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Q: How can we utilize transferable skills into UX/UI design in ten short evenings?

A: BrainStation’s Design Program
a part-time instructor position
I am a Lead Instructor in BrainStation's User Experience and User Interface Design programs. Through these 10-week part-time programs, I guide students through the fundamentals of user experience, design thinking, creative problem solving, visual design and prototyping their own mobile app.

I work actively on the course curriculum throughout each semester; keeping it up-to-date with the changing industry. Eight semesters and counting!

The goal of the course is often for students to gain the skills (and confidence) to transition from another field into a full-time design position. Sometimes the field is similar such as engineering or product management, but often students come into design from seemingly unrelated fields. I do my best to show them that the skills they have from these professions often help to create a unique and insightful worldview that they can use to their advantage in the design process.

Classroom Experience

I ensure to provide a thorough instruction on topics and give real-life examples. Students tend to be curious about the day-to-day experience of being a designer, so I try to bring examples from my own work to illustrate what it might be like for them in their next design role.

I also ensure the classroom is a safe space by giving everyone a chance to share and discuss topics amongst themselves. I believe they can learn as much from each other as they can from me, and I see great outcomes in students who choose to work in groups when given the option.

The pandemic hit in week 8 of my Spring UI design course. Those students were especially impressive as they made the graceful switch from in-class learning to remote, presenting their final projects over zoom.

From then on, I knew that the online learning experience would play out differently and I needed to adjust my teaching style to accommodate. I introduced more breaks in the content, knowing that the average attention span drops significantly between in-person and online experiences. I found the best way to create these breaks was to create a safe zoom space and give students permission to ask questions, discuss with each other, and take an active role in their own education. In some cases, this weekly class is a sort of respite for the students from the crazy world we live in, so I take my role very seriously in ensuring the space is fun, inclusive, and a joyful place to be.

Amanda (second from left) was a student of mine who went on to win a hackathon at BrainStation with a weekend of quick research, design and rapid prototyping. I was amazed to see her use the skills I taught her to such a high degree of success so quickly.

Tanya took my UI Design class while working in the Konrad Group/BrainStation head office as a strategy and technology consultant. Her praise of my teaching style was a high compliment considering she has taken four other BrainStation courses.


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Chloe's face

Designer, drummer, maker, shower singer

Chloe is currently working as a product designer in Toronto. In her spare time she enjoys designing data visualizations, interactive Arduino experiences, and writing on her blog.

You can find Chloe at [email protected], drumming in her Brazilian batu drumming band, at a number of local music concerts, or cycling around the city.

This website and all content therein is intellectual property belonging to Chloe Silver 2012-2023.