Fast-track your UX UI career with a mentor

Academy Xi Webinars

Fast-track your UX UI career with a mentor

By Academy Xi

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As an aspiring designer, navigating the world of user experience design can be challenging without proper guidance. However, with the right mentorship, you can unlock your full potential and accelerate your growth in the field.

Join Lead UX UI Design Mentor at Academy Xi, Arlen McCarthy, as we explore the vital role of mentorship in nurturing aspiring designers.

Featured Questions & Topics:

  • Career development and Arlen’s design journey
  • The role of a great mentor in the early stages of a new career
  • How to build a successful mentor-mentee relationship during your Academy Xi course.

With plenty of opportunities to ask questions, this fireside chat will leave you with a good insight into what it’s like learning with Academy Xi and launching a career in UX or UI Design.

Register here to watch the recording

Building a UX UI Design Career Path

Academy Xi Webinars

Launching a UX UI career with Academy Xi

By Academy Xi

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Are you aiming to launch a career as a UX UI Designer? Our live info session will help you do just that, explaining the industry’s different roles and career paths, as well as the practical steps you’ll need to take to start your journey.

Topics include:

  • UX UI Design roles & career pathways
  • Preparing for the industry and launching your new career
  • How our UX UI Design: Transform course can help

With plenty of opportunities to ask all your questions, this info session will give you all kinds of insider advice about UX UI careers and how to break into this exciting field.

Reserve your spot now, and prepare to get inspired and hired by one of Australia’s most exciting industries.

Save your seat now!

Register here

Academy Xi's UX design trends for 2023

Academy Xi Blog

The hottest UX Design trends for 2023

By Academy Xi

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UX Design is an industry that’s defined by innovation, adaptability and the need to respond to users’ changing needs. Here’s a shortlist of the hottest UX Design trends to watch out for in 2023.

Academy Xi's UX design trends for 2023

Technology is rapidly disrupting our industries, and it’s vital for UX Designers to keep up-to-date with the latest trends in the industry. In 2023, the growing prevalence of voice-based technology and the Internet of Things will continue to impact the UX Design industry.

Let’s take a detailed look at some of the trends to keep an eye out for in the year ahead.

Voice-command technology

Voice-command technology is revolutionising the way we live. The global speech and voice recognition market size was valued at $11.21 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach $49.79 billion by 2029, with an enormous CAGR of 23.7%.

From the rise of smart-home devices such as Google Home or Amazon’s Alexa, to virtual assistants such as Apple’s Siri, playing music and keeping up-to-date with the news through the power of our voice is nothing new.

This year, we saw the majority of voice-command searches being driven by a user’s intent to act. SEO activities began to cater to long voice-command queries rather than short keywords common in text search. In 2023, advanced customisation and navigation will continue to drive voice-command technology forward and by 2020 it’s expected that 50% of all search engine queries are to be performed by voice.  

Pro tip: Forward-thinking companies should consider voice-activation capabilities as part of their design and business strategy.

The Internet of Things (IoT)

With the emergence of The Internet of Things, discrete interactions and gestural designs will play an even bigger role.

UX Designers are tasked with designing and delivering digital experiences that cater to key human emotions, such as trust and assurance. In 2023, the growing entanglement of IoT with our daily lives will create expectations for digital interfaces to closely replicate our human interactions.

In 2023, UX Design is going to play a bigger role in emerging technology, particularly around discrete interactions and gestural design.

Whether it’s Augmented Reality (AR) or thought-activated design, the role of UX Designers will go beyond screen-only interfaces to include physical interactions and micro movements. UX Designers will be encouraged to design solutions that will anticipate a user’s next move or query that will ultimately create delight, and meet a user’s needs.

In recent years, most tech screen players have raced to implement AR capabilities on their devices, with a lot suggesting that Apple’s latest ARKit is paving the way for the future of AR technology.

What to watch out for: Delivering exceptional human experiences will not only increase the demand for UX Designers, but also the need for psychologists, researchers, behavioural scientists and other specialists whose skills are required throughout the design process. 

