One of the most exciting results of the proliferation of technology is the manner in which it is driving down the cost of education, thereby making skills acquisition more accessible. Driven by this trend, online program providers are also able to expand rapidly by leveraging lower operating costs. The technological evolution is helping individuals acquire skills across diverse fields of study. However, digital revolutions are particularly effective in attracting individuals of all ages to creative professions like content and software creation, fine arts and design.
Of these, the design profession perhaps has the greatest potential to influence the world. Strangely enough, it is also the least celebrated. One of the reasons behind the limited appreciation for the creative profession is a limited area of reach.
Previously, the absence of a global platform to learn and share design education meant that many capable designers were limited to working locally. The salaries they earned were not commensurate with the talent they possessed.
DESIGNATION stands tall as a pioneer in the creation of this essential global design platform. Its 24-week online and in-person program allows talented designers to learn the skills necessary to turn professional, and quickly put those skills to use in the real world.
Over five hundred students have already used DESIGNATION as the springboard for a career in design, and many of them are today employed in some of the world’s largest and most influential companies. In fact, DESIGNATION can boast of an unmatched hiring rate of 96% since its inception in 2013.
Catering to All Levels of Design
DESIGNATION UX and UI designers get the opportunity to work with 2 or 3 real-world clients as part of their progress under the oversight of a project manager and creative director. This gives them the opportunity to gain the practical experience necessary to solve difficult problems, while building a solid, focused portfolio.
DESIGNATION offers a variety of career advancement paths for experienced designers through exciting opportunities in leading teams, mentorship, client engagement, and public speaking. Additionally, it runs on-site design thinking workshops for large organizations and their employees.
The company also gives back by providing pro bono design services that empower small companies and startups.
Inspiration, Foundation and Initial Struggles
The company was founded in late 2013 during the boom of coding bootcamps. At one such camp, a team of proactive participants asked themselves the question, “Why can’t we create a similar program for design?” While they were inexperienced and had a limited background in traditional education themselves, the motley crewof talented designers, developers, entrepreneurs and problem-solvers came up with an innovative plan. They created a unique way to teach design where people could more quickly gain the experience and skills necessary to be employed in the field.
Initially, DESIGNATION began with an inexpensive 10-week program. The founders quickly realized that teaching design was very different from teaching software development, and 70 days was not nearly enough time. Over the course of a year and after a lot of feedback from customers, designers and employers, they decided on a 24- week format.
This continues to be the main format offered by the company today. It includes live client projects as part of the curriculum and is widely regarded as one of the most promising options for any aspiring designer.
An Emphasis on Human Interaction
DESIGNATION believes that, “To be a great creative professional in design, you still need to work with people face-to-face.”
Every design course the company runs always includes some sort of humanto-human interaction. It is the first program provider in alternative education that focuses exclusively on design.
DESIGNATION understands the importance of a comprehensive design platform and has added features accordingly. Individuals graduating from its courses possess the ideal balance of technical knowledge and the interactive human touch.
The company stresses, “We work with real companies with users, revenue and challenges that require our designers’ help. That allows us to boast about our 96% placement rate and career support rivaled by none.”
Passionate CEO Leading from the Front
After eight months running its first design course, DESIGNATION’s graduates achieved a stellar placement rate of 93 percent. The program was working. However, because the concept was so new, the company struggled to find customers and was running out of money.
With less than two months of cash remaining, DESIGNATION’s Co-founder and CEO Aaron Fazulak decided to liquidate his 401k, removed himself from payroll, and took out a personal credit card to buy the company three more months of operating cash.
Aaron then personally emailed people interested in the program, tripling conversion rates overnight. He has always led the company with that pure devotion and aims to continue to build an intelligent team which can sustain the quality of its services.
“Quality isn’t only a necessity in the field of education,” he explains, “It’s a responsibility.”
Combining Online and In-person Experience
DESIGNATION aims to grow by adhering to its philosophy of creating the highest-quality programs that blend both online and in-person experience. The platform is going to offer these experience across unexplored cities, and has been consistently working on advanced course offerings correlatively.
The company ensures every designer in the DESIGNATION community will always have the skills necessary to be employed today, and still be prepared for the challenges of tomorrow.