Nottingham, UK 🇬🇧

Julian Tuck

Memorisely Bootcamp Alumni

Hey! I'm Julian, Lead Designer at Commify Limited. I'm a fan of music, cycling and being outside. You'll often find me with a guitar in hand, or out on my bike exploring!
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Where are you from? Where are you based as a UX/UI Designer and/or Student?

I'm based in Nottingham in the U.K. — the home of Robin Hood.

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

I enrolled in the UX/UI bootcamp after discovering the Memorisely Slack Community via Zander's Instagram account. The Memorisely bootcamp stood out to me for a number of reasons…

  1. Live and in-person classes meant I'd be collaborating directly with classmates and could ask questions to ensure I'd fully understood concepts, as opposed to just unlocking gated video content.
  2. I'd be working on multiple design briefs provided by real companies, in my case these were for the Anyone App and Miro.
  3. Having scheduled a call with Zander to get more info about the course, it was clear he had an enthusiasm for teaching his craft and that was evident during the course too, which was a great motivator.

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

Having worked as a graphic designer for several years, I've seen the design industry evolve to become increasingly focused on digital platforms. Through the jobs I've had to date, and via reading about the field, UX design has become a growing interest of mine combining both the visual side of design and problem solving side with all the research it can entail. UX/UI Design has felt like a natural next step for me to progress into.

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

For me, the most exciting thing about UX/UI Design has to be the balance between the creativity involved in crafting digital experiences and pairing that with the research, data and insights used to build products and services with. As well as this, it's the complexity and scope of some of the problems, which you get to try to solve and the potential that has to make a positive impact on people's day to day lives however big or small.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I'm not naturally a morning person, so my day usually starts with several taps of the snooze button on my alarm clock, a quick shower to help wake me up, followed by a breakfast of fruit, porridge oats and a glass of fresh orange juice.

I work remotely at the moment due to the pandemic — so, once I've logged on to my laptop, my working day begins with checking my emails and Slack messages followed by a daily morning stand up with my team and various 1-2-1's.

From thereon in — depending on the day — my schedule is fairly varied. There are usually meetings to plan and review our team sprints, working on my design tasks and sometimes testing of designs which have gone through development.

I try to take a shorter lunch break to help maximise the amount of time I have free in my evenings, so it's usually just a quick bite of lunch and back onto my tasks for the day. But, if I get the chance to, I'll sometimes squeeze in a quick walk to get some fresh air away from my screen.

In the evenings, I like to try to get out for a bit of a walk or cycle if the weather is nice. Then, I'll make myself some dinner or go over to see family who live pretty close by. Then, I'll settle down to watch something on Netflix or play some music too.

What is your current desk setup?

It varies a bit depending on how I feel, but I'll usually be sat in the room I have set up as my office while I'm working from home which beats the office as it looks out onto my garden.

The kit:

15" Macbook ProMagic Keyboard and trackpad Sketchbook, pens, and post-its!

And your work station setup across devices?

I don't really use my phone for work; however, on my laptop it's kept fairly simple with just the apps I use day to day sitting in my dock, so stuff like Chrome, Slack, Figma, Notion and the various Adobe apps too.

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

The virtual classroom experience is top notch. Learning live within a small group helps to build a really collaborative environment to learn in. There is plenty of discussion and opportunity to ask questions to clarify your understanding of concepts. The learn-by-doing approach works really well too instead of things being more passive. Zander's teaching was always full of enthusiasm, which I feel really motivated from each class.

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What has your favorite part of Bootcamp?

How interactive the classes were was great. I've done different courses in the past where it's just been a case of the facilitator presenting information. When you're actually carrying out tasks within the class and discussing concepts it helps to cement what you're absorbing compared to more passive styles of learning. The opportunities to ask questions and gain feedback really stood out, and working on briefs set by real companies — such as Miro — was a real boon too.

Name one learning that has surprised you in Bootcamp!

The breadth of what you can learn from doing research at different stages of your project — whether that be interviews, surveys or usability tests — really does help you to understand why users are doing what they're doing and how they're feeling when using a product.

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

For me, it was balancing my day job alongside having to jump onto the live classes in the evenings and completing the course work afterwards. It's pretty intensive due to the amount of content within the classes and scope of what you get to work on; but, if you can commit to the homework and prep tasks before the course starts it'll pay dividends when it comes to your portfolio after you complete the course.

What work or project are you most proud of?

During bootcamp, out of the two case studies I produced, my favourite was for the app called Anyone.

What product recently blew your socks off?

Probably my Spark guitar amp. It's only a small amp but kicks out a decent amount of sound considering its small size. It's also packed full of cool little features from different amp modelling which I can control from the accompanying app, to bluetooth connectivity so you can jam along to Spotify through the amp, and if you want to learn a particular tune, it'll even automatically let you know what the chords are for a song as you play along. Sadly, it doesn't make you a great guitarist… yet! 😉

What tunes do you listen to while designing?

I'm a huge fan of music, so my tastes are quite eclectic. One day, I might be listening to jazz, another some blues or rock. At the moment, I've rediscovered the albums by Avishai Cohen — a jazz bassist from Israel.

Share three suggestions for fellow and/or future students?

  1. Commit to the prep tasks set before the Bootcamp begins. Once it does begin, make sure you keep on top of the work during your Bootcamp. There's quite a bit of work to do within the timeframe of the Bootcamp, and I found it really helps if you can keep on top of the work required for each of your case studies which you'll be working on.
  2. If you can, pair up with another student in your cohort. Pairing up really helps you work through all of the tasks and keeps you accountable.
  3. Irrespective of experience level, don't be too proud to admit you don't know something. If you don't understand something, ask, as that's how you'll grow as a designer. I'd also recommend not being too protective of your work, as you aren't designing for yourself and you learn from getting constructive feedback on your designs (This one's relevant beyond bootcamp too).

Thanks for reading my story!

Nottingham, UK 🇬🇧

Julian Tuck

Memorisely Bootcamp Alumni

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