Today is a HUGE day for us. On this day, we’ve launched a head-to-toe redesign of our entire platform—our biggest release ever! Today marks the culmination of more than a year of intensive, painstaking work, and we’re so proud and excited to finally be able to share this with you!
Why did we do all this work? Well, since 2002, the Interaction Design Foundation has been on a tireless journey to increase the quality of online design education while decreasing its costs. Over the years, more than 80,000 students have joined us on this journey, making us the world’s largest online design school today. For us, this is much more than a privilege. This is also a great responsibility, and one we take incredibly seriously.
To better serve the members who helped us achieve this distinction, and to help us cater to the needs of even more students in the future, we recently redesigned and revamped our learning platform from the ground up.
What’s more, we’re looking to hire passionate new teammates to help us scale up even more! Read on to discover how we’ve transformed our platform and how you can join our team to pioneer the future of design education!
What’s new at the Interaction Design Foundation?
Here’s a quick look at some of what our team has been working on behind the scenes to help you learn more easily and enjoyably!
A better course-taking experience
In your courses, you’ll notice that we’ve improved the last lesson in every course, so you’ll now have additional guidance on how you can continue and maximize your learning. Within lessons, you’ll find improved animations, enhanced copy and little touches that will encourage you to continue your lessons and score higher points.
You’ll also find it much easier to identify which courses can help you build case studies for your UX Portfolio thanks to a new lesson type we’ve added, called “Build Your Portfolio” lessons.
We’ve completely revamped our video player, which now offers a much better user experience and leverages a much better technical infrastructure for compression. Thanks to our updated CDN (content delivery network) and with the compression improvements, you can achieve a smooth video experience even on slow networks and mobiles.
Going through a text-based lesson? We’ve introduced more harmonic line height, line length and paragraph spacing for better readability.
On-demand Master Class webinars with design experts
Since mid-2019, we’ve offered live Master Class webinars with design experts and leaders on many valuable topics. Now, you can also access our webinars on-demand! Our Master Class webinars are open to members and non-members alike, but our members enjoy a special price of just $5 per webinar (instead of $50). Throughout the year, you’ll have many more live and on-demand webinars to choose from, and you can check them all out at https://www.interaction-design.org/master-classes
An exciting new editorial and video-production process
We’ve completely rewritten our playbook for creating educational content, both for our courses as well as for our ever-expanding library of free-to-access resources. Our editorial team members live and breathe design, and they seize every opportunity to document examples of good and bad design in the real world through short video documentaries we call Design Stories.
Here, you can see an example of one of our Design Stories, where we filmed the passenger experience at various airports to show you the real-world consequences of design decisions:
Another popular segment of our videos are interviews with design leaders from industry and academia. We’ve now given these videos a more engaging spin, sometimes by bringing instructors’ examples to life from scratch. Here’s an example of how we built a mobile phone out of cardboard to illustrate a fascinating fact explained by Professor Alan Dix:
Across the board, we’re incorporating lots more animations, real-world footage and on-screen text to enhance your learning experience. We’re also working to steadily change more and more text-based content into engaging and immersive videos.
Behind-the-scenes technical improvements
Our redesigned platform is packed with “invisible” improvements that are the result of more than a year of hard work. You probably won’t notice these at first glance, but if you find that your overall experience on the platform is smoother, the credit goes to the many little technical improvements ticking away in the background.
On the back-end, we’ve worked tirelessly to optimize our database queries, introduced new caching strategies (both on the database level and framework level), and use many of the newest features from PHP 7.4.5. We’ve also successfully reduced our KPIs for the Cyclomatic Complexity of our codebase—this means we’re able to ship new features faster, run better automatized tests (which results in fewer bugs) and we’ve also made it much easier to maintain our codebase going forward.
To enable us to help thousands of new students, we’ve invested in additional high-spec database servers, improved firewalls and added unprecedented protection to our databases for even more enhanced security.
More courses around the corner
We’re very close to releasing 4 exciting new courses—2 of which are top-secret and bound to raise some eyebrows in the world of design!
We’re also in the process of bringing you even more exclusive discounts from our Product Partners, so the savings you’ll earn from a membership are only set to increase!
Exciting job opportunities in our team
If you have the kind of passion and skills it takes to shape the future of design education, we’d love to meet you! We’re on the lookout for designers, writers, educators and editors to join our team and help us achieve our vision. We have positions open for:
Working with us guarantees a fully remote, independent lifestyle, limitless opportunities for learning and growth, and the chance to thrive in a results-oriented and rewarding culture. If you believe strongly in your abilities and in the future of design education, reach out to us today!
Looking to the future
We’re extremely grateful to our students, partners and the larger UX community for helping us become the largest online design school worldwide. Our goal has always been to help aspiring designers access high-quality education no matter where they are in the world, without breaking the bank.
As we look to the future, our goal has evolved ever so slightly. Setting design education free from geographic and financial limitations is still our driving force—but our mission is now to become the world’s best and most recognized design school in existence. We hope you’ll join us on this journey and witness a democratic and limitless transformation in design education.