User experience (UX) designers are behind the meaningful and modern-looking interfaces that are everywhere on the web today. This is no doubt the reason they are in high demand and earning good salaries— up to $97k per annum for an average designer according to Glassdoor.
For absolute beginners with no clue on how to break into this lucrative profession, Google search is where they run to. And a simple search on the web reveals a mountain of beginner courses, each promising to do better than the others. But where to begin?
In this article, we will introduce to you the best UX design courses available on the internet today, some of them free, others paid. We have rounded up these articles based on crucial criteria which we will discuss.
So, what are the best UX design courses in 2023?
Below are the best UX programs impacting beginners in the design world today, are you looking for a solid place to start? Then you need to check them out:
One of the biggest temptations you will face in your journey from novice to professional is the desire to jump on anything that looks attractive. However, not all courses are equal.
Information on crucial features to watch out for in a UX course can help you eliminate this temptation. By sieving through the supply of courses available, you will be able to learn fast and progress at a much more productive pace. That said, a UX designer never truly stops learning. More courses await you in your UX journey.
After summarising a few of the notable courses we have seen, we found out that there were indeed patterns. Below are some of the prominent features of these courses and other general— and in some cases— unique qualities to look out for before you begin a course in UX design.
It is common sense that the best UX brands are likely to be associated with the best UX programs. While this is not a rule carved in stone, it is usually the case. Offering quality knowledge on a topic requires experts who have been in such disciplines at the highest level attainable. Established brands can offer this.
Some top platforms and brands have courses offering beginners a solid foundation in user experience design. For instance, Google's UX design certificate offered on Coursera has a notorious reputation thanks to the names behind it.
Other top platforms where you can find amazing content on UX design include Udemy, DesignLab, The Interaction Design Foundation, etc. Essentially, good platforms want to offer the best knowledge to their audience. So, find out the voice behind that course you are about to take.
Another important thing to consider is the cost of taking a course. For most beginners, learning UX design isn't just about satisfying some curiosity. A lot of them are unemployed or switching from an underpaying career, this could raise financial dilemmas when it comes to what courses to take.
While most people certainly like free things, It's vital to understand that good quality courses rarely come for free. There is also a psychological benefit to paying a significant fee for courses— it motivates you to pull through.
That said, paying thousands of dollars for a course could be a challenge for most beginners, and there could be chances that you are paying for an overpriced course. It is therefore important to do adequate research and try to reach a balance between cost and quality.
Before you take a course in UX design you need to consider your experience and skill level. Are you a total beginner looking to start from the absolute basics? Are you a proficient designer looking to furnish your skills? You need to answer these questions before you even begin your search for a course.
And the ideal one would be a course that delivers content appropriate to your experience or skills. There's probably little point in a proficient designer taking a course on the foundations of UX design when there are recent UX trends you need to learn.
UX design is a broad discipline. There is UX writing, UX research, interaction and visual design. Each field requires a different set of skills, and as expected— different scope of learning.
You need to consider what a course focuses on. Does it conform with the field of UX design you are interested in? Also, some courses are intended for UX generalists and might offer quality education on all fields of UX.
Lastly, an important factor to consider in a course is the opinion of others who have taken that course. You can get a view of this by looking at the reviews or ratings for that course.
If people are generally impressed by the course content and instructors, then you probably would find it just as impressive.
Now, let's take a more detailed look at the top UX courses we introduced earlier. Wondering why they are the best places to look? Read on.
Introduced in 2021 by Google, this course has long become one of the most popular ways for newbies to begin their UX design journey. Not only is it well planned, but the content is also delivered at a good pace by UX experts at Google.
The course consists of seven parts, each covering crucial aspects of UX design from the absolute fundamentals to UX research, design, prototyping and testing. And designed to run for six months by the end of which the learner is expected to have built a UX design portfolio and completed three industry-standard projects.
The Google UX design course, which is one of the Google Career Certificates, is offered on Coursera, the official partner for these courses. This puts the course fee at Coursera's monthly subscription fee of $39 by the number of months your program runs.
Find out more about the Google UX design certificate.
UX academy offers this beginner's UX design course through weekly live sessions held in small online classes of participants. The course focuses on introducing learners to the fundamentals of user experience design during a period of eight weeks.
With a great focus on user-centered design, the instructors help newbies to master the design process, learn important UX methodologies and how to use necessary tools. Setting them up for a break into the professional sphere.
The course fee goes for around $1,500 which is a decent bargain considering how well-structured and valuable the content is. Also, the inclusion of weekly mentorship by UX experts is commendable.
Check out the course.
Created by Joe Natoli, this is a comprehensive beginner's course with a focus on the practical application of UX methodologies to basic websites or CMS-backed sites like WordPress. It is therefore ideal for both developers and designers.
