Entering and operating in the world of UX involves a commitment to lifelong learning. For this reason, it is important for new and aspiring UXers (and even more advanced UXers, at times) to engage with viable, trustworthy, and practical sources of education, especially in this day and time when misinformation and predatory educational practices abound. This is also true of mentoring services. Many people ask for recommendations and others dive in, not understanding the risks associated with engaging in a haphazard manner.
Putting my 27+ years of UX and 30+ years of educational expertise to work for the community-at-large, derived from my experiences, engagements with other UX professionals and educators, and feedback about various programs, this post will focus on recommendations for what I consider to qualify as viable, trustworthy, and practical sources of education. Please note that I will expand and contract this list on a consistent basis.
NOTE: I am not offering any commentary with the recommendations at this time. I am simply providing links and indirectly inviting everyone to peruse the solutions listed and make the decision that’s best for you.
Here goes! :-)
Last updated: June 1, 2023
Degree Programs (Undergrad)
*On campus only
Degree Programs (Grad & Post-Grad)
- The University of Washington’s Master of Science in Human Centered Design & Engineering
- Brandeis University: Master’s in User-Centered Design
- Georgia Tech: HCI Master’s Program
- University of Idaho: Master’s in Psychology, Human Factors Degree
*On campus only
University Certificate Programs
- eCornell (Cornell University): UX Design Certificate Program
- UCLA: User Experience Certificate
- University of Michigan: UX Research and Design Certificate
Online Certificate & Training Programs
- Curiosity Tank UXR Workshops
- Harvard Business School Online: Business Strategy*
- The Influential Researcher*
- The Team W Online Video Certificates & Training
Online Courses & Learning Libraries
- User Experience (UX): The Ultimate Guide to Usability and UX (David Travis)
- Interaction Design Foundation
- Axure 10 Core Skills — Rapid CX and UX Prototyping (Debbie Levitt)
- UX Design Ops: Overview (LinkedIn Learning)
- UX Design Ops: Managing Stakeholders (LinkedIn Learning)
UX Mentoring & Career Solutions & Services
If you’re wondering why you don’t see any bootcamps or things like the Google UX course on this list, it’s due to the lack of pedagogical and andragogical integrity and the detrimental impact these programs are having on the discipline of UX. The programs and resources on this list all take the discipline (and their enrollees) forward and set more realistic and honest expectations for learners.
For those who’ve already completed such courses or programs, it’s always possible to rebound. For those who have been considering them, please remember that the effort it takes to unlearn improper things compounds the educational process. It’s much better, easier, and cheaper to do the more prudent things up front.
Update 1: Courses and programs whose learner feedback tops out at peer review are no longer endorsed. When learners only receive “grading” from their peers, the learning experience is severely jaded and the students are being misled. This approach is, hence, unethical and not recommended.
Update 2: I am currently working on some guidelines for the self-taught path. It’ll take some time to formalize, but I hope to complete it before the EOY 2023.
This is the first rendition of the list. As mentioned, I am not providing commentary regarding the recommendations, but simply listing these as endorsed recommendations. The list will be revisiting and expanded from time-to-time.
I feel each of the resources provide opportunities for those seeking to advance their UX skill and knowledge. No matter your goal, there’s something here to match everyone’s budget. I hope you find the repository helpful in supporting your UX Educational aspirations.
Darren Hood is a 26+ year UX practitioner with a broad professional footprint that spans several types of business. He serves as an adjunct professor at Kent State University (Kent, Ohio), Lawrence Tech University (Southfield, Michigan), and Harrisburg University (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania). He is also one of the authors featured in “97 Things Every UX Practitioner Should Know.”