UX Design Essentials Curriculum

Standard three-day version

Day 1 (8:30 am – 5:00 pm, registration at 8 am)

Part 1: Why user experience matters

An introduction to the course and a summary of why having a great user experience is so important.

Using an efficient design process

Part 2: Use a good design process

Learn a basic design process that you can apply to any design problem. The process steps include understanding your users, goal and problem analysis, brainstorming, task and data decomposition, designing UI elements, prototyping, evaluation, iteration, and knowing when you are done.

Part 3: Design principles

Learn how to optimize the basic design process by taking advantage established design principles.

Part 4: UI guidelines

Learn how to further optimize the basic design process by taking advantage of UI guidelines. Learn how to perform a guidelines-based makeover.

Using a user-centered design process

Part 5: Value propositions

Value propositions express the reasons why users will want to use and buy your product. Learn how to use value propositions as a user-centered decision-making framework, and discover how most teams get them wrong. (Hint: Think about what “value” really means.)

Part 6: Scenarios

A scenario describes a specific target user trying to achieve a specific goal or task in a specific environment. Scenarios are the most powerful user-centered design technique and strong scenario work is often the difference between a good UX and a great UX. Yet most teams either don’t design using scenarios or are just going through the motions. Learn how to do scenario-based design right!

Day 2 (8:30 am – 5:00 pm)

Day 2 introduction

Who is your company really? Different companies have different ways of designing user experiences. There’s no right or wrong way, but your approach must match your company’s culture. You can’t emulate another company’s approach to design without understanding what makes them successful and fits your culture.

Using a user-centered design process (cont)

Part 7: Personas

Personas are fake people based on real user data. While potentially an excellent user-centered design tool, personas usually fail to live up to their potential because teams don’t use them effectively. Concise user modeling is the key. Learn how to use personas right!

Part 8: Software branding

Branding is the expectations and positioning of your product and company by your customers. While branding should be an important part of the user-centered design process, too often branding is reduced to color schemes and logos—the least important branding elements. Learn how to do software branding right!

Part 9: Data

Making design decisions with user data should be an important part of your user-centered design approach. After all, why make decisions based on personal opinion and speculation when you can measure what your users actually do? Still, there are many traps using data and teams often fall into the. Learn how to use data right!

Making a design “intuitive”

Part 10: UI is communication

A user interface is essentially a conversation between users and a product to perform tasks that achieve users’ goals—except that it uses the language of UI instead of natural language. Intuitive UI boils down to communicating to users in a way that is natural, professional and friendly, and easy to understand.

If you can explain how to perform a task in person in a way that’s clear and concise, the UI is Communication concept will help you map that explanation into the language of UI—both in terms of interaction and visual design—in a way that feels intuitive.

Part 11: Make it intuitive

This part defines exactly what it means to be intuitive and explains the attributes of an intuitive UI. It also introduces a concept called inductive UI, where tasks are designed to be self-explanatory.

Part 12: Use the right controls

Controls are the language of UI. Learn how to choose the right controls based on objective factors and how to use controls effectively. Also learn when to use custom controls and how to make them feel intuitive.

Making a design simple and delightful

Part 13: Make it simple

Simplicity is the reduction or elimination of design elements that target users are aware of and consider unessential. Most designers think they want simple UIs, but when it comes to making the hard decisions the tendency is toward complexity. Learn exactly what simplicity is and how to get it, along with why it’s so hard for teams to achieve simplicity. (Hint: It’s easier to say “yes” than “no”.)

Part 14: Make it look great

The “secret” to making a UI look great is to hire a visual designer and that’s what most teams should do. However, hiring a visual designer isn’t practical for many teams and many teams lack the knowledge to work with visual designers effectively. Learn a non-designer’s guide to designing a beautiful UI through visual simplicity. Also learn the fundamentals of layout and how to design a page for scanning.

Part 15: Make it delightful

Great user experiences are designed for people, not technology. Learn the role of human emotion and perception in design, and how to achieve delight through special experiences, having a good software personality, forgiveness, having good performance, and trustworthiness. You will also learn how to make sure your product is well polished.

Day 3 (8:30 am – 5:00 pm)

Day 3 introduction

Learn how to adapt the design process to your team’s culture and design values for greatest impact, including techniques to get even skeptical team members on board.

Putting it all together

Part 16: Task flows

Learn how to decompose complex tasks (and their data) into simple steps and how to present them using efficient single pages and page flows. Learn the elements and a user model for navigation, and the most common task flow problems and how to address them.

Part 17: Mobile UX

Learn how to design specifically for iPhone, iPad, and Android app and mobile web. Learn how mobile design differs from desktop design, including mobile design principles and guidelines, mobile scenarios, mobile capabilities and constraints, and designing for touch and small screens.

Communicating design

Part 18: Design communication techniques: sketches and prototypes

Learn the techniques used to communicate design ideas. Learn the pros and cons of sketching vs. prototypes, along with the prototyping levels (low, mid, high fidelity), when to use them, and why low fidelity is usually best. Learn the rules of effective prototyping and the attributes of good prototyping tools.

Evaluating designs and usability

Part 19: How to evaluate a UI

Learn effective design evaluation techniques to improve your design and when to use them. Evaluation techniques covered include usability studies, cognitive walkthroughs, mental model evaluations, trustworthy walkthroughs, highlighter tests, and reading reviews.

Part 20: Informal usability studies

Usability studies are the gold standard for design evaluation techniques. Learn how to improve your product by preparing and conducting an informal usability study with target users. Learn the process, how to design effective tests, and interpret and apply the results.

Part 21: Giving and receiving feedback

Learn how to give and receive effective feedback so that your team can do its best work.

Course review and wrap-up

For more information, please contact info@uxdesignedge.com

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