2020 was a year like no other. It was a hard year for many; and we, (like most) are glad it’s over. While we look forward to 2021 with hope, we also wanted to take the opportunity to reflect and look back on 2020 to see what it taught us. One thing we’re super grateful for is that we managed to grow as a team, and help a record-setting number of students grow into UI/UX designers 🍎
Read on to learn more about how 2020 (with all its challenges and opportunities) shaped the Designlab community, and what we’re looking forward to in 2021.
Creating a Worthwhile Impact that Echoes
The main thing we were grateful for in 2020, was our community. It brought stability and support to people across our student and mentor base, our alumni network, and the internal Designlab team, at a time when we needed it most. We want to thank everyone involved in our community for making it such a positive, uplifting, and inclusive place to be and we look forward to continuing to support one another and see what we can achieve moving forward.
To continue towards our mission to make design more accessible and inclusive, we launched two scholarships which we’re especially proud of.
Our Diversify Design Scholarship
Since March 2020, we've been running our Diversify Design Scholarship with the intent of building equity by promoting diversity to achieve a more inclusive representation in the design community.
Our aim is to provide support to aspiring designers from groups who are largely underrepresented in the design industry; this includes Black, Indigenous, non-Black people of color, women, LGBTQ+ people, people with disabilities, and members of other historically underrepresented groups.
Each month, we offer one scholarship worth 50% of UX Academy tuition and three scholarships worth $1,000, as well as full scholarships wherever possible. We’ve awarded over $85,000 in scholarships since we’ve launched this program, and there’s more to come as we continue this program to serve underrepresented communities.
Climb Credit Women in Tech scholarship
We also worked with our finance partners, Climb Credit, to create a Women in Tech scholarship that is going to support 5 budding designers with their UX Academy journey in 2021. Thanks so much to them for working with us to provide this scholarship!
Fostering Community Through Virtual Interaction
Aside from scholarships, we made a conscious effort to lean in to our remote roots this year (Designlab has always been an entirely online learning platform) and create more opportunities for students to network and learn in a virtual setting.
We held frequent virtual happy hours so that students could get to know fellow cohort members and mentors. Platforms like Instagram Live and YouTube Live also helped us to foster interaction between students, mentors, and partners.
In 2020 we held our first ever mini virtual conference, in partnership with Adobe XD, where attendees got to both learn and network. Our first ever public design challenge followed 🚀