Professional background: Learning Designer

Studied at Academy Xi: User Experience Design Course


An award winning Learning Experience Designer (elearning) and Manager who incorporates UX and Design Thinking into the more traditional learning methodologies. I’m interested in User Experiences and designs in all their varieties – learning, UX, Service and Product. My passion is for education and the changes it can bring to peoples’ lives. I also love the openness, creativity and energy of the startup and entrepreneurial spaces. I’m compelled to make a difference and get the job done.

Interview with Steve King

What were you doing before Academy Xi?

I was an eLearning Manager at a prominent University – a background in online learning/educational design. I took advantage of a redundancy to do UXT.

What are you doing now?

I’m a Learning Designer with an educational technology start-up in Sydney. Best job I’ve ever had – in fact, they created the job for me!  I took a month off after UXT.

When I decided to look for work again, I had 2 interviews lined up in 2 days. I got offered both jobs in the next 2-3 days after that, but I decided on this one.  So, it took 5 days all up after completing UXT. Now I’m in the best team culture I could have dreamed of; chilled, fun, hard working, ‘start-up’ mentality – it’s all hustle and hacking – with the nicest bunch of people I’ve ever worked for.  

I was told outright at my 3 month review that my UX and design thinking skills (honed hard at UXT!) were highly regarded in taking me on, on top of prior experience. I sit next to one of the UXers, and work with UI, UX and Visual Communicators, Product designers, devs, growth, on top of a Learning Design team. UXT opened me up to all of this – I can speak that language and I ‘get’ the mindset needed.   

What advice would you give to someone considering enrolling in the UX: Transform course?

It can be easy to get stuck thinking about the job afterwards but focus on getting your head right first. Be open to transforming your mind, changing your thinking, and opening up to a thriving community of like-minded people across all areas of design. Just get out there and hustle because if you’re genuine, with a good attitude, you’ll have a lightbulb moment where you ‘transform’ into a UXer.

During the UXT course, take time to reflect on yourself and think about what makes you unique – put that into your design thinking and immerse yourself into the design narrative. Do it together with your other students – take care of each other, back each other, and back yourself.  Then it will all happen.

Don’t just think about the job afterwards  – get your head right first. Whether it happens immediately, or right at the end, or gradually, or suddenly, if you’re genuine and with a good attitude you will have a lightbulb moment and “transform” – that’s when you know you’re a UXer.  I was the odd one out in the awesome crew I did UXT with – as I didn’t intend to be a UXer per se, but apply UX design to Learning Design. And I’m doing it.

I was also one of if not the oldest (50) & I can tell you – it’s initially intimidating when it looks as if just about everyone else is half your age. I would say be open to transforming your mind – UXT is a mind hack and potentially life transforming – you change your thinking, attitude, and can open up to a thriving community of like minded people, in start-ups, entrepreneurs etc across all types of spaces with plenty of opportunities across all areas of design.  The course alone will not get you a UX job. Nor will it cover everything you might need for UX roles out there which are increasingly unicorning with coding and UI skills etc. So never mind that & just get out there and hustle.

At UXT spend time to reflect on your design narrative – as a designer, learn to tell the story of your design approach. When you create a portfolio, be able to tell the story behind your thinking and approach – not just what and how you can do something, but why you do it that way, why it works, and why you rock. Without the narrative, without a signature style & confidence, recruiters will just put you down as a junior role type of person & offer you crappy jobs – ie. they won’t take you too seriously & you will be joining a large club of novice UXers getting ripped off and used.  So use UXT to reflect on yourself and what makes you, you – put that into your design thinking.

Find a recruiter who really ‘gets’ you and will work for you. But I also recommend more, doing what I did – go to the companies you like – whether you stumble upon them like I did, or you search them out. But at UXT immerse yourself into it, together with your other students – take care of each other, back each other, and back yourself. Then it will all happen.

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