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Bryan Berger

Product Design Manager

Rapid response to the market, ability to scale and an experimental mindset are the winning combination for General Assembly

Digital transformation has impacted more than just the business models of retail, media, finance, and technology companies—the very skills needed to perform jobs in the digital age have shifted. General Assembly focuses on the most relevant and in-demand skills across data, design, business, and technology to address the global skills gap with online and in-person offerings across 25 campuses and 6 countries.

To ensure that General Assembly can keep pace with its aggressive growth plans to reach curious learners, job-seekers, and prospective employers, product design team lead Bryan Berger has focused on leaning into the unique differentiators of the business, while creating opportunities for experimentation to bridge the gap between opportunity and education.

“Today, with the power of technology we are able to rapidly respond and meet the needs of the education landscape online and in any one of our 20 markets,” says Bryan. “We are not held back by laggy distribution and releasing yearly volumes of educational content. We are able to make use of purposeful software to bridge the gap between cutting-edge skills and the opportunities that are available around the world to our students.”

Embracing the ability to scale while maintaining responsiveness

A key element of being able to build relationships with customers in a digital-led business is responsiveness. As General Assembly has expanded its offering across a variety of subject matter, formats, and locations, the product design team has been able to incorporate feedback, adapt and experiment as the needs of their students change.

According to Bryan, “Another one of our key differentiators is our ability to scale. As GA scales, our ability to offer more flexible options, new subject matter, and additional services grows as well. Our design team’s primary objective is to understand and improve the holistic product offering we are serving to our students, employers, content-editors, and instructors, today and into the future.”

This combination of scale and responsiveness means that General Assembly can focus on adapting quickly as the business grows and the market needs evolve. “At General Assembly, our instructional design team implements a lean process to pilot, launch—and sunset—programs to respond to market demand. Our curriculum is constantly changing—we are always updating our offerings to respond to what’s happening in the world. If you consider a topic like web development, it is unbelievably dynamic and requires constant tweaking and investment to keep pace.”

Our design team’s primary objective is to understand and improve the holistic product offering we are serving to our students, employers, content-editors, and instructors, today and into the future.

Design and experimentation working hand-in-hand

For the product design team at General Assembly, experimentation is deeply rooted in their daily process. Bryan has invested heavily in making experimentation a repeatable process that yields customer insights and can make it possible to push past the status quo to make new discoveries.

“Experimentation has a natural fit with the lifestyle of a designer. If we do not spend time hypothesizing on how to improve by investigating and observing, we are missing out on a ton of empirical evidence and insight needed to improve the experience of our community.”

By making experimentation an accessible and ongoing process, Bryan has been able to allow his team to explore, iterate, and learn in a quantitative, shared way. “I’m proud that we’ve been able to create and sustain a culture of experimentation that is able to validate (and invalidate) ideas while being transparent and accessible to the entire team.”

The impact experimentation has had on my career is undeniable, and part of the reason I became a designer. I’m fascinated by the process of melding multiple ideas together to form a greater outcome.
Bryan Berger

Product Design Manager

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