We made it. 4 days complete. Design done. Pitches pitched. Certificates certified.
Day 4 flew by. Usually, when I sit through a training class, I look forward to its completion so I can move on with my life.
While I am excited to get home, see my family, and try to put what I have learned into practice, part of me could have stayed another week.
Maybe it was the brisk San Fransisco air. Maybe it was the joy I felt walking through the Financial District to Cooper every day. Maybe it was the excitement of the city, hanging out with people with the same passion for UX design, or the content of the class. Something about these last 4 days just felt really good and I wanted the adventure to continue.
I prayed for an adventure, and an adventure is what I got.
My head is packed. I was delighted by the affirmation that some of the UX work I’ve done has been in line with what Cooper teaches, and I was glad to fill in some of the gaps in my knowledge and experience with what the class provided.
The day started with refining our designs. Yesterday, we finished up our scenarios, and made rough sketches of our design framework. My team spent some time talking through what we came up with yesterday and re-affirmed that we were on the right track. We made a few tweaks and cleaned up some things, but we were all happy with what we came up with yesterday.
We spent a good portion of the day putting together our pitch for change.org. The Design Director from change.org would listen to our pitches and ask questions and/or provide feedback. We were also responsible for putting together a package of deliverables which basically consisted of all our group work.
We worked through lunch and at around 2pm, the group came back together when the Design Director arrived. He, and our two instructors made up the ‘American Idol’ type panel of judges.
All the groups did a phenomenal job presenting. It amazed me that even though we all did most of the work together, in just the day and a half that the teams had been split up, we all managed to come up with some pretty unique scenarios and designs. Sure, there was some overlap, but for the most part, we all went in a different direction.
Our team focused on the experience. We walked everyone through the story of how our persona interacted with change.org. At each touch point she became more and more emotionally attached to the service until it became a part of her everyday routine. The emotional reward she felt from making a positive change in the world and influencing others to do the same locked her in as a change.org user for life.
Our panel of judges gave some great feedback and each team handled questions like true professionals. After each team had presented, the representative from change.org shared some insights and struggles his team is facing with the future of change.org. He also assured us that some, or most, of our ideas would be found in future iterations of the service.
And then, just like that, we started to wrap things up. Most of the students lingered for a while as none of us really wanted to leave. We talked about how great the class was, how awesome our instructors were, and how much we all got from the 4 day course.
I hope there are more CooperU classes in my future. If I could take them all, I would. But, I have definitely identified one, or three, that I would really like to take. Perhaps, next time, I will bring my family and stay a few extra days to see all the things I didn’t get to see in SF.
And now, a red-eye flight and 3 hour layover in Charlotte.