Rejected: UX/UI Application - Help needed for Appeal/Review

Hello Everyone,

Could you please help me with my Stage 1 Tech Nation Endorsement under UX/UI Expert exceptional talent category? I applied on December 31, 2023. Unfortunately, I received a rejection email on January 16, 2024.

I would appreciate if you can help with appeal/review and how I can convince them by a strong arguement. Especially they have questioned the authenticity of the rec. letters however they were all written or reviewed and rewritten by the authors but I purchased credits from DocuSign, sent them for signature. The signatures are from the authors’ IPs. Unfortunately DocuSign reformatted the documents which made them look the same format and I need a convincing answer to prove their authenticity.

I submitted the following documents:

  1. Personal Statement

  2. CV

  3. Recommendation Letters (3 Documents)

  4. Mandatory Criteria (6 Documents)

  5. Optional Criteria - OC1 (2 Documents)

  6. Optional Criteria - OC3 (2 Documents)

  7. Personal Statement

The statement argues how I pioneered the UX/UI field in the country’s digital product-led tech scene by founding a design and advertising agency focusing on UX 10 years ago as well as being one of the few design leads adapting UX to his work more than 13 years in the market. I also mentioned the contributions that I made to the tech start-up ecosystem by helping transform their ideas into effective digital business models also supportively evident in my contributions to prestigious start-up hubs and mentorship institutions working with me for their own design and advertising activities and recommending me to tech companies in their portfolio. Additionally, I mentioned my professional objective about moving to the UK and how I can contribute to the advancement of the field in this country.

  1. CV

Highly professional CV focusing on numeric achievements in experiences.

  1. Recommendation Letters

Rec Letter #1 - CEO/Founder of the game company with over 15 years experience founding game companies and latter the AI company I worked for, who is familiar with my work for 10+ years. Some of these work was used in MC and OC3.

Rec Letter #2 - Founder/Product Manager of edutech company with over 15 years experience founding tech companies that I worked for who is also a former employer knowing me 10+ years speaking of my work under his employment and contributions to his company making a big exit. His letter confirmed my MC Evidence 3.

Rec Letter #3 - Founder of a fintech company, recognizing my work for 5+ years. His letter confirmed my OC3 evidence.

  1. MC #1 (Evidence 1)

Records of 3 awards (2 of them is 1st prize and 1 of them is 2nd prize) that I have won from Altın Örümcek Awards which is the most important awards ceremony lasting for 20 years in Turkey. Each year 1-4 thousand websites in many different categories including e-commerce and mobile apps compete in this ceremony.

MC #2 (Evidence 2)

High renumeration of my current job which is being the sole founder and the hands-on creative head of a creative digital agency focusing on UX/UI design and delivering end to end digital products (e-commerce sites, apps, any kind of transactional digital platform) or promotional assets like websites to its clients. As being the head of creative I am the person who creates the UX journey and the UI designs for these products for my clients and my agency’s work and reputation is extremely connected with my professional expertise and reputation. Evidence includes my bank accounts, the official tax registration documents showing that my company paying taxes each year, the turnover that I make solo indicating that I earn higher than the average designer in my country and the official commercial certificate stating that I am the sole founder of the company.

MC#3 (Evidence 3)

Led UX and UI designs for a product-led tech company under my own agency. The company has been sold to the education tech giant of the UK with a huge valuation and this was verified in the LoR written by the founder/product manager of the company, appreciating my design work and the contribution that I made to his company. Success of this product can be attributed to design as I led the design that bumped up user engagement and retention and by ripple effect, eventual funding. Evidence includes screenshots of designs and news clipping announcing the exit.

This evidence also includes my design work for one of the biggest game studios of Turkey including company websites, game websites, game UX consultancy and all other marketing assets. This company has been sold to one of the game giants of the world with a huge valuation, making it the country’s first biggest gaming exit. The contribution that I made to the company was verified and appreciated by the founder of the company in the LoR that I have presented among the documents. Evidence includes screenshots of designs.

MC #4 (Evidence 4) (Work beyond occupation)

Media articles focusing on UX/UI design and branding disciplines that were written by me and published on a high reach digital magazine in Turkey. The magazine has over 30K visits so far. Also an invitation e-mail from the director of an institute of a university in Turkey, asking me to to give lecture about my UX profession in their institute for the next semestre. Evidence includes the screenshot of my articles in this magazine and the performance metrics of the digital magazine and also the invitation e-mail of this institute’s director.

