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Best product design courses (according to our survey)
UX Tips

Published on January 29, 2024

Best product design courses (according to our survey)

Calling all product designers! If you're looking to level up your skills and career, you're in the right place. In this article, we'll introduce you to 8 excellent product design courses tailored to meet your needs.

Keep up to date with the most recent article on product design courses. Our list aims to simplify your decision-making process when choosing where to expand your knowledge.

Table of contents

🐝 Note: Each organization in our list has been given a normalized score in the range 0-10, simplifying the process of comparison and selection for you. This scoring system is based on our survey in the UX specialists community. You can learn more about the survey and its methodology here.

Who provides the best-rated courses for product designers?

For product designers, the best UX courses are usually from top educational institutions, leading online platforms, and UX experts. Check out our survey’s top recommendations for UX professionals!

Courses for product designers

Top course providers as ranked across different experience levels

This graphic makes it easy to see the course providers preferred by specialists at different experience levels.

Course providers ranked across different proficiency levels

Recommended selection of courses

#1 Nielsen Norman Group

The Nielsen Norman Group, a renowned American organization, is highly regarded for its specialization in user interface and user experience consulting.

NNg

Source: nngroup.com

Score: 10/10 🥇

About their courses

NN/g provides both in-person and online courses, covering areas such as Interaction Design, Research, and Management. These courses include a range of subjects like research methods and UX strategy. To achieve UX Certification, participants must pass online exams. These courses are particularly beneficial for experienced individuals, drawing on NN/g’s extensive industry knowledge and esteemed reputation.

🗣 Students’ impressions overview

Students generally believe that NN/g courses are pricey but provide valuable, research-driven content that demands engagement and self-study to fully benefit. They appreciate the courses for their well-structured materials, actionable insights, options for virtual networking, and knowledgeable teachers. Additionally, completing a course awards a certificate that is widely respected in the industry, making it a notable addition to their resumes.

#2 Interaction Design Foundation

IxDF is a learning platform that offers open-access courses in fields like user experience and interface design. These courses are instructed by industry experts and professors with specialized knowledge in these areas.

IxDF

Score: 7.65/10 🥈

About their courses

The Interaction Design Foundation is known globally as one of the top three most cost-effective choices for UX education. They provide an extensive selection of courses, categorized into Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced levels.

For students at various learning phases, they suggest “Design Thinking: The Ultimate Guide” for novices and “Emotional Design — How to Make Products People Will Love” for those at a more advanced level. Every student who completes a course at the Interaction Design Foundation is awarded a certificate.

🗣 Students’ impressions overview

Students frequently mention that although IxDF provides an affordable foundation in UX design, it’s important to also explore other resources. They note that while obtaining a certification boosts confidence, it’s equally important to develop practical skills and empathy. Many value IxDF for its exceptional worth in UX education and its role in clarifying the career path in this field. It comes highly recommended by students keen on expanding their UX knowledge.

#3 Google

Google LLC, a major global tech company, is known for its market dominance, AI expertise, and extensive data collection. As part of Big Tech with Amazon, Apple, Meta, and Microsoft, Google excels in AI, online advertising, search technology, and cloud computing.

google

Score: 5.74/10 🥉

About their courses

Google offers a variety of UX courses on Coursera, each tailored to specific aspects of the field. The “Google UX Design Professional Certificate” is a perfect choice for those new to UX design. It serves as your gateway to a career in UX design, equipping you with sought-after skills that can make you job-ready in under 6 months.

🗣 Students’ impressions overview

Google’s courses are renowned for their educational value and informative content. Students highly appreciate the interactive elements, such as teamwork exercises, which enhance the overall learning experience. Although certain sections of the courses may advance at a more measured pace, upon finishing, learners often express gratitude to both Google and Coursera for offering such valuable learning opportunities.

#4 Zero to UX

Zero to UX specializes in advancing careers in UX Research, offering Mock Interviews, Portfolio/Resume Reviews, and Consulting Calls for individual career guidance, as well as Enterprise Consulting services for businesses.

