Cover Letters

Here are a few of the cover letters I completed and sent when applying to placement roles. For some roles I had to simply send an email or fill in an automated form with reasons as to why I wanted to work there so I will include the ones that I can but I won’t be able to show them all.

My cover letters are consistent with my branding and brand identity.

I did a lot of research into each interview prior to applying to better adjust my Cover letter to them. I compiled my research in a separate blog post. Click here to see it.

My cover letters

Email cover letters

  • ESO

  • Little Thunder

 

*** I did not include all cover letters as it would get repetitive 🙂 ***

IXD302 Submission Links

*** So I decided to put all my research and organize it in a post to make it easier to navigate and mark it – I hope that helps 🙂 ***

 

1- CV and cover letter

Research and discovery

 


2- Investor pitch

Research and discovery


3- Proposal and invoice

Research and discovery

All things placement

So I will be using this post to organize and sort all my posts relating to placement and career boosting – make it a little bit easier to find my work amongst my organized chaos.

Me trying to sort out my work LOL

Placement prep and research

Talks and events I attended

Company research

Placement interviews

  1. FinTrU interview – this was the 1st stage of the interview process.
  2. Global Payments interview – This was the first interview stage.
  3. FinTrU interview – part 2
  4. Rapid 7 UX interview
  5. ESO interview with MT

Getting ready to smash my first interview

Ok so in all seriousness, I have my first interview with Global Payments on Monday 22/11/21 at 11am. I am more excited than nervous but I would still like to be prepared so I decided to put all my key research and information that I think might help me here. I will also add an evaluation at the bottom of the post of how my interview went. 🙂


Who will be interviewing me?

  • Stephen Picton (Director, Technical communications)
  • Jordan Hamilton (UX designer)

** They were both so very lovely **


Things I know about the company

I reached out to Gemma Ferguson on LinkedIn to get some insider information and some tips on how to do well in my interview. That along with the Global Payments talk I had earlier in the year helped me pinpoint the things I would need to mention during my interview to leave a positive impression.

  • ACCESSIBILITY – in the US it is law – since they work at a global scale this is a big thing for the company. Make sure to mention how important this is to you as a designer.
  • User-centered design.
  • Focus on integrated payment solutions.
  • Sites/offices across the world.
  • Allows users to manage account, invoices, credit card, etc…
  • 24,000+ employees.
  • Dominic was a placement student last year.
  • Belfast and Foyle sites accounts for 80% of the revenue for the company.
  • They want to know about your design process and how you approach design problems.

Interview tips

  • Practice on someone in the design field and someone who’s not. The person interviewing you may not be a UX designer, so you should be comfortable answering in terms that will still make sense to a non-designer.
  • Be ready to share your screen. Whether you’re interviewing in person or online, you may be asked to share your UX design portfolio on your screen. Close any unnecessary windows, and practice navigating to the projects you want to highlight.
  • Don’t be afraid to stop and think before answering (especially for design challenges). Talk through your thought process out loud—this demonstrates your ability to think through problems analytically.

Possible questions

I started off by brainstorming on paper

I then looked up some articles that were recommended by my tutors to better understand what the employers will ask me and what they are trying to find out by asking me the questions. I read a great article on coursera that offed a lot of insight and helped me form my answers. I also used this article on Carerfoundry that was super helpful.

I found other articles that not only had possible UX questions but also had some suggested answers. I used these also to help me form my questions and answers. One of these resources was an article by Toptal that was great for breaking down what the question means and what the employer wants to hear.

1- Tell us about yourself

As explained in this article by coursera what they’re really asking you with this question is what makes you the right person for this position? why should they invest money and time in you? Are you worth it?

It sounds like a simple get-to-know-you question, but there’s more to it. This is question is my get-way into explaining my journey with UX design.

Prompts:

  • Why are you interested in UX?
  • How did you get started in UX?
  • Tell me a little bit more about your background.
  • What sparked your interest in UX?
  • What experiences did you have in your previous jobs or coursework that inspired you to pursue a career in UX design? – here I could talk about some of my part time roles in the service industry and how this helped me improve my communication skills, improve my time-management and taught me how to better deal and communicate with people.
  • Express what excites you about the role you’re applying for.
  • Why do you think you’re the best candidate for the job?

