Foundations of UX Design

I just completed the first course for my Google UX Design Professional Certificate! I’m excited to jump into the next one and keep the momentum going.

Grade: 92.77%

Here are a few highlights from what I learned.

Key Takeaways

The biggest thing I learned in this course is the importance of focusing on the user. As obvious as it sounds, keeping the user at the center is vital to create a product that will be successful and enjoyed the by them. This is why spending adequate time in the research process is critical because it will help guide the entire rest of the process.


Week 1: Foundations of the user experience (UX) design

Careers

  • Interaction designer
  • Visual designer
  • Motion designer
  • VR/AR designer
  • UX researcher
  • UX writer
  • UX program manager
  • UX engineer
  • Conversation designer

Right now I’m mostly interested in being a designer, but could also see enjoying being a writer or even researcher. I’m fascinated by words, language, and communication, so anything that uses those things would be interesting.

Product Development Life Cycle

  1. Brainstorm
  2. Define
  3. Design
  4. Test
  5. Launch

Characteristics of a good UX

  • usable
  • equitable
  • enjoyable useful

I’ve always been pretty obsessed with how things look and how they work. I don’t consider myself an artist, but arranging things to look a certain way or improve how I interact with them has always been an interest.

Role of a beginner UX designer

  • User research
  • Information architecture
  • Wireframing
  • Prototyping
  • Visual design
  • Effective communication

Teams UX designers work with

  • Engineer
  • UX researcher
  • Program manager
  • Product lead
  • Other UX designer

I think I’ll enjoy the wireframing and prototyping the most.


Week 2: The User

Types of design

  • Universal
  • Inclusive
  • Equity-focused *

Research questions

  • Impairment/disabilities
  • How familiar are they with technology?
  • How are they accessing it?
  • Were and when?
  • Consider all potential users

Accessibility resources

  • Google
  • Microsoft
  • Apple

UX Design Fundamentals

  • Empathize
  • Define
  • Ideate
  • Prototype
  • Test

* Screen size, interactions, content layout, functionality

Designing cross-platform experiences

  • Desktop
  • Laptops
  • Mobile
  • Tablet
  • Wearables
  • TVs
  • Smart displays

Week 3: Design Sprints

5 Phases

  1. Understand challenge
  2. Ideate solutions
  3. Decide what to build
  4. Prototype solutions
  5. Test prototypes

Retrospective

  • What went well?
  • What can be improved?

Week 4: Research

1st rule is – THE USER COMES FIRST

Product life cycle / research

  1. Brainstorm (foundational – what to build, solve problems, my biases)
  2. Define
  3. Design (how should we build it?)
  4. Test
  5. Launch (did we succeed?)

Research Methods

Foundational

  • Interviews
  • Surveys
  • Focus groups
  • Competitive audit (strengths & weaknesses)
  • Field studies
  • Diary studies

Design

  • A/B testing
  • Cafe/guerilla studies
  • Card sorting
  • Intercepts

Post-launch

  • A/B testing
  • Usability studies
  • Surveys
  • Logs analysis

Types of research

  • Primary
  • Secondary
  • Qualitative
  • Quantitative

Biases in research

  • Confirmation
  • False consensus
  • Recency
  • Primacy
  • Implicit
  • Sunk cost

Preventing bias in data collection

  • Choose words carefully
  • Foster independent thinking
  • Avoid specific language
  • Limit the guidance you give users
  • Consider user’s time & body language
  • Be careful of your own body language
  • Plan research effectively
  • Remain open minded