The foundation of great user experience (UX) design is having empathy for your users. The best UX professionals possess a deep understanding of the user and keep them in mind throughout every step of the design process. This approach holds the key to creating exceptional products that delight users and fulfill their needs, which in turn leads to the achievement of business goals.
In this two-course certificate program, you’ll discover the essential principles and methods for developing successful user experiences. We’ll deeply explore each step in the process, including research, rapid prototyping, strategic and interaction design, interface design and user testing. You’ll delve into the different aspects of the UX design workflow process, including task flows, wireframes, site architecture and design systems. And you’ll apply what you’ve learned by using industry-standard visual design tools like Sketch and creating low- and high-fidelity prototypes with Invision and Flinto.
Why is it a good time to study/pursue a career in UX design?
Do a quick search on Google or Medium and find endless job postings and articles about UX, although that is not why I would suggest taking this course. To have a successful career in most fields today, you must be a creative problem solver. What we plan to teach in these two courses is how to empathize with people, listen to them, and figure out how to solve their problems through design solutions (typography, color, layout, animations, and pattern[expand title=”. Learning these foundational skills will ensure someone will always have a promising career, whether in UX or product management, development, or anything else.
What is the value of earning a certificate in this field? How do employers (in general and/or in this field particularly) view certificates these days?
The value of earning a certificate is that you will learn the foundations of being a UX designer, empathy, research, synthesis, iteration, and collaboration. These skills will improve your career in many ways beyond being a designer. When you complete our two courses, you will learn to contribute as a designer right away. With many companies today needing UX help, our certificate will validate you have the foundational skills. While we’ll teach you to build a portfolio and communicate your design process so that employers not only know you can help them but want you to do the job.
Please talk about the value of having these programs taught by working professionals (in terms of bringing the latest tools and knowledge of the field to the classroom).
Having a working professional teach a UX course can provide value in a few ways. First, we’re a direct connection to the professional world. We might work for a company that is hiring or know of others that are. Second, we can provide insights to what companies are looking for in hires, what type of skills are needed, and what is a hiring processLastly, we likely work with or need to collaborate with other non-designers on a day to day basis. To get things done, we must communicate with others that our design solutions are also business solutions. The sooner a designer can learn to demonstrate this, the less pushback they will receive in the professional world.
Please talk about how students learn from their peers in this program. (Is there group work or projects?) Also, please comment on the networking value that students can derive from meeting others who work in this field in the class. (If you plan to have guest speakers, you can mention that here as well.)
One of the first things we’ll learn in this course is how to critique design work. What that means is learning how to receive and provide feedback. This is one of the most critical tools of a designer. Doing so relies on our students learning how to communicate their designs, as well as provide critical feedback in return. Most importantly, it means collaboration. Design is to solve problems. And to do so, you will need to talk to others. Ask them questions. Listen to their problems. Then you will learn and in return, teach others.
For project reviews, we will have guest designers and thinkers joining us to provide their feedback. Having them join us will give an outside point of view while introducing students to local professionals.
Lastly, there will be a few workshops over the two courses. Students will need to rely on team collaboration to come up with solutions.
What do you personally bring to the program (in terms of your background, knowledge and experience that will benefit students in this program?
My formal training is in landscape architecture. It is not a clear transition into UX or interaction design. What that degree did teach me and from years of working for start-ups, mid-sized companies, and large corporations, is a design thinking process. One that I’ve found unique to the types of projects I’ve worked on. What will be taught is not my process, but how to develop your own. We will learn how practitioners use these processes today and how you can learn to adapt them to your own experiences.
Anything else you'd like to emphasize?
Read the books we suggest. You will see a big difference in going through the list provided.