• 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 design

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

  • Make it intuitive

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

  • Make it simple

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

  • 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.


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.

Redmond, WARedmond, WA
June 13 – 15, 2017

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 or substitute teacher. 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, Ireland, Poland, Greece, Turkey, India, China, Argentina, and South Africa.)

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!)

Essential but not basic: While the class doesn’t require design experience, it isn’t basic or just for beginners. Professional designers with decades of experience have taken this class and greatly benefited from it. If, for example, you have excellent design skills but have trouble selling your designs to your team, this class is for you!

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: The basic 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: Improving your team’s design culture

Putting it all together

  • Part 16: Task flows
  • Part 17: Page design
  • Part 18: Scenario design challenge
  • Part 19: Making it mobile

Communicating design

  • Part 20: Design communication techniques: sketches and prototypes

Evaluating designs and usability

  • Part 21: How to evaluate a UI
  • Part 22: Informal usability studies
  • Part 23: Giving and receiving feedback
  • 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 customers include Abbott, Accenture, All Recipes, AllScripts, American Airlines, Analog Devices, AT&T, BAE Systems, BMC, Boeing, Booz Allen Hamilton, CareerBuilder, Cisco, Citrix, Dell, Experian, F5 Networks, Farm Credit Services, Jacobs Technology, McGladrey, Microsoft, Oracle, Osram Sylvania, Pearson, Pfiser, Quintiles, Rockwell Automation, Sageworks, Slalom Consulting, Solstice Mobile, Southern Company, Starbucks, Tecplot, TexelTek, US Bank, Vail Resorts, Vroman Systems, and Zurich Insurance.

Everett McKay’s UX Design Essentials course is a tour de force that manages to pack all the processes and tools you might need, along with a wide range of examples and practice exercises. The message is straightforward; “effective human communication is the key.” Putting that into practice in the rapidly-evolving world of technology, however, is no easy task. Mr. McKay holds it all together by underlining the importance of the design process and demonstrating that the more things change (e.g., the move to ‘mobile first’ design), the more his tenets holds true.

Andrés Richner

UX Design Essentials is a much more holistic approach to design than I was expecting. I’ve learn quite a bit in this course, but most of all, I feel better equipped to make good UX decisions as well as discuss and justify those decisions to my team and our stakeholders.

Anne Mahaffey, Web Tools Engineer
Analog Devices

I have been doing user experience design for several years, and fell into the field by accident. This course has been useful at both a functional and detailed level of best practices in UX. Practical exercises combined with real-world examples of good vs. bad UX provide insights for how I can influence good design principles on my team at work.

Hunter Peden, UI/UX Business Analyst

If you are like me, you may leave your tools all over the place. What Everett and his 3-day User Experience Design Essentials class has done is replace and sharpen all of the tools in my UX toolkit. I’m leaving the class feeling fully equipped to bring great process to projects and teams, and ultimately deliver usable, delightful, and exceptional user experiences.

Eric Guess, UX Designer

UX Design Essentials exceeded my expectations in terms of both rigor of the material and the degree of student engagement. I have a much stronger understanding of UX design principles in an abstract sense, but I’m also already seeing direct application to my current project.

Jason Cockrell, Software Engineer
Analog Devices

UX Design Essentials gave me an excellent introduction to some fundamental UX tools. The course emphasizes practice over theory and I came away with a variety of ideas and techniques that I can put to use immediately. As someone who came in with little UX background, I found that working through different design challenges with a sample product to be particularly helpful, as it showed very clearly how considering UX from the beginning can help focus a project and inform the design process. I would definitely recommend this course to people getting started in UX or people who find UX becoming part of their job.

Cameron Britt

As a visual designer, UX Design Essentials was very beneficial for learning more about the functionality of my designs. I love how interactive and practical this class was. I’m anxious to dive into my new job on a UX design team, feeling confident that I can make informed decisions and an experience that is great for the user.

Emily Sabaka, Visual designer
Rockwell Automation

UX Design Essentials gave me a great understanding of user experience related design concepts. It also gave me some valuable tools and a solid decision framework to help remove my own personal biases when designing and help me design with the user in mind.

Adam Borus, Business Analyst/Project Manager

As a student looking to break into the field, Everett’s UX Design Essentials seemed like a good idea to get me started. Well, I was blown away–the course went way beyond just the “essentials” of UX and dove into the deep stuff that can take your app from good to amazing.

He presents everything in an easy-to-understand way while providing valuable real-world knowledge. After taking this course, I’m confident in jump starting my career in UX and will be able to work and converse tactfully with UX professionals.

