Joining the User Wizard program was a game changer

Transitioned  from Academia to UX  in Switzerland

Natalia Smith

UX Researcher

Holistic approach

I found the holistic approach of the User Wizard program especially helpful. It introduces UX research through a structured variety of online materials, virtual and in-person (COVID-19 compliant) meetings, and collaboration with peers on projects.

All this is supplemented by one-on-one meetings with my mentor, who offers guidance throughout the program and answers any questions that might arise along the way. The online materials are conveniently accessible in one place. Online group sessions serve as an exchange of ideas and provide a sense of collegiality.

Practical experience

Another key aspect of the program is the hands-on experience gained through working on real business projects. The work involves collaboration with other participants of the User Wizard program and is done under close guidance of Marie-Aude. Thanks to participating in the projects I learned how UX research evolves in practice, and I was able to create a portfolio to showcase my work.

In case someone is unable to attend, the sessions are recorded. Marie-Aude regularly sends out emails with updates and maintains an active Slack channel. All this is supplemented by consultations with professionals who offer advice in areas of their respective expertise targeted to individual needs of each participant (e.g., CV feedback, interview coaching, etc.). This is important for those who are looking for work and especially useful to those of us who are new to Switzerland.

Dedicated mentors

The part of the program I enjoy the most is working with my mentors. Their enthusiasm and desire to help are evident in every interaction. They are empathetic, supportive, focused, and always there to help. Their presence is motivating as much as it is grounding. They are the heart and soul of the program. I recommend the User Wizard program to everyone looking to transition to UX research or simply expand their UX toolbox.