Zero-to-UX-2

Score: 4.00/10 👈

About their courses

Zero to UX focuses on advancing careers in UX research. In this article, we highlight their UXR Masterclass, a course tailored for those entering UX research. It covers key topics like human factors psychology, leadership, AI integration, and UX business strategies, taught by expert Kevin Liang, providing a comprehensive learning experience.

🗣 Students’ impressions overview

Zero to UX has received praise from students for its organized course content, clear presentation, and enthusiastic instructors. Many students find the hands-on assignments and quizzes engaging and effective for learning UX principles. Overall, Zero to UX is highly regarded by students, providing an impactful and enjoyable UX research course.

Want to know more about Kevin Liang?

Listen to our podcast episode where Kevin discusses how he guides students through Zero to UX, teaching not just research methods, but also cultivating leadership qualities essential for becoming competent UX leaders.

#5 CareerFoundry

CareerFoundry offers a flexible tech bootcamp designed for self-paced learning. As an online school catering to career changers in the tech industry, they provide expert-guided programs in design, development, and analysis.

careerfoundry

Score: 3.67/10 👈

About their courses

CareerFoundry provides UX, UI design, and product management courses designed to accelerate your entry into the tech industry in just five months. They back their programs with a money-back guarantee and recognition from reputable institutions. These courses prioritize ethical AI usage, offer remote learning flexibility, and ensure job readiness through the Dual Mentorship Model and Job Preparation Course.

🗣 Students’ impressions overview

Students at CareerFoundry appreciate the flexibility of the UX courses but acknowledge that online learning can be isolating for team-based tasks like user research. They highly value mentors for motivation and connect with local peers, compensating for the absence of a physical learning environment. While some have found that CareerFoundry’s job search support may not fully meet their initial expectations, they overall value the well-structured courses.

#6 Coursera

Coursera, an American online learning platform, provides a wide array of courses, certifications, and degree programs. Through collaborations with more than 275 universities and companies, they offer access to an extensive catalog comprising over 7,000 courses.

coursera

Score: 3.49/10👈

About their courses

Coursera offers a diverse range of subjects, encompassing data science, business, information technology, mathematics, logic, and more. In 2024, Coursera provides a selection of over 2,000 user experience courses from various providers, including the University of Virginia, Google, and other organizations. Among the courses tailored for UX specialists is the beginner-friendly course “Innovation Through Design: Think, Make, Break, Repeat” by The University of Sydney and the course “Start the UX Design Process: Empathize, Define, and Ideate” from Google.

🗣 Students’ impressions overview

Balancing a wide variety of courses can be challenging, and students have suggested improvements like more quizzes and interactive content for engagement, better guidance on peer evaluation, and increased flexibility in accessing weekly sessions. Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that many of these courses are outstanding, and making choices based on user recommendations proves to be a valuable approach.

#7 Udemy

Udemy, an educational technology company, runs an online learning platform offering a diverse range of courses designed to help organizations enhance their strategies.

Udemy

Score: 3.09/10👈

About their courses

Udemy offers a wide range of courses covering topics like development, business, finance, marketing, design, IT, and more. These courses are available at prices of up to 100 euros, offering lifelong access to course materials. Upon successful completion, participants receive a certificate of completion.

🗣 Students’ impressions overview

At Udemy, the experience with their UX courses can vary depending on the specific course and individual expectations. While some students have expressed concerns about outdated information, lengthy content, conflicting teachings, and advice that may not align with practical constraints, others have discovered value in these courses, particularly when open to exploring different perspectives. These courses are generally regarded as accessible and beneficial for nurturing critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity.

#8 Human Factors International

HFI is an organization that, in the post-digital era, significantly influences businesses by crafting digital experiences that foster customer relationships.

hfi

Score: 1.47/10👈

About their courses

HFI offers certification tracks designed to cater to UX practitioners at different points in their careers. The Certified Usability Analyst (CUA) certification is well-suited for individuals entering or transitioning into the UX field, providing recognition as a usability expert and access to an exclusive online community. Conversely, the Certified User Experience Analyst (CXA) certification is aimed at advanced practitioners, with a focus on motivation, persuasion engineering, and ecosystem-level thinking.

