Ashley McLean, based in St Lucia, was always into art and design. As a kid, he would draw all the time, and when he was introduced to Photoshop in the year 2000, he knew the future for him, was digital.
After working as a graphic designer, he made his way into a career in UI. His job title technically included UX, but he knew he still had a lot to learn, and in the Caribbean, it was difficult to get hands-on education or experience.
“There are a lot of self-proclaimed graphic designers here in the region, but there aren’t many UX designers. You can find thousands of designers, but they wouldn’t be proficient in UI or UX design, and to be honest, not many companies understand the need for it.”
Why Growth Tribe?
When, in the middle of a busy time for Ashley, his boss signed him up for the UX Design course at Growth Tribe, he wasn’t sure what to expect.
“ It wasn’t a good time for me because we had just moved, I have a three-year-old, I have a family, I have a full-time job. The week before I started my boss said: We enrolled you in this course. It starts on Thursday.”
Having participated in open online courses, Ashley had his reservations. They hadn’t been hands-on, and the time commitment at Growth Tribe seemed like a lot. However, when he was introduced to the Capability Scan, his perception changed.
“From the scan, it was clear that I was good at UI, but I wasn’t so professional at the UX part. I hadn’t actually told anyone about that, so it was spot on.”
The collaborative environment of the course, as well as the opportunity to work on and develop his own project under expert guidance, proved to be a great fit for Ashley. Despite a time difference and a hectic schedule, the collaborative nature of the course engaged him, and guidance from expert trainers helped keep him motivated.
“I liked how we were collaborating. That was cool. That’s what sets Growth Tribe apart from the course that I did with Coursera, which wasn’t interactive. I’m a person who likes collaboration.”
Growth Tribe has helped Ashley with…
Making his project a reality
The UX Design course requires participants to work on a real-life project.
Ashley used the course to improve his existing app, Squeeze Cash, the #1 multi-currency app in the Caribbean. Being able to make and test improvements under the guidance of coach Kevin Hawkins and doing usability testing helped take the project to the next level.
Following an unconventional path
“ In the Caribbean, Design is a rare career path. If people were to take it, then they would have to be self-taught or migrate to the US, Canada or Europe to actually be taught.”
With Growth Tribe, Ashley was able to formalise his UX education without taking those drastic steps and apply his skills to projects in the region.
Learning & growing despite obstacles
There were times when combining the course with his busy schedule was overwhelming, but with support from Growth Tribe’s trainers, Ashley was able to find motivation in his own project.
When he felt overwhelmed, his coach pointed out how the skills he already had and gave him practical advice to move forward.
Check out Ashley’s project here. If you think you’re ready to take your own journey with us, don’t hesitate to learn more about the course, or get in touch with us.