Nick Bernstein
Columbia College Chicago

I was given the opportunity to attend UX Design Essentials in Atlanta, Georgia. Everett gave me great tools to rationalize my UI design decisions. The three-day course helped me make decisions with confidence. I thoroughly enjoyed the class. Everett provided great examples and practical exercises, and covered a wide range of material in a short amount of time!

I learned techniques to achieve optimal usability by user testing, personas, and scenarios. I highly recommend this course.

Sarah Stutts, Interface Designer
Motion Industries

Thank you for the great UX Design Essentials class in Redmond last week. I found the class very useful and timely as my team is currently developing the prototype of our medical product. The lessons learned will enhance the customer experience and trust, which is key to our success.

I am a firm believer in scenario-based engineering and your class provided great examples and practical exercises. I enjoyed your presentation style and interaction with the participants. You covered a lot of material, while promoting lively discussions in the class.

Khalid Siddiqui
CEO, eMobileCare Corporation

Great course! I especially enjoyed the real world application using sites/items. I feel like I’m walking away thinking about the UX of everything from my work project, to the design choices Jeep made on my car. I can’t get away from it! I will look into your more advanced courses. Thanks!

Tiffany Griffiths

I had the luxury of taking Everett’s UX Design Essentials course in Durham, NC with a few others at our company. It was a great course and he had good teaching style. My favorite was the discussion on responsive/mobile design. A few weeks after the course, there are tangible UX design practices that we put in to practice and are excited to see the effect they have on our users.

Keyur Patel

I just returned from Everett McKay’s 3 day UX Design Essentials class. Immediately, my team and I are able to incorporate the techniques and tools we acquired to improve the usability of our products. We learned how to make better design decisions faster. The ROI on this class is definitely high—we’ll ship better products faster with less rework. I highly recommend this class.

Tim Keogh, Lead developer

Immediately after taking User Experience Design Essentials with Everett McKay, I was able to apply the knowledge that I gained. My manager and peers are already looking to me as their expert on UX and I have already completed my first highly successful usability testing. Everett teaches this course in a way that is easy to understand and apply immediately. I look forward to taking additional courses with him in the future.

Jessica Underwood
Business Systems Analyst, DeVry Education Group

I just finished the best training course I have ever had in my 20+ years of working in IT. I had to adjust my schedule twice to get to it and I only regret not making this course a priority to take it sooner. I promise that you will leave knowing so much more about UX design and being able to apply what you learned the very next day.

The course is not full of just “chatter” about UX Design but real rules and guidelines that can be applied to your company. Everett takes you from a mere suggestion of a project through multiple group exercises that utilizes the building blocks he provides to creating a final visual mock-up design. Then it is evaluated by your class and his expert eye. This is NOT one of those courses that you just sit and see countless slides and stare at your phone wishing the day was over. His “UI is Communication” book is also a great resource for when you get back to work.

Thomas Tanner
Business System Analyst / UX Designer

I just wanted to say that you really made a impact on Dennis. He has adopted the WWEM do (what would Everett McKay do) methodology.

Dennis’ Manager
A major security software vendor

Taking UX Design Essentials was one of the most substantial courses I’ve taken. As a traditional graphic designer for nearly 20 years, I was doing some UX in my design, but Everett helped me take my UX skills and user-centered design instincts to the next level.

Through his course I learned techniques for achieving optimal usability, including contextual inquiry, user testing, paper prototyping, personas, scenarios and more. As the author of the Windows User Experience Guidelines for Microsoft and a gifted teacher, Everett made the course comprehensive, informative, engaging, and perfectly paced.

Steven Galatz
St Paul, MN

In his course, User Experience Design Essentials, Everett McKay provides students with a lively, thorough grounding in the art and science of building sites and applications that are, to use the common term, “intuitive.” The course starts with fundamental matters, such as “Why do you care?” and in three days progresses to the point where the students are designing and testing prototype applications. Since attending this class, I’ve been much better able to contribute to the UX design discussions that are a regular part of my work. I can’t recommend this course highly enough.

Neville Carson
AT&T Consumer Digital Experience

I had a great experience taking the UX Design Essentials course offered by UX Design Edge. It gave me the confidence to make decisions related to UX design in my current work and know I was making the right choice.

I have attended other seminars and courses on UX and most were more theory or research based. This course was much more “hands-on” and better in terms of getting me started in UX design, giving me more confidence in my design decisions and having reasons why to back it up should I need to influence others within my team.

Son Duong
Software Group Manager, Cisco Systems

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

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