– Web analytics: allowing businesses to track their user’s behaviour patterns on various digital platforms and assess which digital campaigns have been more successful.

Why are digital skills important?

In the digital era, the need for these skills has never been higher. The average consumer attention span has dropped from 12 seconds to 8 seconds since 2000 and consumers now expect the relevant information to be given to them as quickly as possible. Therefore, UX designers are expected to create websites, apps and other digital platforms that meet these needs. It is also imperative that businesses know how their consumers think and act once they have landed on their sites so experts in web and data analytics are highly sought after. Essentially, those who can leverage digital technology for businesses are the ones who will be in high demand.

Importance of digital skills during Covid

When the world was plunged into lockdown in March 2020, businesses had to act immediately and pivot to a digital-only way of working, not only to ensure business continuity, but also to simply stay in contact with colleagues! In-person meetings turned into Monday morning Zoom calls, a quick catch up round the coffee machine became flurries of messages on Slack and after work drinks became the odd Zoom quiz on a Friday night. With this sudden surge to online, businesses had to immediately respond in order to keep up with the sudden change in consumer behaviour. During the pandemic, digital creatives who had experience using graphic design software like Illustrator and Photoshop were in higher demand as businesses seeked out new, creative ways to tell their brand stories. It was also imperative for companies to capture this new consumer behaviour in order to plan for their own future and finances, therefore there was a bigger need for those with web analytics experience. 

If the pandemic has highlighted anything in the working world, it is that you don’t have to be stuck in the same career for the rest of your life. Having spoken to a number of our students at Experience Haus a large number of people have taken a look at their current situation and decided to dedicate this time to pivot into something new. Digital skills courses like the ones we offer at Experience Haus have given people this chance to unlock new avenues they might have never thought about pursuing before. One thing we regularly tell those enquiring about our courses is that you’ll be surprised about the skills you can bring from your previous jobs that can translate into UX or product management.

Ready to enhance your digital skills?

Whether you are a beginner or experienced designer, we have a number of different courses that can take your digital skillset to the next level. 

Our in-person part-time Product Design (inc UX & UI) course covers research tactics, design thinking, stakeholder management, product management and user experience (UX) – all of which play an important role in making successful design decisions.

If you are interested in online learning, our part-time online User Experience & Interface Design course offers a more innovative and immersive approach to remote study. Learn the design process in just 10 weeks whilst working on a live brief for a real client. 

At Experience Haus, we believe students should finish every course with the confidence to enter the field. We place our students in small classes and match them with local startups to provide them with a live project brief to work on throughout the course. This means each student will complete a piece of work for their design portfolio.

The Top Ten Best UX Tools for Remote Working

In March 2020, with the Coronavirus pandemic sweeping across the globe and offices shifting from in-person to remote working, many designers saw this as a challenge. How would tasks be managed and prioritised? How would the team stay in touch? How would they be able to collaborate on projects in the way they did in-person? 

Nearly 18 months on, despite many offices welcoming their employees back into offices, it seems the combination of going into the office and working from home is here to stay. We have listed our top ten recommendations for the best UX tools to use whilst working remotely – from project management to remote testing.

Project Management Tools

Many UX/UI designers will be used to working with a project manager who is in charge of scheduling and overseeing tasks during a project. Whilst working remotely, it is important that designers manage their own daily workflow using a system that allows them to keep on top of various tasks. Here are a few of our recommendations:

1. Trello

Integrations include: Google Calendar, Google Drive and many more

Why is it useful for remote working designers?

– Trello is an easy-to-use tool for managing tasks from the start to the end of a project.

– Plan, track, prioritise and manage projects at a glance.

– Control the process by applying different tags, labels, using @ mentions to notify people of new tasks or updates, attach documents and put in deadlines.

2. Jira

Integrations include: Trello, Confluence, Bamboo

Why is it useful for remote working designers?

– Jira is better suited to more complex projects with strict deadlines.

– Implement labels, tracking time, deadlines and add members of the team to a specific task.

