UX Academy

Launch your career with the world’s best online UX design program.

Do you have what it takes?

Intensive, rigorous and challenging, UX Academy equips students with the skills hiring managers are looking for in today’s digital designers.

If you’re passionate, prepared to work hard, and set on a career in UX design, we’re here to guide your learning and help you land your first design role in the industry.

  • About
  • Outcomes
  • Curriculum
  • Mentorship
  • Community
  • Admissions
  • Apply
  • FAQs

About UX Academy

Rigorous curriculum. Expert, personalized mentor support. And a thriving, global student community to share your learning online.

Learn Essential Skills

You'll learn design essentials through over 480 hours of coursework, more than 50 hands-on projects, and community & mentor-based interaction.

Get Job Prep

Practice mock interviews, prepare your personal UX portfolio, and work directly towards your career goals with our network of expert Career Coaches.

Advance Your Career

Our goal is to help you land your first job in UX/UI design and kickstart the next chapter of your career.

Delivering Real Outcomes

With hands-on support and Career Services guidance, 95% of UX Academy students have landed jobs within 6 months of program completion.

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    PETER JAVORKAI

    UI Designer at Adidas

    “I got a job offer from Adidas just before I started my second capstone project on UX Academy!”

    Read Peter’s story
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    sammy de joya

    UX Designer at Comrade Agency

    “UX Academy was great. It helped give me the kick start that I needed to learn all the basic design concepts.”

    Read Sammy’s story
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    Wendy Pei

    Product Designer at Microsoft

    “The confidence I came out with really propelled me into the job hunt. I received several offers in just a month.”

    Read Wendy’s story
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    celeste north

    UX Designer at Backbase

    “I learned sketching, wireframing, prototyping, UI kits, personas, and user flows. All are key skills for my work.”

    Read Celeste’s story
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    Marko Vuletic

    Freelancer

    “What I really liked about the Designlab course were the assignments and the weekly mentor calls.”

    Read Marko’s story
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    Tracy Lin

    UX/UI Designer at TechStyle Fashion Group

    “Those who encouraged and affirmed me turned out to be right, because I graduated and I got the job.”

    Read Tracy’s story
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    Jonathan Netek

    UX / Visual Designer at Flightaware

    “I already had 13 years in the design industry, but I still learned valuable new skills in UXA.”

    Read Jonathan’s story
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    Rachee Jacobs

    Product Designer at Eved

    “I loved it! The curriculum was solid, the staff were supportive, and there was a friendly student community.”

    Read Rachee’s story

Students have also been hired at…

Curriculum

Our comprehensive curriculum, vetted by industry professionals and recently revamped, will give you a thorough foundation in design to help you get ready for your first job.

Phase one practicum

Develop core skills in each pillar of UX and product design: from research, to ideation, to visual design, to prototyping & testing

Intro to UX Design

Learn about the history and evolution of UX design, and get an introduction to the basics of product development methodologies.

User Research

Learn how to make products that fit your users' needs, by practicing techniques of interviewing, observation, and testing.

Information Architecture

Learn how to make choices about design elements that affect your overall product, and practice wireframing techniques to represent your IA decisions.

Interaction Design

Learn how interaction design informs product design, and dive into prototyping tools and techniques to effectively represent your work.

User Interface Design

Learn how to craft the elements of a user interface, construct coherent brand systems, and prototype your interfaces in high fidelity.

Iteration and Implementation

Learn how to use user testing to improve your work iteratively. Understand how UX fits into a cross-functional organization, and see what happens when you hand your work off.

Phase two Capstones & Portfolio

Work through Capstone projects, develop a standout portfolio & online presence, and land your first UX design job

Portfolio Part 1

Create a first draft of your personal brand and portfolio.

Capstone 1: CX/Responsive Design

The first capstone focuses on designing a transactional website using responsive web design. You’ll implement user journeys, learn project management techniques, and complete your first large-scale project.

