Learning User Experience Design

Despite seeing suggestions to not call people “users” in UX, user experience design affects everyone, whether they work in technology at a high level or use technology from systems to someone just using their phone.

Google’s Abigail Posner says, “When we use the word ‘user’ it implies just when that person is using that device. The device is the story; the user is just the person who uses it. So if we take away that word and think about the human being then the kind of research that we would use would be much broader, much deeper, and therefore really allow us to understand the human being who uses that technology or uses that software.”

Gizmodo lists the Degrees of the Future 2022 top UX Design programs at universities. But is the Google UX Design Certificate worthwhile?

It is a low-cost design certificate and worth considering if you are new to the user experience (UX) design field or job market. It costs students less than $200 from start to finish.

Can you compete with someone that has a degree with a certificate? You will clearly have competition applying for entry-level UX design jobs. It would be advisable to try for some freelance design work or do volunteer work for non-profits while completing the certificate to build up your resume and give you samples of your skills.

UX Designer As a Career

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What is user experience and what does a UX designer do?

You are interacting with this site now. That is user experience. When you’re in a brick-and-mortar store, the way things are organized, laid out on the floor, and on the shelves are all UX. An employee asks you “Did you find all you were looking for today?” Were there signs to get you where you wanted to go? Were stuck in line waiting to check out? All of these things have comparable UX concerns for a website or app.

Spending your time on a site clicking around, frustrated, or digging for some contact info so you can get some help, that’s not ideal for anyone.

Enter the UX designer whose job is to make sure the site is a seamless experience for the user. UX designers a re not web designers, though they would interact with them and have some similar skills.

While a web designer build the framework of the site and a graphic designer is charged with making the site look good, the UX designer is responsible for optimizing how the site functions.

UX designers also work with the marketing team making sure what goes to the public and the feedback that comes from them makes both sides of the screen happy.

UX designers work with many team members. (Though we should note that with a small design company one or two people might do multiple jobs.)

Some jobs that are clearly on the UX designer’s menu, such as analyzing marketing data about customers and conducting surveys, focus groups, or other research to see how people use the site and their opinions.