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User Experience (UX): The Ultimate Guide to Usability and UX

Get a job in UX and build your user research and UX design skills with this hands-on user experience training course.
Instructor:
David Travis
20,446 students enrolled
English More
Bake UX into your workflow by following a proven, user centred design framework.
Plan field visits and user interviews to uncover user needs.
Moderate a usability test and prioritise the observations.
Create personas, user stories, red routes and user journey maps.
Uncover and describe users’ mental models.
Choose appropriate schemes for classifying and organising information.
Design and conduct online and offline card sorting sessions.
Select appropriate user interface design patterns.
Develop cheap, throwaway prototypes to get quick and frequent feedback from your users.
Create user interface designs that exploit universal principles of visual design.
Design usability tests to measure time on task, success rate and user satisfaction.
Evaluate the usability of systems by applying usability heuristics.
Prepare for the BCS Foundation Certificate in User Experience.

2020 Edition.

You’ve just landed on Udemy’s highest rated course on user experience (UX). Thousands of user researchers and designers have used this course to kick-start their career in UX. You can do it, too.

Gain hands-on practice in all the key areas of UX — from interviewing your users through to prototyping and usability testing your designs.

Build a UX portfolio to boost your job prospects as you complete five real-world sample projects.

Gain industry-recognised certification by preparing for the BCS Foundation Certificate in User Experience.

UX Mastery reviewed dozens of online courses in UX, but they gave just one course 10/10: this one.

Build Your UX Portfolio As You Work Through 5 User Research and Design Projects.

The sample projects in the course include:

  • Find my pet: a product that allows people to track down wayward pets who have got lost.

  • Tomorrow’s shopping cart: a device that lets customers find any product in a supermarket.

  • Gift Giver, a gift recommendation system based on an extremely accurate product recommendation technology.

  • The Citizen Journalist: a system that will allow ordinary people to film events, take photographs, write a story and create a crowdsourced, online newspaper.

  • The Digital Postcard, an app that will allow users to create and send their own postcard, either by using a photograph they have taken on their phone, or by selecting a professionally taken image of a local beauty spot.


A career in User Experience is one of the most rewarding and challenging jobs in the technology sector. This online training course will give you the background you need to get started.

Prepare for the BCS Foundation Certificate in User Experience.

This course covers the comprehensive syllabus for the BCS Foundation Certificate in User Experience and contains 90 multiple-choice quiz questions to test your knowledge and prepare for the exam. You can take the exam (at extra cost) anywhere in the world at a Pearson Vue exam centre.

Free bonus offer!

  • Free bonus #1: A 81-page student workbook packed with design exercises, tutorials on UX methods, templates to record user research observations, stencils for UI prototypes, a detailed reading list and a glossary of terms..

  • Free bonus #2: A 417-page, high quality PDF that contains every slide shown on the course. Print this out, load it on your mobile device or keep it handy on your computer: it’s your choice.

  • Free bonus #3: A written transcript of every lecture. Comprising 231 pages and 89,236 words, this document is useful if English isn’t your native language or if you just want a readable and searchable version of the course.

  • Free bonus #4: 90 multiple-choice quiz questions to test your knowledge as you progress through the course.

  • Free bonus #5: Access to our thriving Facebook group where you can network with fellow students, ask questions and submit assignments for peer review.

Download everything. If you have a slow internet connection, or want to take this course with you on your laptop, smartphone or other portable device, sign up and download all the videos and other course materials now.

When does it start?

Today! This is a self-paced course, so you can start anytime and view the lectures anywhere. Sign up now and you could be watching the first video in under 5 minutes.

How long will it take?

With over 140 lectures and 9 hours of content, this is the most in-depth course on UX you’ll find on Udemy. If you allocate 60-90 mins a day, and do all of the activities, it will take 2-3 weeks to complete. And if you want to spread the course out over a longer period, that’s fine too.

Is it for me?

This course is for you if you want to get hands-on practice in all the stages of user experience. Perhaps you’re starting out in the field of user experience. Or maybe you want to transition from your current job role to a career in UX. Whatever your background, you’ll apply your skills to a real world project that will become the first entry in your UX portfolio.

What if I get stuck?

As you move through each of the steps in the design process, you’ll be able to test your knowledge and compare your work with other students so you can see what “good” looks like. I review the course forum every day and I answer all student questions within 24 hours. So if you struggle with any of the material, just ask a question and I’ll help you out.

Can’t I learn this stuff from a book?

It’s certainly possible to build your user experience expertise by reading books and blog posts, but that can be a slow process and it makes it hard to see the big picture. With this workshop, it’s you and me together working for a client, and I’m giving you the same tips, the same advice, and sharing the same techniques I’ve learned over the years on hundreds of design projects.

