It is almost impossible to make headway in the career world without proper education on the relevant skills in your career. It is either you are learning a new skill, improving on the skills you have learned, or learning how to harness the skills you have learned for better output. Whichever stage you are at in your career, learning is always ongoing.
More importantly, for those that are just starting out in the career world or those that want to switch careers, you cannot downplay the importance of learning. Most careers require a solid education for you to thrive and UX design is no exception.
Now, there are different ways to learn UX design. Some may choose to go to a university, others may choose to attend physical training classes for some months, and some others may choose to take online courses.
Online courses are becoming popular these days because of the comfort of learning in your house and the vast number of courses that are available ranging from web design to project management and a whole lot of courses that people learn in colleges.
One of the things you should consider in choosing a learning method is to make sure the courses are well structured, and the training period aligns with your schedule. One of the prevalent questions aspiring learners have asked in UX communities and UX design groups on social media like Reddit, Twitter, etc. is "Can I learn UX online?" Well, this is a good question, given that you want to learn a creative skill without a physical location. But is that a barrier?
In this article, we will examine learning UX design online, and its pros and cons. We will also examine other methods of learning.
Can I learn UX design online?
The answer is Yes! You can learn UX design online. We must accept that the internet has changed the way we learn. Learning is no longer restricted to the four walls of a building. Online education is becoming more popular as technology advances. Now, we can learn the same thing we learn in physical schools online. In fact, some schools now offer online learning.
The beauty of online learning is the access to a wide range of information, sometimes free information. There are several platforms where you can gain access to free online courses in UX design, there are also paid courses that you can learn on your own.
Apart from online UX design courses, there are also online Bootcamps, if you prefer a live class for your learning. One of the UX design Bootcamps that comes highly recommended is the Brave Achievers GoCreate Bootcamp for UX design. The Bootcamp covers topics like UX research, usability testing, visual design, prototyping tools, UI design and you will also have access to free learning resources.
UX Design skills you can learn online
UX design is a combination of soft skills and technical skills. The soft skills include communication, critical thinking, curiosity, empathy, collaboration etc.
Few online platforms include these soft skills as a stand-alone course in their program because you get to learn them while learning the technical skills. The technical skills are user research, wireframing, prototyping, usability testing etc.
1. User research
User research is an important part of the UX design process. The essence of user research is to understand users' pain points, needs, motivation, and aspirations. The result of the research will help the designer produce creative solutions.
There are materials that explain the details on how to carry out effective user research online, you can also learn this skill at a good UX design Bootcamp like the GoCreate Bootcamp.
Wireframing is a practice used by UX designers to provide an overview of the structure of a page. its layout and proposed functionality. There are wireframing tools you can use to create wireframes for design projects. An online course or Bootcamp will teach you how best to use these wireframing tools.
Prototyping is the practice of creating cheap samples of the proposed product called prototypes for stakeholders and user groups. Prototypes are created to sample stakeholders' and users' opinions about the product. This guides the designer on the changes to make on the product before the final launch.
4. Usability testing
Usability testing is testing the ease of use of a product with represented user groups. Usability testing is used to confirm that the product satisfies user needs and address their unique problems.
If the report from this testing is negative, the product cycle will have to be revised again. Therefore, UX design is an iterative process.
5. Visual design
Visual design focuses more on the aesthetic appeal of a product by implementing colors, fonts, images, and buttons. These elements give the product needed captivation.
Tips for choosing an online platform for learning
There are many UX design online courses, training, and Bootcamps on the internet. How do you know which one is best for you?
1. Choose a platform that has a detailed course outline
The first thing you want to check before choosing any platform for learning is the course outline. You must be sure you are not studying an incomplete course, especially when you are taking free courses. The free online courses provided by different organizations and individuals online are introductory courses or teasers to the main course.
It is important that you don't stop at the free version, so you don't end up having just an idea about UX design. The essence of the introductory course is to fuel your interest in learning. If you are willing to take UX design as a career, it is best that you sign up for the main course to gain full access to all the materials for training.
