Career Paths

“Put user needs first and co-create with real world companies”

3
min read
Mikaela Thompson

1) Why did you want to take a UX design course in HK? What got you interested?

Everyone is a heavy user of many digital products nowadays, but how might we design good digital products? Skills and knowledge are indeed very important assets to inform a good design, but I believe there’s something else that is more important. I wanted to take an UX design course that inspires me to explore the world with design thinking and practices. I wanted to learn how to ask the right questions to get the right answers.


2) What made you choose H Academy over other boot camps/courses in HK? Could you list down the key traits you were looking for in an ideal academy?

I wanted to learn things by doing. And by doing, I meant doing things in-person literally. H Academy, unlike many other bootcamps & courses in Hong Kong, offers a 6-week course with real-life group projects. There’s nothing better than failing cheaply & achieving together with like-minded people.

3) What is your best memory from the course? What was your key learning?

My best takeaway from the course is the idea of IBM design loop. I would describe myself as a jumpy person and I always have an abundance of ideas on how to solve a problem. As much as I respect this is how I am naturally, I saw it as a flaw because I became incompetent in solving the problem at the end of the day. However, with the design loop concept, it has helped me to systemise my thinking process - from observe, reflect, to make. The abundance of my ideas no longer equals unsolved problems, but a resourceful pool of options.

4) What is your feedback on Michael? The real-world projects? And Karen and Shirley?

Design is hard to teach, in the same way that teaching someone to make good decisions is hard. But you can always remind someone to be more empathetic, observative, and analytical, and Michael is very good at it. Michael is a great UX design leader, who constantly pushes you forward and challenges your presumptions. But this is not what makes him unique. He shared his knowledge in UX design with his many years of experience in the advertising industry and his love in design. This is what makes him and the course unique.

Karen & Shirley were my classmates from the first batch. I’m very proud of their growth. They have not only been active learners throughout the course, but also shared their experiences & knowledge with enthusiasm as teaching assistants in classes of other batches. It is very inspiring to anyone that wants to become an UX designer.

5) How has this course helped you? How are you applying the learning into what you do now?

After the course, I participated in several hackathons as I wanted to apply my learning to more real-world projects with other designers in the industry. I was glad that I made first place in the Global Service Jam 2021, and final 10 in the 2021 New World Group Eureka Nova Hackathon. As a co-founder of a creative agency, I have also begun to provide services in Web Design.

Outro

UX designers are hotly pursued by recruiters in HK, paid well and likely to stay in demand in the foreseeable future. The gap in supply and demand means recruiters often have to look abroad for candidates. Embarking now on a UX design career will position you well in the job market. However, UX design can fall under a number of job titles over a range of industries so make sure your post-grad job research covers all of these e.g., User researcher, UX researcher, Usability tester, Information architect, Experience designer, Interaction designer, UX strategist, UX architect, UX product manager, UX analyst, UX engineer, UX developer, Product designer.

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