MC #6 (Evidence 5)

Led design for a digital product including the whole customer experience with positive revenue impact for a product-led tech company under my own agency. The e-commerce website won the first prize in the Altın Örümcek Awards. In this evidence my claim was how the case created a new vertical in the country and contributed to the advancement of the digital industry by adding value to the artisan flower e-commerce experience, which then followed by a multiple new brands starting to function with the same business model. Evidence includes screenshots of designs, and the announcement of the award the project won.

MC #6 (Evidence 6)

The LoR from the co-founder supporting the success and the positive revenue that the product emphasizing the remarkable contribution of the UX/UI design process and the award received to the project appreciating my work.

5. Optional Evidence #1 (OC1-a proven track record of innovation in the digital field)

Led the the UX/ UI design processes of a mobile application that is launched in many different countries of the world, introducing the product traceability and loyalty program to the end consumer for the infant nutrition products that a global billion-dollar company sells across the world. The solution exemplified an innovative use of digital technology, seamlessly integrating a mobile application utilized by millions of customers with QR code technology applied to physical products. With the project’s global roll-out, it successfully launched in 16 countries, gaining active usage by millions of users worldwide and I designed the whole UX/UI from scratch and versioned the app to 16 countries and multiple different brandings under my own agency. The evidence includes screenshots of the designs, press release of the launch of the product, the appreciation of my work in the clients’ e-mails.

5. Optional Evidence #2 (OC1-a proven track record of innovation in the digital field)

LoR written by the founder of the tech company who undertook the tech-side of this project as a vendor of the global brand, appreciating my work. (UK native)

6. Optional Evidence #3 (OC3-significant commercial contribution to tech start-ups)

Led designs for 3 digital products with positive revenue and significant investment impact for product-led tech companies under my own agency. The evidence includes several screenshots including a thank you message on Linked from the founder of the company approving my contribution to their investment process that I have contributed with UX/ UI design of the company website under a press coverage post announcing the fund they received, screenshots of the designs of the fintech mobile app of another tech company and the press coverage announcing the investment they received and a LinkedIn rec. about me from the marketing leader of the company and finally the screenshots of the design that I made for another digital product-led company (cyber security) and the LinkedIn publishing announcing the investment they’ve received.

6. Optional Evidence #4 (OC3-significant commercial contribution to tech start-ups)

LoR from the Growth Manager of the cyber security company appreciating my work. (German native)

Here is the screenshot of the proforma I received. I really appreciate if you guide me on how I can discuss my endorsement. @alexnk @Francisca_Chiedu

Thank you everyone and good luck to future applicants.

@mehmetbilgic I am sorry to hear that you were rejected. However here are the questions that you should be able to answer:

What do you think it is innovative product in your OC1? Are you able to demonstrate something really new to the market. Any new idea of technology? Showing the success of the roll out and $ made, was not relevant to OC1.

Agency work or Outsourced works, are not suitable under this Digital Tech field. Are you able to prove that what you had done was the product you own in any other project?

Do you think the assessor’s feedback is correct? How can you prove that your letters are not using template and they are originally from the recommender themselves?

In the worst case scenario, you can still appeal if you disagree with the first assessor, to get the feedback for your second application again. I hope this helps.

Hi @mehmetbilgic

Sorry to see that you were not endorsed this time around. The good news is that you can reapply.

Although, my default coaching advice as regards going through the endorsement review process is to do so (because you technically already paid for it), in this case, I am less inclined to advise this.

The feedback from the assessors seems to be very clear. Based on the feedback , I do suspect you may be qualified but that you put in a poor application but I am not sure.

I will just give some tips towards your next application which I suspect you may be able to put in immediately.

  1. You have too many document for the mandatory criteria. I advice you should typically look at a format of 3 documents per category and then a 4th document in one category.

  2. Have you not done more work in your local ecosystem ? Those things do count. You may want to dig up your email for the last few years. (Only the last 5 years count)

  3. You had too many letters. For each letter, maybe replace them with other document / evidence that say the same thing you wanted the letters to say.

  4. For some of your letters, the assessors suspect you wrote by yourself . You need to work on this. You can give your recommenders some key points but let them write the letter in their own words. Each of the 4 letters (personal statement being the 4th) should be from 4 different perspective from 4 different tone of voice.

  5. You run a digital agency (consulting). This ordinarily does not qualify. However, has your agency developed a product in the course of your work or worked closely within particular startups, you may want to project this aspect of your profile much more.

  6. Perhaps you were trying to do this with Evidence 3 mentioned, however, it seems to be a significant jump from “screenshot of your design” to “news clipping of the exit”. Surely there were several things in between those 2 things ?
    You may want to fill in this gap on how you contributed across the journey (with documentary evidence , not letters please ) .

I hope you find some of these points useful when you put together your next application.

As always, this is not immigration nor legal advice. I am just sharing based on my knowledge of the subject.