A Decade of Empowerment in User Experience and Human-centered Design since 2011
In 2011, a community-based initiative called “UX Saturday with Wahid” was established in Bangladesh with the goal of promoting the knowledge of user experience and human-centered design among professional designers and students of Computer Science and Software Engineering.
The initiative began by hosting online webinars and quickly expanded to include on-campus workshops at various educational institutions in 2012. The team at UX Saturday with Wahid also began organizing public workshops and introducing UX training for businesses, in order to share the importance of UX and HCD with top industry talents. Topics covered in these sessions included user research, information architecture, interaction design, usability, and design thinking.
In 2014, the Co-founders Wahid bin Ahsan and Nilim Ahsan felt the need of giving an institutional form to all the efforts, and User Study and Experience Research Hub (Userhub) was founded. The first-ever professional course on user experience, the Certified User Experience Professional (CUXP), was also launched, which is now known as Certified User Experience Designer (CUXD).
In 2015, Userhub collaborated with UX Saturday with Wahid and Bangladesh User Experience Professionals’ Association (BUXPA) to host the country’s first and largest digital design conference, Big Design Day 2015 in Rangpur. The conference featured 14 renowned digital design professionals from the web, mobile gaming, 3D, and motion graphics industry, and was attended by 600 professionals and students from various educational institutions. To date, Userhub has trained over 10,000 professionals and students through workshops and classroom courses.
In 2016, Userhub organized the country’s first-ever UX Boot Camp to train 200 participants interested in building a career in user experience. This was followed by three more consecutive UX Boot Camps in 2017, 2018, and 2019. In 2018, the UX Boot Camp was honored with a special online guest speaker, Donald Arthur Norman, the director of The Design Lab at the University of California. In 2019, UX Boot Camp welcomed two special online guest speakers: Peter Morville, the Founder and President of Semantic Studios, and Eric Reiss, the CEO of FatDUX Group, Denmark. In the same year, Userhub launched its Rangpur campus to decentralize the knowledge-sharing platform with interested students and professionals outside the capital.
In 2018, Userhub redefined its Brand Identity to align with its core values: People, Knowledge, and Innovation. The organization also carried out the first-ever research on the Web Content Accessibility of Bangladeshi E-commerce websites. Userhub has served research, design, and capacity-building solutions to government organizations, public and private companies, international non-profit organizations, and startups to help them achieve their organizational goals.
In 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Userhub adapted to the new reality by moving its classes to an online format, which was widely appreciated. In the same year, the organization completely redesigned its curricula to make them more innovative and human-centric. In 2022, Userhub reopened its campus while also introducing a hybrid learning platform, allowing students the choice to attend classes either online or in-person, catering to their individual needs and preferences.
In 2023, Userhub celebrated 12 years of promoting user experience and human-centered design education in Bangladesh with the Userhub Reunion 2023. The event brought together designers, students, and industry experts, including Distinguished professor emeritus at the University of California, San Diego, Don Norman, who held a discussion session with attendees and provided valuable feedback on students’ course projects. Prominent figures in the industry, including Dr. Abdullah Al Mamun, Professor at United International University and Founder and President of CMED Health, Munir Hasan, Head of Youth Programme at Prothom Alo, M. Rashidul Hasan, Managing Director & CEO of Systech Digital Limited, Mostaque Ahmed, Head of UX at Nagad, Achia Nila, Founder of Women in Digital, and Emrazina Islam, Founder of Kaj360, also shared their insights with the audience.
In the same year, Userhub researchers published a research report titled “Exploring the Work Process of Design Practitioners in Bangladesh and their Motivation to Adopt Human-centered Design Methodology“. The report found that designers in Bangladesh lack an understanding of human-centered design (HCD) methodologies and face challenges with time management, payment issues, and access to resources. It emphasized the importance of promoting a collaborative environment and access to quality education and resources to support the adoption of HCD methodologies in Bangladesh.
As Userhub continues to grow, it looks forward to contributing to the advancement of digital transformation, scientific innovation, and knowledge-based economic development by providing a dynamic and adaptable learning experience for its students. The organization is committed to adding value to the lives of people in Bangladesh through its research, design, and capacity-building solutions.