Different ways to help others – that’s how I now look at volunteering.
Getting extra design experience
When redundancy was looming, I started doing some voluntary UX work for a charity I found online.
I carried out a heuristic evaluation of their website and offered up a range of improvements they could make to improve things like accessibility, SEO impact, conversions etc.
At the time I wanted to be involved in some ‘live’ work – I’m generally pretty proactive in my efforts.
Others doing the same thing
18 months later, I’m in my second new job and live work is always there for me to be getting on with – but volunteering came back onto my radar.
Whilst interviewing for a Junior UX Designer to join us at VisitScotland, one applicant mentioned that he’d been doing some work with Scottish Tech Army (STA).
He’d been involved in providing some UX insight on a project and showed us how he’d been able to have a positive impact on the project.
I forgot about STA for a little while and it somehow resurfaced for me last week.
Giving design experience
I’m in a very different state than I was when I faced the prospect of losing my job in July/August last year.
This is showing more and more now that I work within the Civil Service.
I love to learn new things, but I now know that if I don’t do something with what I’ve learned – I lose it.
The public sector has already given me a bunch of opportunities to not only apply my learning but to do so on projects that aim to make things better for people.
Volunteering with STA seemed like it could offer a bit more of that.
Mor opportunities to give my experience and insight to others and help them do more of the good work that they are already doing in their communities.
I had a chat with Joanna from the STA Team and although it was brief, it got both of us excited about the range of potential opportunities that could be had!
I’m able to lend my experience to projects almost right away – there are organisations that are in need of my skills.
Equally, it seems that there is a whole range of other ways that I can look to give back:
- Pairing with others to help them gain confidence in their ability across projects
- Help grow the digital education efforts to encourage others to improve their skills
- Network with a bunch of people from diverse backgrounds who also want to do good things with their skills
My schedule is already full of extra work and projects that have taken my interest, but this was an opportunity that seemed to be too good to overlook!