JENNY MARQUETTE'S EXPERIENCE AT CODECRAFT AS A UX DESIGN STUDENT

This is a series of blog posts written by CodeCraft student Jenny Marquette who is attending our part-time User Experience Design bootcamp. The series will cover her entire journey – from preparing for the program to getting her first job in the industry.

I am now just over halfway through the cohort, week 11 of the 20 week UX Design program. The past eight weeks of in person classes have been filled with a lectures, group learning activities, a field trip to a local Boulder company, and meeting our real world client for our course project.

Our client, Pledge 1% Colorado, is a local organization that helps to facilitate early-stage philanthropic endeavors of startup companies and entrepreneurs. As we have progressed through the course we’re able to to apply what we are learning in class to a real life project, adding to the breadth of our portfolios.

We began the in person portion of the course learning about UX design basics and design thinking. The following week, we met with Matt Zwiebel, the Executive Director of Pledge 1% Colorado. We spent the session getting to know Matt and learning more about Pledge 1% Colorado as well as his goals for the project.

Our conversation with Matt allowed us to take what we had learned and apply it to our coursework as we moved forward. We began by doing generative research and creating a competitive landscape and trends analysis. We learned about SWOT, STEEP, and CISE analysis among other methods.

Towards the end of October, Nikki Pfarr, a design researcher and one of the CodeCraft UX Design program mentors, taught us primary research and qualitative vs quantitative research methods. The following week, Matt returned and each student presented him with our initial research findings along with ideas and inspiration for the project. This gave us the opportunity to talk through our solutions and brainstorming ideas with Matt to ensure we had a clear understanding and were moving in the right direction based on his feedback.

Next, we moved on secondary research and stakeholder interviews. Nikki returned to class and we learned about creating discussion guides and interview techniques. Over the course of the next week, we worked in teams to conduct our stakeholder interviews. I was especially glad that we got the chance to practice this skillset as a student and gain real world experience in this particular area.

Jason Walzer, a UX design lead at Google and CodeCraft UX mentor, presented information to the cohort on concept validation, co-designing with users, and offloading data. As a group we used these newly learned methods and concepts to offload and organize our stakeholder interview feedback. Then referenced that information as we moved on to user stories, journey mapping, and storyboarding. We’ve now reached the point in the program where we are working on user flows, site mapping, and soon we will be starting our wireframes.

This week, CodeCraft organized a visit at Sovos, a Boulder company that focuses on government and regulatory compliance for its clients. We had the opportunity to meet with a few members of their UX team and do a team brainstorming workshop. The visit was a great way to affirm that what we are learning in class relates directly to real world UX. It was also really nice to be emerged in their work space and get a real feel for the environment.

The first half of the class has been a lot of information to digest in a short amount of time, but as we continue it feels like all of the moving pieces are starting to align into one cohesive end to end project. It’s like we are on a roller coaster clicking along to the top and will soon be barreling ahead full speed.

ABOUT OUR UX DESIGN BOOTCAMP

Our part-time, 20-week, evening and weekend schedule bootcamp lets you get the skills you need without quitting your job. The program was designed by three UX design experts working for innovative companies like Google and Akamai who create products used by hundreds of millions of users. As a result our unique curriculum is rich with insights, best practices and real-world tools and techniques that you won’t find anywhere else.

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