UX 101

So you want to be a UX designer? Here's some resources to get you started. 

Free or Inexpensive Online Courses

Coursera Interaction Design Course

I took this class back in the day when it was Human Computer Interaction and free. They've really revamped and modernized the syllabus, and it seems way more relevant to current UX needs. The course isn't free anymore, however, but it is super reasonable at only $39 per course. You can take the whole unit for $280. Not bad to walk away with a working foundation of UX. Those who are perhaps more advance can take classes piecemeal as well (I'm looking at you developers and visual designers looking to make the switch) 

Coursera Interaction Design Course >

Interaction Design Foundation Courses

IDF features several self-paced UX courses on everything from UI patterns, usability, mobile design, testing and more. Courses are free for members and individual professional can join for only $15 per month. 

Interaction Design Foundation > 


The Hipper Element: UX Crash Course: 31 Fundamentals

The Hipper Element takes readers through a true crash course; learn all about the basics and fundamentals. This a great way for those who are considering UX as a career to get a glimpse into what we do at no cost--it's free!

The Hipper Element: UX Crash Course >


52 Weeks of UX

Similar to The Hipper Element's course, but longer. This is awesome for career changers who need to learn at their own pace and can't commit to a class or course. Meant to span an entire year, self-guided users can breeze through much more quickly. 

52 Weeks of UX >



Most UX tools are pretty simple to use and have at least a month long trial period. Lynda has tutorials on all the major tools you need to know: Sketch, Omnigraffle, Axure, InDesign and more. It's about $30 per month which is a lot less than an MFA. 

Lynda.com >



There are several great YouTube tutorials on most softwares out there. I still use YouTube all the time if I can't figure out how to do a certain task. 

YouTube >

Intensive Courses

Those who want a class or intensive course, check out these resources. These are not cheap--averaging about $5,000+, but you'll learn face-to-face with some serious experts. 


Bentley University, UX Boot Camp, Massachusettes

Learn UX basics in a matter of days on a gorgeous college campus. Bentley U also offers UX certification if you have more time to dedicate to learning. 

Bentley University UX Boot Camp >


Cooper U, UX Boot Camp, San Francisco

A slightly cheaper option at Cooper U in the heart of San Francisco. 

Cooper U UX Boot Camp >


General Assembly, Various locations & online

GA is one of the more well-known immersive programs. It's not cheap, but the professionals I've met who have come out of their immersive programs speak very highly of the program. Some of the most talented professionals I know teach for the program, too. They also offer several types of courses of various lengths.  

General Assembly >

People and Publications to Follow

Jared Spool

Twitter - @jmspool

Jesse James Garett

Twitter - @jjg

Whitney Hess

Twitter - @whitneyhess

Josh Brewer

Twitter - @jbrewer

Michal Pasternak

Twitter - @michalp_

Karen McGrane

Twitter - @karenmcgrane

Patrick Neeman

Twitter - @usabilitycounts

Laura Klein

Twitter - @lauraklein

Crystal Ehrlich

Twitter - @cbehrlich

Will Evans

Twitter - @semanticwill


Twitter - @usertesting

Blog - User Testing Blog

User Interface Engineering

Blog - Brainsparks


Twitter - @michematthews

Professional Organizations

User Experience Professional Association - uxpa.org

Interaction Design Association - ixda.org