UX design doesn’t have a set cost. This is because while users will need to acquire prototyping applications and may need to compensate participants who help provide them with user behavior data, UX Designers don’t have a single program or methodology that guides the practice. This means that some UX Designers may be licensing multiple prototyping tools and paying survey participants, while others may only use a single, free software package.

What is UX Design?

User experience design (UX design) is a field of web design dealing with how a website, application, or other digital product feels to its users. User experience design ensures that an application feels easy and accessible to operate. It is a heavily invested field in user behavior research, prototype testing, and data analysis. It is useful to think of it as the more hands-on counterpart to its visually-oriented sister skill, user interface design. Often, user experience design isn’t isolated to work on a single webpage or digital application and instead refers to a subset of data science that strictly examines user preference and behavior regarding web applications.

Rather than simply gauging how a digital application looks, user experience design aims to rigorously test that application to understand how it feels once it is in the hands of real-life users. Learning user experience design will involve learning how to conduct research, analyze data, and use that data to make informed decisions about the interface design process. User experience design also coincides with market research, as User Experience Designers will gauge how users perceive a web application’s desirability or how they perceive that application communicating brand awareness. UX design also covers attempts to make web applications easier to use and more accessible for users with disabilities or who have other challenges accessing and navigating digital applications.

Read more about what UX design is and why you should learn it.

What Can You Do with UX Design?

UX design skills will allow you to build better digital applications and contribute to a larger pool of knowledge that helps other designers build better web applications. Whether one is working on individual projects or attempting to improve digital design as a whole, user experience training will help professionals build digital applications that are more user-friendly, accessible, and memorable than ever before.

Within the field of UX design, trained professionals will be able to fine-tune and iterate upon designs for digital applications to produce interfaces that respond to user behavior and feedback. This means they can apply their knowledge and expertise to a wide variety of projects to ensure that the finished product is functional, responsive, and accessible. UX design is a particularly enticing field for anyone who feels that digital applications need to be doing more to respond to the needs of their users, as this is the field that gathers the data that demonstrates these needs.

UX design is also the field that affords Digital Designers the most opportunity to engage directly with their users and customers. Between focus groups, user surveys, and interviews, many UX designers will spend more time interacting with the public than they will with their team of designers and developers. This makes the field particularly appealing to students interested in learning the difference between how we think users interact with technology and how they interact with it. For the empirically minded designer, UX design will open many doors for producing compelling research about user habits and behaviors.

In-Depth Review of the Cost

The only significant upfront cost for UX design is licensing a prototyping tool. Figma, Adobe XD, and Sketch are the most commonly used tools available. The price point of these licensing subscriptions will vary depending on the package users sign up for. As of this writing, all three programs operate on a subscription basis, meaning users will pay a monthly fee to access the applications and receive updates.

Adobe XD is the most costly of these programs, as a full subscription to the Creative Cloud can cost upwards of $54.99 a month. However, XD has the most robust prototyping features, and the most expensive subscription packages will let users access other Adobe applications, like Photoshop and Illustrator. Figma will cost users approximately $15 a month. However, for new learners, Figma offers a near-complete program version for free without an expiration date. This makes learning Figma marginally cheaper than the alternatives because students won’t have to pay for a subscription until they are skilled enough to need additional features unlocked. Sketch is the least costly program at approximately $9 a month. Sketch and Figma have large communities of designers and developers creating free templates and add-ons to help optimize the UX design process.

Why Learn UX Design?

Given how important it is for companies and organizations to have a memorable and accessible web presence, learning UX design is an ideal way to position oneself to enter a high-paying career field. Companies, firms, and nonprofit organizations are all looking for experienced designers who can help them optimize their web presence for how consumers access their applications. In addition, companies making digital projects also employ User Experience Designers to help test their products before they go to market.

Learning user experience design will also allow practitioners to perform higher-level research and testing on digital applications. Rather than working for individual companies or organizations, they will research a wide array of user behaviors and experiences to learn more about how consumers and users generally interact with digital applications. This will let them make more informed claims about user behavior so that they and other designers can make web pages better designed, more accessible, and more equitable.

Learning user experience design will also help users pick up some useful secondary skills, such as learning how to design and execute a research plan, building interfaces with user behaviors in mind, and designing for accessibility and usability. Additionally, since there is so much user data involved in user experience design, it is a good way to ease into learning more advanced data science skills.

Read more about why you should learn UX design.

Free Introductory UX Design Course Online

Interested in learning more about the philosophy behind UX design but unsure if you want to enroll in a professional training course? Students can use many free online learning resources to learn UX design basics. Since UX design is such a research-heavy field, these courses won’t be able to cover everything you will need to know, particularly concerning practical issues of testing and interviewing. Still, they can give users a solid introduction to the field of UX design.

Noble provides users with many pre-recorded lecture courses that will provide users with an introduction to the concepts and tools most commonly used within the field of UX design. For example, Noble offers a Getting Started in Digital Design tutorial explaining the basic tools and career paths open to those studying digital design. For students looking for more specific user experience instruction, Noble offers a free Intro to UX Design course that will teach students the philosophy behind user research, user testing, and other important UX design concepts. These courses and many more are available on both Noble’s website and the Web Development and Development playlist on their official YouTube page.

Free online UX design courses are also available through service providers such as General Assembly, CareerFoundry, and LinkedIn Learning. These courses will all vary in content and scope, so users are encouraged to see what kinds of offerings are available.

Read about more free UX Design videos and online tutorials.

Learn UX Design with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

Noble Desktop offers students many user experience design courses and bootcamps. These courses, available both in-person and online, offer in-depth, career-focused UX design training and are all taught by expert instructors in real-time. Even taken online, these courses will allow students to interact directly with their instructor in the classroom and during one-on-one mentoring sessions. The small class sizes ensure students won’t get lost in crowded lecture halls. In addition, students can retake any course they enroll in for free within one year. This means students can take their courses a second time to review lessons, cover material they found difficult, or get more hands-on user experience design practice.

For students looking to learn the basics of UX Design, Noble offers a UX Design in a Day, in which students will learn the basic elements of the UX design process. They will learn key terms and ideas, like personas and scenarios, and how to conduct basic user research and interview participants to receive feedback. They will also learn the basic process of sketching and building prototype applications for testing. This is an introductory course, so it will only scratch the surface of the tests and research work involved in UX design, but it is an important course for laying the foundation for more immersive training.

Students looking for a more detailed, career-focused training course can enroll in Noble’s UX & UI Design Certificate. This course prepares students for employment in the UX/UI design field and will provide students with hands-on experience building and testing user interfaces. Users will receive training in advanced research techniques, including conducting interviews, producing written user reports, and running surveys. Then, students will be taught how to interrupt this data so that they may return to their designs and iterate on them in light of the feedback. Students will also be given hands-on training in prototyping and design software, such as Figma, Sketch, and Adobe XD. At the end of the course, students will have the opportunity to build a portfolio of sample interface designs and user experience case studies. In addition to this portfolio, students will receive one-on-one career mentorship, and by the end of the course, they will be ready to enter the workforce in the field of user experience design.