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Vocational Institution Website Design and Build


Business - Hayle Barise Technical Development Centre (HBTDC) 

Role - Lead UX Designer (freelance)


HBTDC trains school-leavers to become electricians, masons and construction workers etc. HBTDC needed to show potential students and donors about their services online. 


  • HBTDC's Operations Manager

  • 3 UX designers.


HBTDC has gained more exposure going online. The site gives a good amount of information to international donors trying to learn about the school before starting their funding process. 

Students now have a clear explanation of what the courses available offer. The information allows the high amount of unemployed Somalis to learn about new opportunities. 

HBTDC logo and the school's entrance.

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Design process for the project.

Screenshots from the old website for reference. HBTDC had attempted to create a website themselves.

The people problems we were trying to solve...

We wanted to encourage the unemployed youth of Mogadishu to come and train at HBTDC and start a career. 

HBTDC also needed to showcase their achievements to Donors to aid raising funds. 

How do we know this is a real problem?

"Following the civil war, Somalia has been working towards sustainable development. Subsequent to the war, Somalia suffered from a lack of political presence, which meant that systems such as education were left damaged. The lack of structure between 1991-2012 meant that many youths were left with little to no skills, which was detrimental to living standards".

HBTDC Operations Manager

How will we know if we've solved this problem?

When visitors come to the website and become motivated to learn more about the institution. Leading to contact with the centre's staff for an admission application or donation.  

Empowering young Somalis in Mogadishu, Somalia

The importance of technical training in Mogadishu, Somalia was overlooked before the establishment of HBTDC. After two academic years of running its training programs and building strong connections with organisations such as local government and Coca Cola factories. HBTDC were focused on increasing awareness of its centre further within the Somali community. They advocate on behalf of the disadvantaged youths and female inclusion in their centre through workshops but also wanted an online space.

Students from HBTDC

People Problem statement

HB logo Black copy.png

"I want to see an organisation willing to help the community of Mogadishu with their employability prospects"

User Need

Unemployed Somalis and donors need to see a trusted technical training centre in Mogadishu. They want to spend their time with an institution that helps the community excel.

Business Need

HBTDC wanted to become sustainable. At the time, the project was not-for-profit but funds were running low.  Due to COVID-19 in 2020, fewer international donors were available. Therefore they needed to increase exposure online. 

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HBTDC students graduation 2019

Design Sprint!

This project involved myself and colleagues from my network working with HBTDC's Operations Manager. We all had busy schedules involving other projects and we could not dedicate so much time to work together. 

HBTDC wanted us to design, prototype and test ideas and I decided a Design Sprint will help us get through this. Design Sprints aim to reduce risk in a rapid environment. 

Sprint team: 

Facilitator - me! 

Decider - HBTDC Operations Manager

3 UX Designers 

Google - Design Sprint process

Discover phase

Before completing the Sprint, we all sat together and spoke about what the project entails. This involved asking the HBTDC Operations Manager questions such as 'Who are we designing for?', 'What problem are we solving?, and 'Why are we solving this problem'.

We learned about the business and what it does but more importantly, we learned that we are motivating the unemployed youth of Somalia. And indirectly looking for support from international donors. Previously donations have come from Ethiopia and Norway embassy funds. 

I also ran a quick Domain Model exercise to learn about what information the website may need. This helped us visualise the problem space which was useful as a design artefact.

Domain model for this project.

Define phase

By creating a Persona too and as previously mentioned a Domain Model (see above). We were able to visualise our research and help us focus on our main users who was students. This simply works as a reminder for the team for who one of our main users were.