I plan on talking a bit about how my multicultural background informs my design solutions and how I found a love for intuitive and user friendly design through art when I moved to this country as it offered me a respite from the language barrier and allowed me to express my frustration, emotions and in a way communicate with the world. This translated into a love for facilitating interactions and communications for everyone.

2- What is UX design?

Other ways the question may be phrased:

  • What’s the value of UX design?
  • Why should we hire a UX designer?

What they’re really wanting to know is if you understand the value of the role. The interviewer is not looking for a simple dictionary definition of UX as they are most likely trying to figure out your understanding of the role—how it brings value to both customers and the business. I think that for this kind of question it’s very much about relating it back to the user and explaining what makes UX design special.

Prompts:

  • UX design is all about championing the user.
  • Empathy and user-centered design create value.
  • Talk about the ways in which you keep the user at the center of the design process: user research, personas and user journey maps, and usability testing.
  • Why should we hire a UX designer?
  • What’s the value of UX design?

3- Give me some of your favorite examples of good UX

This question is more about figuring out if you understand the elements of good user experience. Knowing why good UX is important is one thing. Knowing how to design good UX is another. This question digs into your knowledge of UX best practices. So think of apps in terms of usability, accessibility, how engaging and interactive they are…

Prompts:

  • What elements of the product, app, or website make the user experience enjoyable?
  • How is the design user-centric?
  • How do you think that impacts the company’s bottom line?

My examples:

  • Instagram – for its usability
  • Apples web store – so smooth, simple, and intriguing, it draws you in
  • Pinterest – intuitive
  • Spotify – great personalization

4- Give me some of your examples of bad UX

Here I would also talk about the importance of UX as a bad experience will stay with a user and it will make achieving their task harder. It also reduces their trust and patience for the product or service.

  • Translink timetables – will not read outload past the title (not accessible). Clunky and awkward to use
  • Ryanair booking platform – I like to think of it as sneaky UX, it makes it complicated and confusing to trick you into spending more money. Opposite of user first design. You can tell that it is about the bottom line for the company.

5- What is the difference between UX and UI?

Do you understand what UX is and isn’t (and how it fits into the bigger picture)? This is a hard but clever question as more often than not the terms UI and UX are used interchangeably or simply lumped together, they represent distinct roles in the product development process. Make sure you can communicate the difference between a product looking good (UI) and working effectively and efficiently (UX).

Designing for the user interface often plays an important role in the work of a UX designer, but it is not the only function.

Prompts:

  • UX considers the users needs and how to make a digital product accessible to its users.
  • UI design is concerned with the effective layout of visual elements on a user interface, UX design is ‘people first.’ It’s about what motivates them—how they think and behave.
  • How to get the user from A to B as simply as possible
  • Talk about the freelance branding you did and how you had to act as the Graphic designer, UI and UX designer all at once and how you had to continually justify your design decisions.
  • UI design is only one slice of the UX design process ‘pie’, and only one of many different disciplines that reside under the UX banner. These include, but are not limited to: a user-centered design strategy, core user demographic definition, persona creation, user research, information architecture, content strategy, interaction design, visual design and usability testing.
  • What’s the difference between a UX designer and a graphic designer?
  • How is UX design different from visual design?
  • What sets UX apart from other design disciplines?

6- What is the future of UX?

This is a fun question as you can really delve into the innovations that excite you in the industry and the things you would love to explore.

I found an article that really helped me to inform my answers, click here to read it.

Possible talking points:

  • focus on ease of use through motion design and gestural interfaces
  • Voice commands for minimal to no contact interfaces
  • AR/ VR – Corporations like IKEA, Target, and Home Depot are already incorporating augmented reality into their online shopping experiences. And let’s not forget when Pokemon Go’s AR technology took over the globe.
  • Ilya Kroogman, Lead UI/UX Designer and Founder of The Digital Panda stated that “The future of UX design is in a combination of intuitive/predictive AI as well as quality voice/chatbots. Being able to interact with technology in a natural Human-like manner will accelerate technological adoption and increase user satisfaction.”

