Case Study:
Innogy Design Academy_

Honing graduates’ skills to align with Innogy digital agency requirements.
The Goal_

Innogy, based in Essen, Germany, is a leader in renewable energy. Their goal was to launch a number of small, digital agencies, known as “Garages”, to supply Innogy and its clients with innovative products and solutions to promote the transition of energy and mobility to renewables.

One of these “Garages” was to open in Cape Town, and would need a team of Interaction, User Experience and User Interface designers to begin producing products for the industry. Innogy approached the Academy of Digital Arts to assist in upskilling local graduates to staff their Cape Town team.

The Challenge_

The Academy of Digital Arts was selected by an Innogy headhunter as an institution whose graduates already had a solid foundation of knowledge in the areas in which Innogy was hoping to recruit – namely, Graphic Design and Web Design and Development.

The challenge posed to the Academy was to develop a 3-month custom training program that would hone those skills to match Innogy’s specific industry and project focus. By the end of the course, participants were to be fully capable of fulfilling a role as an Interaction/Product/UI/UX designer within Innogy and, if selected, be ready to become a productive member of the newly founded Cape Town “Garage”.

The Solution_

The Academy of Digital Arts created a custom professional training course to fast-track graduates through advanced education in the fields of design and experiential learning, working hand in hand with the “Garage” team in Amsterdam to fulfil assignments and tasks. This ensured students would gain real-world experience working with design teams and briefs from a major company, thus cultivating a strong understanding of the industry in which they aimed to work.

Students were taken through four key modules that had been laid out according to the required knowledge and skillset set out by Innogy.

Course Module Details

Design Thinking

This module’s objective was to teach the iterative processes involved in understanding users, challenging assumptions, redefining problems and creating innovative solutions to prototype and test. It empowered students to apply creative problem solving to real world digital problems – an important skill to learn for those at the forefront of new product development.

Perception Theory

This module taught students the role that fundamental design principles and elements play in design structure and hierarchy, the influence their intentional use can have on users, and how to leverage this influence to achieve the desired results.

User Experience

This was one of the core modules created for this program, as it influences all aspects of design and design solutions created in the process of a project. Students learned how to adopt the mind of a UX Designer, how UX can be applied in multiple fields, how to use a variety of UX tools, techniques and processes to better understand their audience, users and their needs and, additionally, how UX leads into User Interface Design.

Purposeful Game Design

This module played a crucial role in developing a strong foundation for teamwork. Students were tasked with creating an outcomes-based boardgame intended to test personality types. They were taught game design fundamentals and how to apply these principles to achieve a secondary outcome. The resulting playable boardgame prototype was almost 100% accurate to personality tests that exist already.

Visual Design & Interaction Design

Design is a vast field and designers need to be able to create for a plethora of devices and mediums. This module helped students understand the extents of the digital medium, as well as its limitations and capabilities, and enabled them to understand user objectives in the most comprehensive way possible.

The business impact

The Academy of Digital Arts’ training course saw two successful candidates join Innogy’s Cape Town Garage – the third one to open, internationally. The team enjoyed a seamless transition with the new graduates quickly becoming productive assets helping turn Innogy’s customer ideas into sustainable solutions for the betterment of the world.

About the Academy of Digital Arts_

The Friends of Design Academy of Digital Arts officially opened its doors in 2007. Since then, we’ve been committed to exceptional education standards, enjoy national and international industry accreditation, and are a registered centre of Higher Education.

Our substantial international network and industry-active lecturers ensure our finger is always on the pulse of global trends. We constantly update our techniques and technology to ensure our students remain at the forefront of the digital arts, whether full time, part time, or participating in our custom corporate training.

For more information on staff upskilling, custom Adobe training and other purpose-built design courses for professionals, visit or contact Daniel on