Many professionals are eager to learn UX design but hesitate because of the perceived up-front costs. While users will need to acquire one or more prototyping tools to build interactive layouts, there are a few cost-efficient options for accessing some of the more popular applications. Beyond that, most of the work done in the user experience design process is free. However, a surprising amount of free resources are available to help beginners get the hang of this exciting design field.

Read on to learn more about the different types of free resources and tutorials available to help you learn UX design.

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.

Acquiring Prototyping Applications

The first thing a UX design student will need to do is acquire an application for building prototype applications. The three major applications are Figma, Adobe XD, and Sketch. Each of these programs offers a free trial for new users. Adobe XD offers the shortest free trial and is the most expensive program to license, but it also has the most advanced prototyping capabilities. Figma offers users an unlimited free version of their software with slight limitations. Sketch has a longer free trial and is the cheapest program, but it has the fewest prototyping features.

Free Resources

Interested in learning more about the philosophy behind UX design but unsure if you want to enroll in a professional training course? There are many free online learning resources that students can use 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 as it pertains to practical issues of testing and interviewing. Still, they can give users a solid introduction to the field of UX design.

Noble provides users with some 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 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.

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.

Key Takeaways