First week of UXDI was a lot but in the best way possible.

Hi, I’m Jess a graphic designer/marketing coordinator embarking on her journey to becoming a UX designer in 2023.

I came into the first day with open eyes and full of excitement. Excited to learn new things and meet new faces! Everyone in my class was super nice and share similar experiences as to why they enrolled in the course — the main one being they wanted a career change. Knowing this made me feel reassured and keen to start collaborating.

The course follows many frameworks and methods. It was a bit daunting to get your head around all the different types, their functions and where, when and how to use them. Some of the methods that were highlighted this week are — user interviews, field studies, affinity mapping, usability testing, user surveys, ideation, HMW statements, crazy8s, wireframing, prototyping and many more! You best believe my notion board was working overtime.

Coming from a branding and marketing background I found that frameworks work well for me in my design process so of course, when I discovered GA follows the ‘Double Diamond’ framework I was immediately intrigued and really latched onto it when I started working on Project 1 (P1). It follows similar design thinking that I was taught (and maybe forgotten) during my university days, so it was a great refresh for me personally.

Personas are another method that I do have experience with, coming from a design and marketing background — except UX design put personas to a whole new level. There are empathy maps and journey maps that can be connected to personas to further empathize and understand them. To be honest, I am still figuring out how and when to use journey maps but hopefully, with more practice, I’ll be able to do it on the back of my hand.

So yes, there was a lot of information to process in a short amount of time but towards the end of the week, I found myself slowly getting familiar with some methods and UX lingo. I can give credit to the many screenshots I’ve taken throughout the class and project work— 72 screenshots to be exact. 🙃

On Wednesday my class had outcomes for half the day. Outcomes are led by Steph Gonzales who is a career coach who will help us prepare for a career in UX design. This is one of the reasons why I wanted to enrol with GA in the first place. I feel like this is so beneficial for me as I am one to dislike to job hunting process. Wednesday was truly the day it solidified why I should be here and why I wanted to do this course just from Steph’s talk alone.

In the first class, we were immediately notified about the first project which was due by the end of the week. The task was both group and individual work. My group and I were given the topic ‘Going on Holiday’ to research together, and then we worked up a paper prototype of an app individually.

The first part of the task was to create a research plan and conduct user interviews — this was definitely a challenge for me. Trying to extract valuable information from a user without making assumptions and asking leading questions is an art form. But I need to remind myself that it will take time and practice to finesse user interviews.

I absolutely loved working with my team. We all worked together well and supported each other every step of the way. Our ability to bounce ideas off each other made the work feel effortless and when any of us was confused, we would help each other out.

I found the second diamond in the double-diamond framework to be the most enjoyable; develop and deliver. I enjoyed ideating wild ideas from crazy8s and making paper prototypes. We used the app called ‘Marvel’ to make them usable so users can test them out. It was super fun. After that, we conducted usability testing which was SO insightful. I thought I built my prototype perfectly but nooo, the testing really highlighted areas I overlooked. It goes to show that testing (and testing again) is really important to the process.

Reflecting on P1, I would definitely change and add a few things. There are things that I have missed that would have steered my process in a different direction. As more classes go on, I can’t help but reflect back on P1 to improve it more.

So far I am enjoying learning new frameworks, methods, lingo and even new ways to structure my notion boards. I can’t wait till all the information really sinks in and I’m more focused on making solutions rather than focusing on if I am doing it right.

Stay tuned for Week 2.

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