design coursesThe best way to learn something is to do it
UX Gym offers user experience design courses where you experience UX design techniques first hand and can put what you learn into practice straight away. Our courses are aimed at both designers and non designers looking to add to their skill base and gain practical UX experience. No previous experience is required.Public Courses
We provide customised user experience training and capability building for organisations. We've done this for government departments such as the Department of Internal Affairs and Statistics NZ, and private companies such as Fraedom.com and Wine-Searcher.com. To enquire about our private courses and capability building service get in touch:Contact Us
Reading about user experience design techniques on the internet is a great start, but only putting them into action prepares you to use them as part of your everyday practice.
User testing designs through prototyping helps us to safely explore risky ideas, get a feel for how real people will respond to our designs and most importantly lets us fail cheaply and privately instead of publicly and expensively. But how many users do we need? How do we identify what to test? How do we know the way we designed and ran the test is producing valid results? How do we recruit people? How do we integrate user testing into a project without adding unsustainable expense and time to a project?
This 6 hour course teaches current best practice for user testing digital products and services. It gives you hands on experience of designing and running effective user testing sessions suitable for both new designs and existing products and services.
You get practical experience in:
This course is suitable for anyone looking for an evidence based approach to validating their existing digital products or new design ideas. It is particularly suitable for:
In this intensive, hands-on 2 day course we provide you with tools and techniques to better uncover and articulate user needs, build great service concepts, clearly articulate them and create compelling experience prototypes to test and develop your ideas.
The workshop takes you stage by stage through a service design project. As well as hands-on experiences using specific tools and techniques we walk through the theory and explore different real-world case studies before reinforcing our learning through structured reflection.
You'll leave with a toolkit of methods and techniques which you can apply in your workplace and a fresh approach for defining and tackling challenges.
Some of the tools and techniques covered:
Service Design is a human-centered approach to the design and development of products and services. In addition to placing users at the centre of the process, it's highly collaborative, it takes a holistic view across any experience, integrates human, physical and digital interactions and aligns customer facing touchpoints with backstage operational functions.
In addition to creating new services, a service design approach can be used to:
These are fundamental workshop characteristics and values which drive our structure, activities and delivery:
Our workshops are underpinned by a learner-centered approach. Participants learning intentions are defined, captured and reflected upon through the two days.
We’re very hands-on, creative and experimental! We believe with design you have to experience it to learn it, through active doing and making.
We believe in effective collaboration and being able to bring multiple perspectives to tackle any design challenge.
We build learning experiences around real-world exemplars & activities so what is learnt is immediately relevant & actionable.
This program is ideal for professionals from any industry who are tasked with problem solving and are looking for new approaches to finding solutions. No prior knowledge is required to do this course but some awareness or exposure to the approach is preferable.
This course is facilitated by Richard Shed. Richard is a design lead with over 18 years of experience in the fields of product, service and interaction design across both Europe and New Zealand. Richard currently works with Thoughtfull Design Auckland where he has led a number of strategic design and innovation projects for Xero, Fonterra, Air New Zealand and Ngai Tahu Tourism. Richard has previously taught design at St Martins and Kingston Universities in London, at CCID in Copenhagen and the Interaction Design Institute in beautiful Ivrea, Italy.
This course combines all our one day courses into a week long deep-dive into experience design. It takes you through a full digital UX project from initial research to finished design. The week is designed to give you an understanding of the principles behind a modern user centered design process and practical experience of some of the most common activities you will encounter in a typical user experience project. With this course you can apply what you learn immediately to your current projects, use what you learn as a base for further study, or develop a case study to showcase for potential employers. No previous design or digital experience is required.
The UX Intensive week is an experiential course. You learn by doing, developing a project throughout the week taking it through a full UX design process from initial research through to usability testing. To ensure you can use what you learn during the week in your regular design practice every day of the course you are given:
You get common UX methods that make up a typical UX design process. These are practical ways of working that you can take away and start applying immediately.
You get the foundation theory behind these methods - why we work the way we do. This is to give you a basis for further study or self development. Principles help you judge how appropriate any method is for a given problem and give you enough understanding to alter a method or develop you own methods as needed.
We work every day from 9:30am to 4:30pm.
Sept 4 - Sept 8 2017
Thinkspace - 3 Glenside Crescent, Auckland
Sept 18 - Sept 22 2017
115 Tory Street, Te Aro Wellington
We encourage you to create a blog to document how you have applied a UX process and developed your project each day during the course. Although not compulsory, this helps to reinforce your learnings and can then be used to create a case study for future employers. We can set you up with a blog service if you need us to.
