Course Description

User experience, or UX, has been a buzzword since about 2005. Chances are, you’ve heard of the term, or even have it on your portfolio. But your understanding of what the term “user experience” means might be wrong—or, more accurately, insufficient.

“[User experience] is used by people to say ‘I’m a user experience designer, I design websites’, or ‘I design apps.’ And they have no clue as to what they’re doing, and they think the experience is that simple device, the website, or the app, or who knows what. No! It’s everything—it’s the way you experience the world, it’s the way you experience your life, it’s the way you experience the service. Or, yeah, an app or a computer system. But it’s a system that’s everything.”
Don Norman, pioneer and inventor of the term “user experience”1

Most people fail to see the whole picture of “user experience.” And when you can’t see the forest for the trees, you’re missing a lot of factors that help to create an optimal user experience. That’s why having a comprehensive understanding of the entire umbrella of “user experience” is critical, backed with solid theory—especially since customer intelligence agency Walker predicts that experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by 20202.

Through this course, you will gain a thorough understanding of the various design principles that come together to create a user’s experience of using a product or service. Through this, you’ll learn how to design a product or service properly, one that will avoid any design pitfalls that blight your competitors’ offerings.

What you will learn

  • Areas of study categorized under the umbrella of “user experience”
  • The separately conceived yet converging design principles established over the last four decades
  • Some of the psychology underlying these principles
  • Key concepts within the subject
  • A number of the cognitive processes underlying human-computer interaction
  • The role of visual perception in the viewing experience
  • Examples of good and bad design to help you avoid common mistakes
  • The importance of usability over aesthetics

Who should take this course

This is a beginner-level course suitable for newcomers and experienced practitioners alike:

  • UX designers looking to boost their work experience with evidence-based theoretical knowledge
  • Project managers who want to build user-centered products that stand out from the competition
  • Software engineers interested in understanding important design concepts such as usability and human-computer interaction
  • Entrepreneurs who want to gain a deep understanding of “user experience” in order to ship the best products
  • Marketers looking to gain a holistic view of what constitutes a user’s experience with a product or brand
  • Newcomers to design who are considering making a switch to UX design

Courses in the Interaction Design Foundation are designed to contain comprehensive, evidence-based content, while ensuring that the learning curve is never too steep. All participants will have the opportunity to share ideas, seek help with tests, and enjoy the social aspects afforded by our open and friendly forum.

Learn and work with a global team of designers

When you take part in this course, you will join a global multidisciplinary team working on the course and the exercises at the same time as you. You will work together to improve your skills and understanding. Your course group will be made up of an incredibly diverse group of professionals, all of whom have the same objective—to become successful designers. It’s your chance to learn, grow, and network with your peers across the planet.

1 Don Norman: The term “UX”, YouTube

2 Customers 2020, Walker

Lessons in this course

Note: Lessons become available at a schedule of one lesson per week. Once a lesson becomes available, it is open for you forever — you can take all the time you want to go through each lesson. There is no time limit to finish a course, and you always have access to your classmates, course material, and your answers.

The estimated time to complete this course is a total of 18 hours 12 mins spread over 9 weeks.

Lesson 0: Welcome and Introduction

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 42 mins.

  • 0.1: A Beginner's Guide to User Experience (2 mins)
  • 0.2: An introduction to IDF courses (14 mins)
  • 0.3: Please check your information before continuing (1 min)
  • 0.4: Meet your peers online in our discussion forums (6 mins)
  • 0.5: Meet your peers offline through IDF Local Groups (1 min)
  • 0.6: The Timeless Nature of IDF Courses (11 mins)
  • 0.7: Your path towards earning your Course Certificate (5 mins)
  • 0.8: Mandatory lessons vs. Optional lessons (2 mins)
  • 0.9: A mix between video-based and text-based lesson content (2 mins)

Lesson 1: User Experience: An Introduction and Key Concepts

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 3 hours 51 mins.

  • 1.1: The Subject of User Experience (22 mins)
  • 1.2: What Is Usability? (18 mins)
  • 1.3: What the #$%@ is UX Design? (2 mins)
  • 1.4: Interactive Experience (5 mins)
  • 1.5: The Principle of 'Visibility' (9 mins)
  • 1.6: The Principle of 'Findability' (8 mins)
  • 1.7: The Principle of 'Learnability' (14 mins)
  • 1.8: Following the Information Scent (14 mins)
  • 1.9: Affordances (10 mins)
  • 1.10: Mapping (7 mins)
  • 1.11: Constraints (6 mins)
  • 1.12: Feedback (14 mins)
  • 1.13: Hick's Law (9 mins)
  • 1.14: Fitts's Law (8 mins)
  • 1.15: A Summary of UX Concepts (1 hour 5 mins)
  • 1.16: User Experience - Marc's introduction to User Experience and Experience Design (15 mins)
  • 1.17: Design Principles (5 mins)

Lesson 2: User Interface Design Guidelines

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 2 hours 26 mins.

