Learn UX Design on a project with Westpac & Head Start Homes

Learn UX and gain experience in the financial services sector on this real world project with Westpac & Head Start Homes. Design a solution as part of the PLAY START initiative to support life-literacy for families living in community housing.

The Project


The Brief

Head Start Homes exists to increase access to social housing for people in need who are typically homeless, with the added benefit of supporting community housing tenants overcome structural barriers to achieve home ownership.

The Head Start Guarantee is an innovative solution whereby Head Start Homes provides a pathway into home ownership by acting as guarantor for community housing tenants who can afford a home loan but are locked out due to the need for a large deposit and mortgage insurance. Head Start Homes effectively acts as ‘bank of mum and dad’ for those who face structural disadvantage.

This brief focuses on an initiative called PLAY START – a life-literacy gamified program for families and individuals living in community housing that supports their transition to home ownership.

  1. Research and define the user needs of occupants and their families in relation to the PLAY START concept.
  2. Design a solution that represents how you see these quest areas coming to life for the target audience. Students may wish to choose one as their main focus area.


Your mentor will guide you every step of the way!


Elizabeth (Liz) is a versatile, strategic and pragmatic UX professional with 20+ years experience in designing, developing and transforming market-leading digital products and customer experiences for B2C, B2B and B2B2C businesses in both start-ups and enterprise settings. She has held many Head of UX roles in Financial Services, Telecommunications, Media, and Health and Wellness industries, working on award winning products and helping these companies build their design teams and capabilities.

Liz is passionate about creating experiences that deliver WIN-WIN for business and customer, by combining UX with agile, lean-startup and Human-Centred-Design (HCD) approaches. She enjoys working on the full customer experience life cycle from ideation, strategy & vision through to development, execution and delivery. She also loves coaching individuals and teams towards high performance, and supporting them to achieve the best versions of themselves.

Liz's Experience
  • Director of Experience Design / Head of UX, BT Financial Group (Westpac)
  • User Experience Lead, Michelle Bridges 12WBT
  • Head of User Experience, NBN Co
  • Head of User Experience, Optus
  • Head of User Experience, Fairfax Digital

Harness Projects gets you working on real projects to build a killer portfolio

A unique partnership with the Interaction Design Foundation

We are proud to be partnering with the Interaction Design Foundation. Inspired by the Scandinavian educational system, IDF gives you access to world leading UX Design content and a global community of over 475 local groups in 84 countries.

Successful applicants receive a
FREE 12-MONTH MEMBERSHIP to the Interaction Design Foundation

What you'll Learn

Hands on learning from experienced industry experts
Harness Projects have been formed through a collaborative effort from industry experts and academics with over 40 years experience in their collective fields.

