Week One

Today was my first class at GA. I was super excited to get started… and even climbing up four flights of stairs right after cycling 3 miles didn’t ruin my enthusiasm.

We started by introducing ourselves and then filling post it notes with our expectations for the course and sticking them on the board. I immediately wanted to take a photo of them and initially felt a bit embarrassed to ask… but then whaddaya know, one of the teaching assistants headed up to take his own picture and the instructor told us we should always take photos of our process. Sweet.

Expectations Post It Board

Expectations Post It Board

It seems like the class has people from a lot of different backgrounds, from product designers to project managers and everyone has slightly different reasons for being on the course… but most of our expectations and hopes were the same. Here’s some of the stuff we came up with.

Class Expectations

We also learnt the basics of the UX process this week. We were told the elements of user experience design according to Jesse James Garrett and then, in groups, we had to write them on post-its and put them into chronological order of where they would sit in a project’s lifecycle. This was fun but pretty difficult! It’s hard to put things into a strict order because there is so much iteration and back and forth between the stages in a real life project. I think my group was lucky that we had a range of experiences and in the end we were almost bang on the right answer. We only had two post-its the wrong way round!

Not quite right!

Not quite right!

I found this methodology really interesting but the diagram for it looks a bit off putting to me. I decided to write it out on my whiteboard at home to help me remember the stages.  In this diagram, time goes from left to right, so a project would start with user needs and site objectives… and finish with the visual design.

Jesse James Garrett's Elements of User Experience Design

Jesse James Garrett’s Elements of User Experience Design

We also looked at a bunch of project management methodologies like Agile, Scrum, Kanban. This was really interesting, I had some knowledge of these before but I didn’t know the exact differences. Kanban (from the Japanese “visual card” or “visual board”) seems really effective.

During the GA course we will go through the UX process for a project of our own. I have been thinking hard about what this project will be for me. The teacher suggested we should pick “the idea with the least definition” so I’m bearing that in mind. I need to do some brainstorming!