What if I don’t like it?

Over 17,000 people have taken this online course and over 90% of students give it 4 or 5 stars, so I’m confident that you’ll love this course. Just in case, I offer a 30-day, no questions asked, money-back guarantee. So sign up today, it’s risk free!

Kick start your career in user experience with this 12-hour, online, video training course.

Setting the Scene

1
Welcome

Let's get to know each other.

2
Course Objectives

Let me tell you about the objectives of the training and what it is that we’re going to be covering.

3
Student Workbook and Download Pack

This pack contains:

  • An 81-page student workbook packed with design exercises, tutorials on UX methods, templates to record user research observations and stencils for UI prototypes.

  • A written transcript of every lecture. Comprising 231 pages and 89,236 words, this document is useful if English isn’t your native language, if you are hard of hearing or if you just want a readable and searchable version of the course.

  • A 417 page slide deck containing every slide I show on the course.

4
Resources

Here are two resources for the course that you need to know about.

5
The business benefits of user experience
Before we do a deep dive into user experience, let's cover the reasons why user experience matters so much at the moment.
6
What is Usability? Product evaluation activity

This is a fun design activity to get us started.

7
Can openers - Demonstration

This video demonstrates the products that I want you to evalaute.

8
Can openers - User Research

Let's look at some user research for these products.

9
Can openers - Debrief

This activity teaches us that it’s not about the product. It’s about the experience of using the product.

10
The 6 Rules of Usability

In this lecture, we review 6 key principles of user experience.

11
ISO 9241 - A standard for usability

Did you know that there was an international standard of usability and user experience? Well, you do now.

12
The Course Roadmap

Here is what we'll be covering in the course in 5 minutes.

13
Guiding Principles
14
Don't skip this lecture

Online training is difficult. It’s not like being in a class where you just turn up. You’ve taken a big step in getting this far. I want you to finish the course, so here are three ways you can continue your good work.

Going where the action is: Understanding users in context

1
Introduction to Section 2
2
How usability depends on the “context of use”
This lecture explains why context is so crucial to designing a good user experience. We also review why, if you're a member of a design team, you are not representative of the target audience. 
3
What is a browser?

If we asked 50 people this question: “What is a browser?”, how many people do you think would give us a correct answer? Does this video challenge your views of how "ordinary" people think about technology?

Copyright belongs to Ji Lee who uploaded it to YouTube. The original file is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4MwTvtyrUQ

4
What do users want?
The first rule of finding out what people want is: Don’t ask people what they want.
5
An introduction to contextual inquiry

There are many ways of getting an understanding of your users' context. Here we cover one of the more useful techniques: contextual inquiry. This technique lets you penetrate deep into the world of your users and discover what it is that they actually want to do with your system.

6
The Remote Control - Activity

Imagine you work for a company developing a new user interface for a home entertainment system.

You’re going to visit a customer to see how the existing system is used.

After you’ve watched the video, list 5 things you learnt from observing the user in context.

7
The Remote Control - Debrief

Here are my observations.

8
Practical field visits, step 1 - Users

Great field researchers demonstrate 5 key behaviours. Let's review each of those behaviours in turn.

Further reading

9
Practical field visits, step 2 - Focus
The second habit I see in great user researchers is they agree the focus of the field visit long before they leave the office.
10
Practical field visits, step 3 - Recording
The next habit I see in great user researchers is that they record the sessions.
11
Practical field visits, step 4 - Notetaking
The next habit I see in great user researchers is that they take great notes.
12
Practical field visits, step 5 - Affinity Diagramming and User Story Mapping
One final habit I see in great user researchers is that they know how to analyse the data.
13
Presenting results as empathy maps and storyboards

The user journey map is just one way you can present your results. Let’s quickly look at some other methods.

14
Guerrilla techniques for user research

There are some situations where contextual inquiry might be problematic, so here I talk about some other methods. These aren’t replacements for contextual inquiry, but if you can’t do anything, you can at least do these.

15
Three myths about field visits

Three myths about this kind of user research that you might hear.

16
User research

How to get niche quick

1
Introduction to Section 3
2
Why the average user doesn't exist
Real users aren’t elastic. They’ve got specific requirements based on their goals, capabilities and contexts.
3
Introduction to Personas

Does your web site suffer from 'elastic user' syndrome, where you give equal value to every possible user doing every possible task? In this lecture, I explain why “Something for Everybody” means “Everything for Nobody”.

4
Walkthrough of a persona case study
Let's look at a case study where we are designing a mobile app aimed at walkers (hikers). How would we go about developing personas for this application? 
5
Walkthrough of a persona case, continued

Let's review how we might analyse the data from this field visit.

