About Us

We empower creators to do the work they love.

Mentor-led, online design education with a focus on quality and outcomes.

Harish Venkatesan, one of our co-founders, came up with the idea for the company in 2012 while reading Creative Workshop, a book of design exercises. It became clear that a continuous cycle of feedback and iteration is essential for anyone aspiring to improve their design skills. Over the past five years, we’ve brought that idea to life by crafting our vision of an ideal online learning platform. Every Designlab student is paired with an expert designer as their mentor, completes several hands-on projects, and receives ongoing design feedback and peer support from our student community.

Our mission is to empower creators.

With today’s design tools, creators can build products and services with the potential to enrich the lives of billions of people worldwide. New products are launched every day, so good design is crucial to staying relevant in a competitive market. Today, more than ever before, you can cheaply experiment and reinvent your skills until you find what you truly love. After all, you spend 60% of your waking hours at work, so itโ€™s only right that you enjoy it.

In this environment, we believe these traits are more important than ever: Creativity. Lifelong learning. Passion for your work.

These have no place: Crippling student debt. Unfulfilling jobs. Unsatisfying careers that we choose by default.

We’re combining the power of the internet with the magic of 1-on-1 mentoring to create an invaluable educational experience that is affordable and accessible worldwide. Our goal is to guide you to find the creative work you love, and to help you become a master of your craft. Join us!

Our Team

We’re a distributed team of creators & doers located across the globe.

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    Harish Venkatesan


    Built product at Venmo & Grubwithus; graduated from UPenn

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    Daniel Shapiro


    Previously full-stack developer at YCharts; graduated from Duke

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    Patrick Multani


    Studied Concept Design; worked at Less & Better to listen and understand

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    Madi Waggoner

    Director of Operations

    Studied at University of Colorado (UCCS); also a UX Academy graduate

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    Sara Vilas Santiago

    Mentorship & Curriculum

    Award-winning innovation in FinTech and government; graphic design graduate

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    andrew wilshere

    Content & Design

    PhD in Philosophy from University of Manchester; previously project manager

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    Kara Donaldson

    Support & Community

    Studied at Creighton University; support and engagement at Meetup.com

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    Esther Lee


    Recovering asst. professor-turned-UX Academy graduate (Fall 2017)!

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    Edgar Salazar

    Software Development

    Builds products for nonprofits and startups; graduated from MIT & University of Manchester

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    Will Anderson


    Graduated from Transylvania University in History; previously led partnerships at Crew

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    Renee Tracy


    Studied Psych at University of Alaska; brings perceptive fine-tuning to startup ops

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    Teresa Lamb


    UX Designer turned Developer. Studied at Florida State & New York University.

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    Sandy Chen

    Mentor Operations

    Digital product design, strategy, mentorship; MFA from Parsons Design & Technology

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    Lauren Lankford

    Student Success

    Studied at New York University; created partnerships at Digiday

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    Michelle Lin

    Mentor Community

    Archaeologist turned Designer; previously UX & UI Design at eBay

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    Manuela Odell

    Business Development

    BD & Partnerships at Luxe & CardFlight; graduated from Bates College

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    CJ Dreiss

    Software Development

    Boston University Grad; Graphic Designer turned Full-Stack Developer

Designlab by the numbers

Thousands of students have taken our courses.

  • Students enrolled

    photo1 3,000+
  • Project submissions

    photo1 55,000+
  • 1-on-1 Mentor sessions

    photo1 14,000+
  • Mentor feedback comments

    photo1 70,000+


Over 400 industry professionals from tech’s hottest companies

Reshma Mehta

Snowflake Computing

James Christopher


David Elgena


Cory M Burnett


Ben Sykes


Annie Zhou


David Pomfret

Red Blue

Ian Schoen


Angel Sanchez



American Airlines

Kaity Hammerstein


Aaron Davis

The Neverwoods


Our international student community is formed of driven, aspiring designers who work together to achieve their career goals.

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    UI Designer at Adidas

    “I got a job offer from Adidas just before I started my second capstone project on UX Academy!”

    Read Peter's story
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    sammy de joya

    UX Designer at Comrade Agency

    “UX Academy was great. It helped give me the kick start that I needed to learn all the basic design concepts.”

    Read Sammy's story
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    Wendy Pei

    Product Designer at Microsoft

    “The confidence I came out with really propelled me into the job hunt. I received several offers in just a month.”

    Read Wendyโ€™s story
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    celeste north

    UX Designer at Backbase

    “I learned sketching, wireframing, prototyping, UI kits, personas, and user flows. These are all key skills for my work.”

    Read Celesteโ€™s story
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    Marko Vuletic


    “What I really liked about the Designlab course were the assignments and the weekly mentor calls.”

    Read Markoโ€™s story
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    Tracy Lin

    UX/UI Designer at TechStyle Fashion Group

    “Those who encouraged and affirmed me turned out to be right, because I graduated and I got the job.”

    Read Tracyโ€™s story
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    Jonathan Netek

    UX / Visual Designer at Flightaware

    “I already had 13 years in the design industry, but I still learned valuable new skills in UXA.”

    Read Jonathan's story
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    What is your dream job?

    We offer short courses and an intensive UX Academy. Whether you want to upskill or build a new career, Designlab is for you.

Get the syllabus & take a tour