Background

General Assembly is an educational institution that offers long and short courses in design and technology related fields, such as user experience design, product management, and software development. Their goal is to give people the skills they need to pursue a career they love.

To help prospective students make an informed decision before enrolling, General Assembly held regular “info sessions” that provided an overview of each course. I was involved in planning and delivering several info sessions for the 10 week User Experience Design Immersive course.

Workshop

General Assembly wanted to give prospective students a taste of the course, but as info sessions were usually scheduled for a weekday evening, we had very little time to work with. I devised an interactive workshop that could be delivered in under an hour, featuring a condensed adaptation of the design process that we taught on the course.

During the workshop, prospective students were introduced to the concept of prototyping before being paired up and given a simple design problem that was based on a familiar concept or an existing product. For example: “Invent your own photo app that enables you to share photos with your friends quickly and easily while on the move.”

Each team was asked to map out the problem as a user’s journey based on each other’s personal experience, then sketch a design that might complement or improve that journey. The teams converted their sketches into an interactive prototype using a smartphone app, and tested each other’s prototypes. They used the constructive feedback from the testing to iterate their designs.

Conclusion

Prospective students left the info session with an interactive prototype that they had designed themselves, which demonstrated in a fun and engaging way just how much they could learn and produce in less than an hour, let alone an entire course!

On average, 10% of info session attendees would enrol on the course. In some cases we were approached by business owners who had attended and wanted to incorporate our techniques into their companies or hire directly from General Assembly.

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