UX is a highly collaborative discipline. As a UX designer, you work closely with users, product managers, your own design team, stakeholders, and developers on a regular basis. This collaborative environment requires a suite of skills beyond technical design experience, and the Designlab community offers many ways to actively learn them.
3 Ways the Designlab Community Supports Your UX Journey
Group Crits: Learn how to give—and receive—design critique
As a UX designer, it’s important to not only do research, but ensure that you’re getting feedback on your work. The idea of collaborative critique may be new depending on prior background and working experience. To ensure that students have the chance to hone this skillset, everyone in UX Academy participates in Group Crits.
Group Crits are facilitated by an experienced designer via a Zoom meeting, with a student group capped at 10 participants. We keep the groups small, so that the conversation is manageable, and everyone has a chance to share their work.
Group Crits take place all throughout the week (and weekend!) to ensure that all students are able to attend at least once every other week (or more often, if you want!), no matter where they live or what their schedule looks like. You can attend the same Group Crit every week, or switch to different times to meet new faces and facilitators.
Since Groups Crits are open to everyone in UX Academy, you’ll meet peers from different phases of the program. This is a great opportunity to learn from those ahead of you, give feedback to those who start after you, and be an active participant in the development of other’s work.
Community Advocates: Quick answers & resources to help you grow
When you enroll in UX Academy, you gain access to our Discord community. Here, you can connect with other students and mentors to talk about your coursework and design journey in a vibrant, dynamic environment.
But how do we ensure that each student receives a helpful answer to their question? That’s where Community Advocates come in.
Community Advocates have working knowledge of UX/UI design (and many are UX Academy alum), and are active on Discord to provide guidance where needed. They’re live for a portion of every day—so you can get quick answers, when needed—and also reply to questions that come in outside of their hours.
They’re also happy to give feedback if you’d like another set of eyes on your project work. Since Community Advocates have working knowledge of UX/UI, they can help you think and problem solve like a designer.
Each cohort of both UX Academy Foundations and UX Academy have their own Community Advocate monitoring the group’s Discord channel, for an extra layer of support.
Study Halls: Live working sessions for additional support
While our curriculum is structured to be asynchronous, we know that some students appreciate the option of live support. With this in mind, we now offer a Study Hall structure for our UX Academy students!
Study Halls are live working sessions that anyone can join throughout the week. They’re run Monday-Friday, and the schedule can be easily found in Discord. Students can also be notified when Study Halls are beginning so they know when to pop in, or have a convenient reminder.
Study Halls are meant to be open-format for questions and discussions. Each Study Hall is facilitated by a Teacher’s Assistant, or “TA”. Our TAs are designers themselves, and just like Community Advocates, often alum of the program. Students can join as many Study Halls as they’d like, so if you’re in a module of learning that you find a bit challenging (or even really exciting!) there’s always an easy way to connect.
Despite being a fully remote campus, Designlab wants students to be engaged with each other. Working together creates a dynamic and enriching environment for learning. We often hear from our graduates that they’ve not only cultivated the skills they need for their career, but also created lifelong friendships along the way.