7- What are your weaknesses?

8- Why do you want to work for Global Payments?

I remember when you came to give us a talk you mentioned that UX is the heart of the development process in Global Payments, this is something that really attracted me to the company as the more you elaborated on this the clearer it became that the customer comes first and that important elements of design like accessibility and creating user centered designs are at the forefront.

9- Walk me through your workflow/your design process

Other ways the question may be phrased:

  • Describe your design process and what methods you follow.

  • Describe your design process for us.

What they want to know is what is your thought process is when it comes to solving problems?

This question is all about analyzing your critical thinking and problem solving skills. It is key to choose a successful project you’ve worked on in the past and walk through the steps you took. Structure your answer much like the design process itself by mentioning how you researched, designed, and validated your design decisions. Avoid the temptation to answer this question in general terms.

Prompts:

  • A deep curiosity and a constant desire to learn.
  • understanding of both user and business goals.
  • Competitive audits, stakeholder interviews, user research involving interviews and surveys, content audits, information architecture, user personas, business model canvases, mood boards, storyboards, empathy maps, use case scenarios and user flows, customer journeys, wireframes, mockups, and prototypes.
  • Applying these UX methodologies and learning directly from users.
  • Walk me through your portfolio.
  • What’s your design process?
  • Tell me about a project that challenged you. How did you work through the challenge?

10- What kind of research methods do you use?

What they’re really asking: How do you validate your design decisions?

User research is a key part of the UX design process, so interviewers will sometimes want to gauge your familiarity with the process and methods.

You can approach this question in a couple of ways. Be sure to walk through any user research methods you’ve used in the past (this can include research you conducted as part of a course or degree project). Talk about the benefits and limitations of each method.

If you have limited experience in UX design, you can also frame your answer in terms of research methods you’d like to try and why.

  • Have you conducted user research in the past?
  • How do you decide which research method to use?

11- How do you respond to negative feedback? 

What they’re really asking: Are you a team player?

Part of the interview process involves figuring out what you’re like to work with. Can you work collaboratively? Are you able to incorporate different ideas and viewpoints into your designs? Do you trust your team members with your work?

UX design is a highly collaborative process. Take this opportunity to talk about a successful collaboration. This could be a group project or a team effort in a previous job. No matter the example you choose, remember to point out the role you played in the group, how you overcame any challenges, what you learned from your teammates, and how the finished product benefitted from the collaboration.

  • Do you work well as part of a team?
  • Describe your ideal work environment.
  • How do you hand over your designs to developers?

12- Tell me about your most/least successful UX design project.

What are your biggest strengths or weaknesses?

Getting asked about the design project you’re most proud of is your chance to showcase your strengths. Outline your contributions to the project, then go into a little more detail about what made it so successful. As you prepare for this question, see if you can tie in some of the qualities listed in the job description for the role.

The negative version of the question is another way to ask you about your weaknesses. Be honest, but keep the focus on what you learned from the not-so-successful project and what you’d do differently in the future.

No matter which version of the question you get, take it as an opportunity to define how you measure success (hint: tie it to the user).

  • Walk me through your portfolio.
  • What is your biggest strength/weakness as a UX designer?
  • Tell me about a design problem that challenged you.

13- How would you improve the UX of our product?

Have you done your research?

It’s always a good idea to read up on the company you’re applying to ahead of your interview. This demonstrates your interest in this company and this role as opposed to any other UX designer job.

Take some time to explore the company’s products. Browse their website. Use their app if they have one.

Think about what works and what could be improved. Pick one or two examples, and come up with a sample plan of action. Remember to mention the company’s target users and the type of research you might conduct when enhancing an existing design.

The point here isn’t to bash your potential employer but to offer a preview of the value you’d bring to the company.

  • Tell me about a bad user experience you’ve had. How would you fix it?

14- Where do you find inspiration?

Are you passionate about UX design? Are you a lifelong learner?

