6 Ways to Learn UX for Students

6 Ways to Learn UX for Students

Working in the field of user experience or UX is fun and challenging. I have been working for for almost eight months as a UX researcher. I enjoy this work and get a lot of lessons in the real world. In the first few days, I was somewhat confused in various ways, for example, making a good research plan or interviewing people I did not know. But over time, I began to get used to and confident in my work.

I have to admit, studying UX in college requires more effort. This is because the knowledge and practices in UX are not all taught in lectures.

Therefore, I want to share six ways of learning UX that can be done while still in college.

1. Read a book about UX

On the internet, articles are scattered about UX, but I prefer books for learning because the discussion is deeper. From a number of books about UX that I’ve read, I suggest the three books below to read:

The Design of Everyday Things (Author: Don Norman). This book is considered a designer book because it does introduce the fundamental principles of design. It contained most of the theories and, compared to the two books below, in my opinion, the English was heavier.

Observing User Experience (Author: Elizabeth Goodman, et al.). This book is my favourite about UX research because the discussion is broad and deep, starting from making a research plan, conducting research, analyzing, to presenting the results of the research.

UX for Lean Startups (Author: Laura Klein). I feel this book needs to be read because it explains the product design process in the agile development environment that many startups use. After reading this book, we come to know the role and activities of UX in agile development.

2. Take an online course about UX

Just like the article, online courses about UX are also pretty much found on the internet. Some online course providers have material about UX, such as Lynda, Coursera, and Udemy. I personally prefer studying at Lynda because the video content is dense and clear, and the price of the subscription is affordable. It’s different from reading a book, I can’t really watch videos long, so I don’t really like online video courses that are a lot of small talks.

Two online course playlists in Lynda about UX that I recommend:
Foundations of User Experience. Collection of online courses that discuss basic UX knowledge such as information architecture, prototyping, usability testing, and others. The online course here is really easy for beginners to understand.

UX Design Techniques. The online course in this playlist explains step-by-step the user-centered design process, starting from data analysis, creating a persona, to planning implementation. Just like the previous playlist, in my opinion, the content is quite easy to understand.

3. Join the community about UX

Community is a fun place to get information and meet people who are also passionate about UX. I like to come to meetups and chat to share about how the UX team at other startups works.

4. Internship in position about UX

An internship is an opportunity not to be missed to learn UX. Why? Because here, we can learn to apply our UX knowledge with the guidance of a supervisor. In addition, just like joining a competition, the results of work while being an intern can be our experience portfolio.

It should be noted above I wrote ‘position about UX’ because indeed, the position that has the ‘UX’ appendage can vary, for example, UX designer, UX researcher, UI / UX designer, or interaction designer. Even with the same position name, job descriptions in different companies can also be different. I suggest asking more questions during the interview to make sure the work is as expected.

What is UI and UX?

What is UI and UX?

UI and UX. What do ordinary people think about it? Is it the name of any food? Or the name of a planet in space?
First, let’s try to understand the length of UI and UX. UI is the User Interface, while UX is the User Experience. Both relate to the appearance of a website or the appearance of an application.

From its length, we can know that the two are different things. Before discussing UI and UX, let’s first understand the HCI Concept. HCI is a Human-Computer Interaction. This relates to UI or UX Design.

What we do with devices, computers, or laptops so far is part of HCI. When you move the mouse, press the keyboard, move the smartphone screen, gesture, and you can get full control of the device, which is called interaction.

Learning UI / UX Design, we also need to know the interaction of these two things. USER & DEVICE. We have to design how apps, web, and other platforms can be more easily used by users/humans from the interface that is served.

User Interface (UI)

User Interface Design or the Indonesian language User Interface Design is:
Interface design for machines and software, such as computers, household appliances, mobile devices, and other electronic devices, with a focus on maximizing user experience. For simplicity, UI Design is how a website or application you make looks like. People used to call it the appearance or design of a website. You can get design inspiration from behance.com, dribbble.com, or webdesignserved.com.

User Experience (UX)

User Experience Design, or commonly called UX Design, are:
The process of increasing user satisfaction (application users, website visitors) in increasing the usability and pleasure provided in interactions between users and products.

In simple language, UX Design is the process of making a website or application that you make easy to use and not confusing when used by users.

You can learn the basics of User Experience Design on the uxapprentice.com site (in English). But if you want more advanced, you can try to take lessons or any workshop around your city.

Many people misrepresent that UI is the same as UX, even though the two things are different but connected to each other. And the task of the UI / UX Designer itself does not mean that it can only design an app or website that is cool and nice, but how to make the application look simple and easy for people to use in general.

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