6
The benefits of personas

There are four main benefits of personas:

  1. Personas make assumptions about users explicit.
  2. Personas place the emphasis on specific users rather than “everyone”.
  3. In limiting our choices, personas help us make better design decisions.
  4. Personas help the design and development team gain a shared understanding of users.
7
The pitfalls of personas
I wanted to turn now to look at some of the pitfalls to avoid when we’re developing personas.
8
Publicising your personas

Let's look at some ways that I’ve seen personas publicised within organisations, so that you can decide which approach would work well for you and your organisation.

9
The 7-step persona checklist

Here’s a checklist you can use to decide whether or not your persona cuts the mustard. I’ve used the acronym PERSONA to remind you about the things that you should look out for.

10
Illustrating the context of use

UX Design Activities - Build your UX Portfolio

1
Introduction to the Design Activities
Practice your user research and design skills by completing five real-world sample projects. As you work through each project, you’ll master the full range of research and design activities that user experience professionals carry out day-to-day.
2
Find My Pet
Find my pet: a product that allows people to track down wayward pets who have got lost.
3
Citizen Journalist
The Citizen Journalist: a system that will allow ordinary people to film events, take photographs, write a story and create a crowdsourced, online newspaper.
4
Digital Postcard
The Digital Postcard, an app that will allow users to create and send their own postcard, either by using a photograph they have taken on their phone, or by selecting a professionally taken image of a local beauty spot.
5
Gift Giver

Gift Giver, a gift recommendation system based on an extremely accurate product recommendation technology.

6
Tomorrow's Shopping Cart
Tomorrow’s shopping cart: a device that lets customers find any product in a supermarket.
7
Design activity research briefing

Speak with a minimum of 5 users to find out:

  • Is there a need for this system?
  • If not, how can you change it so that it meets a need?
  • Who are are the main user groups?
  • What day-to-day activities do they engage in that’s related to the product?
  • What is the workflow (the sequence of activities)?

Make sure you actually observe people, don’t just interview them.

Don’t overthink this activity. Just get out and speak to some users!

8
Persona Groups Briefing
What different groups of users did you identify? Use the template in your workbook to identify the groups.
9
Persona Creation Briefing

To do this activity, you'll need a sheet of flip chart paper, some Sharpies and a pack of sticky notes. You will create a persona for ONE of your user groups that will include:

  • A sketch: Show the persona’s context, with a quotation stating the main user need.
  • Facts: Descriptive demographic information about your persona.
  • Behaviours: How is the persona solving their problem now?
  • Needs and goals: What does your persona want to accomplish?
10
Student work examples - Personas

Compare your work with what other students have done on these same projects.

What can a London bus teach us about usability?

1
Introduction to Section 5
2
Red Routes, or why featuritis doesn't work

A common design mistake is to assume the design should always be made as flexible as possible. Flexibility has costs in terms of decreased efficiency, added complexity, increased time, and money for development. A focus on users tasks can help us enormously.

3
The What and Why of Red Routes
Thinking in terms of the user’s need helps us design much better user interfaces because they prevent us from becoming too implementation focused in our thinking.
4
The Flexibility - Usability Trade off
Flexible designs are, by definition, more complex that inflexible designs. And as a result they are generally more difficult to use. So, for example, a Swiss army knife has many tools that increase its flexibility, but these tools are less usable and less efficient than a specialised device that just has the individual tool.
5
Prioritising red routes

So how do you go about identifying red routes? One approach is to identify the frequent and critical tasks.

6
Red Routes — Quick Activity

In 5 minutes, brainstorm 5 red routes for ONE of the following:

  • An application that lets you back up your computer over the Internet
  • A presentation app (like PowerPoint) that runs on a mobile phone
  • An application to help you calculate your taxes
  • An application that lets you read online magazines on a tablet device, like an iPad
7
Student work examples - Red Routes
Compare your work with what other students have done on these same projects.
8
How to build bulletproof user stories for agile
People approach red routes differently based on the context of use. So we need to embed some of the user's context into the red route. We do this by creating user stories.
9
Testing a user story

How do you test a user story to see if it’s any good? Here are four questions you can ask of your user story.

10
Student work examples - User Stories
Compare your work with what other students have done on these same projects.
11
Red routes and user stories

Beyond “easy to use”: Measuring the user experience

1
Introduction to Section 6
2
Introduction to Lean UX

How does your company measure the success of its products and services? Are product teams judged on how easy their products are to use or on how fast the products are completed? You might not think that user experience can be measured, but it can. Here's how.

3
Problem and Solution Hypothesis Testing

I want to distinguish between two kinds of hypothesis. The first is the “problem hypothesis”. It’s our assumption about the user need. We need to check this.