  • 2.1: Shneiderman’s Eight Golden Rules Will Help You Design Better Interfaces (14 mins)
  • 2.2: User Interface Design Guidelines: 10 Rules of Thumb (15 mins)
  • 2.3: Principle of Consistency and Standards in User Interface Design (14 mins)
  • 2.4: Visibility of System Status (8 mins)
  • 2.5: Match System to Real-World (7 mins)
  • 2.6: User Control and Freedom (7 mins)
  • 2.7: Error Prevention (6 mins)
  • 2.8: Recognition Vs. Recall (6 mins)
  • 2.9: Flexibility and Efficiency of Use (7 mins)
  • 2.10: Aesthetic and Minimalist Design (7 mins)
  • 2.11: Aesthetic and Minimalist Design - More Needed Than Ever (6 mins)
  • 2.12: Offer Informative Feedback (6 mins)
  • 2.13: Help and Documentation (6 mins)
  • 2.14: 'Permit Easy Reversal of Actions' (7 mins)
  • 2.15: Provide Informative Feedback (7 mins)
  • 2.16: Reduce Short-Term Memory Load (6 mins)
  • 2.17: Support Internal Locus of Control (9 mins)
  • 2.18: The Psychological Basis for UI Design Rules (1 min)
  • 2.19: The Ten User Experience Design Principles A La Wordpress (1 min)
  • 2.20: Designing the User Experience (1 min)
  • 2.21: UI Design Failures (5 mins)

Lesson 3: The Gestalt Principles of Perceptual Organisation

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 2 hours 11 mins.

  • 3.1: A Valuable List of Gestalt Principles (5 mins)
  • 3.2: 'Law of Pragnanz' (9 mins)
  • 3.3: Applying the Laws (7 mins)
  • 3.4: 'Law of Similarity' (7 mins)
  • 3.5: 'Law of Proximity' (8 mins)
  • 3.6: Law of Familiarity/Meaningfulness (10 mins)
  • 3.7: 'Law of Common Fate' (2 mins)
  • 3.8: 'New' Grouping Laws (6 mins)
  • 3.9: Gestalt Principles: 'New' Grouping Laws (9 mins)
  • 3.10: The Law Of Element Connectedness (7 mins)
  • 3.11: 'Law of Synchrony' (6 mins)
  • 3.12: 'Law of Common Region' and The Origin of The Gestalt Laws (18 mins)
  • 3.13: Figure/Ground Organisation (9 mins)
  • 3.14: 'Figure/Ground': Gestalt Psychology (8 mins)
  • 3.15: Figure/Ground Organisation: An example of Figure/Ground (6 mins)
  • 3.16: Design Considerations (7 mins)
  • 3.17: Gestalt Principles in Practice (6 mins)

Lesson 4: Visual Perception and Colour Vision

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 2 hours 52 mins.

  • 4.1: Understanding Human Vision (11 mins)
  • 4.2: The Fovea and Design (3 mins)
  • 4.3: Anatomy and Function of the Eye (1 min)
  • 4.4: Colour Vision (10 mins)
  • 4.5: Vision and Design: Using Colour (14 mins)
  • 4.6: Theories of Human Colour Perception (8 mins)
  • 4.7: Colour Blindness (12 mins)
  • 4.8: Photoreceptors fovea (6 mins)
  • 4.9: Object Perception (13 mins)
  • 4.10: Visual Perception: Vision and Design (16 mins)
  • 4.11: Vision and Design: Using Images (9 mins)
  • 4.12: Context and other influences (22 mins)
  • 4.13: Vision and Attention (13 mins)
  • 4.14: Vanishing Head Illusion (5 mins)
  • 4.15: Vision and Design (9 mins)
  • 4.16: Visual Perception: Icon Design (12 mins)
  • 4.17: 25 Excellent Websites Using Bold Vibrant Colours (5 mins)
  • 4.18: Color Vision 1: Color Basics (1 min)
  • 4.19: Visual Design: Positive and Negative Experience (5 mins)

Lesson 5: Usability Considerations

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 3 hours 31 mins.

