In August 2021 I completed the Harness Projects Career Launcher UX course. I've now been able to land a UX Design role at IKEA shortly after completing my course.
My first project was with Lendlease to design a digital storytelling experience to share stories of historical significance in Circular Quay’s newest precinct – Sydney Place. Our mentor took us through the entire design process, including stakeholder interviews, user interviews, user personas, customer journey mapping, sketches, wireframes, prototypes, usability testing, and design iterations. On top of our design solution, we completed weekly workshops and design activities with our mentor, which I found extremely valuable, such as affinity mapping, idea canvases, and lean UX canvases.
My second project was with IKEA completing a UX Research Audit on IKEA’s customer feedback channels. I knew I had an interest in UX research, so it was great to do a project that focused purely on this first half of the design process, as it really confirmed this for me. I undertook stakeholder interviews as well as various UX research methods, including expert reviews, competitor analysis, and user interviews.
My third project was with Communiteer developing a UX solution to integrate gamification techniques to the Communiteer Platform. I really enjoyed having the time to focus on the second half of the design process and working with my mentor to develop these skills further. While I undertook some of my own UX research, my main focus was on my prototype, usability testing, and iterations.. On top of our design solution, our mentor took us through live examples of design systems, design softwares, and their personal design experiences, which I found really helpful.
I was offered a job with IKEA after my second project. It was great having the opportunity to meet and collaborate with the client throughout our research, as well as giving our individual presentations at the end of the project. It was a great opportunity to demonstrate my skills and ideas, and a great networking opportunity. I was very fortunate to be offered a role while still completing the rest of my course.
I have a background in marketing and came across UX throughout my work. I was interested in upskilling, and when I found Harness Projects with the opportunity to work on live projects I decided to do it.
I had a great experience with Harness. I really enjoyed all 3 of my projects, in particular the variety and balance from research to design. This gave me the opportunity to experience different areas of UX and start to understand my personal strengths and interests.
As expected, I developed my UX skills throughout the course across both research and design. However, I also developed many other professional skills that I wasn’t anticipating. I found my presentation skills and communication skills improved a lot. The small class size meant I was encouraged to contribute and collaborate with my teammates often. It also meant we all got a lot of opportunities to present our working ideas regularly throughout the course, which I found really helpful.
It was quite a challenge balancing work and study. But the course was really well structured, so I always knew my work load for the weeks ahead and could plan accordingly. It took a lot of organisation and discipline, but those are also skills I took with me as a designer.
The live projects are what made the course for me. Working on real design problems and solutions, as well as developing a portfolio as I studied, was amazing. Also having the mentor’s guidance and support throughout the projects was invaluable.
Follow Angie’s footsteps and check out our Career Launcher UX Course.