I recently completed the Google UX Design Certificate – a rigorous, hands-on program that covers the design process from end-to-end. It’s a very good preparation and actually cheap ($600), for an entry career in UX Design. The professional-level training from Google are inspiring and excellent presented by Google employies, including real life testimonials. The Coursera online learning platform is easy to use and just works great!
I found that peer feedback was often unhelpful because of the lack of constructive comments provided. Frustrating to receive comments that mentioned nothing but “Good job!” or “Nice work!”. I was hoping to have had more comments specific to my work with suggestions on how to improve. But think its too much to ask peers to give constructive feedback and meaningful critique on big projects. This should be done by experienced UX designers.
Overall, I think it was a great and informative journey to complete this certificate. I hope this article can provide some useful insights on the program. I highly recommend the Google UX Design Professional Certificate for anyone who is interested in UX and is looking for a challenging yet rewarding learning experience.
Note! I am not affiliated with Google or Coursera. This is not a sponsored post. This article is written based on my experience and learning from the course.
What you will learn
The certificate program is designed to help you develop the skills listed below:
- Empathizing with users by creating empathy maps, personas, user stories, and user journey maps
- Defining user pain points
- Ideating design solutions using Crazy Eights, How Might We, and competitive audits
- Creating wireframes and prototypes on paper and digitally
- Developing mockups using visual design elements and principles
- Designing in Figma and Adobe XD
- Conducting interviews and usability studies
- Considering accessibility at every point in the design process
You will start by building a foundation in UX design, you will review common job responsibilities of entry level UX designers, and other teams you might work with. You will learn common terms, tools, and frameworks, UX designers use. You will explain why design sprints are an important and useful part of a UX designer’s work. And you will start to develop a professional online presence, including beginning your portfolio and joining online UX communities. Next, you will start the design process for your first portfolio project. You will empathize with users, defined the problem, and ideated on possible solutions. Along the way, you get an understanding the world from a user’s point of view is one of the most important jobs of a UX designer. That empathy includes a focus on accessibility, and is a key component to designing for everyone. After that, you sketched wireframes on paper, and created them digitally in Figma.
Then you will move into the prototype phase of the design process. You built your first low-fidelity prototype of an app, and you will see your designs in action. You will also learn the importance of ethics in the field of UX design. Next, you will use everything you learned to create a responsive website that you will create in Adobe XD. You will learn all about designing for websites, including sitemaps and common webpage layouts. A second case study to your portfolio to showcase your work, search for jobs in UX design, and created a resume too. And finally, you will follow the design process again to build the final project for your portfolio. You will combine all of your skills to design a dedicated mobile app and a responsive website for social good. Then you will wrap up the course by polishing your portfolio, getting ready for the job interview process, and exploring freelance work.
To earn the Google User Experience (UX) Design certificate, you must complete a portfolio that showcases 3 major UXD projects and 3 case studies. These projects are designed to help you become job-ready and enter the field of UX Design. You will develop portions of this portfolio in each of the 7 courses in the certificate program. You’ll complete the assignments related to Project 1 (Mobile App) in Courses 2 through 5, Project 2 (Responsive Web Design) in Course 6, and Project 3 (Design a User Experience for Social Good) in Course 7. By the time you have finished this certificate, you’ll have designed two mobile apps and two responsive websites.
Here is a general overview of the graded items that contribute to your portfolio for each course in the UXD Certificate.
Foundations of User Experience Design is all about getting you acquainted with the basics of user experience design. Your foundational knowledge will help you succeed in starting a portfolio to present to prospective employers when you start your job search.
Start the UX Design Process: Empathize, Define, and Ideate is focused on learning how to empathize with potential users, defining users’ needs, and coming up with ideas for design solutions. Your first project is designing a mobile app. The following assignments will help with the first project and case study for your portfolio:
- Mobile App Project Personas
- Mobile App User Journey Map
- Mobile App User Problems
- Mobile App Competitive Audit and Report
Build Wireframes and Low-Fidelity Prototypes, you’ll sketch storyboards, create wireframes, and build a low-fidelity prototype of your app in a design tool called Figma. The following assignments will help with your Mobile App case study for your portfolio:
- Mobile App Storyboards
- Mobile App Digital Wireframes
- Mobile App Low-Fidelity Prototype
Conduct UX Research and Test Early Concepts, you’ll plan and conduct research to test your mobile app designs and get feedback from users. The following assignments will help with your Mobile App case study for your portfolio:
- Mobile App Research Plan
- Mobile App Usability Study
- Mobile App Insights
- Mobile App Research Presentation
Create High-Fidelity Designs and Prototypes in Figma, you’ll create mockups and a high-fidelity prototype of your app for a second round of testing. The following assignments will help with your Mobile App case study for your portfolio:
- Mobile App Mockup
- Mobile App High-Fidelity Prototype
- Mobile App Case Study
The second portfolio project, a responsive website, is introduced in Course 6: Responsive Web Design in Adobe XD. Your responsive web design will be created using Adobe XD. The following assignments will help with your responsive web design case study for your portfolio:
- Responsive Web Design Website Sitemap
- Responsive Web Design Wireframes
- Responsive Web Design Low-Fidelity Prototype
- Responsive Web Design High-Fidelity Prototype
- Responsive Web Design Case Study
In the final course in the program, Design a User Experience for Social Good and Prepare for Jobs, you’ll design a dedicated mobile app and a complementary responsive website focused on creating social good. The following assignments will help with your the Social Good App and Website case study and your overall portfolio:
- Social Good App and Website Research Results and Designs
- Social Good App and Website Mockups and High-Fidelity Prototypes
- Social Good App and Website Case Study
- UX Portfolio
Helpful tips to get started
Interaction Design Foundation
A library of open-source UX design resources, including new articles published every day. There are also local meet-ups (virtual and in-person) that are free to attend and open to everyone. Read more here.
Adobe XD Ideas
A blog curated for entry-level UX designers. You’ll find inspiring examples of great design, valuable career tips, and more. Read more here.
UX Collective on Medium
An article platform with stories on user experience, visual design, product design, and more. Articles on Medium are written by a large variety of writers and cover a range of topics. Read more here.
Nielsen Norman Group
Research-based UX guidance, including a ton of helpful articles about the design process, research methods, and user testing, which you’ll learn about later in the certificate program. Read more here.
Join the program
Join here: Google UX Design Professional Certificate
In the U.S. and Canada, Coursera charges $49 per month after the initial 7-day free trial period. The Google UX Design Certificate can be completed in less than 6 months at under 10 hours per week of part-time study, so most learners can complete the certificate for less than $300 USD. In other countries where Google Career Certificates are available, your cost may be lower. You will get free access to Figma and Adobe XD in the course period.
UX design communities
Behance is a social media platform owned by Adobe whose main focus is to showcase and discover creative work.
Dribbble is a self-promotion and social networking platform for digital designers. It serves as a design portfolio platform, jobs and recruiting site and is one of the largest platforms for designers to share their work online.
UX and UI Design
This article looks at UX and UI design. What it is. What these designers do. Goals, research, analysis, testing, iteration, tools and design principles. Learn more here.
Design thinking focus on a collaboration between designers and users. It brings innovative solutions to life based on how real users think, feel and behave. Learn more here.