Introduction to UX Design
Learn about the field of UX Design, what it is and why it matters in today's age of technology more than ever.
Designing for Behavioural Change
A core outcome of the design process can be to effect behavioral change. Learn about key techniques that can support behavioral change, from social validation, reciprocity, endorsements, personalisation and the scarcity principle and how they can be applied to design.
Mobile design principles
The penetration of mobile devices in everyday society requires UX Designers to give strong consideration to the medium of access of its end-users. Learn about the core principles of designing for mobile devices in an increasingly mobile world.
Planning UX Projects
Learn the value of effective planning in a UX project, what to think about and how to set your project up for success.
Managing stakeholders
To be a great UX Designer requires effective stakeholder management skills. You will be working with stakeholders from all levels of business, society and the public through any given UX project.  Learn techniques for providing the appropriate planning and consideration when dealing with stakeholders and how to apply empathy to drive valuable relationships.
Expert Reviews
A typical starting point in any UX research piece is conducting your own expert review of a product or service. Understand the value and limitations of expert reviews so they can be applied in the appropriate way in your next UX project.
User Research
Great solutions come from understanding the problem and the end-user. Designing a great user experience of a product or service requires research. Conducting user research allows you understand the motivations of people who will experience your creations. It also leads to strong insights about how and why people behave in certain ways; their psychology, the physical environment, their past experiences and more. Awareness an consideration of these broad and complex factors helps to create meaningful and effective solutions.
Writing Surveys
There is an art to discovering the right question to ask. Surveys are a valuable quantitative research tool when used in the right way. Learn how to write questions that deliver un-biased responses to further inform the UX design process.
Competitor reviews
You will demonstrate an ability to conduct competitor reviews by applying research and review methodologies of competitors to the company partner and report back on your findings.
Customer Journey Mapping
You will demonstrate an ability to develop a customer journey map that accurately represents the decision making journey of a target customer. It will have been formed through research and includes practical actions as well as personal feelings of the customer over the journey map timeline.
User Persona's
User personas are fictional characters created to reflect the different kind of users that might engage with a product, a brand or a site. A user persona is a representation of the goals and behaviors of a particular segment of users including patterns, skills, attitudes and the environment. User personas give better insights in to your clients or customers; their goals and behaviors.
A low cost and time efficient way to visualise an idea and gather valuable feedback. Learn that you don't need to be an artist to make use of appropriate sketching and why everyone should employ this method in their UX design process.
Information Architecture
Information architecture is the process of mapping out the structure of content and processes to meet the need of end users and business objectives. Learn various ways to apply effective information architecture on a project and communicate the appropriate information to users in an intuitive and seamless way.
Wireframes & Prototyping
A wireframe is a mockup of a web page or screen in an app. It shows how the page/screen will be laid out and how different elements relate to each other. They are used early in the design process to help ideate and iterate possible solutions. Once you're happy with the direction you can create a prototype by linking your wireframes together to simulate your final product. This will give you a much better sense of how your product will feel and can be used in usability testing to get some user feedback.
Usability Testing
Usability testing is about making sure people can use your product. It involves showing real people a preview of your designs and asking them what they think. In doing so you'll learn what works (and what doesn't) with your current design. These insights will make your final product more intuitive and can help you avoid costly rework later down the track.
You will demonstrate empathy by listening to your end-users and stakeholders and appropriately translating their needs, motivations and pain points into your final recommendation solution.
The best solutions are most often formed through the input of multiple people. You will be required to collaborate with many other experts in their fields and developing strong collaboration skills can ensure you contribute value to a team. In modern work environments, small team collaboration is an increasingly sought after skill by employers, as agile ways of working are adopted that bring together multiple disciplines around a unified challenge.
You will demonstrate competency in communication by successfully transmitting your ideas, thinking processes and solution in a way that is easily understood by others. A range of techniques may be used to demonstrate this competency including body language, written, visual and oral styles.
Any challenging problem is bound to ask more of you than you first expect. Strong resilience is formed through the process of failing and getting back up again. By deepening your resilience capacity, you are well positioned to deliver great outcomes to challenging problems that others may have avoided.
A tried and true skill for any professional is the ability to present your ideas to an audience and effectively transmit the intended message. You will have the opportunity to strengthen your presentation skills in front of a live company stakeholder at the conclusion of your project.
I thoroughly enjoyed working on this course. It has expanded my mind and knowledge and I have grown as a person professionally and personally. The brief was definitely a challenging task, but with the help, guidance and encouragement of our mentor, it made me realise I wouldn't have had it any other way
Chris Luu
I can’t speak highly enough of this course! It was a transformative experience that exceeded my expectations and set me up with the confidence and practical skills to apply for a Junior UX role, and that is exciting!
Lisa Jeanette Bentham
Great for those who want to get into UX - this is an excellent way to get hands on experience, working with a company on a real project. It is short but you’ll learn lots and quickly!
Angie Heisel

Sounds great, now what?

Register your interest here and a Harness Projects consultant will be in touch to discuss the project in more detail with you.

Fancy a free career consultation?

Book in a FREE 30 minute career consultation simply by registering your interest for this project. Our career consultants will work with you on understanding your career goals and helping to build out a plan to take your career forward.

Register your Interest

Fancy a free career consultation?

Book in a FREE 30 minute career consultation simply by registering your interest for this project. Our career consultants will work with you on understanding your career goals and helping to build out a plan to take your career forward.