Designlab UX Academy update report


#1

@HAWK not sure this is in the correct category, or if it should be added to one of the other school threads, but I know people have been wondering about “what happens next”…

I am pretty much finished with the course work at UX Academy. I have to say, I think it was really thorough, I learned a LOT of different techniques and was encouraged to use ‘design thinking’ throughout the course. I had long talk with Harish today about the program, and they are looking to add a review between phase 1, when you learn all the techniques, and phase 2, where you do the capstones. I think this is a great idea since it was so much information to absorb by the time I got to the capstone, I had to go back and remind myself what some of the early steps were. I took the full time course, which is 40 hours/week, and it pretty much really takes close to that amount of time. I personally wish I had done the part time course, so I could have taken it slower and spent more time really absorbing different elements, but that is a personal thing and may not apply to other students.

My mentor was excellent at the beginning of the course, he responded within 10=12 hours with lots of comments on the work I posted. However, when I got to the second capstone, he ran into some personal issues and wasn’t as available. I know if I had asked Designlab, they would’ve given me another mentor, but I decided to push through.

When I created my resume and portfolio, my mentor wasn’t as available as I would have liked, but Harish didn’t leave me hanging! He is one of the owners of the company and he worked with me every day for 2 weeks to get my portfolio and resume up to speed.

In my opinion, UX Academy teaches a thorough overview of UX and gives you a lot of tools. The mentoring system can be a great asset depending on your mentor, but also, students need to be proactive and speak up if they need something.

I think the most compelling reason to take UX Academy is the ongoing contact they have with students even after graduation. Harish told me today that they are bringing on a career coach next week, and I will be further mentored through the job search process by the career coach. He also suggested I continue to work on and improve my UI skills, and he suggested I post things on the slack channel to get feedback. I mentioned that I would like to do another project, but I don’t have the confidence to attack one on my own without a mentor or another team member, so he is going to look into matching me up with another student who is also looking to do a third capstone. Harish made some more suggestions on my portfolio which I will be working on next week.

The cool thing about UX Academy is that it feels like a community, I feel a connection with the mentors, owners of the company and other students. I think Designlab is doing a great job of encouraging that continued connection.

All in all, although I haven’t taken any other courses, I would highly recommend UX Acdemy. If anyone has any other questions, let me know, I’m happy to respond!


Designlab's new UX Academy program
DesignLab/UX Academy vs CareerFoundry
#2

Hey! Congratulations on finishing! I have a couple questions.

I’m hoping to get in and do the full time course so I’d love to hear more about how the work broke down for you on average in terms of time spent (reading, watching videos, doing projects, mentor time, etc.).

Secondly, you said you felt like you learned a lot but also didn’t feel confident to do another project alone. I’d love to know if you feel UX Academy has adequately prepared you for an entry-level job or if you are looking into doing some other programs now.

Thanks!


#3

This is perfect. It’s fantastic that you’ve come back and closed the loop. Much appreciated.


#4

Hey @youX

so the first half of the course, I’d say you spend 30-50% of your time is spent doing readings, videos. The rest is spent on assignments and projects. Each week you have 2 1-hour skype/hangout sessions with your mentor, and an additional 1-hour session with your co-students and a mentor (this hangout session isn’t required every week, but i think you have to do at least 6 of them graduate, and I found them really helpful). The second half of the course is AAALLLLLL project!

I do feel that I learned enough to get an entry level job, and I’m not planning to take any other programs, though I may add a few online classes like a beginner coding class, or a quick graphic design class. My own personal feeling is that I’m not comfortable tackling a project on my own, but I think that’s just a confidence issue that applies specifically to me.
hope that helps!
chris


#5

Chris,

Thanks so much for the honest review it definitely helps when trying to pick a course.

Biggest thing that scares me is coming out of a course and not feeling prepared to apply to UX jobs and actually feel like you have a shot at getting one…


#6

@CoolMike90 I know exactly how you feel man. I took the course as well and I feel like UXA really helped me jump start my career. But before I even took the course I would design everyday for about a month so I could be prepared. I’m still in the course but I’ve already landed an internship with no design background in my resume.


#7

That 120 percent makes me feel better. I know its situation dependant… but still encouraging. Can I ask what you were using to study for the first month ?

I probably have 2 months before I can afford to take a MOOC and would mind doing a couple of self study courses before than to get a good foundation.


#8

Have you seen our list of UX Courses?


#9

Actually I have and it’s wonderful!

I was just wondering if there was a specific course for a good overview and foundation for UX.

I noticed alot of courses are so different from one another, it’s not like Web Dev where a front end course is generally very similar to another front end course.


#10

Free or paid?


#11

Free or paid with a smaller budget…not looking to spend like more than 50 on something right now since boot camp is in the future


#12

I’d consider this one: http://courses.theteamw.com/an-introduction-to-the-user-experience

I might also be able to swing one of the paid courses for free if you were prepared to write a course review for our site.

We also award annual memberships to SitePoint Premium (which includes a whole raft of amazing books and courses, including this one) for Gold Members that go above and beyond the call of duty. Might be something to consider. :wink:


#13

I will check the first link out today when I get home from work :grin:

I also would LOVE to give you guys a review, I already have the Get Started in UX book which was a great overview of everything, I could review that no problem :smiley:

I didn’t realize that’s how Gold members got their Gold, but now i’ll keep that in mind. SitePoint has some wonderful things, I’ve bought their physical books in the past for other things.

Thanks again HAWK you are theeeeee best.


#14

I used to work there. It’s where I met @mattymcg and ultimately became part of UXMastery :slight_smile:


#15

#goals

Thats amazing!

Maybe one day… :heart_eyes:


#16

Chris,

I am getting closer and closer to signing up for the next cohort for Design labs UX Academy. As seeing the next start and finish dates line up with when i’d be ready to make a transition, its becoming more apparent I should jump in head first to meet my goals of landing a job and career changing. I’ve been using some of the resources Hawk has provided and they are wonderful to get myself a baseline.

Let me / us know if you have any more updates in your journey. :smile:

Thanks again,

Mike