The shape of Australia’s educational landscape is changing, particularly when it comes to ongoing education post-high school. In fact, many leaders within companies are focusing on the importance of up-skilling their workforce via non-traditional experiential education. With technology changing at an unprecedented rate these days, the need for companies to make sure their staff are adequately equipped to keep up with the changes is huge.
There are a number of providers that have entered the market in the last ten years that focus in particular on educating and up-skilling students in the areas of front and back-end design, as well as coding, product management, and business related education. Companies like Polycademy, Codeacademy and General Assembly have a significant presence in the market and Academy Xi (pronounced Ex-Eye) is one of the newest players, providing innovative education in the areas of User Experience (UX) and Design and Service Design.
The startup is based in Sydney and is cofounded by entrepreneurs Ben Wong and Charbel Zeaiter.
The educational institution aims to change the world through design. In addition to its online courses and onsite education at its Sydney campus, the startup recently announced that it will be launching new courses in Auckland, New Zealand soon.
“Academy XI will soon offer Aucklanders the opportunity to grow and expand their design expertise through part-time courses in User Experience (UX) Design with a full-time immersive course being introduced later in the year,” said Wong. “Our short intensive courses are programmed to allow anyone to break into a new career or add on to their existing skill sets in pursuit of a new title or better employment.”
Both Wong and Zeaiter have been involved in UX education in leading providers for over three years, with a combined experience of 20 years in design and innovation. They bring a wealth of User Experience (UX) Education knowledge, having set up and run UX Design courses in Sydney, both for individuals and corporates. They created the company because they had a passion for changing the world through education with empathy and problem solving.
“I’ve spoken to a number of employers, recruiters, and design thought leaders who have told me that they’re looking for people with UX skills, but they can’t find enough of them,” said Wong.
“These skills are lacking throughout Asia Pacific, particularly New Zealand. With its rapid innovation growth, the talent needs of agencies, consultancies, corporates, and startups are not being met.”
The startup runs its courses over a period of ten weeks and the goal is to give participants the entire skill-set needed to add ‘UX Designer’ to their title.
“Our approach is intense, applied and modular,” said Zeaiter.
“Learning UX gives participants the skills they need to identify usability problems and develop and design experiences that are effective and successful. Although having design skills is complimentary, a passion for problem solving has proved more valuable for some people without a design background.”
“Companies are creating more and more interfaces that require seamless and intuitive experiences, and as things like virtual reality develop further, we’re also going to be designing experiences for another world,” he said.
The importance of UX is becoming increasingly recognised by employers and businesses; it’s now essential to hone the user experience and optimise usability to stay ahead of the pack.