On Saturday 8th July, I spent my time volunteering at a wonderful event run by Code First: Girls, introducing 50 ladies to User Experience design. RMA Consulting was excited to be a sponsor of the UX Masterclass, which aimed to give female university students, and young professionals looking to change their careers, an inside view into the wonderful world of technology.
The idea of the masterclass was to spend the day dedicated to applying UX methodologies to an app idea and learn how designers would approach the process.
Divided into teams, the ladies came up with very interesting and fun app ideas, from moving apps, to communication tools for the older generations, medicine reminder apps and many more. Each group then created their Personas and Empathy maps to get a better understanding of whom they were designing for.
They built the foundation of their first app prototype by considering the User Journey when using the app. Testing these ideas brought a lot of knowledge and helped to prove whether an idea was the right way to approach the users’ pain points or that the assumptions made were false.
At the end of the day every team had the opportunity to present their ideas; how they adapted their initial thoughts throughout the process; and how requirements changed due to user needs.
The winning teams were presented with Rosenfeld books or VR Cardboard Glasses awards, and first prize was a special User Testing Session. Everyone went away with RMA’s super sleek USB-sticks, more knowledge about UX and many great connections to other ladies who are interested in the field.
The feedback from the participants has been very positive:
“Having the direct contact with female UX experts, their experience and knowledge made me want to continue to seriously consider UX as a career, despite it being a hard profession to go into.”
“UX isn’t as straight forward as I thought, it’s a lot more abstract and more thought-oriented, which is something I can appreciate.”
For many, including myself, it also provided a connection in a “welcoming and vibrant community of women in tech.”
It was such a pleasure to support the participants with their work and see their ideas grow, fail, and be challenged – just as they would be when designing professionally.
All in all, it was a great way of introducing UX and providing a sneak view into my daily work. Thanks to Elizabeth Chesters and Code First: Girls for organising, and also to Megan & Lotta for their expertise and volunteering support.
Supporting Diversity in Tech
RMA was very happy to support this event, aimed at encouraging more women into tech, as it places great importance on the value of diversity. The powerful effect of being able to call on a diverse workforce and all the benefits that go with it are central to our culture. While the digital industry employs almost twice as many men as women, RMA bucks the trend with women making up 50% of its permanent workforce. We even have an inspiring #ItWasNeverADress sticker on the Ladies toilet door!
I feel lucky to be part of this supportive and empowering environment. In April we had a session focused on driving design as women, where senior and junior female designers shared their experiences and coping mechanisms. We also joined the #BeBoldForChange campaign on International Women’s Day by recognising and celebrating the achievements of the women in our office.