If you are looking for a detailed course offering more than just theories and principles, one which shows you how professionals apply UX on the web, then this is a good place to look.
What's more interesting? The course comes at a cheap fee. Just like most courses hosted on the udemy platform, you pay around $65.
Here's a link to the course.
If you are looking for a high-end course with more advanced topics like service design and design leadership, then this UX design course is the right one for you.
Offered by General Assembly, the course comes with a classroom experience as learners are expected to be full-time participants with fixed attendance of weekly classes for a period of three months.
While the course certainly delivers a lot in terms of content and one on one coaching as well as connection to top employers, the fees are relatively on the high side, around $15,950 with an option for installment payments.
Find out more about the course.
Design Lab is a popular name among UX bootcamp enthusiasts and their in-depth UX course doesn't fall short of expectations.
The UX academy program is an intensive online program offering beginners the opportunity to learn necessary UX skills at the hands of industry experts. The goal of the bootcamp is to, through a rigorous curriculum, prepare beginners to land their first UX role.
The Academy boasts over 500 top designers who work as mentors to guide part-time or full-time learners as they practice with projects and numerous lessons and exercises. By the end, these learners are to build four projects for their portfolio.
The course fee stands at $7.2k. You can find out more about it here.
Another popular name, CareerFoundry, has a notable reputation. They are known for numerous courses available for designers at all levels and articles on a broad range of UX matters.
This particular UX design course is designed to take learners from absolute beginner levels to being job-ready UX designers — in under 10 months. Here's the interesting part, they offer a money-back guarantee for those who fail to land a job within six months of graduating from the program.
Asides from content that covers UX design essentials, the program offers mentors and tutors who give regular feedback to learners, as well as career support to graduates.
CareerFoundry offers the course at a fee of $7,110. You can check it out here.
For those wondering where to start, this simple and short course could be an ideal way to easily gain an understanding of UX best practices.
At a fee of $149, this course is relatively cheap. However, it covers the UX essentials and offers a solid introduction for learners to kick-start their UX careers.
What you get from the course includes continued assistance from expert teachers, learning resources, access to a community, etc.
Find out more about the course here.
The Interaction Design Foundation is one of the most recognised UX design education platforms thanks to its long span in the field as well as numerous courses.
Their UX beginners guide is an introductory UX course spanning a period of 7 weeks. As industry leaders, they authoritatively provide content that helps to ground beginners in UX best practices.
An interesting aspect of this particular course is that it teaches learners the dos and don'ts of UX design by introducing them to examples of good and bad designs.
Also, given their wide collection of specialised courses, learners are pointed in the direction of materials that can help them develop advanced knowledge.
This course is free but you are expected to pay a membership fee of €11/month to access the Interaction Design Foundation platform.
Here's a link to the course.
To round off our list is this self-paced, career-focused and comprehensive course by Springboard, designed to help beginners learn UX design through the design thinking framework.
The boot camp—which runs for six months— offers one-on-one coaching, mentorship and career support like most of the others on our list. Additionally, there's a money-back guarantee. The course fee is $7,900, with monthly installment plans available too.
Find out more about the course.
While it's difficult to categorically state the perfect course for UX designers, our list of the best UI UX courses above is popular among learners, with great ratings and reviews. However, what is best for one learner could be different for another. For instance, some learners might prefer the Google UX design course because of the easy-to-follow content, while others might recommend the more mentorship-focused courses like DesignLab's course.
Yes and No.
It is possible to learn enough to land an entry-level or internship position through one of the boot camps on our list and enough practice. However, this isn't tantamount to learning UX design as a whole. The field is a broad one, and continual learning even on the job is required.
While the brand behind a UX certificate can certainly draw attention, it is by no means a free pass into any job, in most cases, it holds very little significance. Assuming otherwise is one of the mistakes beginners make.
Hardly are you going to be offered jobs just because of your UX certificate, instead, what is most important is your knowledge and demonstrable skill in the field. That is why the best thing to take out of any course isn't the certificate but a strong understanding backed by an equally strong and professional portfolio.
While it might seem certain that your dream UX job awaits you the moment you finish your boot camp. Most times, this is not the case. Some UX experts recommend more learning and if possible an apprenticeship position where you get to work on enough real-life projects. Experience is key.
UX Internships are also another great way to close the experience gap, they can help you practice what you learnt in a professional environment and improve your design skills along the line.
Being a skilled UX designer certainly means you will be in demand. However, there are crucial steps to getting there. And while a lot depends on personal factors like creativity, passion and hard work, you shouldn't overlook the foundational knowledge about UX design practices necessary to excel as a designer, this is where the best UX design certifications come in.