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How to learn UX

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› How to learn UX
  • Published on October 11, 2017

Human-Computer Interactions, or HCI, are part of daily life, and the field of  UX, or user experience, is focused on how users interact with technology to achieve their goals. Whether responding to a text message, visiting a website, using an app, or interacting with a touch-screen at an airport terminal, UX impacts anyone who interacts with technology. Learning UX is important for anyone designing, developing, or planning any technology project, and the options for learning UX can 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 university degrees.

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 HCI when creating apps and websites for mobile devices to courses which teach information architecture and planning in the UX process. Live, in-person UX courses generally 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 the instructor in the same classroom with you, and being able to ask an instructor questions while benefiting from their professional experience are considerations to evaluate when exploring options to learn UX.

Where to Learn UX

In-person user experience classes are available to learn UX in Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia at American Graphics Institute. Live UX courses online are available for those who do not wish to travel or are unable to attend an in-person course. 

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. A UX Certificate at AGI requires approximately 100 hours of class time, with additional time spent outside of the classroom working on projects and creating a portfolio. While not a requirement, most participants in a UX Certificate program have existing professional experience or have completed a college degree in a field with some relationship to design, business, or technology.

This provides a well-rounded education across all aspects of UX design and demonstrates to employers and clients, that you take user experience seriously and are well prepared to assist in creating websites, apps, and other systems.

 

 

About the author

 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. She also works extensively in the fields of presentation design and visual design.