UX Design Institute raises €500,000

27 Nov 2018

UX Design Institute founder Colman Walsh. Image: Conor McCabe Photography

Global expansion on the cards for UX Design Institute as demand for skills soars.

The UX Design Institute has raised €500,000 from private investors and Enterprise Ireland.

The investment will be used to accelerate the company’s expansion as it sets out to more than treble staff numbers over the next year-and-a-half, enter new markets and further develop its online product offering.

‘The UX Design Institute is putting a stake in the ground that sets the standard for UX education throughout the world’

Established in 2013 by veteran user experience (UX) designer Colman Walsh, the company has operated a profitable business from year one, with revenues on track to reach €1.2m this year and €2.5m in 2019.

In June of this year, the institute launched what it called the world’s only university-accredited online UX course. Demand has been strong, with more than 400 students enrolled since the launch. Students graduate with a professional diploma in UX design and see it as a vital first step in getting on the UX employment ladder.

Design for life skills

Last month, the UX Design Institute announced it was hiring for 16 new positions to add to the seven staff members in its Dublin offices, with new positions to span sales, marketing, operations and finance.

The company was initially focused on closing the rapidly expanding UX skills gap in Ireland and now educates students globally, with 73pc of its sales coming from abroad.

UX is a design methodology that plays a role in the technology industry similar to what architecture does for the construction sector. It provides high-level and detailed design to ensure digital products are easy to use and fit for purpose. UX is championed by tech giants such as Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon.

“The UX Design Institute is putting a stake in the ground that sets the standard for UX education throughout the world,” Walsh said. “We’ve identified a gap for university-accredited training and the opportunity to become the global leader in UX education and certification, a market estimated to be worth around €1.5bn by 2021.

“This recent cash injection will allow us to expand the business to meet the demand for professionally qualified UX designers, where some 9,000 vacancies arise per day in the US alone.”

More than 4,000 students have taken courses with the UX Design Institute, with corporate clients such as Accenture, Dell, Deloitte, AIB, Ericsson and the European Space Agency working with the institute to help upskill or reskill staff.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years