UX classes: Differences between online and in-person courses
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Published on December 29, 2014
Whether you are a designer or developer looking to improve your understanding of user experience, you will find both online and in-person UX courses available. Here we address questions about the differences between online and in-person UX classes, and provide some guidance regarding which options may be best for you.
The difference between an online and in-person UX training
The first difference is how the UX course is presented. With in-person UX training, the lecture topics are mixed with both individual and group hands-on projects. In-person user experience classes provide an opportunity for feedback and dialog between participants and group work. The lectures, projects, and group feedback also provide for in-person networking opportunities.
Online UX workshops at American Graphics Institute are presented with a live instructor, and cover the same concepts and principles, using the same lecture materials. Due to the format and distance, the group projects are not incorporated into the online courses. Individual projects and instructor feedback are provided in the online format. The online courses do provide an opportunity to review your work and projects with the instructor. You can share your screen and camera with the instructor and other participants, and talk with them live as part of the course. The online course is similar to an online web conference, which can be useful if it isn’t practical to travel to one of the workshops in Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia.
Is one type of UX training better than the other?
The ability to work on group projects, network in-person with others in a similar profession, and receive immediate feedback from the instructor cause us to favor our live, in-person UX workshops over those that we offer on-line.
If we believe the in-person, live UX courses are better, then why do we offer an online version our courses? We believe the online versions are valuable, and provide important foundational information about user experience design. As part of the online courses, we also provide projects that can be worked on independently, outside of each class. Additionally, we realize that not everyone can travel to attend the public UX courses that we offer.
Both the online and in-person courses help you gain valuable foundational skills covering the fundamentals of user experience. If you are able to attend an in-person course, we recommend this option. If distance or time make this prohibitive, then an on-line version of the course is still quite beneficial.
About recorded UX training videos
Recorded UX training videos eliminate the human interaction that is an integral part of any user experience project. User experience is one set of skills you do not want to attempt to develop in a vacuum, without feedback from others. Without the ability to get immediate feedback and prompt answers to your questions from a qualified professional, recorded UX courses are of limited value.
User experience is an integral part of all websites and applications. Regardless of your role in creating websites or apps, gaining a better understanding of UX helps you to create better products, adding more value to both you and your organization.
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.