Product Design Bootcamp

A part-time learning experience for beginners


Led by an experienced instructor, join a team of 4-8 design students in working through a full design process. You'll be able to get hands-on experience in each aspect of the process, in a supportive and stress-free environment - something you don't often find! Starting from a real-world concept or product from a business sponsor, you will conduct research, define the problem, exercise creativity in creating multiple solutions, and prototype and test one or more solutions. With a focus on producing UX design artifacts and deliverables, you will have a full project you can add to your design portfolio to show future employers.

Gain practical experience and increase your creative confidence at the same time!


Details

6 months.
12 in-person design sessions.
Online interaction via Slack.
Team of 4-8 creators.
All skill levels welcome.

What exactly is dSpace?

dSpace is a project-based learning experience - not quite a course, not quite a training, and definitely not your typical bootcamp! It's definitely more involved than a monthly meetup, but your exact level of participation is up to you!

Why is it 6 months long?

Life happens! Rather than compressing everything into 1 day or 1 week, spacing out the project in 2 week increments gives everyone time to learn and participate at their own pace, while not feeling the pressure of a deadline or schedule. While this will not simulate the speed of a real-world project or design sprint, it will allow the learning environment and team to grow and thrive.

What will I get out of it?

If you are a total beginner, you'll be introduced to the world of design, design process, and design techniques. If you already have some design knowledge, or even practice, you'll get to meet other designers, build a community, and also have a project worthy of adding to your portfolio by the end! If you're a full-time or experienced designer, you'll get the joy of sharing your knowledge with other learners and seeing things fresh from a "beginner's mind" perspective! This can get you out of a rut of repetitive corporate projects, as an example.

What will our project be?

Each iteration of the bootcamp connects a different real-world business that has a product or UX need with our team. In our first bootcamp, we worked with a pre-startup founder out of Princeton, NJ who was developing a concept for a civic engagement application.

Why does it cost money?

First, this is a educational business initiative of my LLC, Human Experience Systems. Like any good education program, it costs money to develop and run. The primary cost is the fee for the space rental for in-person meetings. Some money will also go into a "project budget" which can purchase supplies, learning materials, cloud software, and other necessities that arise during the project.

What is the schedule for in-person meetings?

This is open to discussion once we assemble our team. The tentative schedule is to start in September, and run approximately 2 in-person meetings per month, generally spaced out 2 weeks apart.

Do I have to attend all meetings?

Absolutely not. If you miss a meeting or two due to an obligation, that's pretty much a mirror of the real world design process! And of course we'll have the online Slack platform to keep you plugged in. Ideally, you are motivated to attend because it's fun, interesting, and you are learning.

What if I only attend 1 or several meetings?

"Drop-ins" are absolutely welcome as space is available. If for instance we have 4 full team members, there will be 4 drop-in spots available per meeting. Anyone who attends an in-person meeting becomes part of the virtual team and can "jump in" to whatever phase is happening.

Do I have to participate daily?

Absolutely not! The virtual portion of the project will be run on Slack, so technically it's available 24x7. But this will be an asynchronous type of communication. You might be very active one day, and then not check in the next day. Internal targets and goals will be agreed upon by the team at in-person meetings.

I think I'm interested, but can I decide later?

Sure! Please fill out an application to express your interest and as we approach September I will reach out to all applicants.