Tatiana Kachkovsky, Author at General Assembly Blog

Alumni Interview: Grace Akotey


Meet Grace Akotey, a graduate of General Assembly London’s 12-week User Experience Design program. A self-taught designer, Grace is now a full-time web designer with Crystal Ski Holidays, working on UX related projects and a full re-branding of their website.

1. What led you to User Experience (UX) Design?

I’ve always been a visual person. As a self-taught graphic and web designer, I’ve tried many things – from fashion to working in the city to freelancing – but there came a point in time where I wanted to get to the next level. A UX designer I worked with planted a seed of curiosity, and from there I started researching the topic and reading blog posts, and ended up enrolling at General Assembly.

2. What excites you about UX?

I feel that UX can sometimes be overlooked because it’s not tangible – it has no physical attribute, you can’t hold it in your hands. So what gets me excited is actually knowing how much thought and understanding of the user goes into each part of an experience. The best websites end up being the best exactly because of that.

3. What’s an example of good UX you’ve seen in real life?

Think about an ATM. After you’ve put in your card and punched in your PIN, what does the biggest button say? ‘10 Pounds No Receipt’. Someone has worked out the most frequent choice people make. That’s good UX right there. Continue reading

Alumni Interview: Edward Drax


Meet Edward Drax, graduate of General Assembly London’s 10-week Digital Marketing and 10-week Front-End Web Development programs. His career previously spanned advertising (at Saatchi & Saatchi), commercial property development, and a health and wellness business. Edward currently serves as Managing Director of Expense Magic, a mobile and web app that removes the pain of capturing, processing and storing receipts and expenses.

1. Why learn digital marketing when you also have a business to run?

While Expense Magic is part of Paperless Receipts, we are essentially a startup within the larger business. So I recognized early on that traditional marketing would be too expensive, too immeasurable, and too slow for us.

I’d been reading a lot about Push-Pull strategies and the importance of building a relationship with customers, and realized that digital marketing was the way forward. The ability to acquire your true target audience, converse with it, and track how you’re doing every step of the way – I wanted to understand in more depth how to do this.

2. You’ve had experience working with brands both small and big. How would you say digital marketing applies to more established players?

Mastering digital is just as important for big global businesses as it is for small nimble startups. For example, look at Burberry, and see how they are shaking up the fashion industry! For big businesses, it is no longer the case of “I have a product. These are the benefits. You will use it.” It is about establishing a community of followers, and letting people know that you’re here to listen and solve their problems. That is the role digital marketing plays, and if you’re not prepared to listen to your customers, someone else will.

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