Two girls and boy working together on product design course

Communication and Idea Collaboration Tools

At the start of any project, it is extremely important to spend time generating ideas and gaining feedback from the whole of the team. There is now a wide variety of different tools in order to do this remotely, from online whiteboards to video calling platforms that allow teams to brainstorm and offer comments in real-time.

3. Mural

Integrations include: OneDrive, Dropbox, Microsoft teams, Jira, Slack

Why is it useful for remote working designers?

– Mural is a digital workplace to brainstorm ideas at an early stage of the project.

– Discuss design ideas before designing.

– Includes a HTML5 whiteboard that you and your team can draw directly on.

– Add sticky notes for feedback.

– Collaborate in real-time.

4. Slack

Integrations include: Google Drive, Jira and DropBox, Office and many more

Why is it useful for remote working designers?

– Slack allows design teams to chat, exchange files and automate design tasks easily. 

– Can create a variety of different teams and chats.

– Ability to track your chats – search for documents in conversations and directly mention team members.

5. Zoom

Integrations include: Google, Skype, Facebook and many more

Why is it useful for remote working designers?

– Schedule video meetings with colleagues or organise webinars with the public through Zoom.

– Screen share allows you to share work with team and make any changes in real-time whilst on the call.

– Share screenshots from a meeting or webinar.

– Send notes in the chat feature whilst on a call.

– Record meetings or webinars.

Design Collaboration Tools

Designing a product can take a lot longer if designers are working on different platforms, not knowing what each other is doing and having to wait for feedback from ongoing questions. We have selected the best tools that allow teams to collaborate together on various projects in real-time with features that allow others to give immediate feedback.

6. Sketch

Integrations include: Abstract, Overlay and InVision

Why is it useful for remote working designers?

– Sketch is a digital toolkit that’s suited to designers from beginner to advanced level.

– Has its own Cloud service to allow teams to collaborate on different projects.

– Able to create prototypes for both mobile and desktop.

– Share previews via links and get feedback with comments.

7. Figma

Integrations include: Slack, Trello, Jira, Maze

Why is it useful for remote working designers?

– Figma is a digital tool for designers to work collaboratively in real-time.

– Very similar to Sketch.

– Has prototyping functionality, so designers can create not only static pictures, but fully-clickable prototypes as well.

8. FigJam

Integrations include: Figma

Why is it useful for remote working designers?

– FigJam is an online whiteboard for teams to brainstorm ideas together.

– As a tool offered by Figma, any designs can be easily moved from FigJam straight into Figma.

– Use sticky notes, markers and emojis to express your ideas.

Remote Testing Tools

Working remotely has meant previous ways of in-person testing are no longer an option. Nonetheless, with the help of tools that incorporate video and audio, designers can now get the test results they need in a much faster manner.

9. Maze

Integrations include: InVision, Figma, Sketch and Adobe XD

Why is it useful for remote working designers?

– Maze allows you to test a concept before the development stage.

– Rapid testing.

– Results come in reports that includes data from heat-maps to misclicks.

10. UserTesting

Integrations include: Jira, Slack and Trello

Why is it useful for remote working designers?

– UserTesting allows designers to get very detailed input from their target audience.

– An audience is chosen from a range of demographics including age, country, language, knowledge of a particular product/device etc. This allows precise feedback.

Student Success Story: Gabrielle Corbett

ux and ui female student smiling on pink background

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 did the course with you from October – December 2020. The year before that in 2019 I had just quit my job in London and we were moving up to Scotland. I worked at a music company called Vevo. I was doing label relations (essentially client relations!) so I looked after Sony and then other independent records (like Domino Recording where I worked prior to Vevo). Part of that role was also production so making videos. Totally different to what I’m doing now! 

I knew I wanted to do something different. When I came up to Scotland I genuinely thought I’d get into production. I got a job in March 2020 but then because of Covid it kept getting pushed back before it finally fell through! I then started doing customer service at Amazon just to pay the bills, but it meant I could also do random stuff on the side. I reached out to other people and caught up with a friend I used to work with who now works at MadeBrave. She’s a Project Manager and we were what I like and what I do and she said I’d be really good at creating things eg. creating assets, doing production etc. I think she might have mentioned UX in her list of things I would suit and I liked the idea of it. I reached out to a friend who had done a 6 month course so did some research, read around the subject and then found Experience Haus!

