ustwo

Creating pathways for young people to thrive in the design industry

At ustwo we’re on a mission to improve diversity in the tech and design industries and ensure our studios accurately represent the communities in which we’re based. One way we believe we can work towards this is by nurturing young talent straight out of school or university.

This month we were delighted to welcome a second cohort of young people to ustwo as part of the Flipside programme. We’ve partnered with Flipside for two years to host workshops, teach curriculum modules and offer internships with the support of colleagues across our design and strategy teams.

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What is Flipside?

Flipside is an industry-led bootcamp in digital product design for young East Londoners. The programme is designed by Create Jobs at A New Direction alongside a number of leading digital agencies, including ustwo.

Flipsiders in the programme tour various agencies throughout the curriculum, learning the skills, behaviours and mindset needed to succeed in the industry whilst being exposed to real working environments. At the end of the 12-week programme, each Flipsider joins one of the partner agencies — ustwo, Made by Many, Beyond, Farfetch — for a three month internship.

Both the bootcamp and internship are paid, meaning Flipsiders can fully dedicate themselves to developing their skills and making the most of the programme.

Why do we love being involved?

Being part of the Flipside programme is such a refreshing and energising experience for me. As a Design Lead at ustwo (or any agency) you can get so consumed with your project work and client deadlines. Taking time out to teach and support young people who have so much joy and curiosity, with a strong appetite to learn, reminds you to approach every challenge with the same fresh curiosity and desire to try new things.

What’s happened so far?

The first module taught by ustwo was Creative Problem Solving. Louise Windo (Strategy Lead) and I led the Flipsiders through the process of idea generation and sketching. We shared advice such as, “Sketching is about communicating an idea, not creating a work of art” and “Start with quantity over quality, don’t overthink or put pressure on yourself.”

After facilitating a group exercise where the Flipsiders generated a bunch of ideas for each of their briefs, we then taught them how to process and prioritise ideas. We gave them a framework for evaluating ideas against the brief for user value, business value and feasibility. The goal of the module was for each Flipsider to get to one good idea - something simple and clearly communicated that excites and inspires them. Not to have everything all figured out yet.

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“In just four weeks Flipside has enlightened me to the possibility of achieving and establishing a career in digital design. This programme is great at encouraging individuals to really believe in themselves, learn on the job as well as meeting inspiring people, from peers on the programme to professionals in the industry. Sounds cliché- but this has already been a life changing experience for me and I am forever grateful”

- Jazmine, 2021 Flipside Trainee

“It’s been great watching the Flipsiders’ creative confidence grow in such a short amount of time, but the thing that struck me most was how they supported each other, and built each other up. In an industry where collaboration is everything, the future is looking very bright.”

— Louise, Strategy Lead at ustwo

The second module ustwo taught was on Visualisation - an introduction to the tools, techniques and best practices used to make your app visually appealing to the people using it. Inês Araújo, Dan Ryan and Kodj Glover (from the ustwo design team) took Flipsiders through the process of creating moodboards and initial design exploration to define a visual identity before formalising it as a style guide.

As part of creating their style guide, each Flipsider set their font styles and hierarchy, created a colour palette, defined their layout grid and created some basic UI patterns. This set them up to start designing and prototyping their individual apps.

What’s coming up next?

The Flipside cohort will continue to move around the partner agencies over the next six weeks to complete the curriculum. We’re looking forward to seeing how they progress with their projects over the coming months and the skills they develop along the way.

At the end of the programme we’ll welcome Britney and Wassim to ustwo full time to begin their internship - we’re so excited to have them join us!

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We’re proud to be a part of Flipside. Special thank you to Hannah Hedges at Create Jobs for coordinating the programme and to Tom Harding at Made by Many for driving the curriculum.