UI or User Interface Design is a subset of UX (User Experience Design). Many of the skills and tools used in UX are used in UI Design, but in UI, the focus is on the user interface of technology – for example the screens of computers or mobile devices – and how to support user interactions with that interface. The field combines psychology, visual design, usability and information architecture, to name a few. And given all the different types of technology that people need to use, there are a lot of specialisation options.
Here are a selection of courses that will help you to get started in this much needed field.
Design Fundamentals – Design Academy
Laura Elizabeth went to design school only to find that it didn’t teach her how to design for herself. After over a decade of working as a designer and teaching herself, she has developed a course to teach others what she wished she knew at the beginning. The result is the Design Fundamentals course, which teaches you the foundations of good design principles and processes so that you can confidently work on your own projects. It covers planning, layout, typography, colour and imagery, as well as how to crucially analyse and improve your work.
Designing User Interfaces
In this super comprehensive ebook, Michał Malewicz and Diana Malewicz (founders of the design agency HYPE4) share their knowledge, industry know-how, tips, tricks and experiences over their multiple-decade Interface Design careers. It includes checklists, templates and icon files to get you started on your first projects.
This ebook by Adam Wathan & Steve Schoger is targeted at backend developers who don’t have visual design skills, but it’s also relevant to anyone who is new to User Interface Design. It teaches you how to design beautiful user interfaces by focusing on what the authors call “design tactics” – essentially practical design principles – with lots of examples of how to implement these tactics. The ebook is supported by video tutorials and can be upgraded to include extra resources like selected colour palettes and an icon library.
Adrian Twarog first learnt design and then learnt software development afterwards. In this ebook, he aims to educate developers on how to design user interfaces and experiences for those who didn’t get design training. He unpacks the rules and guidelines behind good design so that anyone can create good-looking work. The ebook comes in basic and enhanced edition, with the latter including all the assets used in the book.
Uxcel is an online course platform that focuses on helping people learn UI (and UX) in short bite sized lessons. You can start for free or upgrade to a premium subscription that gives you access to the full course library, weekly challenge archive and UI kit of components.
This expanding library of courses is created by Greg Rog, a highly experienced designer who has consulted for Fortune 500 companies. While this site is called “Learn UX”, it mostly focuses on UI (though Rog intends to add more general UX courses). Some content is available for free so you can get a taste of the teaching style, with a premium subscription required for full access to all the course content.
Introduction to UI Design – Coursera
This free online course run through the University of Minnesota provides an overview of the UI Design Process, as well as the psychology and human factors underpinning User Interface Design. It’s a great introduction to the field for beginners.
Human-Computer Interaction I: Fundamentals & Design Principles – edX
This long-running free online course on designing human-computer interactions is led by the highly esteemed Georgia Tech. The curriculum is a solid, university-level introduction to Human-Computer interface and interaction design. It’s suitable for beginners, but it’s also valuable for more experienced practitioners who want to better understand academic research in this field. It’s the first course in Georgia Tech’s Human-Computer Interaction Professional Certificate.
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