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Welcoming the Avant Garde Cohort

UX Academy

Welcoming the Avant Garde Cohort

In June we launched the 27th cohort of UX Academy, which means we’re starting our second trip around the alphabet. Our first 26 cohorts were named after our favorite designers, artists, and architects. This time, we’re taking inspiration from classic, iconic, and underrated typefaces!... Read more

Collaboration: The New Revolution In Design Software

UX Design

Collaboration: The New Revolution In Design Software

The recent release of Figma 3.0, a collaborative interface design platform, reminds us how far software has come since design went digital over 30 years ago. And it’s not just about the superior speed or technical capabilities of the tools we have today; it’s also about a cultural change that goes back to the middle ages.... Read more

Week 16: Practicing Professionalism—The Benefits of Different Mentoring Styles

UX Academy Journey

Week 16: Practicing Professionalism—The Benefits of Different Mentoring Styles

Ah, Phase 2! What’s it all about? (Capstone projects!) What are they? (Three back-to-back final projects each focused on a different product element, meant to serve as real-world exercises in executing on a UX design project brief and serving as the finished portfolio pieces in preparation for the job search at the conclusion of the program).... Read more

“They said it was too late for me”: How Olga Switched Careers at 50

Success Stories

“They said it was too late for me”: How Olga Switched Careers at 50

This month we’re checking in with Olga Bolshchikova, a graduate of the Norman Cohort of UX Academy, who switched countries and careers to land a UX design job at the age of 50. Her story’s pretty incredible, so let’s dive right in!... Read more

Launching Figma 101!

Free Stuff

Launching Figma 101!

Figma is the cool new kid on the block when it comes to design software. To help you master this awesome tool, we’ve put together Figma 101, a free 7-day email course that covers all the basics. It also comes with a heap of bonuses, like keyboard shortcuts cheat sheets and Figma tips and tricks. And one lucky person will win a free Wacom Intuos Pro tablet!... Read more

Week 15: Art vs Design—and How to Develop that Design Eye

UX Academy Journey

Week 15: Art vs Design—and How to Develop that Design Eye

Last week we delved into personal branding, and took a tour through ten years of portfolio iterations on the Wayback Machine. As we move away from personal branding and towards preparation for the first of three Phase 2 capstone projects, it’s time to wax philosophical on art, design, and how to develop that design eye!... Read more

June 2018 Community Event Report—from Loosie’s, NYC!

Designlab

June 2018 Community Event Report—from Loosie’s, NYC!

Designlab is growing, both as a company and as a community. One of the exciting opportunities this brings is: IRL MEETUPS!... Read more

Week 14: Ten Years of Personal Branding on the Wayback Machine

UX Academy Journey

Week 14: Ten Years of Personal Branding on the Wayback Machine

As I jump back into the coursework and start gearing up for the final phase, the very hefty task of personal branding is at the forefront—of both the curriculum and my brain space. There’s no time to waste—whole careers are in the making (no pressure)!... Read more

UX Design Group Crits: A Primer. Part 4: Great Expectations

UX Academy

UX Design Group Crits: A Primer. Part 4: Great Expectations

In part 4 of her series on UX Academy Group Crits, course alumna Robbin Arcega explains her expectations of everyone who participates in a session. TL;DR: Be prepared, be specific, and engage actively with everyone's work.... Read more

Microcopy 101: How To Write For Successful Products

UX Design

Microcopy 101: How To Write For Successful Products

I know what you’re thinking. Microcopy? What is that even? Like, tiny words? You wouldn’t be entirely wrong, though let’s put a pin in that for now and just talk about regular words for a moment.... Read more

Week 13: Why User Testing Is Everything

UX Academy Journey

Week 13: Why User Testing Is Everything

Last week we were discussing how a nice break from work does wonders for your mental state (and your productivity, once you’re back at it!) Let’s pick up right where we left off—exploring how folding UX design principles back into my other work has led to accelerating returns.... Read more

Mentor Spotlight: Michelle Lin, Product Designer at Reddit

Mentor

Mentor Spotlight: Michelle Lin, Product Designer at Reddit

This week we’re talking with Michelle Lin, Mentor Community Manager at Designlab, Product Designer at Reddit, and former UX & UI Designer at eBay. We discussed her career journey, what it’s like being a mentor, and why the industry should value career-switchers... Read more

