In March 2021 I completed the Harness Projects Career Launcher UX course. I've now been able to land a UX/UI role at Curio shortly after completing my course.
The first project kicked off with WIRES Wildlife Rescue. It was a UX fundamentals project that introduced us to the end-to-end design process from research to design solution.
We worked with WIRES to improve the rescue reporting process for the NSW public. This project allowed us to dive straight into the UX process from conducting user interviews, user flows to managing our stakeholders to delivering a compelling design solution. This project was fantastic in providing exposure to the end-to-end UX design process. Our mentor Andrew Doherty injected such a wealth of his UX experience, and guided me to deliver a successful design for WIRES. Overall, I was really proud of this project and it started to build my confidence for the following projects.
The second project focused on wireframing and advanced prototyping with Fetch TV. We were challenged to design 2 new features that would reimagine the TV watching experience for customers.
What I really enjoyed about this project was the opportunity to get really creative and develop a solution that is fun and engaging for Fetch TV customers. We focused on learning how to use Figma and understanding industry standards when designing prototypes and design systems ready for hand over to developers.
Our mentor, Matt Webb was excellent in demonstrating his design experience and gave the team great insight into translating ideas into prototypes and tips on getting the most out of Figma.
My final project was a UX Research piece with One Roof, a member based digital networking community for entrepreneurial women. One Roof wanted to expand its offering to target emerging female leaders in the corporate sector and elevate them to reach leadership levels. The project involved exploring women’s barriers to career progression, constraints that exist in the workplace and understand what women need in order to succeed in their careers.
For this project, we were led by our mentor Sue, who was exceptional in providing a variety of research tools and methods to uncover robust insights. Whilst this project had a shorter timeframe and with a broad research scope, at this point of the Harness Projects course, I felt confident in conducting several interviews and synthesize various data points to make sense of the research.I presented One Roof a series of recommendations that contributed to their strategy of this new offering.
I found this project really meaningful as it was a great opportunity to contribute to One roofs mission to solve a problem that many professional women experience in the workplace. A great piece of work to end with and I felt very accomplished when I handed over the final deliverables to our client.
At the conclusion of each project, we are given the opportunity to ask our mentors anything related to tips for job searching and portfolios. I took onboard all of the advice and throughout the course, I started putting together a digital portfolio online whilst it was still fresh in my mind. I started to apply for roles whilst I was still completing the course and landed an interview with Curio. They were really impressed by my WIRES case study and started my UX design role weeks before finishing the course. I really felt that Harness Projects gave not only the UX skills, but a big part of it was instilling my confidence to deliver compelling solutions for real world clients. Nothing gets you more job ready than that.
I was previously a fashion designer and worked in the industry for several years designing for different fashion labels. I had always been interested in tech and wanted to leverage my design skills from my previous career into solving problems through digital solutions. After several years of working in the fashion industry, I was curious to explore the power of design to create meaningful change. UX Design was the missing link, and the perfect opportunity to combine my practical design experience with creativity and analytical skills to solve problems that impact the lives of everyday people.
I thought the Career Launcher course was excellent in providing a diverse range of UX design experience and skills. I was able to learn and apply the end-to-end design process, stretch my creativity with advanced prototyping and dive deep into UX research to solve problems with impact. Having learned from highly experienced mentors alongside engaging classmates, I not only walked away with a portfolio I am very proud of but also invaluable industry knowledge and genuine connections.
With each project, I was able to continuously learn and add to my experience and skill set. I felt my confidence growing every week as I applied my learnings into projects to deliver solutions that I was not only excited about but also our clients could implement. Each mentor had something different and unique to offer based on their unique experiences so there was always something new to learn every time you showed up to class. By the end, I felt confident in applying my experience with Harness Projects into my new role at Curio.
The biggest challenge I encountered throughout the projects was definitely self doubt. The design process is ambiguous and the unknown can leave you with a lot of questions as to whether you will be able to come up with solutions that are good for the client. However, the mentors are so experienced and gave me very sound advice that helped me and the team lift out of those moments of doubt.
A Harness Project is engaging, fast-paced and highly rewarding. The clients are interesting and you really get the opportunity to solve interesting problems that pushes you to think outside of the box. The best way to learn by doing, and you get to do that from Week 1. Getting to work with real clients equips you with the practical skills you need to enter the UX industry with confidence.
Follow Elinna’s footsteps and check out our Career Launcher UX Course.