Interviewers are generally looking for a couple of things when they ask a question like this. First, they want to know that you’re genuinely interested in the industry. Second, they want to know that you’re staying on top of trends. Third, they want to see that you’re always looking for ways to learn and improve.

There’s no right or wrong answer here.

You could discuss a design book you’ve read recently, pointing out a tip or two you gleaned from it. You could talk about a UX podcast you listen to, or a trend you read about in a design blog. How could that trend contribute to this company’s success? Maybe there’s a UX designer you follow on Twitter who always inspires you with new ideas.

If you’re not regularly consuming UX design media, now’s the time to start. Here’s a list of UX books, blogs, and podcasts to get you going.

  • What do you think is the next big trend in UX design?
  • What inspires you?
  • What inspires your work?

15- Do you have any questions?

Are you engaged and curious?

This question closes out many interviews, and it’s important that you come prepared with your own thoughtful questions. The main point of an interview is for a company to determine whether you’re a good fit for a role. But that goes both ways. This is your chance to explore whether the company is a good fit for you.

Demonstrate your interest in the company and the job by asking two or three questions. You can prepare some questions ahead of time, but don’t be afraid to ask questions that may have come up during the interview process. Topics to inquire about might include the company culture, team structure, and business goals.

16- Describe a recent project you were particularly challenged by and how you approached the problem.

Here they want to see what your design process is and how you tackle issues. It is essential to have a clear strategy to facilitate an end goal.

Prompts:

  • What did you find challenging and why?
  • How did you set out to come up with a solution?
  • did you gather extra user-generated data to help solve the problem/brief? – collecting data using analytics, testing the design on a specific demographic in a format that makes the most sense.
  • Testing wireframes or interactive prototypes on users to either validate or reject hypotheses.
  • Sending a survey to a wider demographic to better understand product market fit.
  • Did you employ remote moderated user-testing, or some kind of remote research methodology in order to listen to users and arrive at better design solutions?
  • Readily share enthusiasm about how you approach problems.

17- The Whiteboard Challenge

How do you perform under pressure? Can you back up the skills listed on your resume?

Many UX designer interviews include a hands-on design challenge. Sometimes this is a take-home project that you turn in later. More commonly, it’s a whiteboard challenge, where you’re asked to design a solution on the spot while talking through your process.

This can be intimidating, but keep in mind that it’s more about seeing your process in action than the final result. Break this down into a few steps:

 

1. Ask questions to clarify what the challenge entails. What are the expected outcomes? What factors should you consider?

2. Ask more questions to help you build a user persona.

3. Create a user story. Outline what the user would need to solve their problem and the steps they might take.

4. Draw a few critical wireframes on the whiteboard. Explain what you’re including and why.

5. Discuss some alternatives or other use cases.

6. Respond to any feedback with improvements.

7. Ask if there’s anything else you should iterate on.

Practice the process with a real whiteboard ahead of the interview. Here are a few sample challenges to practice with:

  • Design a child-friendly app for a store that makes custom teddy bears.
  • Design a mobile app to help singles safely find a roommate in a big city.
  • Re-design a popular dating app to make it more useful during the pandemic.
  • Design something from the Designercize prompt generator.

So in a nutshell I think that UX design interview questions tend to fall into a few categories:

  • All About You
  • All About Your Work
  • All About Your Process
  • What Makes You Tick?
  • What Are Your Goals?

Questions I have for the end of the interview

  1. What staff development programs do you have?
  2. During our placement program will we be given mentorship and if so how often
  3. Company culture
  4. Team structure
  5. Business
  6. How many projects will I be working on durin/ project opportunities
  7. Opportunities to work in orther areas
  8. What have you learned over the year on how to improive ypour designs
  9. Would you be willing to give me some feedback on how I was able to articulate my answers and describe my design process.

 

 

Core systems

Core – Transforming lives together

Core Systems (NI) Ltd – North Belfast

Speakers:

  • Roisin – Product delivery manager
  • Ellie (Placement student)

About Core systems 

  • Focus on the criminal justice sector
  • 200 thousand users using their products across Australia, USA
  • Challenging
  • How can they help the prisoner while they are incarserated.

