• Classroom

    UX Design Essentials

    A fast paced, three-day course—targeted specifically at people who aren’t experienced designers—to give you the essential, practical knowledge you need to design a great user experience.

  • user-centered

    User-centered design

    Learn a user-centered, scenario-based design process to make good design decisions quickly and confidently.

  • Intuitive

    Make it intuitive

    Learn what “intuitive” really means, so that you can make your product easier to understand and use.

  • Simple

    Make it simple

    Learn the secret to simplicity, to address the biggest challenge most inexperienced designers have.

  • Usability

    Evaluating design

    Learn how to evaluate a UI, including usability testing where you plan, design, and perform a usability test to better understand how people really use your product.


March special

Three for two Enroll three people from the same team and the third person is free! (“Early bird” does not apply.)

This three-day course—targeted specifically at software professionals who aren’t experienced designers—will give you the practical essentials to make good design decisions quickly and confidently to create designs that are intuitive, simple, and delightful:

  • Why user experience matters
  • Using an efficient, user-centered design process
  • UI design principles and guidelines
  • Making a design intuitive, simple, and delightful
  • Visual design, layout, and designing for scanning
  • Designing tasks, task flows, and pages
  • Mobile design and how it differs from desktop design
  • Design communication techniques: sketching and prototyping
  • Evaluating designs, giving and receiving effective feedback
  • Performing informal usability studies
  • Affecting change within your team’s culture

Taking UX Design Essentials will give the essential, practical knowledge you need to make solid decisions quickly and confidently to create great user experiences, while minimizing the need for user research and testing. If you have ever wondered why customers struggle to use your product, this course is for you. While the material is technology independent, all the exercises involve a mobile app. Includes 30 hands-on design exercises.

Prefer an onsite workshop to train your entire team? Be sure to check UX Design Essentials Workshop.

Chicago, IL May 4 – 6, 2015Register
London, UK July 27 – 29, 2015Register
Montreal, Quebec September 21 – 23, 2015Register
Burlington, VT October 12 – 14, 2015Register
Redmond, WA October 19 – 21, 2015Register

Course cost is $1800, with an “early bird” discount of $200 if registered and paid 45 days before the class. Group registrations paid with a credit card will be charged a 2.9% “convenience fee.”

We offer a 45% discount to registered students and a 25% discount to 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations. Please contact us if you would like to have User Experience Design Essentials presented somewhere else.

Our ultimate goal is to help you make better design decisions more quickly and confidently, and help you lead your team in the right direction. While most people believe that UX design is a personal, subjective art, we believe it is ultimately an objective, principled form of human communication. Focusing on effective communication eliminates much of the subjectivity and personal opinion, along with reducing the need for user research and user testing.

While there is no one right way to learn how to design a great user experience, here’s our approach:

Experience and expertise: Everett McKay instructs all UX Design Edge classes. You are hiring the expert, not the associate. Everett has 30+ years software development experience, 25+ years of UX design experience, and 8+ of UX design training experience. Currently, Everett instructs over 20 workshops and classes a year to an international audience. (In addition to USA and Canada, Everett has given workshops in the UK, Greece, Turkey, India, China, and Argentina.)

Top goals: Learn an efficient, practical, user-centered design process to help you make good design decisions quickly and confidently. Learn how to make designs that are intuitive, simple, delightful, and easy to navigate. Learn effective design teamwork and how to give and receive effective feedback.

Design process, avoiding the classic mistakes: Understand why smart people who are experts with technology create poor UI designs. Learn to avoid the classic mistakes that everyone tends to make. Have a clear understanding of why design goals are important and when they are worth the investment.

Effective communication: Many design decisions ultimately boil down to communicating to your target users effectively. This is true for both interaction and visual design. The heart of the course is learning how to use the language UI to communicate to users in a way that’s concise, natural, and intuitive.

Users are people: We are interacting with people not robots, so it’s important to understand the human emotion and perception side of UX design. Issues like value, simplicity, personality, delight, trust, and performance must be part of the design equation. Many inexperienced designers overlook these important issues, and design purely from the mechanical point of view.

Software teams are people too: The design process is a human, and therefore political process. Learn how your team’s culture determines what actually gets done. To impact design, you must make sure your effort matches your team’s culture. Learn the different team UX cultures and what they require to affect change.

Practical: UX design is a practice, not a subjective art. UX design isn’t hard if you use the right tool for the job. You can do this! You will learn practical techniques that you can actually use on your project. And you’ll get straight answers to your questions. (So no, it doesn’t depend!)

Audience: Software professionals who are inexperienced with UI design. None of our courses require any prior design training or experience, and we strive to achieve the above goals without getting too wonky. (If you can’t use it in practice, we don’t discuss it!)

While there are similar UX design courses, none of them take this same approach. See for yourself:

Standard course

Detailed course content

Day 1 (8:00 am – 5:00 pm)

  • Part 1: Why user experience matters

Using an efficient design process

  • Part 2: Use a good design process
  • Part 3: Design principles
  • Part 4: UI guidelines

Using a user-centered design process

  • Part 5: Value propositions
  • Part 6: Scenarios

Day 2 (8:30 am – 5:00 pm)

  • Day 2 Introduction: Who are you really?

