Can you tell me more about UX Academy?
UX Academy is broken into 3 phases.
Coursework: Phases 1 and 2
Time: 480 hours
Phase 1 is devoted to building skills through a series of modules that cover the UX design process, including topics like introduction to UX design, user research, information architecture, interaction design, user interface design, and iteration and implementation. In Phase 1 you'll complete video lessons, readings, and projects. In total, you'll do more than 50 short projects in the first phase of the course—each module contains many hands-on exercises to help you build skills. These small projects build on one another to form a cohesive project that some students choose to showcase in their portfolios.
Phase 2 is focused on portfolio-building, through in-depth capstone projects. You'll work on 3 in-depth capstone projects—a responsive web design project, adding a feature to an existing product, and a full end-to-end design of a product—that help you build on the foundation you developed in Phase 1. We've intentionally crafted our capstone project briefs to be open-ended so that every student develops a completely unique portfolio that stands out to recruiters and hiring managers. You’ll create portfolio deliverables, write case studies, and put it all together with your own online portfolio. We’ll also focus on getting prepared for the next steps: creating a cover letter and resume, polishing your online presence, and putting together an action plan for your job search.
When you finish Phases 1 and 2, you'll have a well-rounded set of UX design skills, the ability to use new tools and a solid portfolio that showcases your background and work.
Looking for an example of a recent UX Academy graduate's work? Check out Amy's portfolio.
Career Services: Phase 3
While completing your portfolio is a huge accomplishment and a big achievement to celebrate, there are still a few things to do to help you land your first job in the industry. Things like:
- Improving your portfolio, resume, and cover letters
- Focusing your job search by identifying the kinds of roles that fit your skillset
- Developing your interview technique by preparing strong stories about yourself, your background, and the work you’ve done
- Handling job offers and managing negotiations about salary and conditions
Once your core coursework is over, you'll begin Phase 3 of the journey: Career Services, where we pair you with your Career Coach, who will be like a mentor to help guide you through your job search.
Job hunting can seem like a complicated process, and our goal is for Career Services to support you by providing structure and practical advice.
When you first meet, you’ll touch base about your skills, talk about your near-term and long-term goals, and jointly devise a plan of attack for the weeks ahead. Whether you’re already being invited to interviews or are just getting started with the job search, you’ll agree on a strategy, and set a timeline for further check-ins.
Mentorship and Community
UX Academy is an online program with a robust set of peer-to-peer interactions, both with your mentor and fellow students. Here are some of the core aspects of the course experience:
1-on-1 mentorship: You'll work with a mentor 1-on-1 throughout the entire course. You’ll interact with your mentor in 2 primary ways:
- Regular, 60-minute video sessions. You can use these sessions to discuss your work in depth, share your goals, ask questions, and more. Students find this time to be the most valuable part of the course experience.
- Part-time (20 hrs/wk) students have 1 mentor session per week
- Full-time (40 hrs/wk) students have 2 mentor sessions per week
- Mentors will leave written online feedback on your project submissions to help you as you progress through each week.
Discord community: UX Academy has an incredibly active Discord community. Students use Discord to ask questions, get feedback, chat about the course, answer discussion items, share job opportunities, and connect with other students. We have cohort-specific channels, location-specific, and topic-specific channels, and much, much more!
Group Crits: As a designer, it is crucial that you can present and defend your design decisions. This is a soft skill that you must learn through practice. In UX Academy, we help you develop this skill through Group Crits: weekly video group critique sessions with other students in the course. You’ll present the work you completed in the previous week, receive critique from your fellow students, and share critique with other students. Each session is run by a facilitator—a Designlab mentor, UX Academy graduate, or advanced UX Academy student.
After graduating from UX Academy and landing your first job, you'll enter our UX Academy Alumni network. UX Academy alumni include product designers at places like Facebook, Sony, Adidas, Microsoft, and more.
We take the job of educating you very seriously; 480 hours is a lot of coursework, so we ask for 100% of your commitment in return. We’re here to support you but the success of your UX Academy journey depends on your commitment to the program and the amount of time and energy you put forth.
Ready to apply? Check out the prerequisites and application instructions here.