Apprentice in UX Design (AUX)

We turn promising designers and developers into UX pros through structured learning, one-on-one mentorship, and real-world experience. Our apprentices are early career web professionals who aspire to be leaders in the field by building beautiful, engaging web and mobile products.

What will I learn?

We believe UX is a multi-disciplinary practice. We look for apprentices with a strong core as a visual designer or front-end developer, and we teach you the broader skills of a UX pro. These include:

  • Expertise with usability and interaction design principles and best practices.
  • An emphasis on prototyping over wireframing for documentation and testing.
  • The ability to create and run usability tests and improve a product based on what you learn.
  • A strong desire to observe users and collect feedback during all stages of your work.
  • The ability to shape products based on the needs, behaviors and habits of these users.

What should I already know?

Over the past 2 years we’ve learned which existing skills give an apprentice the best shot at success with us. In short, we’re looking for people who have already had 1 full year minimum of professional experience (sorry, we aren’t accepting current students), preferably working as a designer or web developer.

A designer’s portfolio should show a clear understanding of:

  • Color theory, typography and layout, with some responsive design.
  • Basic usability and interaction design principles.
  • Basic front-end dev with HTML & CSS. Some JavaScript is a bonus.

A front-end developer’s work should demonstrate:

  • HTML/CSS/JS proficiency.
  • A focus on progressive enhancement and accessibility.
  • An understanding of basic visual design principles.

You’ll probably do well with us if you’ve got a few years of work under your belt, you’ve done some good work, and you’re looking to push yourself to the next level.

What is the program like?

We run twice a year, once in the winter/spring and once in the summer/fall. Qualified candidates are invited to our selection bootcamp. You’ll get an in-person Saturday workshop on design thinking and how to run a product design sprint, and you’ll be given your bootcamp challenge: prototype a single-purpose application on your own time during the following week. Everyone will meet again the following Saturday to present their work (you can join this second session remotely if you’re not based in the area). Based on your presentation we’ll invite 4-5 applicants to the program. You’ll get 4 weeks between your invite and the beginning of the program to settle any schedule conflicts.

The program runs for 15 weeks, full-time at our office in Watertown, MA. You’ll be paid $500 per week to help cover your expenses while you participate. You’ll also get 2–3 paid holidays depending on the session, and 3 paid personal days.

During your first week you’ll be paired with a mentor to help guide you. All apprentices participate in lectures and several challenges meant to develop new skills. You’ll also get to work on client projects for valuable real-world experience. During your final 4 weeks we’ll teach interviewing skills, and we can make introductions to companies that we’ve worked with.

When is the next session?

Applications for our Summer/Fall 2015 session are closed. We will be starting the selection process for the next session in late 2015. You can follow us on Twitter for more info, or enter you email address into the form below and we’ll be in touch once we have a schedule.

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If you have any questions please feel free to email Steve Hickey, our AUX Director.