Dereck du Toit
Dereck du Toit

Finding Learning that Bridges the Gap Between Academia and Industry

There's a big gap between theory and practice and that can make it hard to make a difference in the "real world".

What were your goals and motivations when you joined the IDF?

I was researching the development of a UX degree and Honours program, when I stumbled upon the IDF website. I'd found it frustrating that there was such a lack of integration between academic learning and industry and in the Interaction Design Foundation – I found the perfect bridge between the two.

We're looking to change the way that we educate and the IDF provides a model for us to follow. It will help everyone share the same "vibe". We're going to ensure that these short courses are available to all students from a central node to allow everyone to connect and align together.

UX Researcher & Strategist
Pretoria Gauteng South Africa

How did the IDF help you with your career?

I can see how the immediacy and relevance on IDF courses will bring instant benefits in the workplace. They provide a multi-disciplinary approach and the range of courses and skillsets give employers and learners huge benefits. Postgrad students, in particular, can use IDF courses to become more well-rounded individuals with a broader spectrum of knowledge.

For me, the IDF has provide a benchmark for my research and a community that I've been able to work with to examine the intelligent implementation of that research. The information from the courses, e-library and publications has saved me and my team a fortune in both time and money.

What do you like best about the IDF? What have you learnt that changed your career?

The IDF's virtual education is so user friendly. Ease-of-use of websites is critical and I can't praise this highly enough; it's a no-brainer to navigate the site, use their forums and courses and to interact with other students.

I really like the fact that it's a non-profit operation which allows academics and business people to contribute to the courses and development of the IDF with single goal to work together as community to educate the planet!

I find this an incredibly powerful opportunity to design the whole planet by working together in a single platform that's super-applicable to all of us. User Experience design has slowly worked its way into every business and most governments and nearly everything else around us and I would like to thank the IDF for providing us with a single "go to" place to upskill.

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