Designlab Year in Review: 2022

We’ve come a massive way over the past year—both our internal team and our wider community. Read on for our key wins from 2022.

Harish Venkatesan
Harish Venkatesan
Dec 22, 2022
Min Read

When my co-founder Daniel and I started this company 9 years ago, we had big goals but only loose visions on how the journey would unfold. It’s been incredibly gratifying to see the compounding effects of our collective effort take shape: one line of code, one customer conversation, one design at a time, we’re building an institution that helps lead the way in a new, rapidly changing industry.

We’ve come a massive way over the past year—both our internal team and our wider community—and I’m really proud of where we’ve gotten to. We’re aiming to build an environment that is challenging yet supportive, helping each of us grow personally while also creating a structure that helps us have outsized impact on our global community.

In a time of economic uncertainty and changing technology, our mission of unlocking creative potential is more important than ever. There continues to be a need for designers who can create intuitive, user-friendly experiences for digital products—and we continue to be committed to providing mentor-led, online design education with a focus on quality and outcomes.

So much has changed in the last year, and it could not have happened without the incredible efforts of each and every single one of you. So to the entire Designlab community: a heartfelt thank you. 

Read on for our key wins from 2022 …

UX Academy Graduates Landed 400+ Jobs

The biggest reason we have to celebrate this year is the success of our students. In 2022, 400+ Designlab students landed UX design jobs! They earned titles such as UX/UI Designer, Product Designer, Interactive Designer, Web Designer, UX Researcher, UX Content Writer, and more. Students broke into industries like Healthcare, Fintech, Beauty, E-Commerce, Edtech, Auto, and beyond. 

Our students were hired at a variety of companies, including (but not limited to):

  • Capital One
  • Pinterest
  • Whole Foods Market
  • Meta/Facebook
  • Microsoft
  • Walmart
  • NBC
  • JPMorgan
  • Kroger
  • PlayStation
  • Ruggable
  • Sony Music
  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • Tinder
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Ernst & Young
  • Twitch
  • YETI
  • Zillow Group

Check out some of the inspiring success stories from this year:

200+ Mentors Joined The Team

While our student community grew and flourished, our mentor community grew as well. In 2022, 200+ new mentors joined the Designlab team! Browse our list of growing mentors here.

Held 30+ Internal Workshops and Public Webinars

We hosted a variety of internal workshops—for our students, mentors, and alumni—and public webinars over the past year to engage and educate our community. 

For our internal community, we hosted seven workshops on Figma, and a workshop on recruiting in design. Plus, a digital Climate Cafe, for students and mentors to discuss climate and design topics within facilitates discussions, and presentations from guest designers, which ran alongside COP27. 

For our public community, we hosted 20+ webinars amplifying the stories and successes of UX Academy graduates, and the teachings of voices around the UX design community! 

You can catch the replays of our public workshops on our YouTube channel.

Designlab Year in Review Discord Climate Cafe

Migrated our Community from Slack to Discord

With almost 4,000 members in our Designlab community, we made the transition from Slack to Discord—a platform meant to build and bring awareness to communities. This move has allowed us to experiment with voice channels, study rooms, location-specific channels, interest-based groups, cohort-specific channels, and more! 

Designlab Year in Review Discord Book Club

Launched The All-New UX Academy

We made our largest update to UX Academy in years. This update includes a variety of incredible upgrades, from a powerful new onboarding experience to 140+ pieces of new and reimagined curriculum.

Some of the curricular updates include:

  • 30+ new video tutorials to help students visualize and immerse themselves in UX techniques
  • 60+ new lessons that reflect the latest industry trends and practices
  • 50+ reimagined projects to help students put theory into practice and build a unique, diversified portfolio that contains 4 stellar case-study projects

Read what students have to say about the newest iteration of UX Academy below …

“I definitely appreciated the implementation of more videos on lessons in this module. I think it helps with information retention.”

“The structure of lessons makes it easy to understand concepts. There was some repetition (needed when learning something new!) and variety among resources, as well.”

“The order and explanations were very logical and helped me understand the "why" behind what I was doing.”

Awarded $170,000 in DEI Scholarships

We've given out over $170,000 in scholarships to 60+ people this year through our Diversify Design scholarship program. We also partnered with Lesbians Who Tech to participate in their Edie Windsor scholarship initiative, which saw 5 students receive 50% tuition scholarships to participate in UX Academy. 

We've revamped our scholarship questions to better get to know our applicants, and have also created a rubric to empower applicants to really showcase who they are to us in terms of what we're looking for within scholarship submissions. Finally, we evolved our partnership with All Black Creatives to start a collaborative scholarship program towards UX Academy—we’re excited to share more about these efforts in 2023!

Grew Internal Designlab Team 52%

Our internal Designlab team grew 52% from 27 to 41! As we’ve evolved how we build and release programs for the Designlab community, we’ve grown our Design, Product, and Marketing teams. We gathered to meet new and old faces—for the first time in three years—during our all-company retreat to Portugal in September. And finally, we built a team service project structure into our retreats to be mindful of ourselves, our communities, and how we can continue to give back. 

Designlab Team Retreat

82 Blog Posts Published in 2022

We were as active as ever on our blog. Here are the top 10 most visited blog posts published this year:

What’s Next in 2023

There’s a lot in store next year. You can expect more exciting improvements from Designlab as we continue working to unlock creative potential. 

This includes:

  • More programs to help career-switchers and upskillers on digital design and product teams 💻
  • Leveling up our learning platform to improve how students and mentors interact and navigate their course experience ⭐
  • Improvements to Career Services to support our community as they navigate the waters of the UX world 🤝
  • Upgrades to UX Academy and UX Academy Foundations as we further improve mentorship, community, and curriculum experience of our award-winning programs ✍️
  • And some exciting design updates we can’t tell you about yet 😶🙊

In the meantime, we hope you all get the chance over the next couple of weeks to get some downtime with friends and family, and some space to reflect on the journey to date, celebrate your accomplishments, and get excited about what’s to come.

See you in 2023! 

To join our community of creative career switchers, we invite you to explore UX Academy Foundations—a 4-8 week online course for career switchers looking to transition into the world of UX/UI design. With UX Academy Foundations, you'll work 1-on-1 with an expert mentor to learn key visual design concepts and practical skills. Or, if you’re a designer working in UX design and are looking to mentor future UX professionals, consider becoming a mentor.

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Launch a career in ux design with our top-rated program

Top Designers Use Data.

Gain confidence using product data to design better, justify design decisions, and win stakeholders. 6-week course for experienced UX designers.