User Experience

Learn the science of design to craft an optimal user experience for your web application through research, testing, and validation.

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What is User Experience Design?

You may design a site that's beautiful to look at or develop a site that uses the latest technology – but if it doesn’t meet a real user need, it’ll be irrelevant. User experience design is about making all the elements come together so you can create something meaningful, useful, and pleasurable for the people you're trying to reach. This class will give you the skills to research, test, and validate your ideas.

What will I be able to design?

Students in User Experience gain a fundamental understanding of what it takes to validate their solutions against the problems of their users.

  • You'll develop your idea from a thought to business concept using lean startup methodologies.
  • You'll design visual mockups of your application to focus yourself and others on the users you want to reach.
  • You'll create low-fidelity prototypes representing your MVP (minimal viable product) that you will test with users, high fidelity for those pairing this class with the HTML & CSS class.

What skills will I learn?

  • Best practices in assessing the usability and aesthetics of web sites and applications
  • Exploratory design research techniques like field observation and interviews
  • User model creation, such as personas and mental models
  • Techniques for generating new ideas that meet real user needs
  • Conceptual design techniques like sketching
  • Interaction design and information architecture tools such as wireframes in Balsamiq, site maps, flows, and card sorting activities
  • Usability testing to validate design with users

Learn how to see new opportunities

User-centered design doesn’t just mean making existing products better – it’s about seeing the possibilities in everyday life. In this class you’ll go into the field to find opportunities for innovation and pair that insight with findings from research online. You'll solve problems creatively with an open mindset and debate your solutions with fellow clasmates.

Understand the entrepreneurial mind

Whether you want to start your own company or improve your skills working with entrepreneurs, this class will put you in a business owner’s shoes. You’ll create your own concept for a business based on your personal passions, experience, and resources, and refine it with user research.

Design systems that move, motivate, and work

A great user experience is about more than a product’s pixels. It’s about the need it addresses, how it makes users feel, and what motivates them to use it. The techniques you learn in this class will help you design and build a product that engages users and brings them back again.

Meet Carolyn Chandler, your instructor

Carolyn Chandler

Carolyn has 15 years of experience designing user-centered digital solutions for start-ups and Fortune 500 companies. She helps organizations identify and improve areas of their business that impact customer engagement. Carolyn is passionate about helping beginners understand their customers and uncover new ideas for products and services. She's the co-author of A Project Guide to UX Design, a staple in the design community, and recently co-wrote the book Adventures in Experience Design, an activity-focused introduction to experience design for beginners.

Hear from previous students

Kitty Singsuwan “Carolyn does a great job of explaining the finer parts of UX, and how to properly take a product from concept to reality. Her class is a must for those who are passionate about User Experience, and want to get it right.“ – Kitty Singsuwan
Andrew Gruesser “Throughout the course I was amazed at how much I was learning week in and week out.“ – Andrew Gruesser
Jennifer Thomas “Bringing Project Travel to life required a deep understanding of user research, user validation and user testing.“ – Jennifer Thomas

Get hands on coaching

You'll be surrounded by experts who are committed to helping you grow. There's no better way to learn than by talking one-on-one with a mentor and having them review your work in front of you.

Surround yourself with a League of Starters

Since 2011, we've built a community over over 1000 starters from 35 states and 25 countries. We don't have traditional prerequisites, we look for students who are passionate and tenacious.

Get updates about future classes

We'll be accepting applications for our Summer UX program shortly. Sign up to be the first to know when we start the admissions process.