Udacity UX Designer Nanodegree Review

Udacity UX Designer nanodegree review

The fast-paced world of business competition needs problem solvers who can think critically, and fast. As old technologies usher in new ones, there is need to make everything come together in unison, and this creates the demand for innovative and creative designers. At the fore-front of designer professionals is the UX Designer. Utilizing their unique ability to bridge gaps between innovations, these professionals are able to address the challenges in workflow to ensure that everything works out like a properly-oiled machine. The demand for UX Designers is on the rise, resulting in consistent rise in opportunities for qualified professionals. As a qualified UX Designer, you will work alongside top tech companies in order to help them perfect their platforms by creating a connection between users and software. If this sounds like something you want to become, then you will need essential skills. This is where Udacity UX Designer Nanodegree program comes in.

Why should you become a UX Designer?

Every day, business leaders realize the importance of product design and enhanced user experience. UX is no longer a non-essential business terminology. Rather, it is an important piece of a product’s success. With tons of useful applications and products on the market, businesses can no longer afford poor user experience or uninspiring design. Consumers are looking for greater experiences, and it is the job of UX designers to help design products that meet consumer user expectations. A well-designed user experience is not only great for the consumer, but also for business. According to Forrester Research, a well-designed user experience can increase a product’s conversion by up to 400%. This is why more and more organizations are looking for qualified UX Designers.

Here are five reasons why you should consider becoming a UX Designer.

Job growth

According to a CNN 2015 survey, the job growth for UX Designers was expected to grow by 18% per annum for the next 10 years. This projection does not come as a surprise given the ever-changing demand and growth of technology. This is great news for practicing UX Designers as well as those seeking to join the profession. The demand for UX Designers is on the rise, and this trend can only be expected to continue.

Drive for design-focused organizations

Now more than ever, organizations are focusing on design because this is great for business. According to a 2014 survey by Design Management Institute, design plays an important role in the business’ bottom line. And as more and more organizations empathize the importance of design-centered products and services, the field of UX is bound to continue expanding and evolving.

Multi-disciplinary skills

One of the best news for professionals hoping to get into UX is that they most likely already possess some helpful skills. The user experience field borrows from a range of disciplines. Do you already have some coding skills? How about psychology, graphic design, or library sciences? The over-lapping skill-sets are endless and bound to work in your favor.

High paying opportunities

In 2015, the starting salary of a UX Designer in the US was $63,000 while professionals with 5+ years of experience can earn up to $90,000. This is definitely a handsome incentive. Like other tech fields, the UX field rewards experience with higher salaries as you advance in your career.

Readily available learning resources

There is no doubt that a career in UX is rewarding. And the good news is that there are plenty of learning resources at your disposal to jump-start your career as a UX Designer. There are plenty of online UX Design courses that you can sign up with to start your learning in this field. One such course is the Udacity UX Designer Nanodegree program.

Why Udacity Nanodegrees are popular

Udacity (read review) is known for its hands-on courses that are created in collaboration with top tier organizations. Learners take advantage of these partnerships during the learning process as well as after graduation to land their dream jobs. These corporations also help develop some of Udacity’s courses by integrating real-world work challenges into the learning process. Alongside the comprehensive curriculum, there are a number of extras offered by Udacity that make it one of the best online learning platforms. Here are some of these extras:

Real-world projects

Udacity courses are broken down into modules for easy learning. Additionally, each module comes with a project that gives learners a chance to practice what they have learned. Most of these projects are created in collaboration with big organization’s and are meant to give the learner an idea of what they are likely to face in the actual work environment. Most important, you will have a killer portfolio that you can add to your resume and showcase to potential employers during the recruiting process.

A mentorship program

At Udacity, learners do not have to walk alone while learning at Udacity. Each learner is assigned a mentor who will keep you on track, cheer you on, and offer a lending hand when you run into difficulties while pursuing your online course.

A career service

While learning with Udacity, you will be working on a portfolio that you can showcase to potential employers. Career services, on the other hand, will help you get your resume reviewed, updated and added to a database where potential recruiters will be able to notice you. Additionally, Udacity’s career services offer interview prep to help candidates practice and familiarize with the actual interview process. Finally, career services professionals will help you create an appealing LinkedIn profile that will give you leverage with potential recruiters.

Flexible learning schedule

Udacity guarantees that you have the liberty to set your own learning schedule and pace. This is important if you have a tight work or family schedule. However, it is important to note that stretching the learning beyond the recommended time can drive up the cost of the course. It is therefore advisable that you try to complete the course within the recommended time frame.

Udacity UX Designer Review: Is this Nanodegree worth your time and money?

By now, you probably appreciate why more and more people are interested in learning UX Design. This creative, channeling, and extremely lucrative field is receiving a lot of attention as businesses link good user experience to their survival. Udacity introduced UX Designer Nanodegree program back in 2019 with the promise of helping professionals become “UX Designers in 3 months.” So, if this online UX Designer course worth your time and hard-earner money?

Udacity User Experience Nanodegree program is a design-focused course that examines how user interfaces are built, and the role of a UX Designer in the creation of these interfaces. This online course is aimed at professionals who want to gain fluency and sound understanding of the digital product design. The course enables learners to build portfolio that portrays their ability to research, design, and prototype effective and visually-appealing applications and websites.

