Berlin, Germany 🇩🇪
unmute
#057

Elena Wood

Memorisely Bootcamp Alumni

Hi! I'm Elena, a UX Designer & Researcher in Berlin. You can find me planning my next canoe or bike trip and also telling everyone how my dog is indeed the cutest one alive!
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What is your current role at your company?

I'm a UX Designer and Researcher with Aumio — a Berlin-based startup that has created a meditation and mindfulness App for children (similar to Headspace, but for kids!).

Where are you from? Where are you based as a UX/UI Designer and/or Student?

I'm originally from France but I'm currently based in Berlin, Germany.

This is my hometown in the southwest of France. 👇

Which Bootcamp did you choose to enroll in, and why?

As a self-taught designer, I felt like I really needed some formal education to help improve my theoretical knowledge and also boost my future job applications with detailed Case Studies.

The UX/UI Bootcamp was the perfect choice for this — I got to learn the fundamentals of design and best practices. Best of all, the course is designed in a way that you immediately apply everything you've learned so that it really sticks.

What inspired you to pursue UX/UI and become a Designer?

Honestly, I lost my job during the first Covid lockdown (not a good time to work in the travel industry apparently?!) — a friend of mine was working as a UX Designer, so I thought I'd look into a free online course to get a better understanding of the industry.

I never thought I could be a designer because I wasn't good at drawing or art (big misconception!); but, discovering UX Design was truly like a professional rebirth for me. I was suddenly able to express my creativity in a totally different way than I ever thought was possible, and I was hooked from the very first few weeks of dabbling into digital design :)

What do you find most exciting about UX/UI Design?

I love that it applies to everything! I always felt so worried that being on a career path would be a limiting factor, but not with UX/UI Design. You could be designing cool flyers for garage bands, facilitating problem-solving workshops at Google, or testing colour contrasts for a government website to make sure they're accessible for all.

In fact, the further you get into your career, the more options there seem to be!

What does a typical day look like for you?

I typically wake up around 7-7.30, and go straight out for a big walk or run with my dog Tobi. We live right next to this huge abandoned airport in Berlin's city center so it's an amazing place to go first thing in the morning.

Once I get back, I shower, make coffee, and then start work around 9-9.30 (my company is relaxed about starting times which I feel blessed by!). I can't say I have a recurring work routine after I start; although, I always have a check-in with my manager so we can set out our tasks for the day or upcoming days. Then I'll have a mix of user interviews, feature testings, design work, and — of course — meetings.

I usually finish around 6, and love that it's so normal to have a very respected work/life balance in Germany — unlike some other countries where it's normal to always be working overtime.

Didn't I say in the beginning that Tobi was the cutest dog in the world?

What is your current desk setup?

I work from the office 1 or 2 days a week, and the rest of the time from home, which is the perfect balance for me.

And your work station setup across devices?

Must have Apps are Figma, Notion, Slack (sometimes I think I spend more time finding the perfect GIF on slack than actual work!), Illustrator and Google Calendar.

What's it like to be a student in Memorisely's virtual classroom?

So much better than I thought it could be!

Right from the beginning, we get to form groups of 2 or 3 students in order to work on projects together and I can honestly say this has made my whole experience wonderful. You get to develop a closer relationship with your fellow classmates (see picture below!) but it's also amazing to have people from different professional backgrounds come together and work very closely on Case Studies. I've learned a lot from each person in my course.

I feel really close to everyone despite the physical distance.

What has been your favorite part of Bootcamp so far?

I loved the final presentation of Case Studies. The amount of work students have put into their projects, even though they all live in different places and have full-time jobs, children, social lives, etc is beautiful to see.

Learn UX/UI live →

Name one learning that has surprised you in Bootcamp!

Auto-layout will change your life!!

What challenges do you face as a UX/UI Student?

Showing my work has always been something I struggle with. Having to present my work, answers, ideas so openly within class does not come naturally to me, so this is really something I'm grateful to have the opportunity to practice. Learning from my discomfort is a key takeaway.

What work or project are you most proud of?

I'm super proud of the Margot Case Study my group and I put together in the first part of class. This was the first time I really went through a project from beginning to end in such a thorough way I think it gave me great perspective.

What product recently blew your socks off?

Gorillas!! By now, probably everyone else knows this incredible 10-minutes-to-your-door grocery delivery service; but, they started in Berlin only a little over a year ago. My neighborhood was their first stomping ground and their App was not very user friendly. Within one year, they've become the fastest unicorn in Europe, expanded to the states, improved their App experience tenfold, AND still deliver groceries to my door within 10-minutes.

Share three suggestions for fellow and/or future students?

  1. Take the course! Whatever your career stage, you will not regret getting this extra education.
  2. Use your office hours! Memorisely has the best Teaching Assistants and they will help you with anything, not just course-related stuff. They have great career and design-related advice!
  3. Keep up with your homework because the classes go by in a flash and it might feel overwhelming if you fall behind!

Thanks for reading my story!

Berlin, Germany 🇩🇪

Elena Wood

Memorisely Bootcamp Alumni

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