🗣 Students’ impressions overview

Opinions about HFI’s certification program vary. While it offers a comprehensive understanding of usability, some contend that it may not significantly enhance job prospects compared to hands-on project experience. On the other hand, there are recommendations to explore more cost-effective usability courses on platforms like Udemy, which receive positive feedback from students. Ultimately, the value of HFI’s CUA certification depends on individual career goals and preferences within the field.

How to choose the right product design course?

👉 When you think about signing up for a product design course, it is important to know in advance how the given courses are set up, how much time it will take you to successfully complete them, and what reviews they have outside the institution’s own website.

👉 In our survey, the 3 most popular courses were NN/g, Interaction Design Foundation and Google. While Nielsen Norman Group (NN/g) is suitable for experienced students seeking a challenging path, Google often targets complete beginners aspiring to become UX researchers. Interaction Design Foundation (IxDF) stands out for its range of courses catering to various levels, providing a comprehensive overview at an affordable price.

👉 If you consider picking a product design course as a beginner, it’s crucial to prioritize the acquisition of fundamental design skills, knowledge of the design process, and hands-on practice. Look for courses that cover essential topics like digital product design, visual design, usability testing, user testing, design patterns, and real-world experience. If you already are more advanced on your UX journey, go for more complex courses that build on previous knowledge and are recommended by experts.

🐝 Tip: Are you aspiring to become a professional user experience designer? Check out our article on the UX design processes to gain insights into essential design concepts and establish a solid foundation in the field of user experience design.

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About our “Best product design courses” survey

What was the process behind our survey? We started by selecting courses from various articles that recommended reading for UX specialists. This formed a shortlist that our respondents could assess. They had options to mark each course as ‘Not familiar’, ‘Would recommend’, ‘Indifferent’, or ‘Would not recommend’. Once the survey concluded, we analyzed these responses to draw our conclusions.

How our rating methodology works?

  1. In our approach to rating the courses, we started by calculating the percentages of respondents who had either recommended it, expressed indifference to it, or not recommended it, disregarding the respondents who selected the “not familiar with” option.
  2. We then determined a net recommendation score for each course by subtracting the percentage of non-recommendations from the percentage of recommendations.
  3. This score effectively captures the overall sentiment toward each course, taking into account both positive and negative opinions.
  4. To make an easier comparison across the courses, we normalized these net recommendation scores to a scale ranging from 0 to 10. The highest-ranked course was assigned a score of 10, and the scores for the other courses were adjusted proportionally.
  5. This normalization process helps us present a clear, quantifiable, and easy-to-understand rating for each course, reflecting its relative standing among the survey respondents.

We believe this method provides a balanced view of the respondents’ preferences.

Where do our survey respondents come from?

We’re thrilled to report that 327 individuals from more than 40 countries chose to participate in our survey! A detailed look shows 48.8% were from the North America, followed by 36% from Europe, then 9.3% from Asia, 3.5% from South America, 1.4% from Africa and 0.8% from Australia and Oceania. It’s fantastic to see such wide and diverse involvement! 😊

Respondents

How much experience in product design field do our respondents have?

Finally, we will explore the distribution of our respondents based on their levels of experience as UX specialists, spanning from less than 2 years, 2-5 years, 5-10 years, to over 10 years of experience.

experience in product design

🐝 Tip: Do you want to get in touch with people from the UX community but don’t know where to look? See our article Best 30 UX Communities and Groups to Join!

Jana Filusova
January 29, 2024
All author's articles

Jana Filusova, our Marketing Executive at UXtweak, brings a scientific approach, analytical skills, and a business background to her role. She is responsible for running our podcast "UX Researcher Geeks" and content creation. Jana's academic background is in Molecular Biology and Genetics, and she spent three years as a researcher at the Czech Academy of Sciences. After completing her Master's studies, she shifted from the world of science to the field of Business Management and began working for UXtweak.

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