Recently, I have been given the opportunity to design and deliver a UX course, which offered through Temasek SkillsFuture Academy. The course entitled – UiUX: HUMAN-CENTERED DESIGN for DIGITAL EXPERIENCE, is a 4-week part-time course that introduces the concepts of human-centered design and how this approach can be used to create useful, and functional digital product and services that have great user experience (UX).
This course has been developed to reach those who are brand new to human-centered design, and Visual Designers looking to add user research skills to their repertoire while others are Product Managers seeking to improve their design thinking skills. Often, the learners are technopreneurs trying to improve the UX of their minimal viable product (MVP). No prior experience or coding skills required.
As the course has also been listed in the SkillsFuture.sg portal recently, I have been receiving quite a numbers of email queries about the nature of the course. Therefore, I decided to setup a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) here so that general publics can make a better-informed decision before signing up for the course.
Last updated: Aug 25, 2017.
1. I would also like confirm with you if there are any specific entry requirements (e.g. HTML/programming knowledge?) for the course other than what is stated on the website?
Our course: UiUx: Human-Centered Design (HCD) for Digital Experience, is the fusion of the rise of HCD, lean startup thinking, customer experience (CX) design.
The course aims to facilitate the applied practice of UX to address How Might We leverage on a lean resource to perform user & digital product research, usability model, and design thinking to make a better digital product that is human-centered.
Students who take this course is expected to do user research, design, and validate ideas as efficiently as possible. No coding skills are required to join this course, as off-the-shelf prototyping tools will be used to develop your ideas for testability!”
2. May I know what are the software or tools required for the course? Any programming languages involve?
Due to the hands-on nature of this course for “validating things”, you are expected to create prototypes for approximating a simulated experience for what it is like for the users to use your design (be it a digital product or service). In other words, the intent of the prototype is to serve as Minimum Viable Product (MVP) so that you can solicit meaningful feedback from your audience to validate your design.
As a general knowledge, there are 4 kinds of frequently used MVP for a screen-based product, and they are:
A) Paper Prototype
B) Low-Fidelity On-Screen Mockup
C) Middle & High-Fidelity On-Screen Prototype
D) Coded & Live-Data Prototype
By referring to the above Q1, there is no coding component involved for this introductory course. Rather, you shall be facilitated to pick up prototyping tool like Axure and develop a clickable prototype that set in-between the standard of B & C of the above.
3. Does the course focus more on websites or mobile apps?
The current landscape or the trend for digital transformation is still centered on screen-based products, for it is the window for the service providers to serve something of value that the segmented users want or need at a fair price (aka business).
So by parsing from the above understanding and placing it into this context: What are the channels that you use to find out about this course or check out this FAQ? The answer could be varied, but we are quite certain that it will be either through a web browser of a desktop system or mobile devices. In such scenario, to a UX-ers, which is more important now: the design for the web or the mobile channel? Or, should the focus be “How might we enable both the service provider and the interested party to reach out to each other at anytime and anywhere (think efficiency), in the hopeful of achieving mutual value exchanged (effectiveness & satisfaction)?”
The tenet of human-centered design is always technology agnostic. In other words, we are unbiased towards the use of different technologies or tools to solve a problem. And, the answer here is Yes & No; it is up to you as the owner of a design problem that bugged you at the workplace or a startup assignment that you set yourself to accomplish throughout this course.
4. Does the course cover the techniques for responsive web design?
No. To implement Responsive Web Design (RWD), I would advise you to look at courses that related to Front End Development. This is because RWD is a web development techniques that create dynamic changes to the appearance of a website, so that it can adapt to the screen size of a device that used to access it. Please refer to the following responses about Responsive Design.
5. Will the course be teaching on responsive design, or will it will mainly on theory?
First, responsive design, a popular trend rises from web design, is the use of proportional, fluid layouts that adapt and fit perfectly to any screen of any size. To develop a responsive website that adapts its layout to the viewing device, and user agent, the practice would start with the incorporation of CSS3, media queries, and fluid grids, etc., which use percentile to create a flexible foundation. You are advised to consider Front End Web Development courses if you would like to grasp the technical know-how to engineer a responsive product.
To design a digital product that will span across various devices, there is always a trade-off like this: to maintain consistency of the brand and UI, or developing to follow the guidelines of that particular device (e.g. Android Design Pattern vs. iOS Human Interface Guideline)?
In our course – UiUx : Human-Centered Design for Digital Experience, we would leverage on Adaptive Design, (you can think of it as a precursor to responsive design, which the technique involve the use of set breakpoints to determine the best version of a design to show based on the size of the screen and the assumed capabilities of the device). The course is intended to pitch the tenet of mobile-first-design to all fellow practitioners, and be hands-on to produce a portfolio that demonstrates your attainment of practicing the lean cycle of User Experience Design. You will be facilitated to build a clickable digital prototype that has been validated and pitch-ready.
6. I am a print designer that is keen to learn about UX design, is this course suitable for me?
First, let’s take a look at the two different streams of design that might be familiar to you:
The role of a visual/graphic designer is to help to communicate information in the most effective way with the right look and feel that based on the context of a product’s brand and its purpose. The techniques for trade in this disciplines have often involved the use of typography, form, color, images, layout, etc. to direct people’s attention before creating the conversation for the projected content.
User Experience (UX) Designer
Unlike visual/graphic designer, who focuses on aesthetics and communication, UX designers are concerned about people and how they interact with a product or service. In other words, UX is different from graphic and even UI or web design; UX focuses on the logic and structure (the flow) behind the touch points that a user would see and actually interact with it. The practice is mainly grounded in research and validation, and there are a variety of techniques & tools to better understand the intended users before we develop a solution.
UX is an emerging field, which stemmed out from the disciplines of usability engineering, interaction design, user research, information architecture, content strategy, visual design, etc. Good designers aren’t born, but they are made through continuous learning and practice. In fact, having a background in print design would definitely give you an edge to pick up some basic UX skills through this introductory course.
7. May I know what the delivery mode of this course is? Would it be partly lecture and partly working on projects (or one single project)?
This course is structured in a blended studio approach, whereby the trainer shall facilitate the participants into a certain domain knowledge, and then prolong their practical understanding of the subject through some mini exercises subsequently. All these structures are in place to help the participants to then immediately apply it to a project that they chose to work on.
At the end of course, there will be only 1 delivery, which it is the outcome of your project, and you would need to document it into a set of slide deck and present to your peers. For more info about the coverage of this introductory course, please check out the course outline that published on TP’s website.
8. What is the typical/expected number of students in the class?
The size of the class is usually spread between 10-16 participants.
#END of FAQ