What made you choose Experience Haus?

I just Googled various providers and found Experience Haus. I asked to speak to someone directly as I found the course interesting but I didn’t know if I could do it. I had seen some courses that were really expensive and all you did was turn up and watch videos! I’d done that sort of course before and it just didn’t work for me so it was really important joining a live course.  

There were a number of things that led me to do the course at Experience Haus: the small class size, the live project to put on our portfolios and the cost. Some courses I had seen just didn’t seem achievable for me with how much they were asking for. I hadn’t spent money on my personal development for ages so it was an important thing for me to commit to. I also chatted to someone who had done the course before who had done a complete career pivot similar to myself and that really helped.

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

The main thing was getting a job in UX but I knew this wouldn’t happen straight away, so having a good portfolio and a case study to add to my portfolio was key. I also knew about a small amount of Figma before I started the course but I wanted to get more familiar with it by the end of the course.

What did you enjoy most about the course?

Definitely being able to work in a team! It’s daunting to begin with being put with people you don’t know and not knowing whether you’ll work well together, but it was genuinely fun getting to know new people as it was a time where you weren’t able to go out and meet new people. At the beginning of the course you get imposter syndrome thinking you know nothing and that everyone else knows everything, but once you meet everyone you realise they’re all thinking the same thing!  

The other thing I really enjoyed was learning so many different skills. As I mentioned, I did know a bit about Figma before but now I’ve learnt some of the other skills I love it! I could spend hours on it and just get lost. 

What was your one big takeaway from the course?

Do as much as you can in the time you are given. I was working full time and weird hours at Amazon at the time and I knew other people weren’t working at all so it was just making sure I dedicated the spare time I had to it. It can be exhausting but you need to put the time in. You’re being taught a lot of things but half of it comes from what you do outside of class as well. It is important to have that right mindset. 

Right after the course, make sure you write up your portfolio immediately as I think once you don’t do it, you never will. I sunk my teeth into it and spent a week after the course just focusing on getting it done.

Student Success Story: Yulee Foster

product design female student posting for photograph

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 was working in retail at the time and I had always wanted to design but didn’t really know where to start and how to get into it. I was looking for a complete career change really. I then started to look at a number of different courses to do, found the Experience Haus one and signed up!

What made you choose Experience Haus?

I can’t remember exactly how I came across Haus but I think it was just a case of Googling! I also got in touch with someone who did the course and she said she really enjoyed it and told me how to get the most out of it. 

Ultimately, what led me to choose it was the fact it was part-time. At that moment I didn’t know for certain that this was what I really wanted to do – I was trying something completely new and didn’t know if it was going to be for me. I wasn’t looking for a full-time course as I was still working and didn’t have the time to dedicate to something like that. The Experience Haus course was a fantastic introduction to everything that I needed to learn to do and gave me the freedom to explore this new thing I wanted to do, without jumping head first into it.

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

I didn’t know how to go through the different design processes like experience mapping or affinity mapping, or pull projects together so that was something I was looking to get out of the course, and I did! Personally, it would have been hard to learn how to do it all by myself but it was nice to learn whilst working on a real life project at the same time.

What did you enjoy most about the course?

I know everyone probably says it but working on a real life project was definitely one of the most enjoyable things. I also really liked the research side because I had never really done it before. I’d designed my own fun things on the side so I felt confident about that aspect, but I’d never done research before, so going through the whole research project and organising everything into key findings was really fascinating. I learnt the importance research has in forming designs.

What was your one big takeaway from the course?

Following on from the above question, the research side and design processes for sure. I do actually use my PowerPoint presentations that I was given at least once every couple of weeks! Sometimes I think “how do I write a problem statement again,” and I know I could just Google it but there’s something about it being on a presentation and then remembering learning it in class. The presentations were the biggest literal takeaway for me!