The second is the “solution hypothesis”. This is our design that we think meets the user need. We need to check this too. Let’s begin with the problem hypothesis.

4
Defining and measuring usability

Usability: The extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use.

5
Measuring Effectiveness

The ISO definition of usability gives us three measures that we can use to assess the usability of our web site. In this lecture we show how to unpack the definition of usability and apply it to usability measurement.

6
Measuring Efficiency

Our second component of usability is efficiency. Let’s look at how we can measure efficiency.

7
Measuring Satisfaction
The third component of usability is satisfaction. How do you measure user satisfaction?
8
The Usability Dashboard
Let me show you a real example from a project that I worked on where we can put our usability measures together and create a dashboard that we can use to measure progress
9
Measuring usability

Site structure and navigation: Finding is the new doing

1
Introduction to Section 7
2
Introduction - The Elements of User Experience
Let me introduce you to a diagram that’s been very influential in the field of user experience. It was created by Jesse James Garrett.
3
Introduction to information architecture
In this lecture, we introduce the topic of Information Architecture (IA) and show that it is about SMOLF-ing information: structuring, managing, organising, labeling and finding information.
4
LATCH - The 5 Hat Racks for organising information
Richard Saul Wurman wrote a book called “Information Anxiety”. In it, he introduced the idea of the 5 hatracks: the 5 ways that you can organise any kind of information: location, alphabet, time, category or hierarchy. Let's look at how to use each of these organisational schemes.
5
LATCH - Case Study using BBC iPlayer
BBC iPlayer serves as an interesting case study because they use of all these organisational schemes in their interface.
6
Introduction to card sorting

The hardest kind of information to organise is category information as you don’t know the categories that people use. In this case, card sorting is the technique to use. In this lecture, we describe how to run a card sort.

7
Demonstration of an online card sort

This lecture shows a screencast of an online card sort in progress, so you can see how it works. You can take part in the study via this link: https://demo.optimalworkshop.com/optimalsort/webusability

8
Card sorting data analysis

How do you analyse the data from a card sort?

9
Card sorting analysis example

You analyse card sort data with agglomerative monothetic clustering. It sounds complicated, but conceptually it's quite straightforward. In this lecture, we describe this analysis method. You can play with the analysis tool here: https://demo.optimalworkshop.com/optimalsort/shared-results/webusability

10
Semantic matches and faceted navigation
Faceted navigation is a way to improve the findability of information in many systems, particularly those with large collections of products or documents.
11
Trigger words
Trigger words are the words and phrases that make people click on links. Information architecture is also about labelling: the labels that we use for things in our interface.
12
Information Architecture

Interaction design: Simple rules for designing simple screens

1
Introduction to Section 8
2
Mental models, conceptual models, affordances and signifiers
If you understand your users’ mental models, you'll find it much easier to organise and structure information in a way that makes sense to them. But what do we mean by "mental models" and how can using metaphors in our design help and hinder?
3
Some examples of mental models
Let me interview you so I can uncover your mental model of the way an ATM machine works.
4
Skeuomorphic versus Flat design
With iOS7 and beyond, Apple responded to the criticism of skeuomorphic design by redesigning the interface using a more flat aesthetic. The argument is that digital constructs have, in many cases, become more culturally relevant than analog ones, so people may actually learn them more quickly.
5
User interface design patterns and consistency

You’d know a spreadsheet anywhere — formula bar at the top, grid below — no matter what company made it. Or an e-mail program, a word processor or a Web browser. I’m going to call these things “idioms” or if you prefer “design patterns”.

6
Progressive disclosure

Progressive disclosure is a fundamental principle of interaction design that allows you to simplify your user interface. It exploits a basic law of psychology known as Hick’s Law, but I like to think of it as a reverse strip tease. Here's why.

7
Choosing the correct user interface control

Basic user interface controls like radio buttons, checkboxes, scrollbars etc — are the building blocks of a design's "language". Here's how to use these controls correctly.

8
Checkboxes, radio buttons and Fitts' Law

One of the problems with small controls is that they fall foul of Fitts’ Law. According to Fitts’ law (named after the psychologist Paul M Fitts), the time required to rapidly move to a target is a function of the distance to and the size of the target.

9
The Drop Down Menu - The UI control of last resort?

Why is Afghanistan always top in a country drop down menu?

10
Expectations about web page layout

People have certain expectations about where objects will be in an interface. Let's look at web pages as an example.

You can view and review the lecture materials indefinitely, like an on-demand channel.
Definitely! If you have an internet connection, courses on Udemy are available on any device at any time. If you don't have an internet connection, some instructors also let their students download course lectures. That's up to the instructor though, so make sure you get on their good side!
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