Hey, everybody! I’m a senior here at Temple, and I want to tell you guys about my experience at Springboard! Now, Springboard is a paid, online, six month program that offers education in many subjects associated with the tech industry. I chose to enroll in the UX Design track. You may have heard of what UX Design is before, but if not, allow me to give you a quick overview! UX Design stands for User Experience Design. It’s all about design that is centered around the needs and wants of the user. You may have also heard of HCI or Human-Computer Interaction, which is a concept that is closely related to UX Design. Some job titles that are related to UX Design are UX Designer, Product Designer, Interaction Designer, UI (user interface) Designer, Information Architect, and UX Researcher. It has become clearer and clearer to big corporations in recent years that designing based on the needs and wants of the user is both extremely important and lucrative. UX Design is somewhat of a new field, but it has quickly become a hot job for this reason. I know that Klein College even offers some courses that teach UX, both undergraduate and graduate!
However, I wanted to learn as much about UX Design as I could. I’ve always been interested in it, and I was originally looking for schools that offered a bachelor’s degree in UX. I ended up coming here to Temple and studying Advertising with a concentration in brand strategy and research, which has close ties to UX Research! One day, I was scrolling through Instagram when an ad for Springboard popped up on my feed. That was all it really took, the program sounded incredibly enriching. I originally planned to start Springboard after I graduate, but then the pandemic hit. Since I was sitting around with not much else to do, I thought to myself “Why not make use of this time and start Springboard now?”
Wow, the program has really been everything that I thought it would be, and more. It has been well worth the money. Essentially, there are four main components to Springboard: The technical curriculum, the capstone project, the industry design project, and networking assistance. The curriculum teaches technical concepts in UX. The capstone project is an idea that you develop through the UX process throughout the course of the curriculum. The industry design project is an externship with a real company that Springboard sets you up with. Lastly, Springboard offers assistance with networking in the UX community throughout the course of the curriculum. Additionally, Springboard supplies you with two mentors. One is a UX expert who has plenty of experience in the field, while the other is a career coach who helps develop you as a professional in the UX field. Along with all of this, you get access to the entire Springboard community, which is one of the most powerful platforms for networking that I have ever used!
I have already completed numerous projects at Springboard, from learning how to use Google Analytics, to observing how people interact with shopping carts. It has all been incredibly insightful and interesting. I have been doing work on my capstone project, which is to develop a hybrid of a music streaming service and a social network. I had one of my peers reach out to me to tell me that there is a UX conference in Philadelphia (people from all over the country use Springboard), which I attended, which opened up a lot of opportunities, including a very productive informational interview! Many of my peers are already well established professionals, so I can reach out to them for informational interviews as well.
I’ll be honest, it’s tough working on a program like Springboard while simultaneously working on my curriculum at Temple, but it’s worth it. If you put in the hard work now, it will pay off later, and the earlier you start, the better! It’s great to do a program like this when you’re still in college, Springboard has really given me so much insight into the UX industry. I’m sure there are similar programs for industries that you’re interested in as well, dear reader, and I highly recommend that you check them out, you’ll be happy that you did!