Advanced UX Workshop: Series of Guest Lectures

The much anticipated Advanced User Experience Workshop course has rolled out since last week with the dedicated lecturer Kirsi Karimäki arranging a series of guest lectures for the course. 

The course started with Kirsi explaining the outline of the course and bringing student participants into the comprehensive level of user studies. Anne Kaikkonen, Senior UX Strategy Consultant from a globally-operated service design company, Cresense, and the Chairman of SIGCHI Finland, is the first guest lecturer in the course sharing various topics including User and Design Research methods, memory work and processing, as well as psychological studies.


caption: Guiding principle of User Research field from Anne Kaikkonen.  

“We touched topics such as questions that are better to avoid when doing your user research, and what to keep in mind about emotional influence etc. We got to know about our memory changes and how it affects the order of happenings – additionally to the topic, we were given examples on how different kinds of information can later pop up in users’ recalling of a certain situation, experience or just in any kind of interview. Thus, it was quite a rapid data, showing that users can lead you to more info in later time in some cases, and overall, how to more effectively implement your researches taking some psychological details into account. This was very interesting to listen to for the first time, and definitely, this kind of information will be very useful for many of us in the future.”

Liza, student participant.

The second guest lecture was given by Interaction Designer Ksenia Avetisova, from one of the most influential global digital service design agencies, Fjord, part of Accenture Interactive. 

Even though Ksenia was given very short notice about the presentation, the workshop was packed with great content and guidance on Service Design with Ksenia charmingly sharing the exclusive design methods used in professional field. Covering Desire to Release, Ksenia emphasized fluid working methods, which are at the core essence of Service Design. There is no one definite design framework for all solutions to the clients’ problem. Different techniques apply for different cases. It resonates well with many design principles such as ‘Think first, design later’ from Re:Sydney.

Guest speaker Ksenia Avetisova explaining Fjord’s holistic design approach.  

In short, the action-packed workshop allowed students to engage with the riveting presentation as well as exercising their brains by completing a rapid exercise which included analyzing a user persona and identifying their needs. The brainstorming exercise was undertaken in under 15 minutes. Rapid work indeed!


Students divided into small groups for brainstorming exercise. (Photo by Ksenia Avetisova)

Students got challenged with a user persona exercise!  

“I am really thrilled about this workshop learning about UX and service design from Kirsi and the guest speakers invited from the professional industry field. Such a great opportunity to exchange ideas and thoughts between students and industry professional in a very practical workshop. The speakers are generously sharing their working experience, and what a great chance for students to get hands-on tips on what it’s like working in the field! ”

Joanne, student participant.


Left to Right: Ville, Joanne, Henna, Elizabeta. Students presenting results of rapid brainstorming sessions. Photo taken by Ksenia.

“Ksenia’s workshop was great. I didn’t really expect that kind of presentation, and it positively surprised me. First of all, we went through the Fjord company’s current working situation, businesses, locations and some of the projects that had been done there. Fjord is indeed big and I liked the introduction about it – well spoken, shown, using good-looking design slides and explanations. Most importantly, we practised some exercises about how problem solving and research is done in service design, and I have never tried those things before. It was really interesting and also fairly fast, thus it trained you that you had to use your logic, analyzing abilities and creativity all at once within 2-3 minutes! I was pretty lost at first, thinking that I couldn’t do anything, but later it worked out very well! We had our presentations about the fictional characters we got and what kind of solution would fit their needs. At the end, we got gifts from Ksenia such as Fjord’s annual trends book, which is totally nice to have, and all in all, the course was full of new interesting stuff and left a positive impression.

“This course has been a pleasing and positive experience – everyday we had something new, and basically, each day had a visiting lecturer! I really appreciated it, and the schedule of the course was quite intensive, which I personally liked, since we had so much to listen to and take notes, observe and present some home tasks, e.g. one of the UX research methods and so on. Our homework was really interesting and made me think about different things a lot and take them into account. More courses like this!”  
- Liza.

The course will be running until 9th of April, and another exciting guest lecture session will be head by Antti Aaltonen, Director of User Experience from Rovio Entertainment, giving his talk on “User experience in Game Design”. The course will end with a visit to Suuntaamo and VTT, Technical Research Centre of Finland in Tampere.

Stories and photos by Joanne nh Wong and Elizaveta Kinnar, students of TAMK Media.

Joanne nh wong,
Liza Kinner,