If you love designing beautiful digital experiences, then UX design is a highly rewarding field to consider getting into.
In this review, we’ll be looking at the ins and outs of the Google UX Design Professional Certificate, including the course curriculum, the tools and platforms covered, and what you can expect as a whole.
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Have you ever used a website with an overly complex registration process?
Or switched from desktop to mobile and wondered what on earth happened to the layout?
If so, you've evidently been reminded of this simple fact:
UX designers literally make the world a better place.
(The World Wide Web, that is).
Studies have repeatedly shown that there's a direct correlation between user experience and a product’s success in the marketplace.
This means that UX designers create a positive impact on people's lives and play a major role in driving business growth.
But that's not all.
One of the most exciting parts about joining the field of user experience is the large number of job opportunities available.
While the need for UX designers continues to grow, there is currently a shortage of UX design professionals to fill those roles.
The Google UX Design Professional Certificate is an online certificate program designed to help individuals develop the essential skills needed to launch a career in UX design.
The certificate is part of Grow with Google - an initiative through which Google partners with libraries, schools, and other organizations to provide flexible and affordable online career training.
The certificate includes the following 7 courses:
With less than 10 hours of effort invested per week, the certificate is estimated to take less than 6 months to complete.
Also, the program is completely online, meaning that you can access your lectures, readings and assignments anytime and anywhere via the web or your mobile device.
An Interesting Side Note
Google has announced that in it's own hiring practices, it will consider the UX Design Professional Certificate as equivalent to a four-year degree for related roles.
Upon completion of the certificate, you'll be able to connect directly with over 130 U.S. employers who are looking to hire graduates of the program.
Here is what others have said about the Google UX Design Professional Certificate:
"Being able to share my work through peer feedback and really see my product come together as the courses progressed was encouraging. I could directly see my skills improve and my toolkit expand."
- Daijah, certificate learner
"We need more people with UX skills in tech and this is a great avenue for people to start a new career in this field or make a career change."
- Catherine, Vice President of Design at Google
"The quality of teaching and the videos is very high. Lots of interesting assignments and articles. The time flies by."
- Karlan, certificate learner
Before we dive further, let's answer some commonly asked questions:
What sort of jobs will the Google UX Design Certificate prepare you for?
A wide range - it's ultimately up to you!
A career in UX design allows you the opportunity to work as a generalist, finding a role as a UX designer, UI designer, or UX researcher, or as a specialist, like a visual designer or interaction designer.
However, when you're just getting started, the role of an entry-level UX designer might include coming up with ideas to address user problems, conducting research with users, and designing wireframes, mockups, and prototypes.
Which tools or platforms are included in the curriculum?
You'll create designs on paper and learn in-demand digital tools such as Figma and Adobe XD. You'll also work with spreadsheets, word processing applications, and presentation applications.
By the end of the program, you will have a professional UX portfolio that includes three end-to-end projects, so that you’re ready to apply for jobs.
If you'd like to explore the course and quickly get a sense of what it's like, Coursera actually allows you to enroll in the certificate for free for 7 days.
At the end, I'll be sharing my personal thoughts on this program and whether it's worth it or not. But first, here's an overview of what to expect in each of the course modules:
The first course in the Google UX Design Certificate provides a general overview of the topics that you'll be exploring throughout the program.
Next, you’ll complete the first phases of the design process for a project that you’ll be able to include in your portfolio.
In course three, you’ll continue to design a mobile app for your professional UX portfolio. You'll also be introduced to the basics of information architecture, storyboarding, and drawing.
In this course, you will learn how to plan and conduct a usability study to gather feedback about designs. Then, you will modify your low-fidelity designs based on insights from your research.
Next, you will follow step-by-step tutorials to learn how to create high-fidelity designs, called mockups, in Figma, a popular design tool.
In course six, you will design a responsive website using Adobe XD.
Finally, you will showcase all that you’ve learned during the program to complete the design process from beginning to end.
While it obviously doesn't offer the same level of depth as a degree, the Google UX Design Professional Certificate is a great alternative that's worth enrolling in if you're a beginner to the industry.
First of all, it's a widely-recognized credential that you can present to employers as evidence of your diligent work ethic and commitment to self-education.
Secondly, the course places a huge focus on the development of your personal portfolio, which is super important when you're applying for entry-level UX design jobs.
Think about it: In an industry where education and previous experience are not strict prerequisites for landing your dream job, a UX design portfolio is arguably even more important than your resume.
Google's all about giving you practical training, not just theoretical knowledge.
Therefore, the certificate is highly interactive and developed by Google employees with decades of experience in UX design.
In addition, it includes over 200 hours of instruction and hundreds of practice-based activities and assessments that simulate real-world UX design scenarios.
As long as you apply yourself and put in the work, it's a program that will grow your skills and prepare you for many exciting career opportunities.
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