Last week saw the launch of the very first Digital, Creative and Cultural Festival at the University of Essex, where both UX Consultant, Michael Dravnieks and I each had the pleasure of presenting a lecture.

The festival welcomed Year 10 students from schools in Essex to participate in a variety of exciting workshops and lectures. World leading academic researchers and industry professionals inspired students to explore the wide ranging career opportunities in this sector; from UX Design to Film Production.

Participating schools were able to select four of the sessions available for their students to get involved in throughout the day, where they experienced the latest industry knowledge and technological advances.

Essex Digital, Creative and Cultural Festival 2017

How was the Event?

The day was fantastic, very well organised with plenty of support from the student ambassadors on hand. The students who participated were responsive; getting involved and asking questions at every opportunity – exactly the kind of audience we were hoping for!

The venue itself was hosted in the Essex Business School, which launched its state-of-the-art facilities in January last year, claiming to be the first zero-carbon business school building in the UK.

“State-of-the-art” was definitely the word to use, with each of the lecture rooms fantastically laid out with everything considered for workshops and presentations. It’s safe to safe both Michael and I were very impressed.

Essex Business School

What Were the Topics of Your Lectures?

We hosted lectures around the subjects of social media and UX design. Two of the array of channels which Coast Digital specialises in as a full service digital marketing agency.

Social Media: Take Control of Your Online Reputation – Liam ‘Lewy’ Shepherd, Digital Manager

We all know how essential first impressions are, and in the digital age of today it’s no different. With your social media profiles, blogs and countless other online communities you may have once been involved with, do you truly know what people may learn when they search for you online? Do you even have any control over the websites and social profiles which they’ve come across?

If the answer is no, then it’s time to take your online reputation into your own hands instead of leaving it to chance. This lecture will demonstrate how you can ensure your online presence portrays the first impression you want to send – both professionally and personally.


UX Design and Why It Matters – Michael Dravnieks, UX Consultant

A good digital experience can save someone time and money, a bad one can ruin their day. But good design doesn’t happen by accident – it’s the result of research, data, psychology, prototyping, testing and a willingness to learn more about the world around you every day.

In this talk I’ll explain the basics of User Experience (UX) Design and why it’s not only one of the most exciting digital career paths, but one of the most important. We’ll look at what it means to be a UX Designer, how to get started, and how companies like Apple, Uber and Tesla have built their success around great experiences.


Overall it was a fantastic day and we hope that the students acquired lots of insight into various career paths from the festival. We’re delighted to have been invited to return to speak at the event in 2018.