Senior User Experience Designer at Chalhoub Group
UX Design Bootcamp
Key Skills Learned
- User Research
- Sketching and Wireframing
Where are you working currently, and what do you do there?
I currently work full-time as a Senior User Experience Designer for Chalhoub Group, and also a UX/UI Designer at Toptal.
Can you tell us a bit about your education and career background?
Because I was born creative with a talent for design, Symmetry OCD, and a love for computers, I wanted to study architecture to play around with design/building softwares like AutoCAD, but I ended up studying Civil Engineering and Computer Science in college instead. After that, I worked in banking for four years before resigning in 2014 to pursue my passion for design.
What motivated you to start digital skills training with BrainStation?
As a self-taught and constantly learning Designer, I understood the importance of going through an institutional learning process and becoming certified. However, being a natural at design, I needed to convince myself that I was good enough by covering the basics and upskilling. So I did some research to find the best UX/UI design bootcamps or programs, and I decided on BrainStation because of its immersive curriculum and professional onboarding experience. Which proved to be one of the best decisions I've ever made.
What was the highlight of your learning experience?
Personally, I believe I would not have been able to complete my learning objectives without the wealth of knowledge shared by the Educators and Teaching Assistants, who provided profound, unbiased, and unprejudiced support. As a full-time employee in Dubai, it would have been justified for me to drop out considering the difference in timezone, and the very active daily activities that come with the program, but I was humble and zealous to learn, which earned me the support I received from my Educators and colleagues.
What were your thoughts about the online learning experience? How did it compare to any others you might have participated in?
As promised, the experience was completely immersive. All activities (lectures, group works, coffee chats, presentations, etc.) were highly interactive and collaborative.
How has your BrainStation experience impacted your career?
It was an amazing opportunity for me to learn new skills that I could apply right away in my career, particularly UX research, heuristic evaluation, and project presentation. While in the program, I was assigned to conduct an evaluation at the office and make recommendations for improving our FX trading platform. Being well equipped, I exceeded expectations. Also, if it hadn't been for my BrainStation experience, I probably wouldn't have nailed my Toptal rigorous interview process and got accepted.
What was your Demo Day experience like?
Because it was my first time, I was nervous, but the preparation, practising with Educators/Teaching Assistants and delivery gave me a valuable skill that a UX Designer needs. Every Designer, for job interviews and beyond, must be able to organize, present, and communicate effectively in order to keep project stakeholders informed at all times.
Can you tell us more about your final project?
Yankee is an AI-powered eCommerce mobile app for finding the best fashion in the right size, with the goal of lowering return rates due to sizing issues. Because the problem space was a popular and stubborn problem, I found it interesting and challenging, and it became the pinnacle of my learning experience because I was able to apply and implement all of my newly acquired and pre-existing skills to comprehend and design a proposed product solution. So far, the case study in my portfolio has tried to land an opportunity to work with a privately held luxury beauty/fashion goods retailer and distributor.
How has your bootcamp experience helped you connect with the tech industry?
For starters, BrainStation invites its industry tech partners to connect with students periodically throughout the program and afterward. This bridges the gap between reaching and connecting with the industry's relevant talents and mentors.
Seeing the design community through the eyes of BrainStation also made me realize how small it is. Everyone knows someone who knows someone who knows someone that is connected to someone or company of your interest.
What advice would you give to professionals considering a BrainStation course or program?
Be humble and trust the process, whether you're changing careers or already have a design background. The program is rigorous, demanding, and will test your wits, but stay on track, remember why you started, and the end will justify the means. By the end of the program, you'll have gained a wider design bandwidth, which you'll need to continue upskilling, land a new job or deliver on the job, and, most importantly, become a proud tested and trusted worthy industry comrade.
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