Capstone 2: Feature in an Existing Product

In Capstone 2, you’ll focus on designing improvements to features in an existing product. Formulate independent design ideas, and develop full features to ship.

Capstone 3: End-to-End Product

For the final capstone, you’ll develop a complete, multi-platform app to ship, and an accompanying website.

Portfolio Part 2

Revise your personal brand and portfolio, and learn how to present a complete picture of your work to an employer.

Certificate

Receive your UX Academy Certificate of Completion, including a summary of everything you learned.

Career Services

After course completion, work with a Designlab Career Coach to identify job locations and opportunities, tweak your portfolio based on job goals, and apply for openings in UX design.

Success!

Launch your career and land your first UX design job

Tools

Throughout the course, you'll work on projects using industry standard tools and gain proficiency with the tools of your choice.

View all Perks

Projects

You’ll work on over 50 hands-on exercises, and develop a portfolio with 3 case studies. Learning by doing isn't the best way: it's the only way.

See more student work

1-on-1 Mentoring and Career Services

Get personalized mentorship from an expert designer, access the broader Designlab mentor network, and work with your own Career Coach to support your job search

Expert 1-on-1 Mentoring

Designlab mentors are top designers, hand-picked for their design excellence and top-notch communication skills. With written feedback on your work and weekly Skype sessions, you’ll be in great hands.

Career Coach

To help you get the job you want, at the end of the course you will work with a Career Coach, who will help with your portfolio, job applications, and interview technique.

Training & Assessment

All Designlab mentors go through an onboarding process to ensure that they're prepared for the course. Mentors share critique based on an objective program-wide rubric to help assess student growth.

"What I love the most about mentoring in UX Academy is the impact I’m having in the industry. With students from all over the world, each with their own story and background, we are responsible for helping them not only be great UX Designers but also having a career they are satisfied with. The program that Designlab offers is very complete and thorough."

Sara Vilas Santiago

UX Academy mentor

View all Mentors

Community

Build your network. Learn from peers. Our community experience is unparalleled in an online course.

Group Crits

Group Crits are weekly group video sessions led by a moderator. You'll learn how to present work, give and receive critique, and get to know your fellow students.

Slack

UX Academy’s global community interacts on Slack, an industry-leading collaboration platform. Share resources, trade advice, and build lasting relationships.

Designlab Platform

Upload iterations of your work to our custom-built coursework submission platform, and your mentor and fellow students will leave their comments and feedback.

Student Advocates

Each cohort has its own Student Advocate, who is there to answer your questions about anything from coursework to mentor scheduling.

Alumni Community

Our alumni community is growing by the day, as more and more students complete their course and find work in the industry. Our alumni often stay engaged with UXA, sharing experiences and advice with new students.

Blog Posts & Emails

Our in-house content team publishes fresh content on our blog every Monday, and sends out regular digests of the best design writing on the web.

Admission Criteria

UX Academy is a selective program. We're looking for motivated students ready to commit to a career change.

What you don’t need

A college education. Employers are interested in your portfolio – not in what school you went to.

Expensive software. Our recommended graphics package for UXA is Sketch – which you can pick up for $50.

An empty calendar. UXA can be taken part-time, allowing you to fit study around a full-time job.

A student loan. Because we don’t have the overheads of a traditional college campus, we can offer education that is both rigorous and affordable.

What you need

A love of good design. You needn’t be an expert, but to stay motivated and excel in UXA, you’ll need a passion for design.

Grounding in design fundamentals. UXA moves fast, so before starting, you need to demonstrate a basic understanding of visual design principles — our Design 101 course or its equivalent.

Commitment and resilience. 480 hours is a lot of coursework, and there will be tough weeks. We’ll support you, but the work is up to you.

Comfort and familiarity with spoken and written English. Course materials and sessions are delivered in English, so this is crucial to your success.

How you can prepare

Read up on UX design. Check out our article Getting Started in UX Design.

Get inspired. Here are some iconic UX design classics from the 1990s.

