This is a review of the online course User Experience: The Ultimate Guide To Usability, by David Travis. The author was provided with a review copy of the course.
- Course Name: User Experience: The Ultimate Guide to Usability
- Author: Dr David Travis
- Hosted by: udemy
- Length: 53 lectures + bonus material (approx 7.5 hours of video content)
- Intended Audience: web designers, newcomers to the field of usability, intermediate UX designers
- What You’ll Learn: A comprehensive “soup-to-nuts” introduction to user-centred design, and the techniques for achieving good usability in the design of software, including contextual inquiry, user testing, paper prototyping, card sorting, personas, scenarios and more.
- What You Won’t Learn: Techniques not directly related to usability aren’t covered, like how to perform competitor analysis or collaborative sketching.
- Assumed Knowledge: Basic familiarity with web design projects would be an advantage.
- Price at time of review: US $199
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A few weeks ago we reviewed Amir Khella’s online course, Design Your User Experience In 7 Simple Steps. Khella’s approach to UX was well suited to folks working on a startup—perhaps for themselves—and who had a technical background. However, it was lacking in the people side of things, and didn’t cover any of the tried-and-tested UX techniques like those listed in our UX Techniques Bank.
This course takes a different approach: it’s a comprehensive walkthrough of the field of usability. Dr David Travis is both an experienced practitioner and a gifted educator, and this course really does live up to its “ultimate guide” title. Dr Travis covers a ton of UX techniques in depth, and explains them in a friendly, humorous fashion. We’ve talked about possibly creating our own courses here on UX Mastery—well, if we were to ever tackle such a thing, the bar just got set very high.
Dr. David Travis is the Managing Director of Userfocus, an independent consultancy in the UK that specialises in user experience. He has worked in the fields of human factors, usability and user experience since 1989—that’s nearly 25 years of experience. David also holds a BSc and a PhD in Psychology, and he is a Chartered Psychologist. He’s written scientific papers and published a few books on the topic. This is a guy who knows what he’s doing.
And it shows through in the video lectures. Rather than lose touch with beginners in the field, as so often happens with ‘experts’, Dr Travis has also been teaching in-person workshops on user experience for years, and it’s the content from these workshops that informs this online course. His tone is friendly but authoritative; there is humour peppered throughout the course, and the examples are often entertaining but always educational.
This course is primarily targeted at newcomers to user experience. There’s no real assumed knowledge, so it would be suitable for visual designers, project managers, content producers, product managers or marketers—anyone with an interest in usability. Because it’s so comprehensive (the term “soup to nuts” comes to mind), I imagine this course could also be useful for more experienced practitioners who are looking for a refresher, or want to validate some aspect of how they go about implementing a certain technique.
Stream or Download
I mentioned in my last review that I am a fan of the udemy in-browser experience. The option to download videos is handy, although there’s no easy way to download all of them in one hit—possibly to discourage piracy? This time round, I installed the udemy app, and watched some of the video lectures on my iPad, which worked great!
Why I Hate This Course
There’s one big reason why I hate this course—and that’s because I wish I’d created it myself! This really is online education at its best: the content is comprehensive, well-structured, and up-to-date, and it’s delivered by an instructor who is likeable, funny, and uses interesting examples. There are case studies and pop quizzes along the way to help you validate your learning, and the video and audio quality is high. Really, you can’t go wrong. If you’re after an online course that teaches you how to do user-centred design, and equips you with the tools and templates to go change the world (or at least your own organisation) then this is the course for you.
- Well structured, well-paced content from a knowledgable presenter.
- Comprehensive walk-through of the user-centred design process, including coverage of all of the major usability tools and techniques
- Real-world cases studies and occasional humour keeps things interesting
- Pop quizzes through-out help to validate your understanding of the content
- Comes with downloadable templates and worksheets you can apply on your own projects
- “Refresher course” is available by email after completing the course
- Includes a range of material to suit a range of learning styles, including video, short books, and even comics.
- Some people may find the content a little slow at times. Personally, I liked the “gently, gently” pace, and the anecdotal stories helped to reinforce the content for me.
- There’s no play-along-at-home example woven throughout this course. That said, there are a handful of standalone activities and pop quizzes, so you still have ample opportunity to test and apply your knowledge.
- 7.5 hours is a fair investment of your time. While for many this will be a positive thing (value for money!), others may find the sheer volume of information overwhelming. However, there’s no fluff here—if you want to get a solid handle on this stuff, you’ve got no choice but to knuckle down and work through the entire course. If you’re interested in the topic, the time will fly past!
Overall, User Experience: The Ultimate Guide to Usability is a cracking course. Dr Travis has pulled together a range of content that he’s refined during his years of consulting and teaching in-person workshops, and the result is a mammoth goldmine of useful online UX training. Whether you’re after a solid introduction to user-centred design, or you’re already working as a UX designer and looking for a refresher, you’re likely to find it in this course. The content is comprehensive, up-to-date, and polished. This course really is quite a remarkable achievement, and comes highly recommended.
- Content (how useful, up to date, practical, and comprehensive): 10/10
- Delivery (presentation style, pace, clarity, authority): 10/10
- Production (video quality, audio quality, editing): 9/10
- User Interface (reliable infrastructure, usable interface, convenient): 9/10
- Overall rating: 10/10
- Going where the action is: Understanding users in context
- How to get niche quick
- What can a London bus teach us about usability?
- Beyond “easy to use”: Measuring the user experience
- Site structure and navigation: Finding is the new doing
- Simple rules for designing simple pages
- “And I have the data to prove it”: How to assess a web site
- What next? Putting your knowledge into practice