Challenging diversity in tech and design — How Laboratoria's students foster design learning in design with Marvel

Laboratoria at ideation stage
  • 80%

    employment success rate

    Laboratoria hopes to increase their graduate employment success rate to 85%.

  • 800+


    Since their launch in 2014 Laboratoria have taught more than 800 students in their program.

  • 200+

    UX design graduates

    since introducing their UX Design course in 2017, which uses Marvel.

Industry: Education
Locations: Santiago, Lima, Sao Paulo and Guadalajara, Mexico.
Key Features: Prototyping, Handoff and Userflows

With a 80% employment success rate for over 800 engineering students and counting, Laboratoria’s introduction of Marvel to their academic programme sets them up to storm the design industry next.

It is clearer than ever there is still a lot of work to do in improving gender diversity in design and engineering. With stats released this year stating that women earn only 28 percent of computer science degrees and the Design Consensus of 2017, showing a clear pay gap in male and female participants. However, one non-profit organisation from across the pond has been making waves in this global movement, and are using Marvel to help them do it.

  • Laboratoria plan projects
  • Laboratoria and Marvel App

Laboratoria is challenging diversity in tech and design through their engineering and UX courses for people from underserved backgrounds. Their engineering course has changed the lives of hundreds women in Latin America, by providing them with transferable skills for employment. Currently their employment success rate stands at a huge 80%.

With plans to expand their reach and talent pool for businesses, they’re now using Marvel to launch their User Experience Design course and to teach big businesses undergoing digital transformation about prototyping.

  • Laboratoria Study Sessions
  • Code Editor at Laboratoria

Who are Laboratoria?

Launched in 2014 in Lima, Peru, their founder spotted a problem in looking for good developers to hire for their digital agency. At the meet-ups they attended they found that attendees were mostly men, and when carrying out some research in other areas they found that most women hadn’t heard what code was.

So, they launched an engineering course, starting only with 15 students with the mission of making them eligible candidates for employment. Once word got out, their funding grew with help of government institutions and tech conglomerates, like Google. Now, five years later they have taught over 1000 students and have teaching locations in Santiago, Lima, Sao Paulo and Guadalajara, Mexico.

team work at Laboratoria

Laboratoria has plans to have an 85% employment rate and for students to quadruple their income.

Since the success of their first course, they’ve decided to expand into teaching UX design. After launching their pilot UX design course last year, Laboratoria have now completed their second cohort of the class, and by the end of November will have graduated 200 UX students.

How Laboratoria use Marvel - A UX Essential

In their UX course, Laboratoria use Marvel to aid the teaching the breadth of topics crucial to user experience design. Including workshops on ideation, research, communication and of course prototyping, which is where Marvel comes in.

It was essential for Laboratoria to find a prototyping tool which suited the needs of their mission as educators, including transparency, ease-of-use and collaboration.

  • Transparency: Each student has the task of creating a prototype in Marvel. A big draw for Laboratoria was the collaboration features established in the tool. Students could be added to teams and create prototypes within their company plan, visible to the rest of their team members and tutors. Progress tracking was made simple and the comments and annotation features created a channel for quick feedback.

  • Integrations: Marvel’s integration database offers solutions to improving communication and collaboration. For example, the Slack integration allows channels to become a feed for project update notifications as and when they happen.

    • planning and strategy
    • planning and strategy

  • User Testing: In the research workshop of the UX course, students carry out user testing, where Marvel fits in great. The integration with Lookback allows students to send out their prototypes to a user list of their choice and record their interactions with each screen, along with audio and visual responses.

  • Design: As most of Laboratoria’s equipment, like laptops, are donated - there are limitations to the types of product they can use. Most of the laptops don’t support Sketch for example, so Marvel’s offering of a simple design tool, along with wireframe resources, was a big selling point.
  • “Marvel is a leading platform. We love how easy it is to get started, no training was needed and you feel like a pro within minutes.”

    Transforming Big Business

    Laboratoria’s mission to empower UX amongst women and to drive digital transformation stretches outside of their classrooms and offices. For those businesses that support their programme, they offer corporate training.

    This programme teaches the essential topics big companies need to know when undergoing huge digital transformation. Their programme has been used in house of some of the biggest banks in Peru. Within these workshops they use Marvel to instil an understanding of the design process and the importance of prototyping, along with the highlighting useful quick trick tools like wireframing.

    • collaboration at Laboratoria with Marvel App
    • collaboration at Laboratoria with Marvel App

    Not only are they transforming big businesses with this program, but also with their talent. They’ve placed Laboratoria’s UX Designers in some of the biggest companies in Latin America. Including the four big banks in Peru, Belcorp (beauty company) and Insitum (global design consulting firm), with the list continuing to grow. Alongside, banks such as Citibanamex (in Mexico), Inter-American Development Bank (US), BBVA (Peru and Mexico), Everis (Software factory in Chile and Peru).

    Why Marvel?

    “Our students are starting from scratch and features like the wireframing tool, make it super easy to transition from understanding the basics of UX and the transition from low-fidelity prototypes to high-fidelity. The integrations it offers, with the likes of Slack and Lookback, made collaboration seamless with both internal parties and the external ones.”

    More recently, Laboratoria have been using Handoff to share design specs with developers, and the recently launched Userflows to generate a visual journey of how the apps will work and how users will navigate the app.

    Whilst the importance of design and strong knowledge of UX is prevalent in western societies, there is still a lot of room for digital transformation to expand in several locations around the world. Laboratoria’s mission to improve diversity in engineering and in design is remarkable and it’s fantastic to see Marvel being repurposed across all of their needs. From teaching in the classroom to building their education platform.

    team work at Laboratoria

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