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user experience
design coursesThe best way to learn something is to do it

Public Courses

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

Private Training

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.

Featured Public Courses

6 hours | 9:30am - 4:30pm

Wellington

Friday 26 July 2019 |
BizDojo Wellington - 115 Tory Street

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?

user interface specification

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.

It covers:

    Current user testing theory
  • How to identify when user testing is required
  • Common user testing techniques
  • Identifying the most appropriate technique for your needs
  • How to ascertain the number of users you need for valid results
  • How to recruit users
  • How to design effective tests
  • Common prototyping tools
  • Using modern prototyping tools
  • How to create prototypes
  • How to interpret test results

You get practical experience in:

  • Identifying areas for testing
  • Designing user tests
  • Creating low fidelity paper prototypes
  • Creating prototypes using a modern prototyping tool
  • Running user tests
  • Interpreting test results
  • Iterating your design based on your test results

Who is this course for?

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:

  • Designers and developers
  • Product owners
  • Project managers
  • Entrepreneurs and startups

Prerequisites

  • No previous design or coding experience is required.
  • You will need a laptop capable of connecting to a wireless network. We may be able to provide you with a laptop if you don’t have one - please contact us at least two weeks before the course date.
  • All other materials are provided.

Wellington

Friday 26 July 2019 |
BizDojo Wellington - 115 Tory Street
2 days | 9:30am - 4:30pm everyday

Auckland

Thurs 8 August - Fri 9 August 2019 |
Thinkspace - 3 Glenside Crescent, Auckland

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.

People in UX course

Overview

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:

  • Understanding customer needs
  • Journey Mapping
  • Deconstructing Experiences
  • Creating Service Prototypes
  • Service Blueprinting

Value of a Service Design approach

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:

  • Better understand and assess your current provision through the eyes of your customer experience, what’s working, not working, what’s adding value or not.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness your own internal processes and systems, where are your efforts adding value and where aren’t they?
  • Identify territories and opportunities to create new (or evolve existing) products, services or experiences, creating new value for our customers, strengthening existing relationships.
  • To align your organisation around one view of the customer and make better strategic decisions.

Workshop Principles

These are fundamental workshop characteristics and values which drive our structure, activities and delivery:

Learner-centered

Our workshops are underpinned by a learner-centered approach. Participants learning intentions are defined, captured and reflected upon through the two days.

Learn by Making

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.

Collaboration

We believe in effective collaboration and being able to bring multiple perspectives to tackle any design challenge.

Real-world relevance

We build learning experiences around real-world exemplars & activities so what is learnt is immediately relevant & actionable.

Who is it for?

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.

Facilitator

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.

www.richardshed.com

www.thoughtfulldesign.com

Auckland

Thursday 8 August - Friday 9 August 2019 |
Thinkspace - 3 Glenside Crescent
Daily 9:30am - 4:30pm | Enrolments close Friday 31 August 2019

Auckland

Sept 9 - Sept 13 2019 |
Thinkspace - 3 Glenside Crescent, Auckland

Wellington

Sept 23 - Sept 27 2019 |
BizDojo Wellington - 115 Tory Street, Wellington
list of themes for each day, as listed below

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.

People in UX course

Schedule

How does it work?

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:

Methods

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.

Principles

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.

Practice

Every day you apply the principles and methods to your project. This experience of the reality of applying a clean principle and method to messy human behaviour is essential if you are going to learn how to practically solve real design problems in a user centered way

The nuts & bolts

Schedule & Location

We work every day from 9:30am to 4:30pm.

Auckland

Sept 4 - Sept 8 2017
Thinkspace - 3 Glenside Crescent, Auckland

Wellington

Sept 18 - Sept 22 2017
115 Tory Street, Te Aro Wellington

What to bring

From day 3 you will need to bring a laptop capable of connecting to a wifi network with the latest version of the Chrome browser installed. You will need to bring lunch or take advantage of the good and cheap eats near each location! We provide espresso and all other materials :)

Your case study

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.

Guest drop ins

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.

Who is it for

No prior knowledge is required to do this course, it is suitable for absolute beginners. However the course is primarily aimed at:

Digital designers

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.

Graphic designers

Traditional designers who want to transition into digital design or learn how to work better with their UX colleagues.

Novices and graduates

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.

Strategists and analysts

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

Developers who want to build on their UX skills or learn how to work better with their UX colleagues.

Product owners and project managers

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.

Day 1 | Introduction to User Research

On day 1

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 identify if a project needs user research

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 how to identify the kind of research you need

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 experience putting user research into practice

You will work in a team to design and execute a research project.

You will experience analysing and making sense of user research results

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 research findings

You will learn how to present your research in a way that is meaningful and compelling.

Day 2 | Introduction to Information Architecture

On day 2

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.

You will learn what makes up IA

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.

You experience 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.

You will learn how to communicate your IA

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.

Day 3 | Design Part I Designing for People

On day 3

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.

You will learn the basics of usability and interaction design

We’ll cover user behaviour and decision making for screen based designs and interfaces and how to design interactions to accommodate common user strategies.

You will learn the basics of graphic design for screens

How to use layout, type, colour and images to communicate and persuade.

We’ll share strategies for solving common UI design problems

This includes best practice for selecting user interface (UI) controls and solving common UI design problems.

We’ll cover the basics of behaviour design

We’ll introduce the foundations of designing to positively influence people’s behaviour.

We look at making designs accessible

We cover how you can make sure your design is accessible to users with different physical and mental abilities.

Emerging interaction design trends

We’ll cover emerging design trends such as collaborative design methods and non visual interfaces including bots, conversational interfaces and AI.

Day 4 | Design Part II Designing for Systems

On day 4

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.

You will learn approaches to different device types and variable screen sizes.

We look at making layout and design decisions for responsive layouts, various screen sizes and touch devices.

You will get a high level introduction to how your design is implemented

We cover what designers need to know about how design is implemented organisationally, on the web and in native apps.

You will get an introduction to user interface (UI) libraries

We look at the pros and cons of using a standardised UI library.

You get an introduction to design software for UX

We cover the most popular design software used by both broad UX designers and UX designs with a UI focus.

We cover best practice for documenting and managing design

We look at the various methods used to document and communicate design decisions such as service design blueprints, Wikis, style guides and wireframes.

Introduction to Prototyping
& Usability Testing

On day 5

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 cover best practice testing techniques

We look at how to identify what needs testing and how to design a test that will get you valid results.

We go over the practicalities of running usability tests

We cover how many users you need, how to recruit them and how to prepare for and facilitate an effective usability test.

You will learn best practice for conducting a heuristic review

We look at the pros and cons of heuristic reviews (expert review) and how to conduct one.

You get an introduction to common prototyping tools

We cover the most popular prototyping tools in use at the moment.

You will learn how to interpret and communicate test results

We look at how to interpret what you see during a test and how to communicate that to your clients or stakeholders.

See our full list of courses >