Harpenden, UK πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§

Tom O'Hagan

Product Designer

Hi, I'm Tom! I'm a Product Designer who wants to build fun, playful products that can positively shape the future. I'm also a super keen but very average boxer!
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Which Bootcamp did you enroll in and why?

I enrolled in the UX/UI Design Bootcamp because it was at the perfect intersection of quality, price and time commitment. I was specifically looking to switch careers into the field, so after being met with the big 'Change your life, become a UX/UI Designer' on the Memorisely homepage, I honestly never looked back.


Where are you based as a UX/UI designer and/or student?

I'm based in Harpenden, United Kingdom. It's a quiet, suburban town just north of London. It's super chilled, very green, has 22 pubs and tonnes of beautiful walks! Then, if I need some metropolitan chaos, I can hop on a train and be in central London in just 25 minutes β€” perfect.


What led you into pursuing UX/UI design?

Several things. 1) I wanted to design products that make the world better. 2) I needed to recalibrate my life in a way that allowed me to be more creative everyday β€”something my soul needs. 3) A Product Designer friend β€” he was always doing cool stuff and I was always inspired!


What have you found most exciting about UX/UI Design?

The feeling of being equipped with tools that allow me to design the future. And the people. The people in the UX/UI community are all so lovely.


What does a typical day look like for you?

Alarm goes off at 8am and, after a couple of snoozes, I get up and make my bed. I have a big glass of water then jump into the shower. I'll then lay on an acupressure mat (basically a modern torture device), write a little bit in my journal and drink some coffee.


At 9am, I open my laptop and check in with my remote team. After saying hi, I review my meetings for the day and create a to do list, highlighting 1 or 2 key priorities. The rest of the day is generally a blur of writing and planning content, working in our CMS, ideating over Zoom or speaking with children the charity supports and the adults who work with them.

I typically skip lunch, instead having a techno powered workout on my bedroom floor. That's followed by a super cold shower. Energised by the shower, I fly into the second half of the day, which looks much like the first.

Just before bootcamp starts I quickly scoff some fruit; then, I'm ready to rock'n roll for our live classes. When class finishes, I'll either jump on a Slack call with my bootcamp partner (shout out Julian!) to work on our case study together, or I'll close the laptop and unplug for the rest of the day.

Currently, the evening is a combo of food, chilling out, and watching the Euros (Psst... It's coming home, pass it on). After dinner, I'll go for a walk with a podcast. Before bed, I like to read a little, and I'm ready pass out around midnight.

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What is your current desk setup?

My current desk setup is very simple. It consists of laptop, stand, keyboard, mouse and notepad. Originally, it was a sitting desk but I reconfigured it so I could work at it while standing. Much better for posture and people watching!


And your Workstation setup across devices?

Experimenting with some inspiring folder names, spotted on LinkedIn!


Why did you choose to take a Memorisely Bootcamp?

After 5 years in the charity sector, I was looking to switch fields and become a Product Designer. I chose to take a Memorisely Bootcamp because it seemed the perfect launchpad.


How would you describe your experience as a student in Memorisely's Bootcamp Classes?

An absolute blast! I loved every second of it. The onboarding, the prep tasks, the live classes, the amazing classmates, the instructors, the community, the portfolio, the boundless positive energy and enthusiasm everywhere you look. All of it is amazing. It will be great to get my evenings back, but I'll definitely miss it a bit. Thankfully, I've got the wider Slack community to keep giving me my Memorisely fix.


What has been your favorite thing about your Bootcamp so far?

The live classes. Initially, the prospect of 2 hour live classes straight after finishing my 9-5 seemed a bit daunting. But I quickly realised that they absolutely flew by! The classes honestly feel about 45 mins and that's all down to the fact they're so much fun.


Name one learning that took you by surprise while taking the Bootcamp?

Figma totally surprised me. It's super powerful, versatile and web based. So I can access it from anywhere without needing to download a gigantic file beforehand. It has a buzzing designer community which is constantly creating fun files and plugins for other designers to use. It has super handy prototyping options. Not to mention all the new features in FigJam, it's new virtual whiteboarding sibling. And all of this is completely free!


What challenges do you face as a student?

Managing my time. There's only so many hours in the day, and they quickly get hoovered up with my main job (9-5), bootcamp sessions (5-6/7) and bootcamp homework (7+). It's definitely not overwhelming, but I have to keep the pace up.


What tunes do you listen to whilst designing?

The life soundtrack changes daily. And it's always a random mix. Here's a few of the tunes I'm listening to now.


Three suggestions for fellow students or soon-to-be students?

  1. F*** perfection. It doesn't exist. Trust in the process β€” allow yourself to be a beginner again and understand that you are in great hands with the Memorisely team. Everything else will follow.
  2. Make notes. It's not required, but I found this to be so useful throughout my bootcamp experience. It's quicker and easier to flick between pages in a notepad than it is to open and close the class boards in Miro or Figma. A notepad also means you're ready to capture any unplanned nuggets of language or insight that appear throughout the class.
  3. Commit. I mentioned that it's not overwhelming, but you do need to put in effort. From the prep tasks before bootcamp starts (I really recommend you do these) to slowly building your case studies. Fully commit yourself β€” it's 100% worth it. Plus it's only 10 weeks. You can do anything for 10 weeks.

Thanks for reading my story!

Harpenden, UK πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§

Tom O'Hagan

Product Designer

Fancy a coffee?

I'd love to grab a coffee and chat about
Martial arts
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