The budding field of UX in Ghana — The community build-up


User Experience design has come to stay in modern times since Technology has become so prominent. The UI/UX Designer has become one of the most sought after, in this ever-advancing technology industry. It is so much you are to do if you wish to become the shining star in the world of desig

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User Experience design has come to stay in modern times since Technology has become so prominent. The UI/UX Designer has become one of the most sought after, in this ever-advancing technology industry. It is so much you are to do if you wish to become the shining star in the world of design, especially in UX design. And as the demand for good customer experience keeps rising, so is the need to meet those demands adequately.

In Ghana, the story is no different. More and more companies are realizing the need to invest in quality design and as such, quality designers. The challenge, however, has been that a few people actually invest their talent and their time in the field of UX Design.

Then enters Figma Africa Community and later on, UX Ghana.

Figma Africa (https://www.figma.com/africa/) is a community made up of web designers, web developers, graphic designers, marketers, illustrators, beginners, all-stars, which you will hopefully be a part of soon. We aren’t the only design community out there, but we aim to be the go-to place for designers in Africa.

So, basically, a platform for interaction amongst various designers in Africa, where they mentor, learn, grow and profit together while engaging in design activities, events, weekly challenges, and sprints. All these and more which are appropriately designed to help meet certain needs at their immediate environments and also present tried and tested ways on how to sell themselves to the global design community irrespective of their skill.

Figma Africa, Accra has collaborated to organize several meet-ups and design sessions to train and equip newbies in design. Examples of such events;

  • Figma UX Design Hackathon at MEST Accra
  • Figma Learn Design Bootcamp with DIV Fairpointers
  • Figma + DIV Design Session at NUSTFORD University
  • Figma + DIV Design challenges
  • Figma Design Sessions at Impact
  • Figma Design Thinking Session in Collaboration with Nubuke Foundation at Basecamp Accra
  • Figma UG meetup
  • Figma + DIV #STEM4G Bootcamp at Stanbic Incubator
  • and many more

UX Ghana (https://twitter.com/uxghana) was born approximately a year after the first debut of Figma Africa in Accra serving the same function though not limited to the use of a specific tool, but more focused on design education and events.

With both communities joining forces, the first UX meet up was held on the 27th of April 2019 with an effort to build a strong and vibrant UI/UX community in Ghana. The word got out and got professionals, design enthusiasts as well as newbies attending. The UX Ghana community soon saw a drastic growth in participation and interests in the field.

In spite of all the challenges faced in planning how to engage, mentor and bring on-board newbies in the field; largely due to lack of resource persons, there have so far been lots of resources shared and great feedback on the knowledge spread in the community.

In the month of August, a design agency called YUX (https://yux.design/about-us) got in touch with the UXGH community in Accra acknowledging our many efforts put into the advocacy of design and its education. They partnered with our community to organize a second meet up on September 7, 2019, exploring the topic; Collaboration between Designers and Developers.

The event got several developers and designers discuss the topic at hand while finding effective ways to solve actual collaborative issues. The panel discussions held yielded fruitful remarks and hence, great results.

What next?

This is a difficult question to answer. Why?

This has to do with strategy or structure of events organization, funding and other stakeholders pushing the whole agenda.

Also, how do we steer contact collaborations among the many other communities in the tech space in Ghana?

In the spirit to unite the forefronts of technology in Ghana, I believe all parties involved in digital product design in Ghana can come together in spearing the cause to redefine the technology industry in Ghana.

Because User Experience is very important!