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Business & Economy

Helena Hill launches The Experience Academy to kick-start business success

A North East consultant has launched a second venture to support high-growth start-ups, SMEs and large organisations.

Helena Hill says The Experience Academy will help operators bolster user experience (UX), customer experience (CX) and service design projects.

She says the academy, due to launch in October, will allow professionals to learn with others, often in a live online environment.

Delivered through Zoom and Thinkific, sessions will be hosted by industry experts, who will promote conversations of UX and related disciplines as strategic growth tools.

The sessions will also enable organisations to compete in increasingly competitive marketplaces.

Helena said: “Time and time again I see businesses, in all sectors and of all sizes, who fail to do their homework when starting up, launching a new product or service and changing internal processes.

“My mission is to ensure we get to those businesses before they make those costly mistakes.

“I had been exploring a virtual model of delivery for a while and the move to online meetings as a result of COVID-19 gave me the ideal opportunity to put my plans into action.

“The lockdown saw a huge increase in demand for remote learning and as a result, I set up relationships with business support partners who saw the value in experience design.”

Helena’s first online course – Business Transformation Powered By UX – was delivered via RTC and Supply Chain North East across five weeks in May and June.

The sessions invited 18 entrepreneurs and small businesses to learn how to use experience design in their organisations, while also creating connections with fellow delegates.

Helena says the course has since been picked up by other organisations, with many attendees enjoying increased turnover and impactful collaborations.

She added: “We’ve moved into a challenging period for businesses and we want to introduce the importance of getting your UX right.

“Our courses are intended to equip business owners, product managers, department leads and marketers with the tools and knowledge to beat competition.”

Starting her professional life as a secondary school teacher, Helena spent six years teaching history and music to 11-18-year-olds before having a family and launching her own business – 49digital Ltd – with her husband.

Originally launched as a web development company while living in Vancouver in 2010, 49digital Ltd now trades as Helena Hill Consulting and works with businesses to improve their end-to-end customer experience.

Over the past several years, Helena Hill Consulting has delivered in-house training to businesses through Northumbria University, Generator and RTC, and was recently procured by UMi and Durham City Incubator to run UX-focused business transformation courses.