In March 2021 I completed the Harness Projects Career Launcher UX course. I've now been able to land a UX role at Fetch shortly after completing my course.
Starting my UX journey by designing a mobile app and working with WIRES, who help rescue injured wildlife, was an instantly engaging experience, not only to feel a sense of making a difference, but also, as a live project it faced all the exciting challenges of the unknown.
Paired with an experienced UX professional as a mentor (who provided real world thinking and a direct approach to the field), plus a small group of fellow students, we jumped straight into the stakeholder interview, able to engage with the client directly, and begin to form ideas around the project expectations.
From there, I set off to research, interview, understand the user journey, create personas, wireframe ideas, test these ideas and create working prototypes of how I thought best to solve the clients brief. The course was completed by presenting my findings and prototype directly back to WIRES.
I found the project structure was the perfect way to manage a part-time learning on top of working full-time, with a 3 hour weekly workshop and supported course work.
I really enjoyed the experience, I felt I understood all the fundamentals of UX plus the success of completing a project and the outcome of a happy client.
Pivoting from a background in graphic design, I was excited to move into this advanced prototyping project, giving me a chance to develop my skills in the industry standard program, Figma.
For this project, the focus was to improve on the existing app, finding ways to boost engagement with new features, design a high fidelity prototype and ensure the usability of the design.
During the 7 weeks of this project I learnt how to use Figma, expand on the research techniques from the previous project, conduct research into competitors, understanding accessibility plus how to ensure the design meets the users needs.
This project really taught me the value of usability testing, to validate assumptions made while designing and being aware of best practices for accessibility to keep the user as the main focus to drive the design.
The project successfully wrapped up by presenting my report directly back to the client and showcasing my prototype. I was also successful in securing a job with Fetch following the completion of this project.
For my final project of the UX career launcher course, focussing on UX research, this project with One Roof was the perfect fit.
Ambitious to get into a new career, this project was a great motivator as I was tasked to provide research determining why there is a unbalance of female to male C-Suite positions (CEO, CFO, etc.), and what One Roof can do to work towards a solution.
The project had quite a wide scope, in developing a new product offering as well as targeting a new (somewhat undefined) user group, a good challenge and learning curve for managing a project’s limits and expectations.
I developed a research plan, interviewed participants using Askable (as well as from my personal network), conducted internet research, competitor analysis, synthesizing the data and the creation of relatable user personas to form a strong presentation back to the client with suggestions and paths forward from my findings.
I found this project challenging at times, but paired with great resources and a superb mentor, who was highly skilled at providing engaging ways to develop my individual solution, I left feeling prepared to start my career.
Through my second project I was thrilled to secure a UX design job at Fetch.
It was a very attractive career path as I enjoy the strategic design process, engaging with users and improving their experience (and delight) with products/services. I was also interested in UX design as it’s quite a well-trodden path from Graphic Design, adding impact by really ensuring designs are well thought out and accessible.
I was so pleased to have chosen Harness Projects and I love the real world approach to the course. By having those raw stakeholder interviews and the challenge of the unknown solution it really pushed me to learn hard and fast. The smaller group also allowed more time to engage with the mentor.
My largest improvement would have to be confidence, mostly presenting and engaging with stakeholders, plus from multiple interviews I would say I am far more adept at asking the right questions. I also found I was more able to identify trends in the data and turn these into insights and recommendations more effectively.
These projects provide a real insight to the scope of a job. From engaging with clients and determining their needs, to really figuring out how you would approach a problem and finding out your best way to solve it. Don’t worry, you will have the support of your mentor, seasoned in the industry, as well as bouncing ideas off your fellow students facing the same dilemmas, and on top of that great resources, and 3 hours together weekly, making sense of the path ahead.
Follow Genevieve’s footsteps and check out our Career Launcher UX Course.