This is a review of the online course UX Basics by Lis Hubert, an introduction to the fundamentals of user experience.
- Course Name: UX Basics
- Author: Lis Hubert
- Hosted by: Treehouse
- Length: 35 lectures, a combination of Lis presenting the material, slides and quizzes (90 minutes in total).
- Intended Audience: Beginners to UX design.
- What You’ll Learn: The history and purpose of User Experience, and a high-level idea of what UX is, what UX Designers can be expected to do “in the wild”, how they think, the type of work they do and an introduction to some of the key tools UXers use.
- Assumed Knowledge: None, although Lis addresses participants as though they would have a genuine interest in the field.
- Price: $25/month for all courses hosted on Treehouse, including this one.
Without gushing (OK, maybe a little bit), as a complete UX novice, I found this course truly informative and insightful.
This is not a course that will teach you how to prototype or do wireframes—if you are looking for a how-to on these tools, this is not the course for you. Lis touches on what prototypes and wireframes are and how they are used, but more around how they fit into the context of a day-to-day UX role, and as part of a larger “connect-the-many-UX-dots”.
The course provides an holistic introduction to the foundations of user experience, a field that has historically suffered from ambiguity and role title abuse. Lis seeks to take the ambiguity out of the term “user experience”, getting back to the bare bones of its history and providing an authentic perspective of what it is genuinely like “in the wild”.
The structure is extremely clear and intuitive. There are 5 core sections, each split into 7 salient steps. You can jump in and out of sections without losing continuity, as Lis tends to summarise the material at certain points of each section.
The course is interactive—there is a mix of video (where Lis presents) and slides. There are also 2 quizzes per section to break up the material and check for understanding. There is also a transcript of each of the slides and videos—perfect for differently-abled participants.
The course is more theoretical than practical and works as a snapshot of UX, however, there is not a great deal of discourse around “how do I make the jump into UX”. I daresay this was never Lis’s strategy—the course gives participants the foundation for UX understanding, and empowers participant to take charge of their own “next steps”.
Lis is an accomplished UX Designer, Information Architect, and Strategy Consultant, as well as being a professional and engaging speaker. Her voice is clear, straightforward and welcoming.
The Target Audience
This course targets those interested in UX, and keen to learn more about it—either to forge a career as a UX designer, or just to understand the field better and fold some of the ideas into their current job as a developer, graphic designer, marketer, or something else. While no prerequisites are specified, a genuine interest in UX is assumed. For experienced UXers, this course may not give the depth needed to expand your UX toolkit or further your career.
- The content is informative and the structure is intuitive and clear;
- Lis’s presentation skills are professional, authoritative and engaging without being patronising or boring; and
- It goes back to basics, providing participants with a clear history and context for UX.
- If you pass one of the quizzes but didn’t get all answers correct, the course doesn’t give you the answers to the questions you got wrong.
- The course may have benefited from more exercises to break up the material, but this is a small gripe.
- It is a holistic introduction suitable for UX beginners, but isn’t an in-depth how-to around UX tools or specific practices.
Overall, UX Basics is a terrific overview of UX. I enjoyed this course very much and came away from it with a much clearer idea of what UX really is as well as its context in organisations. As I found Lis to be so engaging, I didn’t mind the bulk of the course being her talking behind a desk. There was a decent enough mix of professionally constructed slides and quizzes to break up the content.
The course doesn’t delve deeply into the finer points of user experience, or the tools used (and it doesn’t pretend to be) but it does give a robust overview of the UX field.
- Content (how useful, up to date, practical, and comprehensive): 9/10
- Delivery (presentation style, pace, clarity, authority): 9/10
- Production (video quality, audio quality, editing): 9/10
- Overall rating: I’m not the kind of lady who gives perfect 10s away, but this was pretty close! 9/10
1. What is User Experience (UX)?
- A Brief History of UX
- The Foundation of UX – User Centered Design
- The Importance of UX
- What is UX? – Quiz 1
- The Disciplines that Make Up UX
- The Backgrounds of Great UX Designers
- What is UX? – Quiz 2
2. What Do UX Designers Do?
- The UX Designer = The Great Problem Solver
- Understanding the User, Understanding the Content
- What Do UX Designers Do? – Quiz 1
- Understanding the Context
- Modeling, Testing and Executing the Experience
- Where UXers Work and Who UXers Work With
- What Do UX Designers Do? – Quiz 2
3. How UXers Think
- Think Big In Order to Think Small
- User First
- Everyone is a User
- How UXers Think – Quiz 1
- Everything is Content
- UX is Everywhere
- How UXers Think – Quiz 2
4. Tools UXers Use
- Communication, the Ultimate UXer Tool
- Tools for Understanding Your Users
- Tools UXers Use – Quiz 1
- Tools for Understanding Your Content and Context
- Tools for Modeling the Experience
- Tools for Testing
- Tools UXers Use – Quiz 2
5. Moving Forward with UX
- Strategic UX
- Defining UX “in the Real World”
- The Business of UX
- Moving Forward with UX – Quiz 1
- Selling the Value of UX
- Where Do We Go From Here?
- Moving Forward with UX – Quiz 2
Note: This post contains affiliate links, so if you do decide to enrol in the course, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale, to help pay the hosting bills.