UX Design Group Crits: A Primer. Part 3: A Handy List of Questions

UX Academy

UX Design Group Crits: A Primer. Part 3: A Handy List of Questions

Following up on her guides to the goals of Group Crits at Designlab, UX Academy alum Robbin Arcega presents her cheat-sheet of questions and themes to explore when offering critique to fellow students... Read more

Week 12: How I Learned To Stop Working And Embrace The Break

UX Academy Journey

Week 12: How I Learned To Stop Working And Embrace The Break

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post—did you miss me? I most certainly missed you! In my last entry I was just about wrapped up with Phase 1 of my UX Academy Journey, and celebrated reaching the halfway mark (almost) by taking off for an entire week of dedicated “unplug and play” on a beautiful tropical island. Now I’m back, and ready to ramp up again for Phase 2. Shall we jump right in?... Read more

UX Design Group Crits: A Primer. Part 2: Facilitator Responsibilities and You

UX Academy

UX Design Group Crits: A Primer. Part 2: Facilitator Responsibilities and You

In this piece, UX Academy alum Robbin Arcega presents the next installment in her guide to Group Crits at Designlab! In part 2, she's covering what you can expect from her as a session facilitator.... Read more

5 Things I Learned From Becoming A Full-Time UX/UI Designer

Success Stories

5 Things I Learned From Becoming A Full-Time UX/UI Designer

Introducing Rick Veronese, UX Academy Graduate and now UX/UI Designer at money.co.uk. In this piece, Rick shares how working as a freelance web design was fencing him in—and how taking the decision to invest in UX and UI design skills opened up fresh opportunities... Read more

UX Design Group Crits: A Primer. Part 1: #goals

UX Academy

UX Design Group Crits: A Primer. Part 1: #goals

Hello, students of UX Academy! New and old! Students in general! Or to anyone who happens to be reading this for some reason! I’m Robbin and I run design critiques for Designlab’s UX Academy program on the weekends, and I love this gig. It is my hope that you’ll find the hour we have together in Group Crits useful. In this article, I'm going to explain what the goals of a Group Crit are.... Read more

Week 11: Design and Life Lessons at the UX Academy Halfway Mark

UX Academy Journey

Week 11: Design and Life Lessons at the UX Academy Halfway Mark

Welcome to week 11 (actually, more like week 12) of my UX Academy Journey—the halfway point! After three months of rigorous study, we students are given the chance to take a break week—and break I, for one, most certainly shall—before progressing to Phase 2 of the course and embarking on three back-to-back capstone projects.... Read more

Week 10: The 7 Reasons Why I'm Studying UX Design

UX Academy Journey

Week 10: The 7 Reasons Why I'm Studying UX Design

It’s been a full ten weeks of bustling skill-building lessons—schedule mastery, atomic design methodology, and battles with a bad bout of imposter syndrome, to name a few—and as the end of Phase 1 of the program nears closer (just two weeks to go!), I’m left feeling ever busy and a little bit frantic. I’m also so enlivened and brimming with anticipation. Here are my top seven reasons why I’m (still) excited to be a student of UX design.... Read more

10 Steps To Outstanding Artwork With Illustrator's Image Trace Function

Tutorials

10 Steps To Outstanding Artwork With Illustrator's Image Trace Function

Ever wanted to turn your hand-drawn artwork into scalable vector graphics? The Image Trace tool in Adobe Illustrator allows you to do just that! Whether you’re working on a dubious doodle or a major masterpiece, just follow this 10-step guide to digitize it. You’ll need a copy of Illustrator for this tutorial. If you don’t already have a subscription, you can get a free trial here.... Read more

Week 9: More Teatime Topics with Robbin Arcega, UX Academy Alum

UX Academy Journey

Week 9: More Teatime Topics with Robbin Arcega, UX Academy Alum

Last week we caught up with UXA alumna and current weekend Group Crit Facilitator and general tea-loving awesome person, Robbin Arcega, and waxed philosophical on all things UX design. This week we’re exploring how to overcome one of the most common hurdles facing newbie UX designers, as well as hearing Robbin’s teatime tips and sneaking a peek at her personal UX design reading/listening list.... Read more

Service Design and UX Design: What’s the Difference?

UX Design

Service Design and UX Design: What’s the Difference?