Device-agnostic design

A UX Designer’s role is to ensure that a user’s experience is seamless, irrespective of the device they use.

Next year, the demand for ‘mobile-friendly’ or ‘mobile-first’ user experience will be superseded by device-agnostic designs. Whether it’s your smartphone, smartwatch, laptop, or tablet, the increasing number of connected devices users have access to will push UX Designers towards creating more dynamic multi-device experiences.

For most users, their interactions with a digital product are concerned with achieving a specific goal, whether it be to book a hotel, order a ride, or buy clothes online.

One example of a company that is already taking a device-agnostic approach is Uber. Travellers on Uber can commence their journey from a voice-command device such as Google Home and finish their trip on their iOS or Android phone. Here the user’s journey touches two platforms, but to the user, it’s experienced as one unified and continuous interaction.

Consider: How can you create digital experiences that go beyond PC and mobile, but cater for multiple devices? What does this mean for your end user’s experience?

The shift from flat to material design

The concept of ‘flat design’ embraces minimalism and focuses on usability and clean, open, crisp edges and bright colours through 2D illustrations.

Compared to the flat design, ‘material design’ was created by Google and has more depth and detail, with grid-based layouts, responsive animations, transitions and padding. Material designs have increased depth, with 3D icons, shading, and light features. 

While the simplicity of a flat design has inherent benefits, material design will take your digital UI to the next level in 2023 by:  

  • Bringing designs into 3D: The introduction of textures and patterns to flat design adds an additional depth and brings products to life
  • Increasing interactivity: A rise in the use of animations will increase user interactivity and ‘liveliness’ of a product’s design
  • Improving adaptability: Unique designs for multi-device experiences will increase the customisation of a design’s user-centricity

Design benefit: The increased detail of material design builds user trust and security with your application — which is extremely valuable if you’re an early stage startup or business.

Content-focused experiences

In today’s crowded markets, a UX Designer’s role isn’t simply about understanding a user’s customer journey. There’s no point in creating an exceptional product or service if no one knows your brand exists. In 2023, one of the biggest trends will be the ability to tell compelling stories about a digital experience.

Storytelling requires empathy, human connection, and an understanding of the motivations and inspirations for a user. To do this, it’s important for UX Designers to obtain data on what a customer wants.

We know an average user is exposed to over 10,000 marketing messages a day, and attention will continue to be a sought-after currency in 2023. 

  • Live video and video ads: Research predicts that video will account for 85% of all internet traffic in 2019. With video viewership in the billions, video and video advertising will be the go-to medium. Design considerations for video go beyond screen optimisation and gesture preferences but expand to immersive storytelling through AR or VR technology.

Video tip: Determine the purpose behind your video. Is it to engage, entertain, or inform? What utility does your content bring to your audience? Establishing value is key in creating a successful content-focused experience.

  • Increased personalisation: The old days of ‘create it and they will come’ and ‘mass production’ are no more. The over-saturation of markets means consumers are expecting more from their brands. Imagine walking into a clothes store and finding a fitting room full of curated items just for you — things you’ve liked on Pinterest and items you’ve reserved online. 

Alternatively, you buy something online and have it delivered to your house. Your Google Home app tells you that you’ll receive the item you just purchased at 2:00 pm the next day. Tailoring personalised experiences is now becoming the norm with international brands like Muji and Ikea, who are taking the lead in retail innovation.

Well, that’s a wrap! What have we discovered? The Internet of Things (IoT) has connected the physical and digital world more than ever before. Smart devices are closing the gap between humans and the way we experience digital products and services. Whether it’s the inclusion of voice-command design, adding a human touch, or the increased use of material design, there are a number of top UX trends to look out for in 2023. How many of these trends are you aware of and already acting on?

Want to bring UX Design into your career?

Academy Xi UX UI Design courses give you all the practical skills needed to break into the industry. You’ll learn to place the user’s needs at the centre of the design process, so you can create smooth and functional products that leave a lasting impression.

