Career Advice

Beyond Expectation — More than a 6-week Experience Design Course

3
min read
Shandi Leung

The market has been flooded with UX bootcamps from a spectrum of organisations, part-time and full-time, which puzzled me which one to join if I'm to switch my career and to fit my schedule. I have compared different courses in terms of syllabus, price, time involvement, quality of instructor and course reputation. More importantly, the employment rate of graudates used to concern me a lot as making a career change has been my ultimate goal.

And then here came H Academy, the only bootcamp I encountered where the instructor never promised that his students could get a UX job upon graduation. However, I feel grateful to have enrolled in this Experience Design Course (Foundation) from H Academy coordinated by Julio and instructed by Michael Tam, an experienced UX professional in the industry.

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Before studying the course, I have enrolled in some online courses, such as IBM Enterprise Design Thinking, and read a lot of online articles about user experience design. The theories appeared to be easy to understand and a bit like "commonsensical" to me, and I even thought, "Great! Now that I have some prior knowledge, I can perform better in the class!". As far as applying the theories into real life scenarios is concerned, it's surprisingly difficult.

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In our group activities in the early phase of the course, for instance, we had to formulate the design prompts, "Design a better way for (users) to (achieve a goal)" for 4 selected scenarios. It may sound easy peasy, but it took a long time for us to define who the target user should be and what the "real" pain point the user faced; at the same time, the definition could not be too narrow or too broad which might affect our decision making. Again, theory is easy, application of it is harder than expected. We can never know if we fully understand the concept of design thinking until we really apply it in practice, and it's one of the values only f2f courses, rather than online courses, can bring us.

Another factor that I think make this an outstanding course is that we had the opportunity to involve in a real life project from a real company, which allows us to further demonstrate what we have learnt and then practise it. For instance, we kept looping and iterating till the last few days of our presentation! I'm sincerely grateful to have worked with my dynamic and energetic teammates, Billy, Chloe and Julia, each of whom possesses unique expertise and I have learnt a lot from them. I appreciate Billy that he was a good listener and always got us back to the right track. I also appreciate Chloe for her good analytical skill and presentation skill. I appreciate Julia for her amazing ideas and beautiful graphic designs too.

I'm glad to have worked with Privé, and would like to show my appreciation to Charles, Baala and Douglas for giving us freedom in developing our ideas, providing us with useful references and coming to our presentation even on weekend! Below is a photo us,Team Privé!

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The career workshops provided by Sho from Workhap were useful for me to kickstart my Linkedin profile ( I just set up my Linkedin account few days ago!) and to revise my CV. Besides the workshops, the course coordinator Julio provided guidance for my career planning as well.

Last but not least, it would not have been such an inspiring and wonderful learning experience without Michael and our two teaching assistants, Karen and Shirley, who insisted to stay behind after class just to provide us with further guidance on our learning and project. Their genuine enthusiasm in the UX industry and nurturing young UX designers is simply inspiring.

It's reasonable for people not to be able to get a UX job right after graduation from a mere bootcamp because the multidisciplinary nature of User Experience is more than a course can offer. Although it's just a 6-week part-time course, what I attained from it is absolutely beyond my expectation.

Don't miss out my other lovely coursemates! Christy, Cora, Crystal (who experiences foggy glasses in meetings and saved me from the locked office), Freda, Jasper, Joey, Karen (who often misses her bus for work), Kayla, King (who struggles with his passwords at work all the time) and Vivian !

Look forward to seeing you in the Global Service Jam in the coming 2 weeks!

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