The Best Ways to Learn UX
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Published on December 16, 2014
Application and web developers often consider functionality and technology ahead of end user's priorities. Similarly, the users of a site or an app generally take functionality for granted, until a much needed feature or function is difficult to access, or possibly even missing. The art and science of User Experience (UX) helps to bridge the gap between user’s needs and what is being produced by the developer. The teams that create websites and apps, ranging from product managers through designers and developers can benefit from learning UX design principles and processes. There are several ways in which you can learn UX fundamental skills.
UX Workshops and UX Classes
UX workshops and UX classes consist of regularly scheduled courses that you attend in-person at a school. This training method is best suited for students who prefer learning in a hands-on environment, and for those who value networking and personal interaction with both the teacher and other students. UX Courses at American Graphics Institute are small, with no more than 10 students in each course. These UX workshops provide all necessary equipment and supplies.
Online UX training
Online training is often provided by the same instructors who conduct in-person classes. These UX courses allow participants to obtain live training without leaving their home or office. Students can listen to the instructor through their computer speakers or a headset, and view the instructor’s screen. They can also ask questions in real time. Although the lecture component of the courses remains the same as in-person classes, online user experience courses don’t allow for the same group interaction, such as working on group projects, which can occur in the in-person classes.
UX Certificate Programs
A certificate program is a more immersive group of user experience courses. These longer-term programs are intended for professional designers, and developers who want experience across a wide range of topics that relate to the role of a UX professional. Common topics include increasing conversion rates and improving customer satisfaction with a particular website.
UX Books and Videos
Books and videos are best suited for students who prefer learning UX techniques on their own. They are typically supported by other printed material such as quizzes, worksheets and templates that help reinforce the learning process. Some titles you should read include Don't Make Me Think, Sketching User Experiences, and The Elements of User Experience.
About the author
Jennifer Smith is a user experience designer, Photoshop expert, educator and author based in Boston. She is the author of more than 20 books on design tools and processes, including Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies, Adobe Creative Cloud Digital Classroom, and Photoshop Digital Classroom. She has been awarded a Microsoft MVP three times for her work with user experience design in creating apps for touch, desktop, and mobile devices.
Jennifer delivers UX training and UX consulting for large Fortune 100 companies, small start-ups, and independent software vendors. She has been hired by Adobe and Microsoft to deliver training workshops to their staff, and has traveled to Asia, Europe, India, the Middle East, and across the U.S. to deliver courses and assist on UX design projects. She has extensive knowledge of modern Windows UX Design, having worked closely with the Windows team to create educational material and deliver UX workshops to key partners globally on behalf of Microsoft. Jennifer works with a wide range of prototyping tools including Fireworks, Photoshop, Illustrator, Blend for Visual Studio, and Balsamiq.