For Joyce, the Master of User Experience Design was the perfect way to get into the design industry, after a career in teaching with no formal design experience
“I’ve always loved designing. As a young girl, I’d often be found creating or altering things to make them ‘better’,” says Joyce. “The Master of User Experience Design programme was exactly what I’d been looking for, as I wanted to learn about user-centred design so that I could understand what makes experiences good versus bad.”
Joyce’s research explored mātauranga design and best practices for designing in Aotearoa, in addition to visual design elements, and UX design practice and techniques.
“A key consideration was that design is an iterative process, not an outcome—understanding that, at its heart, UX thinking is noticing, empathising, and exploring the complex systems and notions that feed into one’s interactions and experiences with the world,” says Joyce.
“The highlight for me was the forging of new friendships and learning from my classmates who all came from such diverse backgrounds with various areas of expertise to share. We were all in this together and that made it extra special.”
The great links between the School and industry were one of the benefits of the programme for Joyce, who was able to work with industry professionals and real clients with real problems to solve using a user-centred approach.
“I was fortunate to work with organisations such as Google and IDIA (Indigenous Design and Innovation Aotearoa). We also had the opportunity to get one-to-one mentorship from people working in the industry,” explains Joyce.
The skills gained during her studies and the industry connections she’s forged will enable her to kickstart her design career after graduation.
“My Master’s has provided me with the necessary skills to continue to grow my UX knowledge and experience for the future. I plan to work as a UI (user interface) or UX designer in Wellington, to put these new skills into action to serve and contribute to my community in a meaningful way.”