Get some different angles on design. Try Christian Leborg’s Visual Grammar, Tim Brown’s Change By Design, and Aaron Draplin’s Pretty Much Everything.

Plan your time. Figure out how many hours you can devote to UXA, and make the most of them by avoiding procrastination.

Price

$5,999

$4,999

for May 2017 cohort only

6-MONTH JOB GUARANTEE

Provided you put in the work, we promise that UX Academy will provide you with the education you need to land your first job as a designer — or your money back.

Read course policies

Upcoming UX Academy Course Dates

We begin a new cohort of UX Academy every month. Courses fill up quickly and we conduct rolling admissions — make sure you apply as soon as you can to increase your chances of starting in the cohort you want.

May 15th, 2017 November 13th, 2017
June 12th, 2017 December 11th, 2017
July 17th, 2017 January 15th, 2018
May 15th, 2017 September 4th, 2017
June 12th, 2017 October 2nd, 2017
July 17th, 2017 November 6th, 2017

Designlab ux academy

  • Work with an expert design mentor
  • Connect with a community of peers
  • Create a stunning design portfolio
  • Work with your own Career Coach

OUR NEXT AVAILABLE COHORT STARTS May 15th. SAVE YOUR SPOT TODAY!

Interested?

Submit your email below. We'll send over a course syllabus and application, schedule a short phone call to answer questions if you'd like, and help you get started!

See How UX Academy Compares

As a 100% online platform, Designlab offers excellent education with flexibility and an accessible price point.

Designlab UX Academy
  • Online or offline
    online
  • Price
    $5,999 4,999 May 2017 only
  • Group Crits
  • Job Guarantee
  • Career Services
Bloc Designer Track
  • Online or offline
    online
  • Price
    $9,800
  • Group Crits
  • Job Guarantee
  • Career Services
CareerFoundry “Certified UX Designer”
  • Online or offline
    online
  • Price
    $10,500
  • Group Crits
  • Job Guarantee
  • Career Services
Designation
  • Online or offline
    offline
  • Price
    $12,800
  • Group Crits
    N/A
  • Job Guarantee
  • Career Services
General Assembly
  • Online or offline
    offline
  • Price
    $13,500
  • Group Crits
    N/A
  • Job Guarantee
  • Career Services
Tradecraft
  • Online or offline
    offline
  • Price
    $14,000
  • Group Crits
    N/A
  • Job Guarantee
  • Career Services
Online or offline Price Group Crits Job Guarantee Career Services
Designlab
UX Academy
Online $5,999
$4,999
May 2017 only
Bloc Designer Track Online $9,800
CareerFoundry “Certified UX Designer” Online $10,500
Designation Offline $12,800 N/A
General Assembly Offline $13,500 N/A
Tradecraft Offline $14,000 N/A

A Day in the Life

UX Academy is designed to fit your schedule. You can choose to take the course either full-time (14 weeks) or part-time (26 weeks). See how past students have balanced their lives.

Puja Patel

Full-time UX Academy • Eames Cohort

I wake up at 8:00am, eat breakfast, and play on my phone or read a book. Then I start working on UX Academy projects, and have a mentor meeting if I’ve got one scheduled. Then work out for 1-2 hours – my classes ranged from yoga and kickboxing to strength training and aerobics!

I come home, shower, eat lunch, and continue with my Designlab projects. I might join a group critique session on Google Hangouts, then take a break, watch a TV show, or hang out with friends. After dinner, I do a bit more on my UXA work, and then do personal UX design research with trends. I finish the day by reading a book, surfing the web, or hanging out with friends or family.

Ann Tai

Part-time UX Academy + full-time job • Cohort 1

First thing, I get up and go to my job. I have meetings in the morning, but take advantage of a UX Academy Group Crit session if I can. I spend the afternoon at my job, checking out games & books for children aged 2-9! I talk with my team members in the Bay Area, and do some backend content platform maintenance.

