The 480-hour UX Academy is broken into 2 main phases.
Phase 1 is devoted to skills building, through a series of 40-60 hour modules that cover the UX design process (topics like User Research, Interaction Design, Prototyping & Testing, UI Design, and more). In Phase 1 you will go through lessons (readings and videos) followed by projects. In total, you'll do 30-40 short projects in the first phase of the course (each module contains many hands-on exercises to help you build skills).
Phase 2 is focused on portfolio-building, through in-depth capstone projects that you work on. You will work on 2-3 in-depth capstone projects in this portion of the course — end-to-end design projects that help you build on the foundation you developed in Phase 1. 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, cleaning up your online presences, and putting together an action plan for your job search.
Looking for an example of work that a UX Academy student has completed? Check out Anna Lee's work.
Once this core coursework is over, we’ll begin the next stage of the journey: your job search.
Think of Career Services as “Phase 3” of UX Academy.
When you finish Phases 1 and 2, you have a well-rounded set of skills, the ability to use new tools, and a solid portfolio that showcases your background and work. However, there’s still work to be done between that stage and getting a job. Things like:
Improving your portfolio, resume, and cover letters
Focusing your job search by identifying the kinds of role 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
Job hunting can seem like a complicated process, and our goal is for Career Services to support you by providing structure and practical advice.
After you finish Phase 2 and complete your exit interview, we’ll put you in touch with your Career Coach, whose role will be like a mentor for your job search.
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 checkins.
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 will work with a mentor 1-on-1 throughout the entire course. You’ll interact with your mentor in 2 primary ways:
- Weekly 60-minute Skype (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 for 24 weeks
- Full-time (40 hrs/wk) students have 2 mentor sessions per week for 12 weeks
Slack community: UX Academy has an incredibly active Slack community. Students use Slack 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 (#dailyui, #freelance, #job-opportunities, 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 your cohort. 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 will enter our UX Academy Alumni network. Here are some of the alumni community features we’ll be rolling out soon:
- Private online alumni community
- Ongoing hangouts/meetups for networking
- Career coaching and advisory
- Post-graduation coursework
UX Academy alumni includes product designers at places like Facebook, Sony, Adidas, Microsoft, and more.
Ready to apply? Check out the prerequisites and application instructions here.