Happy Holidays! What will you do in 2018 to improve your UX/UI skills? What are you doing now to be successful in the New Year?
I’m a huge fan of online learning to improve skill development. It’s made a huge difference for me both personally and professionally. Below are 5 courses and programs that have helped me this year. Check them out and see which ones resonate with you.
Whether you need a solid UX Fundamentals course or a complete UX overview from soup to nuts, Joe Natoli has you covered. His growing library of online courses will help you become a strong all-around UX practitioner.
Joe has over 30 years of experience in the industry. His dedication as a teacher, in-depth knowledge, and passion for delivering excellence is unmatched. Plus, when you join one of his courses you get access to his Give Good UX Company of Friends Facebook Group. It’s a lively and engaged community that can help you get to the next level.
If you’re brand new to Sketch and want to get up to speed quickly, I highly recommend Peter Nowell’s Sketch Master series. Endorsed by Bohemian Coding, Sketch Master is the only course I know of that keeps up with Sketch’s constant updates.
Peter offers three short courses as of this writing – an introductory course, one geared more toward UX, and another focused on using SVG and Sketch in web and app design. Each runs about 90 minutes to two hours in length. You can buy them individually or together as a discounted bundle.
As a freelance designer, Peter’s clients include Apple, Flinto, and Sprightly Books. He has a friendly, approachable teaching style and explains each concept thoroughly.
As a UX designer, it’s important to be tool-agnostic. In other words, you may be called to work on projects requiring design programs you don’t necessarily know as well as others.
For example, Axure is the de-facto UX tool of choice for most of the Fortune 500, but it’s not my favorite. I’m using it right now for a client project and had to get up to speed quickly a few months ago. Thankfully my client was ok with my limited experience with Axure and gave me the opportunity to learn it before we started.
Although I went through several of Axure’s online tutorials, Radu Fotolescu’s Learning Axure RP 8 – UX Design Fundamentals helped me the most. Radu is a freelance UX/UI designer based in London. Apparently his course is the first and only Axure RP 8 course on Udemy.
It’s pretty short at only 2 hours, but it’s packed with everything you need to get started with Axure RP8. There are some minor audio issues on some videos, but overall it’s a very good intro course. It gave me everything I needed to move forward with my project.
If you’re a recent grad or career changer looking for a more in depth UX design program, check out Career Foundry. I’ve been a UX mentor for them since 2014 and have watched the company grow steadily from the ground up.
Career Foundry’s course offerings are getting more and more specialized. Courses include an Amazon-approved curriculum in voice design, a course on Internet of Things and more. They really care about student success and can help you get where you want to go.
Last but not least, Erik Kennedy’s Learn UI Design opens only twice a year in the Spring and Fall. But it’s worth the wait. It’s honestly the best self-paced online UI course I’ve seen, especially if you want to get super good at Sketch.
More importantly than teaching you how to use Sketch, Erik teaches you how to think like a UI designer. The homework assignments are very challenging, and Erik provides excellent feedback through the course Slack channel. I’m about 50% done and it’s already helped me deliver more value to clients.
Learn UI Design is a big, beefy course – plan on spending several months watching the videos, interacting with Erik and other students on Slack and doing the homework. Sign up to get notified when it opens again.
Keeping your skills up to date can help you thrive in today’s ever-changing digital design industry. To paraphrase Steven Covey in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, it’s good to “sharpen the saw” on a regular basis.
These courses will round out your skill set and help you make better, faster design decisions. Let me know what you think.
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