UX Field Guide

 User Experience Design is the process of enhancing user satisfaction by improving the usability, accessibility, and pleasure provided in the interaction between the user and the product.

FIRST THING'S FIRST

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UX is not UI:

http://www.helloerik.com/ux-is-not-ui

[Well, it is…but it isn't.]

What Does That Even Mean?:

http://trydesignlab.com/blog/uiux-designer-what-does-that-even-mean/ 

[A little more depth about the field.]

Beginner Advice:

http://jessicaivins.net/my-advice-for-becoming-a-ux-designer/ 

Getting Out There:

http://www.zanthro.com/whats-the-difference-between-a-user-experience-ux-designer-and-a-user-interface-ui-designer/

Federal Usability Resource:

http://www.usability.gov/

Is A UX Degree Necessary?:

http://www.uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2012/01/how-important-are-ux-degrees-and-certifications.php 

UX Topics All Beginners Should Know:

http://www.uxbeginner.com/ultimate-list-of-ux-topics-all-beginners-should-know/ 

FREE COURSES/LESSON PLANS

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UX Fundamentals: 

http://gymnasium.aquent.com/courses/GYM/103/0/about 

[This is a good intro course to understand the basics of UX. Not too in depth, but you will take away key concepts and see the approach of how to think from the UX standpoint.]

The Hipper Element: 

http://thehipperelement.com/post/75476711614/ux-crash-course-31-fundamentals

[A 31 day crash course to further dive into UX applications and practices, and get engaged in UX at your own pace.]

Hack Design: 

https://hackdesign.org/lessons 

[This site actually has an extensive lesson plan and curated articles for specific topics. It is a lot of info, but once you get started and tackle each lesson, one by one, it really sets the stage and gives you a lot of knowledge to glean from.]

UX Project Checklist: 

https://uxchecklist.github.io/

[A friend of mine who actually teaches UX at GA always refers her students to this resource site. This will get you into deliverable mode, and can in turn be used to guide your portfolio. It can definitely come in handy when you land an internship or start working as a designer as many if not all of these tools are used at the professional level.]

READING LIST

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UXPin: 

http://studio.uxpin.com 

[Includes e-books, articles, trends, etc.]

Norman Nielson Group:

http://www.nngroup.com/articles/ 

Don't Make Me Think:  

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0321965515/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_1?pf_rd_p=1944687722&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=0321344758&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=166P9G7A0Q7YQ0PRG4W8

Information Architecture: 

http://www.amazon.com/Information-Architecture-For-Web-Beyond/dp/1491911689/ref=dp_ob_title_bk

Killer UX Design:

http://www.sitepoint.com/store/killer-ux-design/ 

Julie Zhuo's The Year of the Looking Glass

https://medium.com/the-year-of-the-looking-glass 

Observing The User Experience:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1868.Observing_the_User_Experience

UX Design Weekly:

http://uxdesignweekly.com/

The Lean UX Manifesto:

http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2014/01/lean-ux-manifesto-principle-driven-design/

Google’s HEART metrics for UX:

http://www.cleverism.com/google-heart-framework-measuring-quality-ux-user-experience/ 

LOW COST COURSES

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Girl Develop It – UX workshop: http://www.meetup.com/Girl-Develop-It-Los-Angeles/events/225031699/ 

[Masa mentioned taking part in this workshop put on by GDI. Bernadette Irizarry is a well of knowledge in the UX field, and is a worthwhile course while being budget friendly. Be on the lookout for subsequent courses.]

Skillshare:

http://skl.sh/1AJMOFb

[Skillshare has a number of UX/UI courses, super affordable, and the instructors are very communicative and open to hearing from students. I recommend courses from Erica Heinz (http://www.skillshare.com/classes/technology/Prototyping-for-Web-I-Information-UX-and-Paper-Prototypes/542676627?via=my-classes) & Kara Hodecker (http://www.skillshare.com/classes/design/iOS-Design-I-Getting-Started-with-UX/264159994?via=my-classes), and there are many more courses for learning to use tools for visual and interaction design. Definitely worthy deliverables for a portfolio. What their courses also do is help give us the WHY for certain user needs/product interactions, which is what Bernadette (UX instructor with GDI) pinpointed as necessary in our portfolios. Another that looks promising for usability testing: 

(https://www.skillshare.com/classes/design/Beyond-Usability-Testing-Start-Doing-The-Right-UX-Research/578891514/classroom/discussions)]

Lynda.com: 

http://lynda.com 

[Not much to explain, as lynda.com is pretty well known. They do have a UX course, as well as one for using some prototyping tools, should you need guided instruction in using the software.]