Chances are you loaded this page because you’ve heard of service design but aren’t clear what it is. In this piece, we’ll explain the place of service design in relation to other design disciplines, including UX, UI, and product design. We’ll then look in a little more detail at what it means to take a service design approach to a problem, and we’ll identify the kinds of problem that service design is optimally placed to tackle. Finally, we’ll identify some of the opportunities we see for service designers in a global world facing increasingly complex, interconnected challenges.... Read more

Week 8: Teatime Topics with Robbin Arcega, UX Academy Alum

UX Academy Journey

Week 8: Teatime Topics with Robbin Arcega, UX Academy Alum

We’re taking a break from our regular programming this week to bring you something a little new and different for this series—with a whole lot of fun on top! Enter UX Academy alumna, current UXA weekend Group Crit Facilitator, and generally awesome person/designer/writer/tea drinker Robbin Arcega!... Read more

Introducing UX Academy Financing Options, in Partnership with Climb Credit

Product Updates

Introducing UX Academy Financing Options, in Partnership with Climb Credit

At Designlab we pride ourselves on offering mentor-led design education that is both rigorous and affordable. However, we recognize that the cost of UX Academy—an intensive program offering extensive 1-on-1 contact time with a global community of professional design mentors and career coaches—still represents a significant investment for many of our students. Over the past year, we have been working with Climb Credit to develop course financing options for those enrolling in UX Academy.... Read more

Week 7: Kaboom! Atomic Design Methodology!

UX Academy Journey

Week 7: Kaboom! Atomic Design Methodology!

If you’ve been following this series so far, it’s no secret that I’m exceptionally bad at making judgements about how long to spend on my homework. I’m even worse at knowing when to call time on a project—once I get moving and in a groove of sorts I zone in, unmoving, for hours on end, tinkering with minor details and finessing minutiae. And then the curriculum dropped a very timely “aha bomb” on me.... Read more

Week 6: Card Sorting, and Sitemaps, and User Flows, Oh My!

UX Academy Journey

Week 6: Card Sorting, and Sitemaps, and User Flows, Oh My!

Remember last week, when I called the battle of the big bad schedule boss in my favor? Ha, ha. Ha. And that’s all I will say about that. Week seven is here, and I can feel the pace accelerating again. There is no time for spending nearly all day on a two-hour project (something I did twice this past week), and there’s certainly no time for one of my long and contemplative musings.... Read more

The Dada Movement: 5 Lessons For Today’s Designers

Design History

The Dada Movement: 5 Lessons For Today’s Designers

Picking up where we left off with our pieces on the Bauhaus and Brutalist movements and what they mean for today’s designers, this week we’re taking a look at the Dada phenomenon that emerged during the first world war, and considering what lessons we might (or might not) take from it.... Read more

Week 5: Research: An Origin Story (And the Mother of Effective Design Storytelling)

UX Academy Journey

Week 5: Research: An Origin Story (And the Mother of Effective Design Storytelling)

As a person who is obsessed with research to the point of overdoing it, it never ceases to amaze me how many industries are able to exist without letting the research do most of the heavy lifting. It’s also a large part of what makes UX the industry rocketship of the future, and what makes this UXA Journey so fun.... Read more

Week 4: Newbie Design Student Tips From The Future

UX Academy Journey

Week 4: Newbie Design Student Tips From The Future

While this last month has felt like a bullet train speeding through a college level design degree on hyperdrive, with just four weeks under our belts we here in the Weingart cohort are still only on the cusp. For those of us in the part-time track, the first week was all about design fundamentals, the next an introduction into UX, and last week, the research ramp up.... Read more

Launching Photoshop 101!

Free Stuff

Launching Photoshop 101!

Since Designlab was founded in 2013, we’ve provided design education to over 4000 students. One of the things we hear time and again is that people delayed their design education because they were intimidated by the software. Certainly, opening up software as a novice can be an overwhelming experience. So today we’re pleased to unveil Photoshop 101—a free 7-day email course to get you started in Photoshop.... Read more

Week 3: Hitching A Ride Out Of Procrastination Station

UX Academy Journey

Week 3: Hitching A Ride Out Of Procrastination Station

For the first two weeks of UX Academy I found myself running up against the clock in an attempt to outpace the dreaded “progress report email,” and when unforeseen plumbing catastrophes knocked my already tightly wound schedule all the way into the next week (literally), I knew I had no time to linger for my daily visits with my old, enchanting friend and lifelong lover: procrastination.... Read more

Week 2: A Masterclass In Schedule Agility

UX Academy Journey

Week 2: A Masterclass In Schedule Agility

Hey there, design reader! Thea here, again or, if you didn’t catch my piece last week, then for the first time! I had hoped that the tale of my second week in UX Academy would be one of triumph: all work completed and submitted on time or even (fingers crossed) with time to spare—so much time to spare, in fact, I could even brag about being able to tackle all of the course’s additional optional lessons (and then some). That’s not what happened—not by a long shot.... Read more