Whether you’re looking to upskill and test the waters of the industry, or launch a completely new career as a UX Designer, we’ve got the perfect course for you:

  • UX UI Design: Elevate (Self-Paced) – For upskillers looking to boost their career prospects with in-demand creative capabilities, whilst enjoying the flexibility of self-paced learning
  • UX UI Design: Transform – For career changers, looking to transform their profession with a course offering access to a Career Support Program that helps 97% of graduates land their dream role 

Not sure which is the best course for you? Chat to one of our course advisors and we’ll help you break into one of Australia’s most creative industries.

Finishing high school and keen to make a fast start as a young professional, Kauri enrolled in the UX UI Design: Transform course. Find out how Kauri’s commitment and willingness to lead projects led her to land the role of her dreams.

What were you up to before you started at Academy Xi?

When I started the course I was still studying in high school. I went to Glenaeon in Middle Cove, which is a Steiner school. I was completing my HSCs and managed to get early offers from five different universities, but wasn’t 100% sure about what career to pursue. Plus, I think the value of a university degree is going downhill these days.

My family has a friend who recommended the UX UI Design course with Academy Xi. I Googled UX UI Design and it seemed pretty cool. I wanted to study something that was creative and scientific, and the course seemed to combine both.

I reached out to a few people who were already working in the industry. They told me UX UI Design is in demand and that I’d have no trouble finding a role after I graduated. I thought it would be amazing to go from high school straight into a serious career.

Also, I had very little experience with navigating the jobs market, so the Academy Xi Career Support Program was very appealing. After scoping out a few alternative courses, I decided to enrol with Academy Xi.

What would you pick as your main highlight of the course?

Honestly, I enjoyed all of it so much. Each time we started a new module, I became completely engrossed. The course mentor, Hayden, told the cohort we needed to pick an area and specialise in it. I found it really difficult to narrow my interests down – I loved everything we were studying and wanted to keep doing it all!  

I was 18-years-old and by far the youngest person on the course. When we started the first team project, we broke into four groups. Even though I was so much younger than everybody else, I was picked to lead part of the project.

For the second team project, the cohort broke into two big groups and I was chosen to be the team leader again. Despite the age gap, everyone put so much trust in me. That was a proud moment, an ego boost and definitely one of the biggest highlights of the course.   

Kauri Palmer
How did you find studying online?

I was already used to working online following a few years of school during Covid. I’d basically been living online, so completing a course online was a natural experience for me.

It would have been much harder to complete the course if it had involved having to physically be somewhere. I had school work and also had a few different jobs, so completing the course online made my managing schedule much easier. Plus, it was nice to be able to rock up to a Zoom meeting in my pyjamas!

Even though the course was remote, there was a strong bond between everyone in the cohort. We set up meetings outside the classes, stayed in touch and did a great job of collaborating even though we weren’t working together in-person.

How did you find balancing the course and all your other commitments?

Believe it or not, I had six different jobs while I completed the course. I was tutoring, teaching art at a few different places, and even teaching blacksmithing at my old school. It was a strange little collection of jobs!

In the end, juggling everything actually worked well. I’d spend most of the day working with people from Academy Xi and then I’d have to disappear for a few hours to do some teaching.

During the first weeks of the course, I also had to revise and get ready for my last HSC exam. It probably all sounds like a big burden, but I’m pretty good at organising my time. I managed to get prepared for the exam and keep up with the course content without too much of a struggle.

Did you enjoy working with Hayden?

Hayden was brilliant. He’s such an entertainer and made the live sessions so much fun. He’s accomplished loads in the industry and gave us all kinds of advice and insight.

I’m naturally quite a forward and outgoing person, but leading the projects was a bit daunting. Hayden was really encouraging. He told me that if I impressed him with the projects, he’d write me a reference, put in a good word and help me find a job.

When I completed my personal project, Hayden told me he was gobsmacked by how well I’d done. With Hayden’s support, I went from someone who was thinking “can I do this?”, to someone who completely believed in their own abilities. I’m immensely grateful for just how much Hayden backed me throughout the course.