Mission:

To utilize technology to make life better for individuals in the criminal justice system.

For the victim, the workers and the imprisoned.

The problem:

  • Reoffending – within 3 months after release about 50% of them go back.
  • Nothing is being fixed so they try to give them tools while in prison to make sure they do not re-offend.
  • Some come from disadvantaged backgrounds and their needs are not meet before or after prison
  • The average reading age of prisoners is of a  8 – 10 year old.

The solution:

  • Communication with friends and family while in prison to prevent reoffending.
  • Self-service modules (doing things for yourself and not relying on other people) teaches them tools they need for when they are released.
  • E-learning.
  • Shop ordering (Helps them to budget)
  • Meals selection (makes them responsible to make sure they get the food they like).

By allowing them access to these key skills the aim is to help them improve upon themselves and keep up with technology so when they leave they are not alienated.

  • Avoid causing frustration or anger when creating the software to avoid fights or irritating a prisoner.

Working at Core systems

What they need from their people:

  • Curiosity and imagination
  • Creative problem solving
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Analytic and critical thinking
  • Initiative and entrepreneurialism

Come forward with your ideas, they appreciate it all.

How they work:

Agile practices – this allows them to develop products very quickly.

What does the flow look like? Is it technically feasible?

Meet every other Thursday to agree on what they will be working on and then spend 2 weeks developing.

  • Product development level
  • Marketing and graphic design
  • Opportunities to work in UI and UX
  • Working on a live product being delivered to customers.

Skype and teams – working remotely atm. Then they will have a hybrid working model by early next year.

Things you get to do:

  • Loads of prototypes to take to people to ensure it is correct. Great way to get feedback
  • Get to work with product rebranding team – Varied role
  • Get to work on UI and UX

Ellie – placement student

  • Been there 4 months
  • Working to create designs for product pathways
  • Working towards a set of existing UI standards
  • Considering the user when doing UX
  • THE USER!!!!!! they have a low level of education so the language, text size and visual element has to be very carefully considered.
  • Working as part of a bigger team
  • Creating prototypes
  • Consistency for better user experience
  • Saves documents with quick description for developers
  • Worked with the business team creating designs for them for marketing
  • Variation in work
  • Her first project was creating a core banner

Banner

  • Colour
  • Logo
  • Imagery
  • Get brief and look at previous designs then get some feedback, make some changes and other options then get the final outcome

Creating an e-Book

Web design

The design team is relatively small so you get a lot of design freedom and your input is appreciated.


Q&A

1- Working from home

  • Was in the office for a few weeks to be introduced.
  • People who were not in the office even messaged her to introduced themselves.
  • She slowly transitioned to working from home.
  • Loads of support to remote working transition.

2- Consider their audience. When they went into prison was even something as old as Facebook a thing?

3- Cortney is working there atm (final year student)

4- What impresses them:

Empathy, understanding the user, creativity, feedback, user research

4- How many placement students can you take on?

Only 1.


Contact

02890 722044

Roisin@coresystems.biz

Ellie@coresystems.biz


Applying

  • Interview to get a feel for you
  • December – January

Workplace etiquette

IXD302 – week 3 workplace etiquette

Menti.com 66680292

Considerations for the workplace:

  • show your work – be open minded
  • Keeping on top of tasks
  • Organisation
  • Time management

Basic rules for existing in the workplace:

Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself – Eleanor Roosevelt

  1. the studio: be pleasant and enthusiastic – positive attitude, shield people from your negative thoughts. Get as much as you can out of placement and contribute as much as you can. Be on time – it shows respect. Dress appropriately – smart casual. Use headphones for music (at a volume that you can still hear people at) pay attention to your surroundings. Keep your own volume down. Don’t gossip. Be mindful. Don’t get caught up in other peoples grievances. Keep areas clean and help to keep the common areas clean – show that you are trying to help keep the environment nice, it can gain you respect. It shows you don’t have high opinions of yourself, that you are not afraid of the nitty gritty. Don’t bring smelly food in. Offer tea and coffee if you drink it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – even the dumb ones. Remember your colleges are just people too, they also don’t have everything figured out, this can help you connect with them and will put things in perspective. Make sure you are organised and file your work properly, saving iterations and clearly labelling work. Chances are you will be saving to a server as others will need to access your work as well. Respect your coworkers space. When entering the workplace or someone’s space, acknowledge the person by using their name when you speak to them, make eye contact and ask to borrow things. No two studios are the same, just make sure you contribute as much as you can, as long as you pay attention you will find your way.  Prove you enthusiastic to learn and improve yourself. Prove you are willing to make an effort as they will notice and put effort into you also – like teach you.
  2. Meetings: with a client of third party – greet them at the door and introduce yourself if you’ve not meet before. Even if it’s not your meeting you can get them set up for whoever is running late. Offer them tea and coffee and get them settled in to the meeting room space. Excuse yourself to go and get the team if they haven’t already appeared. How these are conducted will change from firm to firm. Some may not even have designers in them and it’s unlikely as a junior that you will be conducting a meeting. But being helpful for those that do will be appreciated by the team. However, you should pay attention during these to gain confidence for when it’s your turn. Be on time for meetings, come prepared, take notes so you don’t forget vital information. Be mindful of your body language. Don’t zone out – focus at all time, this may take conscious effort at times. Don’t be afraid to contribute your ideas in a meeting, if you are in there as a designer or part of the design team, you are there because they want to hear from you, don’t speak over people though, make sure to choose an appropriate time. Watch and learn. Be natural but also professional and respectful (this will get easier). A meeting will often start with some casual conversation beforehand. If you are shy or not good at small talk then try practicing this or having some anecdotes prepared. Watch others to see how they handle it. Meetings can be great for dealing with a complex issue or covering a lot of ground. They are also good for getting to know people in a team or third party. They can be a nuisance though, so don’t suggest unnecessary ones. Work on overcoming nerves : whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t – you are right – Henry Ford.
  3. the phone: it’s not the same as phone calls in the real world. If the phone is ringing for a while just be the one to pick it up if you are free to answer it, be the person to help out. Say “hello””good morning” or “good afternoon” state that the company name. Say your name followed by “speaking”. If it’s not for you they will tell you who it’s for. Ask as a questions “Can I tell them who is calling.” Or so,etching to that effect. Then you can transfer it to the team member, tell them who it is and ask if they want to take it. If not go back on the line and tell them that your team member is unfortunately in a meeting/not at their desk etc. (Lie) and ask if you can take a message. Take a message and their number and leave it on their desk.
  4. Email: write a good subject line (make it about the email content, nothing generic in case they need to search it later). Sarcasm does not bode well with email. Choose the right tone, who is it that you are emailing? Someone you know well or someone you have never spoken to before? Don’t hit send prematurely (you can’t get it back) if in drought draft in a text editor first then paste it and send it. Spell check!!!! Address people by name before starting – never say “hey” if it’s first time email establish a connection how do you know them? If it’s a repeat email, ask them how they are or say you hope they are keeping well. Get to the point quickly. Keep it to only one topic/point per email. Be concise, no one likes lengthy email. No one likes one liners either. Use words like “glad” “excited” “intreaged” not emoji. Use paragraphs to break up length content or use heading if necessary. Clarify why you are asking for something or making a request. Sign off with something appropriate, this could be: many thanks, thanks, all the best, best regards, best, regards, best wishes, thanks again – if you alr3dy thanked them in the body of the email. Have your details in your email signature, maybe they want to follow up with a call, it never hurts to have your info easy to reference. Don’t forget to add your attachments and make sure they are a reasonable file size. Leave it an appropriate amount of time to hear back before following up. Design: don’t use crazy fonts. Just the basics here. System fonts will display best. Your footer can be designed but it can create attachments so a simple text version is best.

In conclusions:

Watch and learn! Pay attention to what everyone is doing, not just the designers and why they do what they do.

The simple act of paying positive atttention to people has a great deal to do with productivity – Tom peters …..