Week 1: Why I'm Becoming A UX Designer In My 30s

UX Academy Journey

Week 1: Why I'm Becoming A UX Designer In My 30s

Hey there, design reader! I’m Thea. I’m a part-time student at Designlab’s UX Academy, Weingart cohort. This post is the first in a series of blogs I will be writing chronicling my experience going through UX Academy over the next six months. There’s no real set structure or agenda to these posts—instead these will be a more like a collection of musings, thoughts, take-aways, tips, reflections (and, let’s be honest, probably the occasional mini-rant) based on the journey itself. So buckle up or, rather, cuddle up close to your screens (especially if it’s snowing there, as it has been here in Seattle) ‘cause this is, hopefully, about to get interesting.... Read more

10 Black Designers To Follow This Black History Month

Digests

10 Black Designers To Follow This Black History Month

At the beginning of his SXSW presentation, “Where Are The Black Designers,” Maurice Cherry, digital creator and podcaster, poignantly asks, “How many black designers do you know?” In doing so, Cherry brings our attention to the representational disparity of black designers in the design culture and community.... Read more

Draw a Heart in Sketch Using Only 2 Vector Points

Tutorials

Draw a Heart in Sketch Using Only 2 Vector Points

In the past few years, Sketch has become a crucial tool for digital designers, often enabling quicker workflows than older packages. In this Valentine’s Day special, see how you can use Sketch’s Vector tool (aka the Pen tool) to create a heart shape from scratch using just two vector points. That’s the same number of points as a straight line!... Read more

11 Tips For Designing High-Converting Landing Pages

Tutorials

11 Tips For Designing High-Converting Landing Pages

A landing page is any web page that a user might “land” on – it could be the homepage of a whole site, or a page that presents a specific product or event. Generally the purpose of a landing page is to rapidly introduce a product through concise text and clear images, and then invite the user to take a specific action – perhaps to sign up for updates, or to make a purchase. In this piece, we take a look at how you can create a high-converting landing page design of your own.... Read more

Is UX Design A Good Career Fit for Working Mothers?

Careers

Is UX Design A Good Career Fit for Working Mothers?

In honor of the recent anniversary of the Women’s March and the millions of people who took to the streets around the world for a second year in a row, it feels apropos to take this time to reexamine how we’re doing in terms of gender equality and breaking down the barriers women face in the workforce.... Read more

Check out these amazing projects by Design 101 students

Designlab

Check out these amazing projects by Design 101 students

Here at Designlab our most popular course is Design 101. It's a 4-week introduction to design fundamentals, with a focus on the skills needed to create high-quality mobile interfaces and web layouts. Each month we're blown away by how far our students come in just a few weeks. In this post we've collected some recent examples of excellent coursework that students achieved through applying their new skills and working closely with an expert designer as their mentor – enjoy!... Read more

3 Product Design Predictions for 2018

UX Design

3 Product Design Predictions for 2018

For better or worse, we begin 2018 in the wake of some historically significant political shifts. Across the U.S., Europe and beyond, establishment thinking and received wisdom failed to predict the electoral upheavals of 2016. In this piece, we explore some upheavals in the tech world that might also come sooner rather than later, manifesting a similar reaction against products and corporations that are increasingly perceived as both too powerful and too self-serving.... Read more

Why you need to learn the difference between urgency and importance

Tutorials

Why you need to learn the difference between urgency and importance

We live and work in a world of constant, competing demands. Even those of us who don’t have the responsibilities of providing for a family and raising children can feel overwhelmed by the need to balance work and life — getting stuff done, maintaining our energy levels, exercising, looking after our relationships, taking time off, and so on. So, how do we get organized, and become productive without succumbing to overwork? For many, their first instinct is to create a to-do list. This is a great first step – but we can go further. If you’re someone who always has too much to do, and who periodically gets stressed out because they’ve constantly got projects due yesterday, then this article will tell you how to create a better system for managing your tasks.... Read more

The Hawaii false alert wasn’t user error—it was a failure of design

UX Design

The Hawaii false alert wasn’t user error—it was a failure of design

The false ballistic missile alert issued to the U.S. state of Hawaii this week raises questions about user error and the role of UX design in creating resilient, usable systems that lead people away from mistakes rather than towards them.... Read more