Once I get home, I have dinner with friends, shower, and talk to my parents. I get started on my UXA reading materials, and sometimes spend a bit of time Googling around the reading until I understand it properly. I try not to rush my work, and to reach out to my mentor if I get stuck. I often study until 1am, and occasionally, if I want to get something finished, until 3am or 4am! Then it’s bed time, with a sense of accomplishment.

Tasha Nepomuceno

Part-time UX Academy + part-time job • Gray Cohort

I get up at 6.30am, get ready for work, take my dogs for a walk, and make coffee (NEED!). If it’s one of my work days, I have to leave by 8am to arrive at work by 9. I’m there 9-5, but often spend my lunch hour reading the UX Academy lessons or watching some of the videos. I get home at 6, and take the dogs for another walk!

Dinner between 6.30-7.30, and then work on UXA projects until 11pm, or later. The great thing about Designlab is they tell you the estimated time each project will take – which really helps you to schedule! If I’m feeling lost, I spend time looking for inspiration from my classmates’ work, and I make sure to stay connected with them through Slack or the group crits. Each day I try to leave time for relaxation and spend time unwinding with family and friends.

Kacy McKibben

Full-time UX Academy + part-time job • Cohort 2

I wake up around 7am, workout at home (or at the beach!), shower, make tea, and do my UX Academy work for a couple hours. Then it’s a late breakfast/early lunch. I try to go out to lunch every other week to catch up with friends or family. Doing the full-time UXA track meant less in-person interaction, so I wanted to make sure I was seeing people!

I work until dinnertime – usually on a mix of Designlab projects, product management work (as a contractor), and website development (side projects). A huge perk of being full-time and working at home was that I could run errands in the early afternoon when there was no traffic. In the evening, I’d either do more work after dinner, or just relax with my boyfriend.

Have questions?

We’ve got you covered.

Curriculum

How is UX Academy different from your individual courses?

UX Academy provides the comprehensive training you need for your first job in the industry, and it has more curriculum content than all of our short courses put together. For example, Design 101 includes about 40 hours of coursework; with UX Academy, it’s 480 hours. The program also includes extra features like Career Services, which allows you to work with a career coach for up to 6 months to refine your portfolio, shape high quality job applications, and improve your interview technique.

What if I’ve already taken a course on Designlab?

If you’ve taken one or more of our short courses, you might notice areas of overlap in the curriculum. Our former student Lisa talks about how she took the opportunity to work with her mentors to complete further iterations on one of the projects she undertook on the UX Research and Strategy short course.

Why should I choose UX Academy over your competitors?

We believe that UX Academy offers excellent value for money. There are no comparable providers offering the same combination of curriculum rigor, 1-on-1 mentoring, career coaching, and job guarantee. What’s more, our students love the experience: we have 5-star ratings on Switchup and Course Report.

Can I customize the curriculum in any way?

Yes — you’ll work with your mentors to choose specific capstone projects that are customized to your abilities and intended areas of focus.

Experience

How does mentoring work?

Think of your mentor as your personal design coach. Your mentor will leave online written feedback on your work, and connect with you over regularly-scheduled video conferencing sessions (1x/week if you're on the part-time track; 2x/week if you're doing the course full-time). They’ll help answer any and all questions, challenge your thinking, and push you to be great. There’s no better way to learn design than to work with an expert!

What does the online community consist of?

We believe that it’s best to learn with (and from) fellow students. UXA is therefore delivered through monthly intakes, called cohorts, which offer peer support and peer feedback. We’ve built a vibrant online community using a number of great tools:

  1. Designlab’s custom-built online submission platform allows your mentor and fellow students to leave comments and feedback on your work.
  2. Slack is an online collaboration tool for teams, allowing you to exchange feedback, comments, and advice with fellow students.
  3. Group Crits are held weekly over Google Hangouts, and are an opportunity for students to present their work and discuss it live with a mentor facilitator and fellow students. Our alumni consistently say that the experience of presenting and defending their work through Group Crits has become a significant asset in their subsequent work.
  4. Student Advocates (SAs) are assigned to each cohort at the start of the course. They will be available to answer your questions about anything from coursework to mentor scheduling, and to relay any issues to Designlab staff.
  5. Our alumni community is growing by the day, as more and more students complete their course and find work in the industry. Our alumni often stay engaged with UXA, sharing experiences and advice with new students.
  6. Blog posts are published every week by our in-house content team, and we send out regular digests of the best design writing on the web.

