How to learn UX
- Published on June 15, 2021
There are a number of ways to learn user experience design, including online and in person options. Learning UX allows you to better design how users interact with devices, interfaces, and products ranging from websites and apps, to interacting with a touch-screen, these interactions are designed by UX professionals. Learning UX allows you to have an impact on how people experience and interact with the world around them. Learning UX is important for anyone designing, developing, or planning any technology project. Options for learning UX are available to meet the needs of different learning styles, time constraints, job needs, and budget requirements. Options to learn UX range from live classes and online training to self-study with books and e-courses, as well as more formal technological education via certificate programs and even university degrees in the UX field of Human Computer Interaction (HCI).
Classes for Learning UX
UX classes provide opportunities that range from learning specific user experience skills to gaining a primer that covers basic principles of UX design. UX classes and workshops are available to address concepts such as the overall design considerations when creating apps and websites to courses which teach information architecture and mobile app design. Live UX courses provide the benefit of working on design issues and problem-solving with a team of course participants and a practicing UX professional instructor. Working in a small-group environment, having access to an instructor in real time provides the benefit of being able to ask an instructor questions while learning from their professional experience.
Where to Learn UX
Live UX courses online are available for those who do not wish to travel or are unable to attend an in-person course. In-person user experience classes are available for learning UX in Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia at American Graphics Institute.
Learning UX with online training
Online UX training is an option to learn UX for those comfortable with learning online. Online courses also provide a useful option for those who are unable to travel to a classroom location. Structured online UX courses are available in many topics, and can include a live instructor who presents information and responds to questions in real-time. In the case of AGI, most of the same course topics available for in-person classes are also available for live online UX training, and are led by the same instructors. The only requirement to participate is a connection to the Internet.
Books to Learn UX
UX books are an excellent supplement to live and online classes, or for starting your UX self-study prior to making an investment in classes or certification. Many popular UX books are available in both print and digital formats, and can provide an overview of UX principles. While UX books are useful, to gain proficiency, UX skills are often best achieved through projects, whether as part of an educational program or for job purposes. UX projects help to put into practice the processes and best-practices that are learned in the classroom or through books. For this reason, learning UX strictly from books is not the best option.
UX Certificate and Degree Programs
Completing a UX Certificate or completing a degree in user experience or HCI is useful to consider for those seeking to establish a career in the user experience field. The UX Certificate program at AGI requires approximately 100 hours of class time, with additional time spent outside of the classroom working on projects and creating a portfolio. Most participants in the UX certificate program have previous professional experience in a field with some relationship to design, business, or technology, or a college degree in these fields. The UX certificate program provides a well-rounded education across all aspects of UX design and demonstrates to employers and clients that you take user experience seriously. The completion of a UX Certificate also shows that you are well prepared to assist in creating websites, apps, and other systems.
Attending a UX Bootcamp provides an opporutnity for in-depth UX learning over a short period of time. These are similar to a UX Certificate, although they do not provide career services to help with interviewing or finding a UX job. A UX Bootcamp is useful for someone who is already employeed and needs the courses and program structure without additional support.
About the author
Jennifer Smith is a user experience designer, educator and author based in Boston. She has worked in the field of user experience design for more than 15 years.She has designed websites, ecommerce sites, apps, and embedded systems. Jennifer designs solutions for mobile, desktop, and iOT devices.
Jennifer delivers UX training and UX consulting for large Fortune 100 companies, small start-ups, and independent software vendors.She has served as a Designer in Residence at Microsoft, assisting third-party app developers to improve their design solutions and create successful user experiences. 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 UX Design, and worked closely with major tech companies to create educational material and deliver UX workshops to key partners globally. Jennifer works with a wide range of prototyping tools including XD, Sketch, Balsamiq, Fireworks, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Blend for Visual Studio. She also works extensively in the fields of presentation design and visual design.
Jennifer is also 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 holds the CPUX-F certification from the User Experience Qualification Board and assists others in attaining this designation in leading a UX certification course at American Graphics Institute. She is a candidate for a Master’s degree in Human Factors in Information Design.