Get comfortable being uncomfortable –  if you get comfortable with getting yourself out of the deep end or out of uncomfortable situations you will be able to do anything.

Task :

  • in breakout rooms: conduct meetings about the topics discussed today. You will each assume a role : note taker, meeting leader (raises points for discussions), dumb question asker, contributors (field questions/discuss points)

How it went

Meeting leader

HOMEWORK

Write a mock email in any of these subject areas (you can do it in pairs for exchanges)

  1. to manager keeping them up to date on a project progressions (use IXD301 work)
  2. To client requesting content that is past due and necessary to progress
  3. To a client who has requested info or files from you months/years after the job.
  4. Sending a link over to a manager/client to review work in progress.
  5. Asking for clarification on something you didn’t understand from a team member
  6. To request and arrange a meeting

Also continue your research blogs in the topics raised in class as well as familiarising yourself with companies of excellence and local industry – go into great detail.

Companies that produce great designs

As part of our IXD302 module we were tasked with the following:

  1. Find 3 examples of local companies, UK and Ireland that you admire and that represent great design/wok and that you would like to work for
  2. Also three examples of international design firms that you believe are world leading and produce exceptional work – ones you would aspire to work for.
  3. Write a short paragraph on each and show some work examples to back up your thoughts

Things I would like to have in a workplace

Before starting my search I decided to narrow down my search by identifying the key attributes I would like to have in my future workplace.

  • Innovation
  • Flexibility
  • Creativity
  • Growth opportunities
  • Feedback
  • Mentorship
  • Travel opportunities
  • Driven
  • Exciting
  • Learning opportunities
  • Friendly
  • High quality content created
  • Collaborative
  • Great pay
  • Focus on work/life balance
  • Learning Opportunities
  • Good fitting environment – it is important to be mindful of the environment and that you are a good fit for it.

Local companies I will be investigating:

To find local companies I read an article posted by Tech Behemoths

International companies I will be investigating

  • BigDrop
  • Amazon
  • Disney
  • Pentagram
  • Clay
  • Neuron
  • Firefly
  • Raw Studio
  • Milkmonkey
  • EA Mobile
  • Wandr
  • Neuron

Preparing for placement – 1

I will be honest I AM STRESSED!

So I have to find placement and so the first thing I need to do is research and brainstorm. Here are some of my initial thoughts and ideas after hearing some of the tips Kyle had for us in class.


Things I should do to improve my chances

  • Side projects – Reference the logo design you did for the ice cream shop during the summer.
  • Check out the job opportunities in Slack, Handshake, LinkedIn, etc…
  • Check out communities like UX NI, ladies that UX as these can be great learning tools.
  • increase online presence – slack, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc…
  • Apply to the study abroad opportunities.
  • Apply to all placement opportunities, what will you loose? The worst they can say is no.
  • Take up side projects related to your interests in the field of design as these make for great learning opportunities. Also consider attending fayres.
  • Bigger organizations tend to offer placement opportunities first – eg Rapid7.
  • IBM look up – they have UX jobs.
  • Specify that you are looking for a year long placement/internship in your portfolio. Narrow it down. What can I do? Can I do it? How can they contact me? As a designer the portfolio is a must, it is way more important than a CV, it acts as a meet and greet. Show what you are really good at, what IXD activities you like to do? What makes you different from other designers?, On which projects did you bring the most values? What interesting stories can you tell about the work you did? Show that you can do the hard work that comes before the pretty pictures – SHOW YOUR WORKING, think Math GCSE.
  • Case studies will get you a job.

 Interview questions

  • What do you find interesting about the industry?
  • How do you keep up with such a fast paced industry – My answer: By being a curious octopus and a forever student.
  • What tools do you use on a daily basis?
  • What is your process when creating illustrations/websites/wireframes, etc… ?

Impressing employers

  • Preparedness – it will come across poorly if you attend an interview unprepared.
  • Identify the key skills being asked for that role and try to guide your cv towards presenting you as the ideal candidate.
  • Ask about timing – how long will you have to wait until you hear back from them?