Hiring & Job Prep

What kind of jobs will I be ready for when I’m done?

UX Academy will prepare you for your first position as a professional designer capable of taking on a range of UX and UI design work. Students who have completed our programme in recent months have gone on to jobs in UI, UX, and product design at companies including Adidas, TechStyle Fashion Group, Eved, Backbase, Comrade Agency, and Microsoft. To find out more, check out our UXA Success Stories.

Will companies hire me without a design degree?

Yes. Design is a fast-moving industry, with standards, tools, and market needs changing every year. Your portfolio is the primary point of reference for employers looking for evidence that you have the skills for the job. With UX design in particular, college courses often lag behind the industry. UX Academy’s curriculum will equip you with up-to-date, relevant UX design skills that hiring managers are looking for. If you’re unsure, check out our UXA Success Stories from students who have landed high-paying positions.

How will the UX Academy curriculum prepare me for a UX design job?

UX Academy prepares you for your first UX design job in three ways. First, it will equip you with the technical design skills you need to practice as a UX designer. Second, you will learn to present your work, receive feedback well, and defend your design decisions too. And third, you will learn how to create a great portfolio, shape excellent job applications, and perform at design interviews.

Will you help me to find a job?

Yes. We have recently introduced our Career Services feature, and as a UX Academy student you will have access to this. As you reach the end of your studies on UX Academy, you will transition from your regular mentor to a Career Coach, who will work with you for up to six months after course completion to help with your portfolio, job applications, and interview technique.

Will I get a certificate in UX at the end of UXA?

Yes. You will receive a Designlab-branded certificate that outlines the topics you have studied, and certifies that you completed the course.

Timing & Policies

How do the tracks work?

At the start of the course, you'll choose one of our timed “tracks” – either full time (40 hours a week), or part time (20 hours a week). Chunks of coursework are scheduled each week depending on your track. In the student dashboard, there’s a course calendar to help you manage your own progress and keep an eye on coursework deadlines.

What happens if I fall behind?

We want all of our students to succeed and achieve their goals. If you fall behind, we'll send you reminders and resources to help you get back on track. If you decide you can't keep up with the pace of your track, you’ll have a few options: switch from full time to part time; defer your enrollment to a future cohort; or leave the program and receive a pro-rated refund. You can read the full policies and fine print on what we will expect from you as a UX Academy student, and what you can expect from us in return.

Is it realistic to combine full time work with part time UX Academy?

There’s no doubt that committing 20 hours a week to design study alongside a full time job is intensive and challenging. However, if you’re driven, self-disciplined, and capable of good time management, it is entirely possible. For more information, check out our new blog post on proven strategies for successfully completing UX Academy alongside full time work.

How do I know which track is right for me?

Choose a track based on your schedule. For the full time track, you’ll need to be able to commit to spending 40 hours a week on coursework. Our part time track is designed to be combined with a full time job, and to enable you to complete coursework during evenings and weekends. For the part time option, you should plan to devote 20 hours a week to coursework.

This all sounds great, so what’s the fine print?

UX Academy has been built to help people like you switch career and do the work that they love. We will do all we can to support you and help you to reach your goals. You can read the full policies and fine print on what we will expect from you as a UX Academy student, and what you can expect from us in return.

I still have questions...

Want to find out more? Visit our Help Center, where we have dozens of FAQs answered. If you still have questions, send us an email at hello@trydesignlab.com and we'd be happy to schedule a call!

How do I apply? Are there any prerequisites?

Visit this FAQ to learn about next steps.

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