Meet Josh Akmens
UX Graduate from the Upskiller UX Course
Josh Akmens
Product Manager | ABC
Completed the

In June 2020, Josh completed our UX Project with The Swag.  On this project he embarked on a 9 week journey to learn the fundamentals of User Experience design while working on a live client project.

The Company

Who are The Swag

The Swag are an Aussie food-tech company helping save families money while also reducing organic food waste. With their patented technology, your food stays fresher longer.

The Brief

The project UX design brief objective

Our brief was to redesign the Swag website experience to drive more online sales.

Week 1

Meet the Team

Our team, led by mentor Andrew Doherty, was a diverse, keen bunch of learners. Some had dabbled in UX, some were completely new to the discipline. From the get-go I was super impressed with the openness of the group and the no nonsense leadership from Andrew.

Josh introduces himself to the team

Week 2

Meeting your stakeholder

The Stakeholder meetings were incredibly motivating. We got under the hood of the company and learned about the Swag’s mission. Hearing Peta (our client) articulate the problems she’s faced in building the current website, and then her excitement to have us reimagine the experience was a real differentiator with the hypothetical challenges/briefs in other online learning platforms.

Josh interviews his client stakeholder

Weeks 3 - 5

The Research Phase

While the project seemed to move at break-neck speed, we still invested a good chunk of time in research – looking at the Swag’s online metrics, category best practice and conducting interviews. Having Andrew urging us to dig, synthesise and share meant that we were generating insights through the group’s collective effort, rather than just our own investigation.

Josh UX Research

Weeks 6-8

The Design Phase

The design phase was the most fun for me. We moved from very lo-fidelity sketches through to much more refined, interactive prototypes. Having Andrew coaching us through the process helped us get comfortable sharing early, taking-on feedback, then developing further. Getting to know Figma and Sketch was a huge plus for me, and I definitely received some great tips from Andrew on new design resources and software to build more efficiently.

Josh UX Design

Week 9

Final Presentations

The nerve-racking final presentation wasn’t as bad as we all imagined! Our client was blown away by the level of detail in the work, and the variety of the prototypes. With Andrew’s leadership, the client team were prepared for the more spiky points of view, and our designs were met with excitement and gratitude.

Josh UX Slack

Graduation

Josh's Outcomes

For me, this Harness Project was great on a few levels. The first was developing a confidence with the process of a UX job – understanding the different phases and outputs in a very practical sense. I also loved the fact we were encouraged to use industry-standard tools (like  Invision, Figma and Sketch) to build our work, which gave us hands-on experience with relevant UX technologies. Finally, our mentor, Andrew brought INSANE amounts of industry know-how from his time with big tech and startups, and also a real interest in helping budding UX-ers navigate the industry. It was a great foundation from which to make any decisions around career moves. I’d recommend a Harness Project for anyone who is motivated by practical, real-world projects and experience – it’s a lot more effort than the run-of-the-mill online learning curriculums, but the relationships and outputs are much deeper and more valuable. 

Outcome

At the conclusion of the project, Josh was assessed for the skills he demonstrated during the 9 week project. These were certified and co-signed by Harness Projects and The Swag to acknowledge the great work he achieved on the project.

Josh’ Final Presentation

Follow Josh’ footsteps and check out our Upskiller UX Course