Before enrolling in UX Academy Foundations, Adeline felt directionless in her career. In a short span, she jumped around to several industries and companies—working in education, food and beverage, to information technology and finance with companies like First Code Academy, Uber, and Morgan Stanley. 

Shortly after starting a role in data analysis for the insight network GLG, Adeline discovered a YouTube video of a UX designer talking about her journey transitioning into UX design without a design degree. 

“Since then I’ve been very interested to learn more about what UX design is and its impact on society. In the past three years I’ve been constantly complaining about feeling stuck at work. So, I started self-learning UX design skills, and finally I decided to just do it!” says Adeline.

The next step: finding a good UX bootcamp to help hone her skills and create the standout portfolio that she’d need to fully move into her ideal career field.

Deciding Which UX Bootcamp to Choose

Enrolling in a UX design bootcamp is a big career move and a large investment, so naturally Adeline did tons of research before making a decision on a formal education provider. 

“I spoke to people who took UX Design bootcamps at different institutions, read reviews online, and created a Google sheet comparing 14 different bootcamps,” Adeline says. Now that’s what you call a competitive analysis!

“The institutions that stood out to me most were CareerFoundry, Designlab, and H Academy (based in Hong Kong). Given that I’m based in Hong Kong, I had wanted an institution that could help me network for jobs in the local market,” she shares.

Despite her location preference, Designlab began to stand out as the top pick for Adeline. 

“Designlab’s reputation, Group Crit sessions, community, and the short term commitment of UX Academy Foundations before taking UX Academy made me choose Designlab over other institutions.” 

UX Academy Foundations: Connecting the Self-Taught Dots

Despite learning UX design skills on her own over the past three years, Adeline’s knowledge about UX design was all over the place when she entered UX Academy Foundations. 

“UX Academy Foundations really helped connect the dots for me, and put everything in perspective in terms of how they play a role in the UX design process,” says Adeline.

Embracing All the Designlab Community Offers

Adeline had heard lots of good things about the Designlab community prior to starting UX Academy Foundations, and it lived up to the hype. 

In particular, she cites enjoying these community benefits:

  • Resources sent from Designlab staff
  • Webinars with industry professionals
  • Module-specific Discord channels

Practical, Project-Based Learning FTW

Adeline particularly enjoyed the project-based learning in UX Academy Foundations. 

“I liked how practical the assignments were, instead of just lots of theory readings. The assignments reference real-life examples and encourage us to observe our environment on a daily basis,” Adeline says. 

Design Project Win

She’s most proud of her Coffee Corner landing page project because of how closely it matched the example provided—with this project, students are asked to recreate the landing page using their tool of choice (Figma, Sketch, or Adobe XD).

Most Memorable Course Project: Slurp

“This project took place very early on in UX Academy Foundations, and it was the first time I struggled with receiving feedback about my design from my mentor—and also comparing my design to other students’. It was challenging as I thought my initial design was ‘perfect’ and I felt a bit discouraged,” she admits.

This challenging aspect drove home one of the key components of design work: the iterative cycle.

“I’ve come to realize that feedback is a key part of the UX design process. I recall being so proud of my initial Slurp landing page, and now looking back I realize it was pretty bad. At first, I dreaded receiving notifications about comments that my mentor made on my projects, but now I look forward to it!”

Adeline Tang UX Academy Foundations Story Food 1

The initial version that Adeline thought was perfect.

Adeline Tang UX Academy Foundations Story Food 2

The final version after receiving feedback from her mentor.

The Cherry on Top: An Awesome Mentor Experience

Adeline’s experience with her mentor, Hussain, provided much-needed structure, and was motivating when she needed it most. It was this experience that most positively impacted Adeline’s time in UX Academy Foundations.

She shared with us:

“I was very fortunate to be paired with Hussain, who is also based in Hong Kong. He even introduced me to a group of UX designers also based in Hong Kong, so I already feel assured with this local network early on. I was even able to meet up with a group of Designlab students here in Hong Kong!

Beginning in the first mentor session, Hussain laid out his expectations of me in UX Academy Foundations. At first, I found it a bit intimidating, but later I became very thankful for his serious, disciplined, and encouraging mentoring style. Thanks to Hussain's guidance and wisdom, I was able to push myself beyond my limits—especially when it came to time management (something I complain about every time we meet) and be on track with my progress.

Towards the latter part of UX Academy Foundations I started losing motivation and confidence after seeing other students' work. I started doubting whether I was a good fit. Hussain was worried about me, and he said something that really stuck (yes, I memorized it)...”

It would be unfair to compare yourself with other students. You never know what background they are coming from, some might have a design background and therefore have a better sense in visual design. We are all a work in progress. Therefore you should compare yourself with the version of you from months ago and identify the progress.

I’m truly thankful for the experience during UX Academy Foundations to have Hussain as my mentor, and I look forward to connecting with more mentors in UX Academy.”

The Next Steps in UX Learning

Adeline graduated from UX Academy Foundations, and was accepted into  UX Academy, where she’s now enrolled in the Wright cohort.

Adeline’s goal for the remainder of the year is to complete UX Academy, land a job as a UX designer, be involved in creative and impactful problem solving—and to do it all, with passion. 

Connect with Adeline on LinkedIn.

Looking to transition your career into the world of UX/UI design like Adeline? Learning visual and UI design is the best way to start. With UX Academy Foundations, you'll work 1-on-1 with an expert mentor to learn key visual design concepts and practical skills. By the end, you'll be ready to progress on to UX Academy!

author avatar

Alexa Harrison

Designlab

Content Writer

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