Fitting a sixteen-week user experience course into a four-day bootcamp is somewhat akin to fitting the ocean into a paper cup. Magicians make such promises and we show up to see the seemingly impossible feat, hoping to be amazed, and walk away in awe.
Twenty-six of us did walk away in awe by the end of Cooper's UX Bootcamp held March 26-29 in Columbus, Ohio. Career changers, designers, businessmen, project managers, and educators from startups, agencies, big corporations, and colleges spent four days learning key UX skills and competing in teams to design a mobile app for the American Red Cross of Greater Columbus' ClubRED volunteers. Though our intentions for attending were practical and valid in their own right, we gained more than we ever imagined, learning how to collaborate, communicate, and truly connect to create meaningful and successful products.
Photo courtesy of Paul J. Hart
Despite the competitive framework, early on someone ventured, "If we work together, we'll find out more than if we split up and conceal our findings. I want the Red Cross to have a really hard time choosing among our final pitches. If you're up for doing this together, raise your hand." Many raised both hands!