Student Experience | Why I’m Taking User Experience Design | Olivia Viola

By BrainStation September 23, 2016

Learn more about BrainStation’s User Experience Design course.

Olivia Viola is a young flourishing creative, always searching for ways to diversify herself in the world of design and advertising. Hungry for experience and driven to take things into her own hands, she took her relentless initiative to the creative teams of Watt International and Now Creative Group, where she currently works. Enthusiastic and budding in her line of work, Olivia is excited to further develop her skills; technique and love for creation in the field of
advertising and further integrate digital design into her practice.

What course are you enrolled in for this cohort?

User Experience Design

How did you hear about the program?

I’ve known about BrainStation from it’s early years in Project:Spaces. I worked in the same space and I took part of the very first Intro to Web Development cohort. Since then, I’ve always been keeping an eye on the company because it’s exciting seeing the success of fellow start up companies. The ranges of courses have appealed to me for a few months now, and it was Jay Field who approached me about taking the User Experience Design course.

What made you decide to take the course?

I think it’s important to be familiar with design of all disciplines. I tend to work on digital and web design in my freelance practice and taking this course would help.

What are you most excited to learn?

There are always changes in technology and design, so I’m really excited to learn about the latest and greatest programs and trends in UX design.

How do you plan on applying your newfound skills, personally and/or professionally?

I’ll be applying my new skills through my freelance design practice.

If you had to pick a favourite tech company doing awesome things – who would it be and why?

I’ve always been a big fan of Uber. Not only is it convenient and affordable for customers, I think it’s a great way for the drivers who are looking for part time work to make a few extra dollars at their own pace. I never carry around cash anymore and the fact that it’s all done through an app makes it easy. Their customer service is also top notch. I’ve always felt safe, although I hear opposing forces saying there aren’t any criminal checks done. I also love how they’ve expanded beyond ridesharing, by teaming up with various organizations and shops to provide food and even puppies to the public! Love Uber.

Favourite spot to spend an afternoon in the city?

Anywhere with Escape Rooms and board games. Or a park where I can read and watch dogs play.

What entrepreneur or thought-leader inspires you most and why?

My good friend Daniel Francavilla, creative director at Now Creative Group, has always been an inspiration to me. I first learned about him in high school, when a teacher talked about a guy who founded a charity for children in Haiti in grade 9. I thought, “Wow. That guy is going places. I want to get to know him.” Years later, I met him formally through orientation at OCADU. He was part of the Student Union (of course). He remembered me from high school and spoke to me about his creative services company, Now Creative Group. There was an internship available that I applied to and ever since then, we’ve been good colleagues and friends. I really respect and admire the dedication to his company and other initiatives he has. Always thinking big and looking to the future. His company isn’t the only thing he cares about though – he always looks out for his team too. He wants to see everyone succeed, and to me, that makes an amazing thought-leader. When I first started at Now Creative Group, he always brought me to events and conferences, making sure I got the full experience of networking and learning more about the industry. He always saw me as an equal. Again, to me, that is an amazing thought-leader. I look forward to seeing where he ends up and hopefully I am a part of that journey.

Describe your current hobbies and interests – do you see your course lending to these?

I’m passionate about trying new things and traveling. I’m hoping that one day I can achieve my dream of traveling and freelancing abroad. Learning UX Design is another step towards that.

What will you be accomplishing in 10 weeks? What will you be capable of in 10 weeks?

I’ll be creating an intuitive user experience on web and mobile applications. The course should be able to help me understand what are the best practices and to educate me on what is trending.