We spoke with 3 graduates of our UX design student program to hear more about what they’ve learned in it and how it led them to start their UX career at Wix
Have you ever fantasized about learning the UX trade from some of the best UX designers out there while getting acquainted with the methods of research, wireframing and usability in a leading website creation platform? Well, joining Wix’s UX Bootcamp program this summer might just turn your fantasy into reality. Participating in the 2 month program will also give you a unique opportunity to apply all you’ve learned as a student as an actual UX Designer at Wix, where you’ll collaborate with developers, PMs, analysts and many other disciplines on a daily basis, getting real experience on products used by over 220 million users.
To get a better idea about the program and what it's all about, we spoke with 3 of last summer’s graduates who now work at Wix in part-time student positions.
Although previous experience in tech isn’t required of those applying to our UX Bootcamp program, we don’t turn down people who do have some of it. Shir Meir, for example, was already working for a few years as an analyst and in a product team at a startup company when she realized that her true passion is UX design.
“I started out there in 2017 as an analyst, later shifted into product related work and through that I understood that UX is really what I’m interested in,” Shir recalls. “I remember that at the time I liked the idea of diving into the small details of everything and the notion that every single thing that the user will encounter when they’ll use the product should be something that I thought a lot about. I loved the idea of having so much responsibility on your shoulders because you’re literally designing the way that these people will be using the product.”
After becoming more involved with UX, Shir says she understood that she needs to learn a lot in order to be really good at what she does. “At the time I worked with a designer, but I realized that it wasn’t enough. I wasn’t interested just in picking the right colors or fonts - I wanted to go beyond it and to learn how to create an immersive experience for the user,” she says.
With that thought in mind Shir started studying design, but after the first year at school felt that she was too engulfed in aesthetics instead of in UX design, which was what she was really passionate about. She applied for Wix’s Playground program (which is intended to teach aspiring designers how to create their own portfolios), but during her interviews with our people she was encouraged to apply for a different Wix student program all about UX - the UX Students Bootcamp.
Shir changed her plans and about a month later began the Bootcamp program. “It’s divided between 3 focus areas. The first is being familiar with Wix’s tools and systems and learning to work with them and that already gave me lots of value; The second is learning Wix’s approach to UX design which is quite unique: we always have our users in mind. We don’t only imagine what they’ll do, we’re actually getting into their shoes - We’re building websites and online businesses from scratch so everything is done through experience; The third focus area is really being immersed in a real product team, getting to know the people and working with them side by side on real products. Personally, I got to know almost all the UX Designers at Wix and that makes you feel that you’re not only learning a lot but that you’re also a part of a community.”
After the intense 2 month program had ended, Shir was offered to join Wix in a student position during her fourth year of studies in Shenkar College of Engineering, Design and Art, and was asked where she’d like to work. Shir didn’t hesitate and chose our Design System team which supplies UX Designers from all parts of Wix with some of the most fundamental UX components they’ll be using throughout our products. “I knew what I was getting into and loved the idea of creating components for the entire company, but another great thing is that I knew the people and felt comfortable with them, so I could get straight to work. It was really seamless.”
Ilya Sverdlov says that he was drawn to our Bootcamp program after his many attempts to land a tech job were turned down because of “insufficient experience”. “I guess one or some of my professors recommended me to Wix because towards the end of my third year at school I got an email from Wix offering me to join the program. I was really happy with it because I didn’t want to feel that hiring me was a compromise for any employer. I wanted to know what I was doing and bring value with me.”
Ilya says during the program the 10 participants learned everything there is to learn about many of Wix’s products. “When you join any company it’s very difficult to start working on products right away because you’re simply not familiar with them,” he says. “We, however, got a chance to deep dive into Wix’s products and learned how to use them. More importantly - we got a chance to meet the actual people who have built these products and who were all very dedicated to teach us how to do our work in the best possible way.”
What was the most important thing you gained from the program?
“I think that learning new things while having a chance to really experiment with them in a real world environment is what sets this program apart from other ways of learning. At school, a large part of what we learn is theoretical. At Wix, we learned how to implement this new acquired knowledge into real things - how the process of conceiving a product and then developing it really happens, how to clearly explain your ideas to your colleagues etc. The main feeling I was left with after the program had ended was that now I’m capable of pretty much anything. I knew that I still had a lot to learn, but now I wasn’t afraid of taking my first career step anymore.”
Upon the completion of the program Ilya was also offered to join Wix as a part-time student. He became a part of our Promote team and in the last 6 months he’s been juggling his academic duties as a fourth year student with 3 days of work at Wix. “I work a lot with Product Managers and Developers and the most meaningful thing for me about it is that I never get a feeling that I’m here to help. I get real tasks with real responsibilities and I’m an integral part of the team,” he says.
Adi Landau also joined the program while studying at Shenkar. “In my third year of school I became more interested in designing in digital environments and in UX, and sometime in the middle of the school year I got a message from someone at Wix asking me if I’m interested. I was already in a recruitment process with other places but when I interviewed at Wix I liked the vibe and immediately felt at home so I was really glad that about an hour and a half after the interview I got a call and was told that I was accepted to the Bootcamp program.”
Adi says participating in the program didn’t only teach her about product building and learning to work according to proven methodologies, but also elevated her as a student during her final year at school. “I felt that I came back to school a few levels above my former self, improved,” she says with a smile. “We were taught how to do everything from A to Z without taking shortcuts. Another thing that was really meaningful for me is that we were also taught how to present our ideas which is crucial if you want other people to understand your vision and like it and want to be onboard and make it come to life. All those things made me a much better student this year,” she says.
After finishing the program Adi was offered to join Wix as a student UX Designer until she finished school and now works 2 full days a week at our Premium group. “I’m working on a new product that’s going to reach millions of people. Besides doing what I like I get a feeling that I’m trusted and treated like anyone else. Basically, I’m always encouraged to dream big and know that some of these dreams will come true. The best thing is that I feel that I’m implementing everything I learned during the program into a real product that’s going to seriously improve our users’ businesses. The scale of the things I do really excites me.”
Is there anything anyone considering joining the program must know?
Adi: “Don’t be afraid. Sometimes you’ll feel that you’re being thrown into the water too fast, but I think that you should embrace it. Even if sometimes the tasks you’re given seem too hard or too long to complete on time, you’ll do it. Just trust your teachers at the program. They know what they’re doing.”
Shir: “They should know that they’re going to learn A LOT and that they should always ask questions. Everything is going to be new for them and this is an amazing opportunity to learn while doing very serious hands-on work while having fun.”
Ilya: “My advice is to simply go for it. Even if you feel insecure, don’t think that you can’t do it. You’ll meet amazing people who will teach you how to be the best that you can and will help you at any step along the way.”