UX Design Alumni Spotlight | Julia Stanescu

By Julia Stanescu February 1, 2016

It’s the new year, and of course you have ambitious goals. To accomplish them, you’re probably going to need to improve your skills, or simply, learn a new skill. But how do you ensure you’re establishing good habits, and processes that will help you achieve those goals? How do you choose the right course?

When I decided to look for a course my challenge was quite clear: I started my business (Active Audience, a company that helps brands amplify their story through social media influencers), and I didn’t have clarity, and structure on how to create that great user experience for my customers. I also found myself stuck, while trying to build a prototype. I knew a mentor, and a short term course will help me get unstuck, but what course would be best for me? Should I go into learning Product Management, or should I learn UX Design?

A thousand decisions go into finding the best course for yourself and, I can tell from my experience, that understanding my needs, and challenges, as well as my behavior, helped me to identify the underlying problem before attempting to solve it. Now, after graduating from the UX Design at BrainStation, I get asked all the time: What course should I take to advance in my career? What was your experience with the class? Why did you choose BrainStation? How does a course at BrainStation is different than a master at a university? For which my answer usually starts with: “What is your motivation?”

For those of you who wanted to learn more about my experience with the UX Design Course I took, I thought I’ll share with you my story. This journey map below is an attempt to better illustrate the experience I’ve had while searching for a bootcamp in Vancouver, why I made the decision of attending a class at BrainStation, and what was it like to attend the UX Design course here. I hope some of you find it useful.

User Experience Design course in Vancouver

Why to look at your next challenge from the Think, Feel, Do perspective?

There is a metaphor called the Iceberg Model used by cognitive sciences in various behavioral experiments. It is a framework for describing how our performance at anything is driven by our sets of behaviors, and habits. These are driven by our feelings, which in turn are driven by our thoughts.

Most of us are not aware that there is actually a lot more driving our performance than just the few habits we see on the surface. Some of our behaviors are visible, while other behaviors, feelings and thoughts are below the water. In other words, performance is just the tip of the iceberg, and what we achieve is mostly driven by the way we think.

The Iceberg Model

user experience design course in vancouver

Deconstructing the “code” behind those key high‐impact moments when you’re trying to decide which course is the best for you, is essential to help you see beyond your limitations, and understand where a small change can create a substantial improvement. Not only do you want to know what type of course you’ll attend next, but you also want to dive deeper into your needs, motivations, fears, mentality, and behavior.

BrainStation’s courses, compared to other courses in Vancouver, will teach you a lot more how to develop mental models, and ask questions in order to overcome challenges in your profession. The UX Design class I took here helped me gain clarity, structure, and grow faster than I expected. I can confidently say that in 12 weeks, I learned more by doing, that people learn in 2 years studying at a University. I’m extremely grateful for the value I received.

– Julia Stanescu

Julia #1

Inspired? Learn more about Julia’s User Experience Design course offered in Toronto and Vancouver!