Building a strong portfolio piece is an essential part of the BrainStation Diploma Program experience and for good reason; when searching for jobs, it’s important to have completed work that showcases your skills and understanding.
We were impressed with the work of Floria Chu, a recent graduate of the UX Design Diploma Program, who created a beautiful portfolio to showcase her capstone project. We spoke with Chu about her design process and experience as a BrainStation Diploma student.
Starting a Career in Design
Early in her career, Chu knew she had an appreciation for design, but didn’t see herself as having the the skills needed to bring her ideas to life.
Speaking with other Designers, however, convinced Chu that if she was determined, she could pursue a career in design.
“I knew I wanted to play a bigger part in creating something that would bring positive impact and joy to others. I spoke to a few UX Designers and Product Designers and one thing they would tell me was that ‘the eye to design and the heart to create can be developed over time as long as I was passionate to learn and improve.’ It convinced me to put my hands and mind to the test in UX Design.”
For her capstone project, Chu created Traflo, an app that makes it easier to find and browse travel recommendations from your friends and family.
Avid travelers will know this problem all too well: You book a much-needed vacation and reach out to your friends and family for recommendations. But then, the weeks before your vacation, you can’t seem to remember any of those suggestions or where you wrote them down… if you did.
Traflo makes it easier to browse recommendations from the people you trust without getting bogged down by countless travel forums and blogs. You can see a full prototype on inVision.
“I chose to explore this problem space because it is a topic that gets brought up so often in my chats with others. When it comes to traveling, personally, I struggle with planning and building an itinerary; however, I was curious to know if others around me also felt the same,” Chu said.
In planning her design, Chu recognized the importance of focusing on the actual user and dedicating time to research.
“It is so easy to get excited and wrapped up in the idea of building something that suits your own needs and desires, but one key lesson that pushed me to grow as a Designer was learning to put myself in the shoes of the users,” she said.
During user research, Chu found that getting feedback from her target audience wasn’t always easy, but always worth the effort.
“Gathering constructive feedback was tough to receive but it really allowed me to see areas of improvements within the project, and how small tweaks can make an experience 10 times better.”
After 12 weeks, Chu has a completed app and a stellar portfolio of completed work for her job search, all of which was informed by her BrainStation learning experience.
“There are so many highlights from a short 12-week program, but one of the biggest highlights had to be learning from Educators from different backgrounds and industry experience. They came from different walks of life that allowed myself and fellow classmates to relate to, and the fact they are so passionate in user experience design helped make this intense program that much more enjoyable and exciting.”