Skinny jeans, hoodies, over-sized glasses.

Backpacks, folders haemorrhaging loose sheets of paper, dangly ID badges.

I’m surrounded by hundreds, nay thousands of students. And I’m loving it.

I’m a student again!!!

My first week here at UCL has been an exciting one. I’m enrolled as a student for the University College London Interaction Centre masters course in Human Computer Interaction with Ergonomics. I’ll be learning about how humans work with technology and how we can design our interactions for the benefit of everyone, not just selfish designers! There are around 60 students on my course, most of which are full time master’s students. About 10 of us are doing the masters part time over 2 -3years (I’m just doing it in 2 years)

There are some really incredible people in my faculty. Be it the lecturers or the students, we have such a wealth of knowledge, experience and ideas. But we also literally come from around the world and represent pretty much every continent and most countries. Its wonderful being surrounded by such culturally, professionally and academically diverse individuals.

This is all the more smile inducing when, as one part time student from the previous year put it, “We all have empathy”. We all genuinely care about making the lives of others, or dare I say change the world, through effective user centred design. Now you might be wondering what user centred design actually is. Feel free to check this wikipedia page 🙂

We had a number of generic lectures which explained the course modules, as well as preparing us for being academics again, especially if you haven’t been to university for a few years, like myself. There was also a very well pitched session on the Zero Tolerance to Sexual Harassment policy and got attendees thinking about their options if they faced sexual harassment of any kind and what could be the best way to intervene if it was deemed appropriate.

ipad 4 from eBay

ipad 4 from eBay

My first lecture will on Ergonomics of Design. I can’t wait! I have my sketchbook (we don’t use notebooks as UX professionals!) and Sharpie (a UX professionals best friend in pen form or “penified”) and iPad 4 with keyboard I bought from eBay for £165 with free P&P. With half backlit display which I only noticed once I locked in my highest bid.

Yeah!!!!

PS the iPad actually works perfectly well, and the backlight is surprisingly nowhere near as bad as it looks in the photo.

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