17 Principles For Giving Highly Valuable Design Feedback

Tutorials

17 Principles For Giving Highly Valuable Design Feedback

Whether it’s hearing comments from a client or contributing to a design critique with colleagues, receiving and offering feedback is a crucial part of any good designer’s daily work. The most effective people in our industry know that cultivating feedback skills is key to improving their own design work and enhancing their team’s creative output. That said, giving valuable feedback can sometimes feel like an elusive process. To supplement our checklist on how to give critique, we’ve put together a checklist below on what to look out for when you’ve been asked to give feedback on someone’s work.... Read more

How Having A Mentor Made A Difference For This Design 101 Student

Designlab

How Having A Mentor Made A Difference For This Design 101 Student

Recently Elliott Davidson of Despreneur took Design 101 and sent us the following review, which he’s kindly allowed us to reproduce here. We’re stoked that you found the course so valuable, Elliott!... Read more

Who Needs The New Year? Why Today Is Always The Best Time To Make A Change

Careers

Who Needs The New Year? Why Today Is Always The Best Time To Make A Change

As we begin the new year, you’ll find plenty of advice articles about making New Year’s resolutions and, for skeptics, you can even find articles about cultivating “anti-New Year’s resolutions” too. We have all perhaps felt the pressure to take stock of our lives and career as the old year tapers to an end and assess whether something may be falling short on our expectations. In this piece, Esther Lee explores why we make resolutions – and why we needn't wait for the New Year to make positive changes in our lives and careers.... Read more

Happy Holidays! Here's 2017 In Review

Digests

Just before we begin our holidays here at Designlab, we asked the team to share their top design moments from the past year. Read on to find out our favorite products, rebrands, and content from 2017! We’ll finish up by recapping our year as a company, which has seen Designlab grow, not only in size, but also in the quality of our educational offering. Wishing you and your loved ones happy holidays, and a transformative new year.... Read more

Launching Sketch 101!

Free Stuff

Launching Sketch 101!

To celebrate our 2017 Best Bootcamp Award from SwitchUp, we’re excited to launch our brand-shiny-new (and free) Sketch 101 email course today! Sketch has become popular in the design world over the past few years, and like Adobe’s Illustrator package, it’s a vector-based image editor. What makes Sketch unique though is that it’s a much more lightweight product than Illustrator, and is optimized for quickly creating wireframes, web layouts, and exporting files to use in digital prototypes.... Read more

Meet Emily: "I'm a habitual quitter–completing UX Academy is a first for me"

Success Stories

Meet Emily:

Today we’re talking to UX Academy graduate Emily Ho, who studied with the Disney cohort back in 2016! Before joining the course, Emily was working as a Senior Level 2 Support Genius at LevelUp, a mobile payment and rewards solution provider. We talked about her UX Academy experience, and found out what happened next!... Read more

How The Thanksgiving Covers Of These 3 Magazines Show 110 Years of Social Change

Design History

How The Thanksgiving Covers Of These 3 Magazines Show 110 Years of Social Change

If you’re anything like me, over the past few days you’ll have grown pretty tired of the promotional visual language around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But a look at history proves that these kind of informal, throwaway graphics can serve as significant documents of the times in which we live. In this piece, we’re taking a look at the cover designs of 3 twentieth-century magazines — Good Housekeeping, Saturday Evening Post, and American Weekly. You’ll be fascinated not only by the evolution of their graphic language, but also by how they reflect changing social norms around the family and gender roles.... Read more

Meet Thomas: From IP Attorney To UX Designer at Bleacher Report

Success Stories

Meet Thomas: From IP Attorney To UX Designer at Bleacher Report

Today we're talking to Thomas Lei, a graduate of UX Academy's Eames Cohort. Only a few weeks after graduating UX Academy, Thomas landed his dream job at Bleacher Report, one of the leaders among sports reporting websites in the US. In this in-depth interview, he explains how recognizing and leveraging the problem-solving skills from his legal work helped him flex his creative muscles as a UX Designer. Take it away, Thomas!... Read more

How a mentor can help you master design faster

Careers

How a mentor can help you master design faster

As a fumbling art student during college, I used to create installations out of ephemeral and toxic materials, like resin, eggs, fiberglass insulation, and dead bees. It was during this time of messy (and smelly) experiments that I encountered a life-changing mentor — sculptor and art professor, Ed Love. While mentors are referred to in multiple ways — coach, advocate, guide, facilitator, adviser, guide, guru, counselor, tutor, consultant — a common thread of approach is highlighted in this quote by the poet Robert Frost about mentoring, “I am not a teacher, but an awakener.”... Read more

