You have undoubtedly discovered a comprehensive list of UX boot camps, design labs, courses, and workshops while researching how to enter the User Experience (UX) field. More often than not, and especially to a beginner, it can be challenging to decide which subjects you need to study because there are so many options. This is why I have compiled a list of the 7 top topics to help you including resources to facilitate your learning.
- Design Psychology
Learning psychology entails recognizing human thought processes, how we react to design features, and the strengths and weaknesses of our cognitive processes. Learning the fundamentals can help you make wise decisions regarding content organization, task flow, labeling, color schemes, interaction design, and everything else since psychology is the basis for how people engage with a design. Why? Every design decision has an impact on how we navigate, how we access the content, what is clear or unclear, how we make decisions, how long it takes us to complete a task, and how we feel about the entire experience.
You should educate yourself on design principles, cognitive biases, and the psychology of color and type. Your understanding of how psychology affects user experience will provide you with the foundations of design.
Here are some courses on design psychology and where to access them:
- Human Mind and Usability — Nielsen Norman Group.
- Universal Principles of Design — LinkedIn Learning.
- Psychology of UX / Web Design — Udemy.
- Human-Computer Interaction — Interaction Design Foundation.
2. User Research Methods
User research involves defining user behavior as well as identifying the target users. Due to the fact that it covers a wide range of topics as viewed from the perspective of the user experience, this differs from market research. Researching how people feel and respond to a certain product or service is the first and most important tool for enhancing user experience.
Depending on the goals, UX specialists employ a number of user and design research techniques. Making design decisions before committing designs to code requires significant insight into what works and what doesn’t. For UX experts, knowing how to organize, conduct, and analyze research is essential.
You need to get knowledgeable about conducting and analyzing contextual user interviews, usability testing, design sprints, paper prototyping methods, etc.
Here are some research method learning resources:
- UX Foundations: Research — LinkedIn Learning.
- UX Research 101 — Domestika.
- User Experience: Research & Prototyping — Coursera.
- UX Design Process from User Research to Usability Testing — Udemy.
- UX Research Article by Me — Medium.
3. Information Architecture / Content Strategy
A crucial skill is knowing how to structure content such that it meets users’ expectations and aids in their main objective. All design elements including copy and graphic content must be arranged, labeled, and organized using information architecture. People should be able to browse, find what they’re looking for, and perform tasks with ease. People’s attempts to accomplish their aims will either be aided or hampered by the information architecture.
You should familiarize yourself with UI elements, organizing patterns, navigation, labeling, and the fundamentals of writing (e.g., feedback, errors, validation).
Check out these courses on information architecture:
- Microcopy & UX Writing: The Complete Course — Udemy.
- Write Compelling Digital Copy — Nielsen Norman Group.
- UX Foundations: Information Architecture — LinkedIn Learning.
- Web Design: Strategy and Information Architecture — Coursera.
4. Wireframing And Prototyping
To translate concepts into low- and high-fidelity screens that can communicate prospective design solutions, you’ll want to learn how to sketch or use software.
Research-based low-fidelity and high-fidelity content layouts enable you (and the team) to quickly generate different design concepts. Prototypes comprise a complete information architecture as well as aesthetics, whereas wireframes are low-fidelity, skeleton design concepts that do not include aesthetics or content specifics. Prototypes, which can be static or interactive, are frequently used to test out different design concepts with your users and within your team.
Check out these courses for learning:
- Build Wireframes and Low-Fidelity Prototypes — Coursera.
- Complete Guide to UI/UX Wireframing — Udemy.
- UX Foundations: Prototyping — LinkedIn Learning.
- Web Design: Wireframes to Prototypes — Coursera.
5. UX Metrics
You need analytics in order to determine whether your design is successful or not. The user experience can be measured by designers using UX metrics, and this is the most crucial data you can obtain once your design is complete and shared with others. By having such understanding, you have access to unbiased information on the design. Then, you can use this information to advance and make the appropriate adjustments.
Check out these courses to understand UX metrics:
- Measuring UX and ROI — Nielsen Norman Group.
- User Experience (UX) Metrics — UCSD Extension.
- UX Statistics and Measures- UX Verification and Validation — Coursera.
- Quantitative UX Metrics and Research- Design X440 — Berkley Extension.
Never stop learning. Each project brings with it unique design challenges. Design standards, technology, and human behavior are constantly evolving, necessitating innovative design approaches.
Gain as much knowledge and experience as you can about these subjects. You will achieve excellent user experience by incorporating the recommendations into your design as much as possible.