Even if it is a paid course from the start with no teasers, you still need to make your own findings to be sure their courses are detailed enough. Therefore, you should make findings online to have at least an idea about UX before buying a course online.
However, apart from pre-prepared courses, there are also online UI/UX design Bootcamps out there that can be of great benefit to your pursuit. An advantage of UX design bootcamps is that they are well structured and are mostly handled by professionals in the field.
The downside is that they could be expensive, but they are worth it. Well, the GoCreate Bootcamp offers quality at no cost! You will learn unique design concepts and methodologies, the design workflow, how to create a design for web development, using prototyping tools, and other relevant skills in UX design.
2. Choose an option that aligns with your schedule and timeline
A course or Bootcamp may have a standard course outline, but will you be able to cope with the schedule? Of course, learning a new skill demands sacrifice, it requires that you make efforts to be available.
Nevertheless, it is important that the schedule of your training gives you time to attend to other important things in your life.
3. Choose a platform that has mentorship opportunities
Learning is easy when you have a mentor to guide you. Mentors are industry leaders that have the skills and experience to guide you when you are passing through a rough patch in your learning process. They can give you tips on how to build your professional portfolio and can also help you when you want to make important career decisions.
Have you read Where can I learn UX?
Pros of learning user experience design skills online
It is not easy to take time off other responsibilities to commit to full-time learning. More so, some students juggle their regular school tasks with learning new skills. It will be a challenging task for people in this category to sign up for physical training. Online training gives the flexibility of learning on the go, you can also go back to the materials provided in the training.
Also, if you don't have work or school obligations, it gives you time to do other things that are important to you.
2. Demonstration of Improved self-motivation
You're demonstrating that you can manage your time and be self-motivated by learning a new skill online, which are two of the top ten skills employers look for in applicants. You demonstrate your ability to multitask, prioritize, and adapt to different work conditions when you complete online training successfully.
Instructors expect students to engage with the material they are given and produce creative ideas. Also, employers want you to be self-motivated, and seek out new opportunities and ways of doing things in the workplace.
3. Time Management
Online classes keep you on a time routine of deadlines to meet, allowing you to practice time management and stay productive. Employers value the time management skills required to complete an online course and see these skills in potential employees as an asset.
Cons of learning UX design online
1. Internet connection issues
A major issue with online classes is the undependability of internet access. Maintaining a consistent connection with adequate speed remains a challenge in smaller cities and towns. There can be a lack of continuity in learning if students or teachers do not have access to the internet on a regular basis.
2. Sense of Isolation
Learning alone in your room can give you a sense of isolation. You might be studying alongside other students in an online Bootcamp, but you might get bored soon if you don't have a study partner with whom you can relate. To remedy this, it is advisable that the organization creates a community of learners on a social media platform where students can connect, ask questions, and study together.
3. Side effects of long hours of screen time
There are health hazards associated with focusing on the screen for long hours. Students could even develop bad posture from sitting on a spot for too long.
Can I be a self-taught UX designer without attending an online training or Bootcamp?
Yes, you can! There are several stories of self-taught UX designers who are doing very well in their careers. There are articles, free courses, and free tutorials on UI /UX design that you can complete online by yourself.
The limitation, however, is that it can become a long journey if there is no one to guide you through the process. You may also end up working on tutorial examples alone, you might not have access to practical hands-on projects that will engage your mind and improve your creative thinking abilities.
It is true that it is not easy to learn creative skills on your own, but it is possible. The major reason many will opt for the self-taught approach is that they might not be able to afford the high cost of UX design courses online. That's why you should check the GoCreate Bootcamp for affordable and quality training.
There is no limit to what you can learn online in UX design if you are learning from a reliable source. All you need to do is to get your facts right about the source before buying the course or starting the class.
Check here for facts about the GoCreate USA Bootcamp