Online UX Design students revel in collaborative workshops with industry leaders
22 April 2022
An in-person workshop series bringing together industry professionals and students on Falmouth’s online MA in User Experience Design was held in the Games Academy earlier this month.
Unusually for online learning, optional face-to-face events are offered to students on all of Falmouth’s online courses; bringing together staff, students and industry specialists together for face-to-face collaboration.
The idea behind the user experience design event was to bring students and staff together, and to facilitate creative co-working in keys areas of UX design development, including iterative design, exploration and creative expression.
After a meet and greet (and a tour of the Games Academy’s award-winning facilities), students took part in a series of workshops led by three industry experts.
Darren Brandwood, research and design professional at IBM, led a session called Design Thinking, in which the students and staff worked in pairs to interview, capture, ideate, prototype and share ideas in fast-paced scenarios, mirroring an industry environment.
It was a great opportunity to meet experts in the field of UX and to put into practice some of the techniques we have learned.
Rebecca Gill, Director at UX design agency Bunnyfoot, led a session entitled User Research, which got the group thinking about extracting stakeholders’ understanding of users and design research, to test assumptions and to inform design processes.
Finally, Dan Goodwin, Sales and Marketing Director at Bluefruit Software, led a session called Usability Testing, in which he shared how to develop a detailed plan for conducting a round of usability tests to bring actionable insights to products and ideas.
Student Marta Ramilo Esparza told us: "The event was a very positive experience. I learned lots from the workshops; it was a great opportunity to meet experts in the field of UX and to put into practice some of the techniques we have learned. Meeting some of my classmates and tutors face-to-face was just lovely, too!"
Student Paul Phillips added: "I really enjoyed the day and valued meeting up in person for the first time with the tutors, students and speakers. The practical, collaborative sessions were engaging, fun and enriching which has helped to solidify key concepts. I found it valuable discussing the journeys others have had in their careers and was able to seek advice for my career from those more experienced."
Course leader for the Games Academy’s online master’s courses, Dr Jamie White, said: “The online nature of our courses means that liaising with one another in the ‘real world’ is difficult. So, the idea behind this event was to allow our students and staff to meet in person, in most cases for the first time, and to be creative, share experiences and showcase everyone’s passion for user experience design. We hoped that the day would be an exciting opportunity for the students to collaborate, while at the same time enhancing their skillsets through the lens of experienced UX veterans. And to eat pizza!”