We will have two drop ins during the week from leading UX parishioners who will share a case study, discuss the reality of doing UX design in the real world, and answer your questions.
No prior knowledge is required to do this course, it is suitable for absolute beginners. However the course is primarily aimed at:
Web, interaction and UX designers who want to build on their UX skills, put into practice approaches they have read about, adopt a user centered design approach or better their understanding of the principles behind common UX design methods.
Traditional designers who want to transition into digital design or learn how to work better with their UX colleagues.
People new to the industry looking for the opportunity to learn and practice user experience design and use that experience to gain a foothold into the industry.
Senior practitioners who want to gain an understanding of the principles of user experience design and experience how those principles are practiced on the ground.
Developers who want to build on their UX skills or learn how to work better with their UX colleagues.
Product owners and project managers who want a better understanding of how a user experience design approach can get them better outcomes on their products and projects.
We start at the start - learning about the people we are designing for. Most of us aren’t designing for ourselves. No other area of design has more impact on how successful your initial design decisions are going to be than user research. On the first day you will learn some fundamental research methods, and the principles behind them. You will conduct some first hand user research then use common design thinking methods to create a design concept for the week based on the research findings.
You will learn how to analyse a project to identify if formative user research is needed in order to achieve project goals.
You will learn the different types of user research available and how to identify which one is the most likely to get you valid results given the time and resources available to you.
You will work in a team to design and execute a research project.
You will learn about common analysis techniques to make sense of the data you have collected and you will get to use one of those techniques with your own data.
You will learn how to present your research in a way that is meaningful and compelling.
On the second day we dive into information architecture (IA), one of the fundamental skills that makes up UX design.
We will go through the basics of designing solid information architecture, taking a user centered approach to identifying the language, taxonomy, navigation and categorisation that enables users to effectively use your product or service.
We then put what we’ve learnt into practice by developing the information architecture that will support the design concept you created on day 1.
We look into the different components of information architecture and how to identify them. These form the basic terms and concepts you need to consider when designing IA.
We look into the process of how modern information architecture is created, covering common tasks and activities used to create an IA that will work for your users and business. You will put these into practice on your own project.
We cover how to communicate basic IA design concepts in order to create cohesive specifications that third parties are able to communicate, implement and test such as wireframes, content models, sitemaps and task flow diagrams.
On day 3 we cover designing for human behaviour. We look at how our design choices influence the decisions people make and how we can use language, layout, colour, images and type to communicate clearly and persuasively. You will learn the basics of interaction design and how to help users make sense of complex systems and make good decisions.
On this day you start to flesh out your high level design and begin to take your first steps to creating a rough clickable prototype.
We’ll cover user behaviour and decision making for screen based designs and interfaces and how to design interactions to accommodate common user strategies.
How to use layout, type, colour and images to communicate and persuade.
This includes best practice for selecting user interface (UI) controls and solving common UI design problems.
We’ll introduce the foundations of designing to positively influence people’s behaviour.
We cover how you can make sure your design is accessible to users with different physical and mental abilities.
We’ll cover emerging design trends such as collaborative design methods and non visual interfaces including bots, conversational interfaces and AI.
On day 4 we extend our design exploration to the ins and outs of designing for systems and screens. We look at the implications of different devices and screen types, how your design will be implemented and how technical realities effect user experience.
On this day you will tighten up and add more detail to your design and refine your clickable prototype.
We look at making layout and design decisions for responsive layouts, various screen sizes and touch devices.
We cover what designers need to know about how design is implemented organisationally, on the web and in native apps.
We look at the pros and cons of using a standardised UI library.
We cover the most popular design software used by both broad UX designers and UX designs with a UI focus.
We look at the various methods used to document and communicate design decisions such as service design blueprints, Wikis, style guides and wireframes.
On day 5 we cover using prototypes to test emerging designs and best practice for validating existing designs. User testing designs through prototyping helps us to safely explore risky ideas, get a feel for how real people will respond to our designs and most importantly lets us fail cheaply and privately instead of publicly and expensively.
This is our last day. You finish your design and complete your prototype. We then test your design using observational time on task testing and iterate the design based on what we’ve learnt.
We look at how to identify what needs testing and how to design a test that will get you valid results.
We cover how many users you need, how to recruit them and how to prepare for and facilitate an effective usability test.
We look at the pros and cons of heuristic reviews (expert review) and how to conduct one.
We cover the most popular prototyping tools in use at the moment.
We look at how to interpret what you see during a test and how to communicate that to your clients or stakeholders.