Udacity is excited to introduce the newest addition to our School of Business: the User Experience Designer Nanodegree program. According to LinkedIn, User Experience (UX) Design is one of the top five most in-demand hard skills today, and a position as a Product Designer has been ranked one of the top five Most Promising Jobs. Thus, there is no better time to learn the skills needed to land a job in this field.
What exactly is UX design? Shuang Liu, User Experience Designer Nanodegree program instructor, and UX Designer at Google, offers a great explanation of the value of the skill:
“UX Design is understanding user needs and designing solutions with those needs in mind. We create products to solve the problems of users. UX design is the process that reminds us of the needs of our users. Ultimately, products are used by humans and should bring value to humans.”
For a moment, consider all the buttons, visuals, and screens that exist on mobile applications used for everyday living, like Uber’s ride-sharing app, Amazon’s online shopping app, and Spotify’s music streaming app, as well as on web platforms used by corporations to manage their growth and operations, like Udacity’s online classroom and Google Drive. All the components that appear on the front end of these digital products have been purposefully created and positioned to ensure they deliver the best experience for users. This influential work of shaping meaningful interactions between humans and digital products is what UX designers get to do, day in and day out.
Moreover, the importance of UX design for product, and thus business, success today is tantamount. With people now spending upwards of 11 hours a day on screens, the main experiences that businesses deliver to customers are digital. Businesses that deliver engaging digital experiences are able to captivate their customers so that they end up using their products over and over again. Headspace has made meditation accessible for millions with its mobile app that is simple and approachable for users. Airbnb has grown into a valuation higher than leading hotel companies not only because of its strong business model but also because of its webpage’s persistently visible booking feature. Zocdoc has made a business out of the tedious medical care search and booking process by designing a mobile app that turns this hassle into a simple and friendly experience. These are only a few examples of how UX design has transformed products into experiences that have allowed companies to thrive in the digital age. That’s why there’s no better time than now to equip yourself with the skills companies need to take their digital products to the next level.
The projects in the User Experience Designer Nanodegree program will prepare you to create data-driven designs that address user needs in an effective and engaging way, and will do so using some of the premier tools in the field—Figma, Zeplin, Miro, Whimsical, Unbounce, and Mobbin to name a few.
Students who enroll in the User Experience Designer Nanodegree program will learn the components of design research and perform a research study with a particular set of users. They’ll also apply design sprints to prototype and test a concept before turning it into a high-fidelity interactive design that will be improved using engagement data. Students will apply the core soft skills (empathy, creativity, and collaboration) and hard skills (data analysis, prototyping, and wireframing) of UX design to complete projects for a design problem of their choice. In addition, students will use these projects to create a starter UX portfolio that consists of a case study and personal profile. Specific projects include:
- Project 1: Formulate a Research Report
Develop a research plan around a specific topic of choice, conduct semi-structured interviews with real-world participants, and synthesize findings into a report that highlights the insights and needs of users.
- Project 2: Develop a Validated Low-Fidelity Prototype
Create, test, and iterate prototypes of a defined concept that addresses research-identified user needs using design sprint methodologies and data collected from usability testing.
- Project 3: Create and Improve a High-Fidelity Design
Turn a low-fidelity prototype into a production-ready, high-fidelity design based on interaction principles, design styles, and engagement data.
- Capstone Project: Build a UX Portfolio Case Study
Construct a starter portfolio that markets one’s personal value and UX design capabilities using completed projects from the nanodegree program.
Collaborating with Top UX Professionals
To develop this program’s world-class curriculum, we collaborated with professionals from companies including Google, Salesforce, Facebook, and Apple. Each of these collaborators contributed guidance and feedback to focus the program on the most in-demand skills. Also, each of the instructors in the program has extensive UX design and teaching experience in the field. Below is a list of contributors to the program.
- Shuang Liu, UX Designer at Google
- Gabriel Ruttner, Co-Founder & CTO at Feather Docs
- Michael Dedrick, UX Designer at Google
- Melissa Hui, Founder at Context Leap (previously Director of Customer Experience at Idean)
Forrester Research estimates that well-designed user experience can increase conversions by 400%. The most in-demand UX researchers and designers will be those that are equipped to implement consistent, frictionless, user-centric designs that increase the ROI of digital products.With Udacity’s combination of hands-on project-centric learning, 1-on-1 mentorship, and industry-aligned careers services, there’s no better way to meet the demand than by registering today for the User Experience Designer Nanodegree program.