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Academy Xi Blog

7 Inspirational UX Designers in Australia

By Academy Xi

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User Experience (UX) Design embraces critical problem-solving and creative design thinking to mend a usability problem. Like most design work, UX Designers require an abundance of creativity, and often, solutions to common user problems that appear uninspiring and run-of-the-mill. Luckily, we have a remedy for the dreaded ‘designers block.’

Feast your eyes on these seven inspiring Australian UX Designers and stay updated with some of the industry’s best, because inspiration comes in a variety of pixels and Hex codes.

1. Adham Dannaway

Adham Dannaway is a Product Designer at Digital Transformation Agency. He has a diversity of skills from Product Design to UX Design, and he enjoys solving complex usability problems with simple and beautiful designs. Adham is based in Sydney, and his work is inspired by his love for interior designs (and Yoda).

During his professional career, Adham has helped Qantas refresh their homepage, designed user notifications for Campaign Monitor, and has built brand redesigns for Quest Apartment Hotels. He documents the challenges, features, and design process in his online portfolio. 

Across all his projects, Adham’s top UX Design tip is to consider the purpose of every detail in a product or user interface (UI). In his experience, every element has an earned position, and layering details in a purposeful design will result in a user-friendly and beautiful UX Design.

Design can be a subjective and creative art form, but it’s also very logical and scientific. Have logical reasons behind your design decisions and be able to articulate them,” recommends Adham.

2. Michael Wong

Michael Wong is an internationally recognised Product/UX/UI Designer, and founder of Sydney production agency, Mizko Media. His journey in the digital space began with a curiosity in gaming communities, but it’s his passion for design that led him on a UX Design path.

For Michael, UX Design is simple. It’s an umbrella term that captures everything to do with the ease and delightfulness of any experience or product.

User Interface Design is a component that lies within the User Experience umbrella. Its focus is on making a product or experience look great,” informs Michael.

Michael’s portfolio features a spectrum of UX and UI Designs for big brands such as Westpac, Adobe, and Microsoft, to venture-backed startups such as Spaceship, Snappr, and Soho App.

Michael also shares his design expertise on a weekly newsletter to 7,000+ designers. He also films for a growing YouTube channel and curates content for a thriving design community, The Designership.

3. Philippe Hong

A self-taught UX Designer, Philippe Hong, combines passion and creativity to provide the best possible experience for customers near and far.

Philippe’s UX journey began six years ago in France where his contribution to Hackathons and campaigns attracted multiple accolades. His award-winning work has been sought after by brands such as Airtasker, KeyPay, and Snappr. The Sydney-based designer is also the Co-Founder of the visual bookmarking tool, Bukket, and scheduling app Vyte.

Vyte’s new website features some of Philippe’s proudest work:

Philippe takes inspiration from Steve Jobs and emphasises that “Design isn’t just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”

4. Adrian Ciaschetti

Introducing Sydney-based UX and Product Designer, Adrian Ciaschetti.

Adrian has worked on major design projects and creative experiments with Qantas, Envato, and Expert360. Currently, Adrian applies his skills and passion towards the design and direction of travel booking app, Sparrow Flights.

With experience in UX consultancy, Adrian has helped small to medium-sized enterprises and startups achieve a seamless UX Design.

In a world of research, data, and testing it’s always important to remember that passion and flair make truly great experiences. When there is a choice between the conventional and the bold, always test the bold,” Adrian advises.

5. Monty Hayton

With over 3,000 followers on Dribbble and five years of industry experience, Monty Hatyon combines branding, UX Design, and marketing to help domestic and international brands solve usability problems both online and offline.

Monty has worked with traditional and new brands such as Newscorp, AgentDrive, and Qantas to enhance their product strategies. 

In his approach to UX Design, Monty draws on his experience and competency across a range of mediums such as video, 3D animation, photography, and branding.

The Sydney-based Illustrator and Designer is skilled in data visualisation and is passionate about translating ideas into innovative projects. However, Monty warns that many designers assume that simple and minimal design equates to a functional and engaging product.

“Don’t be fooled, the aim of UX Design is to represent as much information as you can without sacrificing the integrity of the user’s experience. Simple doesn’t always work, and complex doesn’t mean a design can’t be intuitive,” Monty explains.

6. Kylie Timpani

Undisputedly an up-and-coming Australian UX/ UI and Web Designer to watch, Kylie Timpani makes it a priority to understand the needs and motivations of different people as well as their interaction and response to the information.

“There are apparently more than 1 billion people in the world experiencing a disability. In Australia, there’s 4 million alone. That’s 1 in 5 people before we even begin to mention the elderly who experience impairments of their own… that’s A LOT of people. So, when you design, make sure you design for these people too. They deserve to use and access the web just like everyone else does,” she said.