Using a user-centered design process (cont)

  • Part 7: Personas
  • Part 8: Branding
  • Part 9: Using data

Making a design intuitive

  • Part 10: UI is communication
  • Part 11: Make it intuitive
  • Part 12: Use the right controls

Making a design simple and delightful

  • Part 13: Make it simple
  • Part 14: Make it look great
  • Part 15: Make it delightful

Day 3 (8:30 am – 5:00 pm)

  • Day 3 Intro: Changing your team’s culture

Putting it all together

  • Part 16: Task flows
  • Part 17: Mobile UX

Communicating design

  • Part 18: Design communication techniques: sketches and prototypes

Evaluating designs and usability

  • Part 19: How to evaluate a UI
  • Part 20: Informal usability studies
  • Part 21: Giving and receiving feedback
  • Part 22: Workshop
  • Course review and wrap-up

UX Design Essentials for Founders

Day 1 (8:30 am – 5:00 pm)

Part 1: Why user experience matters to your success

Part 2: A basic, user-centered design process

  • Basic design process
  • Classic process mistakes (designing like a programmer)
  • Designing for users and framing to be user centered

Part 3: Making designs intuitive, simple, and mobile

  • Basic design principles
  • UI is communication
  • Intuitive UI
  • Simplicity
  • Mobile design (and how it differs from desktop design)

Part 4: Planning your project

  • Value propositions
  • Scenarios
  • Personas
  • Branding

Day 2 (8:30 am – 5:00 pm)

Part 5: Designing tasks, pages, and layout

  • Controls
  • UI text
  • Task flows
  • Navigation
  • Page design
  • Layout

Part 6: Design techniques

  • Inductive UI
  • Task and data decomposition
  • Brainstorming
  • Design for scanning
  • Sketching and prototyping

Part 7: Designing the top scenarios

Day 3 (8:30 am – 5:00 pm)

Part 8: Designing the top scenarios (cont)

Part 9: Design evaluation

  • Evaluation techniques
  • Giving and receiving feedback

Part 10: Evaluating your design

  • Performing a usability study
  • Course review and wrap-up

What is the cost?

$1800 per person, with a $200 “early bird” discount if registered and paid 45 days before the class.

Who is the instructor?

All course material created and presented by Everett McKay.

How large are the classes?

All sessions are limited to a maximum of 20 participants.

What is your cancellation policy?

Full payment is required at registration. You may cancel 30 days before the class and receive a full refund. After that, there is a $200 cancelation fee. You may change your registration to a different location at any time without penalty.

What materials are provided?

All participants receive a bound copy of the course materials for their personal use. All participants who complete the class will receive a certificate of completion.

For more information and availability, please contact training@uxdesignedge.com.

UX Design Essentials exceeded my expectations. As a result of this class, I feel that I have a much better understanding of the importance of employing good design principles. I learned that you can quickly assess a design by listening to someone explain its purpose to determine what’s needed or not. The emphasis on scenario-based design and always thinking about how and why users perform tasks is upper-most in my mind. I loved the “learn by doing” approach and found the exercises an effective means of learning the design principles taught in the class. I would highly recommend this class to anyone who wants to learn how to improve their designs.

I recommended host a UX Design Essentials Workshop to my boss.

Jeanne Monahan
Waters Corporation

This training was excellent!

I found UX Design Essentials to be very helpful in my day to day work. I highly recommend this training to anyone who wants to understand UX/UI and why it’s really important to design your product for your users and not for yourself.

Rinal Trehan
Coventry Health Care

I can’t say enough to recommend Everett McKay’s UX Design Essentials course for anyone that wants to learn more about what makes a user interface “delightful.” The course is an informative blend of practical, boots-on-the-ground advice you can apply to your website right now interwoven with engaging stories and anecdotes about the successes and failures Everett has encountered throughout his career. There are also some great philosophical insights about the art of design and what makes one product succeed where another product fails.

The course material is well organized and structured in a sensible progression that leads you through team exercises so you can practice the techniques you’re learning. Even a design veteran will discover new, useful tools to add to their design toolbox.

I have always wanted a book that was focused as sharply and as astutely on this topic, and now I have Everett’s incredible course (and his PowerPoint deck!) to guide me. It was the best three days of training I’ve ever experienced, hands down.

John Smick

I just completed Everett McKay’s UX Design Essentials course and I highly recommend it! Everett’s knowledge and passion for UX kept the class engaging and energized. I am a Visual Designer but the course is appropriate for all disciplines on a UX team. Everett shows how to orchestrate design and information for a great UX solution. It’s practical knowledge and guidelines for User Experience professionals. Well worth it!

Greg Burns
Visual Designer

For more information, please contact info@uxdesignedge.com

All Content Copyright © UX Design Edge