Event idea: New product and student/entry level jams.

Posted on Feb 29, 2020

The problem

In the last few years, i’ve met an increasing number of people who are entering the field of UX feeling disheartened and disillusioned with the process of searching for a job.

company agrees to implement something that’s been designed and student/entry level gets some experience for their portfolio.
the market for juniors is overcrowded and lots of companies aren’t looking to hire people with no experience.

At a UX meetup recently, the audience were asked by a new founder to pitch in any ideas of what they thought he could do to improve his product. He had 4 minutes at the end of his talk and there wasn’t much time or response from the audience.

it got me thinking that there must be a fair few businesses starting up that would like some guidance on how to make their products or services the best it can be but who might not have the connections or budget to hire an agency or a freelancer.

It made me think it could use the strength of the crowd to give businesses useful recommendations and students and new entrants an opportunity to work on a live project – extremely useful for their portfolios.

How?

Like a hackathon, create a 1-day jam where businesses pitch their businesses and UX designers spend a day working on their problem. In exchange for taking part, the business would need to agree that they would implement the winning ideas.

Having the business stakeholders in the room would allow the designers to hone their skills working with stakeholders to extract information, blockers, insights from past research, restrictions, etc.

They would of course be free to solve the problem however they saw fit.

At the end of the day the designers would pitch their concepts back to the business and the business would choose one or more to develop.

Important: they’d have to be in a position to implement something. In the world of work, compared to student days, when the world is your oyster and you aren’t restricted by budgets, timescales and competing priorities, it’s a lot more challenging to fix all the things you’d want to. I would want the business the business to be realistic in what it could achieve.