Kauri Palmer
What was your personal project about?

I’m passionate about the education system, but also aware that aspects of it are a bit outdated. Most schools will run Personal Health and Development classes, which teach students about safety with alcohol, sex education and so forth. Although the intention behind these classes is good, the content is out of date and doesn’t touch on subjects that impact young people’s lives.

For my personal project, I created a platform that allowed students to anonymously ask questions. Professionals, teachers and other students would then respond and give advice. PHD teachers could also read the questions and then address the issues in their classes. In creating the platform, my goal was to ensure that PHD could properly respond to what’s going on in the world, which is exactly what those classes are all about.

How did you land your new role?

For our last group project we worked with a lady called Kylie, who’s a business consultant for the client. Kylie told us that she was working with the Dementia Association and asked if anyone would be willing to build a website. I volunteered with a few other people in the class and became the lead for the project.

Kylie also works with a company called Sustain Health, which is a traditional Chinese medicine and chiropractic clinic in Melbourne. Within two days of starting the website project, Kylie asked me if I would interview for a job with Sustain Health. She’d seen me leading the group and realised that I was capable of taking the initiative with design projects.

A few days later I had a short interview with Kylie’s boss and they offered me a role while I was still on the phone. I was on a three month contact which they have renewed for another month and will potentially extend after that.

The course had only just finished and I’d landed a UX UI Design role almost immediately. I feel unbelievably lucky, but I’d also put myself in the frame by volunteering with the website.

What are you up to in your new role?

Sustain Health wanted me to redo their entire website when I started, which I’ve been working on for a little while. I’ve also been asked to add new pages to the site for fertility and autism, which I’ve just finished the research for.

One of the things that I’ve really enjoyed about being a UX UI Designer is that I get to develop all kinds of skills. I’ve learned to be a copywriter, I can design my own icons, and even produce animations, videos, and marketing material! I have the freedom to learn these different things, which is exactly the kind of variety I wanted from a job.

A large proportion of my work involves scoping design projects and building prototypes. In doing that, I’m basically using the step-by-step process that I picked up with Academy Xi. Ultimately, I think Academy Xi gives you some pretty solid fundamentals, but it’s when you start working in the industry that you find your own groove.

What are your plans for the future?

When I started the UX UI Design course, I was looking for something that would get me into the workforce a bit faster than a traditional degree. In that regard, the course was definitely a success. 

Next year I’m planning to do a bachelor’s degree in product design at UTS, which is a bit broader than UX UI Design. I’ve also been working through the Academy Xi Product Management: Foundations course and that’s been really interesting. My Dad’s a Product Manager, so maybe it’s in my blood! 

I’m enjoying UX UI Design, but I want to explore a few career paths and try my hand at different things. In 10 years time, I honestly have no clue what I’ll be up to career-wise.     

Would you recommend Academy Xi?

I cannot express how much I would recommend Academy Xi, particularly to high school students looking for options after graduating. You’re often led to believe there are only three choices after you graduate: university, TAFE, or finding work. No one tells you that places like Academy Xi offer short courses which pack so much value into a couple of months. I explained the course to people by saying 'It's like three years of university in three months. It's what you need to get into the workforce minus all the fluff'.

Kauri Palmer

Academy Xi also offers the Career Support Program, which is exactly what I needed as a recent graduate of high school. I recommend it to students who want to learn how to operate in the professional world. There is so much that goes into getting employed that high school never even came close to teaching us.

Even if you want to go to university, I recommend Academy Xi as a way to get ahead of the curve. I’m planning to go to university part-time next year and work part-time. By the time I graduate, I will have four years of industry experience on top of an Academy Xi certificate and a degree.

Academy Xi has enabled me to live an unreal life. I have to keep pinching myself to realise that an 18-year-old can have a well-paying full-time job that she loves, and can only go up from here.

If you’re keen to kickstart an exciting new career just like Kauri, check out our UX UI Design courses.

*Please note that all Academy Xi students must be eighteen-years-old or over at the time of the course start date.

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