Kylie’s journey began when she was given her first computer as a birthday gift. The second-hand graphics programs that came along with it, gave her the opportunity to unleash her creativity in a digital environment.

Currently, she is the Senior Designer at a digital agency, Humaan, and in her spare time, she commits to organising design conferences. The Perth-based designer has worked on website designs for WA’s Good Food Guide, THRIVE Health, and more.

7. Sharni Allen

Sharni is a UX Designer and Researcher that believes in collaboration between strategy, creative and technical teams. With a background in project management, Sharni’s ability to inspire vision and direction in her team has resulted in resounding success for brands such as Coca-Cola Australia, HSBC, NRMA, the NSW Government and more.

For Sharni, her career in the UX Design space revolves around her passion and enthusiasm for the user. She describes herself as a UX generalist, understanding the value of stakeholder relationships, user journeys, personas, wireframing and usability testing.

Don’t design user experiences, design FOR them,” she advises.

Whether you’re a budding UX Designer or seasoned professional, fresh inspiration is essential at every turn. Start your career journey with a UX Design course or get interview tips in our guide to becoming a UX Designer. 

Academy Xi Blog

Graduate Catch Up: Leah Bayndrian

By Academy Xi

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 Student Profile

Leah Bayndrian

Course: UX Design Transform, Full-time 

Background: Investment Banking Administration

Current Role: UX Research Specialist

 

A year on from completing our UX Design Transform course, Leah Bayndrian shares her learning journey with us, and describes how the experience prepared her to hit the ground running as a UX Research Specialist with Oneflare.

 

What were you doing before Academy Xi, and why did you decide to give UX a go?

Before starting my UX course I had been working in London for an investment bank; mostly in the area of banking administration. I was involved with updating systems and streamlining processes to work with new banking regulations that were coming into effect in the UK.

 My role involved working with a team of 150 people, finding out how they used current systems, what frustrated them, and their goals and needs when it came to building new systems. The engineer I was working with to create this, suggested I look into UX, so when I flew back home to Sydney I began my research. I came across Academy Xi and signed up – kicking off a pretty exciting career change! 

 

How well prepared did you feel after graduating from Academy Xi to hit the ground running at work?

Academy Xi was able to prepare me for the world of design and all the new challenges I needed to take on when job hunting after my course. The design world is very new and different for someone who came from a non-design background, there was a lot I had to learn and understand in terms of how I needed to prepare for a design role. Everything is different, from the way you work, to how you speak and communicate with developers and stakeholders. There is a lot to learn and a very short space to grasp it all.

The Academy Xi UX Transform course gave me the ability to understand what I wanted out of a UX role, as well as all the base information with doors ready to open. The course helps you understand where your interests lie, as in what you like to do and where you want to grow and develop. 

Some people were drawn to the UI side of design whereas I was more taken with the research. I’m more involved in the early concept of design, deciding why and how we should tackle problems to build for a better experience. 

 

 

The course teaches you all the base skills that will equip you to complete UX projects. During the course you undertake real client projects which is a highly valuable experience. You work with the clients to get an understanding of what is expected from you as a UX Designer and understand how to complete a full design journey, delivering an outcome to your clients – which is what is expected from you as soon as you start your first role.

Xi equipped me with the skills to carry out the design thinking process with variable options to take and an understanding of how to conduct research through testing and iterating designs. They help you stand on your own two feet, with the ability to understand the pros and cons of different kinds of processes and tools, choosing where to implement how best to tackle a problem, enabling you to continually grow your skills and keep learning.

 

How did Academy Xi help you find and prepare for the role with Oneflare?

The Tribe at Academy Xi was able to help prepare me for the world of design and all the new challenges I needed to take on when job hunting after my course. During the course we were always told how to get the most out of it and to really put ourselves out there by going to meetups, networking and understanding what the day to day world of UX is really like.

Throughout my course, The Outcomes Team helped with many areas of interview and job preparation:

  • Resume writing: Translating past career experience into the context of my design skillset
  • Interview prep: we gained tips on how to prep for interviews and get our story across. We also played out mock interviews and practiced questions. Importantly, we learnt how to question our potential employers to gain an understanding of their UX maturity, and how they currently work with design teams
  • Creating a portfolio: we worked on creating a portfolio with case studies from our client projects which all employers wanted to look over.
  • Creating an online presence: They encouraged us to write blogs and be active on Linkedin
  • Networking: creating connections within the design world was also good advice, as the design community, while growing, is still relatively small, it’s good to build connections and be able to reach out for advice from mentors and other professionals.
 
Thanks Leah! If you are interested in a career transformation yourself, check out our range of courses here.