Generally speaking, this UX Designer Nanodegree is an introductory course that covers topics like user research design psychology, and equips learners with skills necessary to create user interface layouts based on low-fidelity prototypes before shifting towards high-fidelity designs.

The Nanodegree course is divided into four important modules, with each module coming with related hands-on projects that learners need to complete to successfully graduate with a UX Nanodegree.

Course Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites or prior expertise for this this UX Designer Nanodegree program. Learners are only expected to be familiar with the Internet and the use of third-party online programs like Google Suite. That said, if there is any piece of the course you find confusing, consider brushing up your skills with Udacity’s free courses.

Course Instructors

Before getting into the course details, let’s look at who you will be learning with. This course’s facilitators have experience with top companies and many of them have gone ahead to create their own companies that put user experience into action. Here are the instructors you will meet in this course:

Shuang Liu

From YouTube to Google, Liu has worked on enhancing content usability for top brands. Apart from the expertise and experience she is bring to this online course, Liu is also working on enhancing human and computer interactions, bringing a unique perspective to the course.

Gabriel Ruttner

Gabriel loves startups creating products, designing UX, and engineering machine-learning processes. From building to execution, Gabriel is dabbled in a pretty much everything, from co-creating to co-founding Feather Docs.

Michael Dedrick

Michael is a former lead designer for Blockchain. He has also worked with IBM and Apple. His unique ideas have created interest in clients as he helps them actualize digital dreams through a series of connections and integrations.

Melissa Hui

Melissa has been in the UX field for over a decade. Her approach has earned her attention from top tech gurus and her experience inspired her to create Context Leap.

Course Format

Right after a short introduction to the Udacity Nanodegree and career services, learners quickly move on to the first UX Fundamentals and Design Research module. Here, you will watch a series of video-based tutorials before getting down to your first project. This project requires you to put into action the materials covered in this tutorial. You will be provided with instructions and assistance to complete this project. A personalized feedback is provided at the end of the project.

Upon completing the introductory project, you will move on to the next module. All in all, this UX Designer Nanodegree is divided into five sections which you should complete in the following order:

Welcome to the UX Designer Nanodegree program

This section contains a short series of tutorials that explain how the Nanodegree works, the available support services that learner can utilize, and where you can get help when you need it.

UX Fundamentals and Design Research Project: UX Research

This second module serves as an introduction to design psychology and user interface principles. It is designed to prepare learners on how to perform user research through in-depth interviews and quantitative surveys. You will also learn how to use research data to uncover opportunities.

To complete the first of the five course projects, you will need to select from a either a predefined problem created by Udacity or choose your own. You will then be required to recruit research participants and process your findings into a report in order to create a series of initial sketches with your end-users in mind.

Concept to Low-Fidelity Prototyping Project: Low-Fidelity Rapid Prototyping Sprint.

After successful completion of the fundamentals of design research in previous levels, learners will learn the process of a design sprint, and how they can translate their research findings into a prototype that users can test. Right from the first project, you will be required to create a low-fidelity prototype, conduct usability test to validate design assumptions, and then create a second iteration of your prototype based on the feedback from users.

High-fidelity prototyping to test Post-launch analysis

In this module, you will learn how to build interactive designs, integrate feedback from the engineering team to enhance the application’s design, and conduct remote usability tests and other experimentation methods. As far as the module project goes, you will learn how to create and improve a high-fidelity design. Here, you will have to source visual design inspiration in order to create a style guide and component library for your application. Finally, you will be required to create a clickable mockup. Your design will be assessed based on its accessibility and iterated based on engagement data as well as key performance indicators.

Capstone Projects: UX Portfolio Case study

This Nanodegree programs winds up with tutorials on how you can showcase your designs and processes in a portfolio, in terms of organizing previous work and communicating it online. Rather than building your own UX portfolio, you will be required to reflect and document the process you went through to complete your previous three projects, organize your course notes and assets, and develop and “About me” page.

Finally, there is an optional project titled, “Take 30 Minutes to Improve Your LinkedIn.” You can use this project to improve your profile and boost your chances of scoring UX Design role.

Course duration

Udacity estimates that you can complete this course within 3 months if you dedicated 10 hours per week to learning. This is quite easy to accomplish even if you are in a full-time career. You will have all the time you need as this is a self-paced learning.

Read: Online Learning: How To Get The Most Out Of An Online Course

How much does the course cost?

Udacity has two payment options for its programs. You can opt for per month payment at $399 per month or a lump sum payment of $1,077. Whichever option you settle for, Udacity is currently giving 50% discount on all its courses, including this UX Designer Nanodegree program. In addition, they are also offering financial assistance for learners who are interested in their courses.

Udacity UX Designer Nanodegree Review: Final thoughts

Now that you have learned more about Udacity and their UX Designer Nanodegree, you should have everything you need to make an informed decision. At the completion of this course, you will receive a highly regarded certificate that you can present to your employers during the job interview. If a career as a UX Designer is in your radar, then you can sign up for this course today and start your learning journey.

What should you do now?

  1. Sign up for Udacity UX Designer Nanodegree program
  2. Become a UX Designer qualified in 3 months
  3. Receive career advice from Udacity career services professionals
  4. Submit your resume for review and ask for a mock interview
  5. Submit your resume to Udacity Talent Program

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