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My User Experience Design course at the University of Cambridge

I've been involved in so many conversations with experts and non-experts about UX Research and UX Design, discussing methods, case studies, and their differences. These conversations left me with curiosity, passion, and willingness to bring my little knowledge available to the community. After years of research in academia and consultancy work for different companies I got inspired to create the first User Experience Design course available at the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education.

Designing the user experience is part of the goals a designer should target during the daily routine. Crafting experiences that help people to answer their needs and desires is part of designing the User Experience and affects almost any job and any business.

User Experience Design is often misused with User Experience Research (UXR), User Interface design (UI), Interaction Design (IxD) or just simply usability. However, while UXR deals with the basis of understanding what people challenges and needs are, UI, ID and usability are subgroups of what UX Design is.

UX Design covers a wide range of processes and methods that allow designers to frame solutions, test, prototype and integrate them within the scope of offering meaningful responses to people’s needs and challenges. The UX Design process includes aspects of usability (function), aesthetics (form), feasibility (fit), branding, marketing and are all part of the user journey: a story that describes how a problem can be addressed through an inclusive, bespoke solution.

Understanding the process, and the methods to stimulate empathy, creativity, aesthetics and functionality are at the basis of developing the skill-set of a UX Designer.

Back in January 2022 I started the first online course available remotely and accessible for people across the world about User Experience Design.

People who participated had an opportunity to learn more about UX Design, the methods, and case studies, while connecting with like-minded individuals, and get inspired for their future career.

As a new entry, I developed the UX Design course from scratch, tailoring it to the needs of an international audience, with different culture, language, age, gender, experience and most importantly with different needs.

In the first online course - which lasted five weeks - 21 international students subscribed and participated to the weekly online classes.

21 students for the first ever UX Design course at ICE?
That is a blast! How many!

Many were business leaders trying to learn more about UX Research and influencing their teams with a more inclusive approach, others were students trying to do a career change and move into UX Design.

The exceptional value of this class was brought by the diversity of people who participated, the ideas and experiences that were shared during the classes, activities, and online forum.

But now that the first course is ended and the second is rapidly approaching – make sure you register to get inspired and learn more about UX Design – I’d like to share with you some feedback from the previous attendants.

Let's look at the data.

Out of 21 participants, a robust 90% strongly agreed on the quality of the instructional materials, including sessions, links, books, videos, stud guides, etc. This is also thanks to the exceptional technical support from the people at the Institute for Continuing Education.

Another 80% of them strongly agreed (and 10% agreed with only a SD =0.64) on the skills of the instructor to helping people to learn and to become passionate about UX Design.

Finally, 9 out of 10 people agreed on the exceptional level of teaching, meeting the expectations that were created before joining the course.

These are some of the results that leave a lot of room for improvement for the the next courses (we need to achieve 100%!), but also offered me and the team at the University of Cambridge great feedback about the relevance of UX Design today and the quality of teaching.

Several students pointed out that this course was very well suited to their needs, and that they would like me to develop a second class with more insights, more exercises and additional content to spark their curiosity towards Inclusive Design. On the other hand I'm always very keen on taking into consideration of all the feedback, positive and negative, wo there will be updates for the next courses.

I’m honored I had such an amazing pool of passionate designers, managers and creative people joining this journey in this first course. I’m looking forward to discovering who will come on board to the second edition of the UX Design course from April to May 2022.

If you’re a passionate designer and you want to discover more about UX Research methods, UX Design case studies, the theories behind, engage with like-minded people, get inspired to think out of the box, don’t miss the chance to enroll into the next class at the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education.

Happy learning!

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