Product Design Course London Archives - Experience Haus

Instructor Profile: Bart Weaver

UI-instructor-sitting-on-sofa

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

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

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

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

Did you have a specific goal you wanted to achieve before you started teaching at Experience Haus? Do you think your time here so far has kept you on the right track?

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

What is your teaching philosophy?

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

What do you enjoy most about teaching at Experience Haus?

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

Student Success Story: Dave Robson

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

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

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

What made you choose Experience Haus?

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

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

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

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

What did you enjoy most about the course?

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

What was your one big takeaway from the course?

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

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

Student Success Story: Ali Watson

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

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

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

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

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

What made you choose Experience Haus?

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

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

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

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

What did you enjoy most about the course?

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

What was your one big takeaway from the course?

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

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.

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!

Student Success Story: Maggzie Walczak

ux and ui student sitting in her room practicing design

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?

Before I joined Experience Haus, I spent a long time looking for that thing I wanted to do in my life and I wasn’t finding it. I was working on yachts for 6 years as a chef and travelling, really going with the flow but I did come to a point where I thought I couldn’t do this forever. I had always been interested in design, not so much in art but in practical, beautiful things. I wanted to study industrial design but it was out of my reach as I wasn’t very skilled in painting and drawing which was necessary to get to arts school. I was always interested in psychology – I have lots of books on it. When my friends look at my bookshelves, they’re like “what do all of these have in common…nothing!” There’s economics, psychology, design, management etc.

Back in 2020, I realised I needed to do a course in something, so I started looking at different jobs and found UX and thought “oh my god, everything makes sense, this is great!” At one point I thought about doing product management as I’m very organised but as soon as I found user experience design I thought it made perfect sense. It combines everything I’m interested in: business, design and psychology.

What made you choose Experience Haus?

I did a bit of research and reading and started thinking about courses to do and your advert actually popped up on my Instagram! The school looked super cool and the people who were there seemed like people I would hang out with (although Covid didn’t allow that to happen!) I had a call with Joe and Amit and just felt they were there to listen to me and what I wanted to get out of the course. I did say from the beginning I would be asking lots of questions as I was very passionate about this. I did go to General Assembly for a presentation on their course but they said they would cover certain things during the class which they didn’t, so I found them a bit untrustworthy. They also didn’t have a proper course syllabus whereas Experience Haus did.

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

I wanted to get as much experience as possible and learn as much as possible. I was that person that always had a million questions to ask! It was important that the course had a practical element that I could then add to a portfolio. It was also really important to be able to talk to people who were actually doing user experience and knew what they were talking about, rather than just learning the theory.

What did you enjoy most about the course?

There were a number of things I really enjoyed about the course. Working on a real client brief was essential to me. Learning things by doing them is the best way and practicing constantly. It might feel like you are spending a long time not getting anywhere but then one day it’ll all click! The support I got and all the 1-1 sessions I had were amazing. I truly believe supported people support people which is why I want to now give back to the Experience Haus community. I received so much support in changing jobs from you guys, from the government, from other people I’ve met along the way and now I want to give back.

Product Design Alumni Profile: Rich Osorio

rich osorio alumni profile experience haus

Tell us a little about what you’re up to now? 

I’m a freelance graphic designer; I’ve always been interested in digital design but my experience has been predominantly in print for brands everyone would know and smaller independent businesses. Since I completed the 10 week part-time course in Product Design, I’ve been working on some UX/UI side projects whilst further building my portfolio.

What made you choose Experience Haus?

A few factors helped me choose Experience Haus; knowing the classes would be capped to 8 students was one of the main reasons, as I knew it would be quite an intimate learning experience with plenty of one-on-one time with the coaches. In addition to that, the price, the industry experience of the coaches, and the fact that the learning would be applied directly to a real world project.

What did you want to achieve from your Experience Haus course? Do you think that objective was fulfilled?

My main objective for joining the course was to gain a better insight into the world of UX; the tools, the processes, and ultimately if it was for me – I feel like I got all three. UX is now definitely a strong contender for next steps in my career.

Product Design Alumni Profile: Chris Magoba

product design ux ui experience haus

Tell us a little about your current work? 

Before starting the Product Design UX/UI course, I had recently graduated from university and was working as a freelancer; and prior to this I had been an intern, working in consumer products for a multinational media & entertainment company. Shortly after finishing the course, I secured a permanent role as an Associate Product Designer for a fin-tech start-up. One thing I love about the role is that there’s lots of potential to work in different areas and learn from the wider design team.

What made you choose Experience Haus?

After a few days comparing different courses, I chose Experience Haus because I felt I’d get the most meaningful teaching and also the best value for money. The biggest draw, for me, was the fact that while studying on the course we’d actually be working individual on real briefs for real start-ups.

What did you want to achieve from your Experience Haus course? Do you think that objective was fulfilled?

The main things I wanted to get out of this course were general experience working on a project, end-to-end, in the context of digital products & service; and to get a better understanding of UX/UI design best practices. I also wanted something more relevant to add to my portfolio and hopefully make connections that could lead to job opportunities.

Instructor Profile: Aditya Tripathi

aditya product management experience haus

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

I currently work as a Sr. Product Marketing Manager at VMware. My business area within VMware creates automation and tooling for software developers. There are usually referred to as “platform” or “DevOps” products. Previously I was a product manager here at VMware, and at Amazon before that. I was part of Amazon’s largest vendor business – think Prime but for large companies. In all my product roles, I’ve loved creating business impact with new technology, while delighting end users. In a previous career, I’ve worked in software engineering roles at a couple of investment banks. 

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 learnt a lot of things about product management by accident and experiment. In teaching this course, my hope was to pass on my experience to others so they don’t make the same mistakes I did! So far my students consistently tell me what I’ve taught them has been relevant to them at work – so I feel like I am on the right track!

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe effective teaching requires a lot of empathy. You really need to understand your student’s context and learning styles to deliver your content effectively. I endeavour to understand as much as I can about my students through in-class dialog, so I can tweak my content and delivery over time.

What do you enjoy most about teaching at Experience Haus?

At Experience Haus, I meet a range of people – some are only curious about digital skills whereas others are actively looking at transitioning into a digital role. I love conversations with my students about the new skills they could acquire and what impact those skills might have on their careers. Enabling someone to make the right decision for their careers is something I really care about, and get to do a lot at the Haus! I also love how much I have to think about my daily work as a product marketer / product manager, in order to teach my classes effectively.

Startup Profile: The Float

the float experience haus

Tell us a little about your company and your current team 

The Float is a finance company founded in 2018. The business was started as a way to ease cashflow issues among freelancers by paying them upfront on their invoices while their clients would pay us in 60 days time.

The current team consists of Mike Garrod, a media professional with over 20 years of experience, and myself, Neeraj Dhanothia, a finance and operations executive.

What was the brief you gave your student at Experience Haus? What were they able to produce for you?

The brief given to the Product Design student was on testing the design of some new features we want to add to the platform in the future.

The student spent some time researching the market to identify the actual issues that we are looking to solve with the new features, researching the alternatives available and making design recommendations on what the new features should look like to be useful. The end result was a slick presentation that forms the basic idea that we will further develop to create the new features on.

How have you been able to use this?

We continue to stay in touch with the student, though the output is not yet in production. We plan on implementing her new feature and design ideas in the near future and will absolutely reach out to her when that happens.