Treehouse Intro to UX (overview):

https://teamtreehouse.com/library/ux-basics 

PROGRAMS

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There are a bunch of resources I've found, but these have served well for getting to the position to call yourself a UX designer. There are also programs and certifications that are similar, such as Human Computer Interaction, and some schools offer grad level courses. Coursera offers an HCI course free here (https://www.coursera.org/course/hciucsd) or series courses/degree/certification programs can be found here (http://uxmastery.com/resources/degrees/). And if the GA immersive course is still something you are leaning towards, consider checking these online programs first (these are much less expensive, but very similar in curriculum): 

Bloc.io:    https://www.bloc.io/ux-design-bootcamp

Career Foundry: http://careerfoundry.com/courses/ux-design?gclid=CNGcg7yFncYCFZFefgodtLEADA#overview

Thinkful:  https://www.thinkful.com/courses/learn-ux-online/

DesignLab:  http://trydesignlab.com 

SlideRule: https://www.mysliderule.com/workshops/ux-design?utm_source=uxdesignweekly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=uxdesignweekly

TOOLS

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[Tools vary by project and individual role, but knowing you can use any and all tools competently will only benefit you professionally. Do pay attention to job descriptions, as some may ask for more skills/knowledge than others, but may NOT necessarily pay you more in return!]

Pen/Paper

POP/Marvel

HTML/CSS

Marker/White board

Pixate/Form

jQuery/JS

Adobe CS/CC

UXPin/InVision

Frameworks

Sketch + Affinity Suite (Mac)

Balsamiq/Axure

Full Stack Development

*These items are noted skills for web development & are universally separate from UX functions. But they are fun to learn – check with Liz!

Apple Developer Library (contains UI guidelines for all Apple platforms)

https://developer.apple.com/library/ 

Google Material Design Guidelines: https://www.google.com/design/spec/material-design/introduction.html# 

PORTFOLIO

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Dos & Don’ts:  http://studio.uxpin.com/blog/creating-ux-portfolio-4-dos-donts/ 

MVP: http://www.uxbeginner.com/minimum-viable-ux-portfolio/ 

Active Designers: http://uxdesignweekly.com/ux-resources/ux-portfolios/

UX Projects: http://www.uxbeginner.com/5-hidden-sources-of-ux-portfolio-projects/#comments 

Videos: “What’s In Your Portfolio?”

Part 1: https://vimeo.com/53884336 

Part 2: https://vimeo.com/54613883 

CHALLENGES/COMPETITIONS

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TopCoder:

www.topcoder.com 

RESOURCES/DISCUSSION THREADS

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UX Movement:

http://uxmovement.com 

Learn To Code UX Slack Channel:

https://l2cla-slackin.herokuapp.com/

= ITEMS WILL BE ADDED TO THIS LIST AS THEY ARE CONTINUOUSLY COLLECTED & CURATED =

PROJECT NO. 1

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Phase 1

IMDB:  http://www.imdb.com/ 

It goes without saying that IMDB has come a rather long way in its design and usability:

IMDB Case Study.png
IMDB Case Study.png

For the most part, the IA has not changed much, but the addition of banner ads, as we can see from the present site, has been an unavoidable distraction, but that is indeed the current state of the web. Let’s look at the mobile version, as it is a responsive site (be sure to downsize your browser window): http://m.imdb.com/?ref_=ft_mdot 

So let’s work on getting going. There are a number of tasks to start with when conducting research, and feel free to get down and dirty. Per the UX Project Checklist, we can start with Competitive Analysis, move on to Data Analysis, and start getting User Feedback about the product (no matter the order here, we just need to begin collecting findings and observations), so check it out for more details on each task. From there, we can move along to Site Heuristics. Remember that you don’t need hundreds of individual subjects; 5 to 10 will do, and be sure to keep stats. Friends, friends of friends, family, coworkers… keep it connected and keep questions open ended (no leading!). We will share our findings at the next Meetup on Dec. 12. Feel free to ask any questions on the Slack channel or post a comment here.

GOOD LUCK

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