  • 5.1: Simply Simplify (5 mins)
  • 5.2: Simplicity in Design (7 mins)
  • 5.3: Simplify Task Structure (3 mins)
  • 5.4: Simplify Navigation (8 mins)
  • 5.5: Consistency (9 mins)
  • 5.6: Avoid 'Tech-Speak' and Negative Affect (9 mins)
  • 5.7: Don Norman: The Three Ways That Good Design Makes You Happy (5 mins)
  • 5.8: User Experience - Marc's Advice on Designing with Experience in Mind (26 mins)
  • 5.9: User Experience - Marc's Main Guidelines and Ethical Considerations (22 mins)
  • 5.10: External Cognition (8 mins)
  • 5.11: 'Chunking' (3 mins)
  • 5.12: Drawing Users' Attention (9 mins)
  • 5.13: Banner Blindness (8 mins)
  • 5.14: Serial Position Effect (3 mins)
  • 5.15: Customization Tools (7 mins)
  • 5.16: Shortcuts and Memory (6 mins)
  • 5.17: Retain Goal-Relevant Information (7 mins)
  • 5.18: Security (8 mins)
  • 5.19: Preventing Errors (6 mins)
  • 5.20: Protect the Areas at Most Risk (5 mins)
  • 5.21: Slow Loading Text: Designing Interfaces (10 mins)
  • 5.22: Slow Loading Images: Designing Interfaces (7 mins)
  • 5.23: Important Superficial Decisions (4 mins)
  • 5.24: Context of Use (6 mins)
  • 5.25: Focus On Users (6 mins)
  • 5.26: Usability Considerations (5 mins)
  • 5.27: Using Sound (2 mins)
  • 5.28: Why Does User Experience Matter? (1 min)
  • 5.29: The Value of Experience Design (1 min)
  • 5.30: The UX Design Process (1 min)
  • 5.31: Discussion Exercise (5 mins)

Lesson 6: User Error: Who is to blame?

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 10 mins.

  • 6.1: British Midlands Flight 92 (5 mins)
  • 6.2: Who is to blame? (14 mins)
  • 6.3: The USS Vincennes (11 mins)
  • 6.4: The Air Inter Flight 148 Crash (8 mins)
  • 6.5: The Space Shuttle Columbia (7 mins)
  • 6.6: The Herald of Free Enterprise (2 mins)
  • 6.7: The Three Mile Island Nuclear Disaster (7 mins)
  • 6.8: Air France Flight 447 (9 mins)
  • 6.9: User Errors: What went Wrong? (6 mins)

Lesson 7: Usability Testing and Evaluation

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 0 mins.

  • 7.1: Usability Evaluation (51 mins)
  • 7.2: Recommended reading (1 min)
  • 7.3: The Importance of Usability Testing (6 mins)
  • 7.4: 15 methods for ensuring user acceptance and business success (1 min)
  • 7.5: A-Z Guide to Optimization (1 min)
  • 7.6: The movement toward mobile devices (1 min)

Lesson 8: Inspection Methods: Practice and Application

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 56 mins.

  • 8.1: Heuristic Evaluation: Usability Inspection Methods (11 mins)
  • 8.2: Cognitive Walkthrough: Usability Inspection Methods (10 mins)
  • 8.3: User Experience - Future directions of User Experience and Experience Design (22 mins)
  • 8.4: When to use Which UX Methods (1 min)
  • 8.5: Customer Journey Maps - Walking a Mile in Your Customer’s Shoes (4 mins)
  • 8.6: Quick Start Guide to UX Design (1 min)
  • 8.7: Is it time to Rethink your Website? (1 min)
  • 8.8: Carrying Out a Heuristic Evaluation of a Product (6 mins)

Lesson 9: Usability Testing: Practical Application

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 17 mins.

  • 9.1: Practical Issues: User-Centred Design (8 mins)
  • 9.2: What are the user's needs? (14 mins)
  • 9.3: What are the alternative designs? (10 mins)
  • 9.4: How do I choose an alternative design? (8 mins)
  • 9.5: Integrating UCD and Other Life-Cycle Models (28 mins)
  • 9.6: Usability Testing (1 min)
  • 9.7: Are you a UX Statistic? (1 min)
  • 9.8: A Guide to UX Careers (1 min)
  • 9.9: How to become a User Experience Designer (1 min)
  • 9.10: Discussion Forum (5 mins)

Lesson 10: Course Certificate, Final Networking, and Course Wrap-up

To be scheduled.

  • 10.1: Course Evaluation (1 min)

Industry-trusted UX Course Certificate

You earn an industry-trusted Course Certificate once you complete the course - even if you finish the course after the official end date. In other words, as long as you have enrolled in the course you will always be able to finish it and to get a course certificate. You will also have permanent access to the course material, your answers and the discussions.

Course Certificates from the IDF are verifiable and trusted by industry leaders. You can highlight them on your resume, CV, LinkedIn profile or your website.

Course Certificate

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