How Do Designers Come Up With Ideas? 9 Ways To Get Unstuck

Tutorials

How Do Designers Come Up With Ideas? 9 Ways To Get Unstuck

One of the mysteries of design for newcomers is how ideas get created in the first place. A lot of the time we see beautiful end results in people’s portfolios, looking all polished and shiny. Although portfolios do occasionally gives some insight into process as well, what professional designers usually don’t like showing us are the messy early stages. But the truth is that amazing ideas usually evolve from pretty unpromising, or even downright ugly early sketches.... Read more

The Ultimate Guide to Becoming A Designer Without Going To Design School (Part 2)

Careers

The Ultimate Guide to Becoming A Designer Without Going To Design School (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this series, we discussed the options for getting trained up as a professional designer without going to design school. But your preparation for a career in design doesn’t end just because your course did. In this installment, we’re taking a look at what comes next – including how to present a portfolio and what to put in it, as well as how to identify job opportunities that are a good match for your interests and skills. We’ll also cover some of the bigger questions about embarking on a professional design role – above all, what your goals are.... Read more

Halloween special: the tricks and treats of UX design

UX Design

Halloween special: the tricks and treats of UX design

In the midst of the strange celebration that is Halloween, it seems fitting that we take some time to consider the ways that designers are also engaged in the business of disguise and deception, of tricks and treats. In this article, we’ll first ask how designers are called upon to trick their audience – whether by designing seductive packaging, choosing attractive typefaces, or crafting addictive apps. Then we’ll examine some examples from history, where the manipulative capacity of design has been used to glorify war, sanitize scandal, and draw people in with promises of meaning and belonging. Finally, we’ll look at 10 of the most common tricks and treats in user experience (UX) design today.... Read more

How Halie Overcame The Fear And Became A UX Designer At Vacasa

Success Stories

How Halie Overcame The Fear And Became A UX Designer At Vacasa

Meet Halie Homan, who studied with the Ive Cohort of Designlab’s UX Academy. Today we're talking to her about how she overcame her reservations about switching career, and landed an awesome new job with Vacasa as an Associate Experience Designer in Portland, OR — all within 6 weeks of completing the course!... Read more

12 Writing Tips For Non-Writers

Tutorials

12 Writing Tips For Non-Writers

Writing is becoming an increasingly important skill for designers, whether it's creating meaningful copy to use instead of placeholder text, writing on the company blog, or creating snippets of text for use in email campaigns or UI mockups. The good news is that you’ll be familiar with many of the skills needed for good writing from your work as a designer. In this post, Andrew Wilshere, who heads up Designlab's content team, gives his personal tips on creating blog posts and long-form articles.... Read more

How Michael Aced UX Academy And Created Cause Of A Kind Apparel Company

Success Stories

How Michael Aced UX Academy And Created Cause Of A Kind Apparel Company

Michael Rispoli is a graduate of UX Academy’s Fuller Cohort. He recently shared this awesome story with the Designlab student and alumni community – and we wanted to share it with you, too! Based in Merrick, New York, Michael enrolled in UXA out of a desire to become a better designer, capable of owning the development of a product right from start to finish. With a background in front-end development, he wasn’t looking to make a complete switch of career, but instead to gain extra skills in design. As things turned out, it was gaining visual design skills – which he identified as a weakness before the course – that helped lead him to his new venture, Cause Of A Kind Apparel Company.... Read more

The Ultimate Guide to Becoming A Designer Without Going To Design School

Careers

The Ultimate Guide to Becoming A Designer Without Going To Design School

Chances are you landed on this post because: 1) you hate your job, 2) you need a change, and 3) you’re thinking about making design your new career. If so, congratulations – you’ve already taken the first, and perhaps the hardest, step. You’ve set your heart on a career in design, and you've committed to a new, more rewarding professional path. If, however, you’ve only recently started considering a career change into design, it’s worth taking a bit of time to get familiar with the design profession, to explore the different career paths that are open to you, and to think about whether you might eventually want to specialize in any particular field.... Read more

Am I Too Old To Switch Careers?

Careers

Am I Too Old To Switch Careers?

Does this story feel familiar? You once had your heart set on getting that perfectly-chosen degree, pursued what you thought was the perfect major for yourself, and then landed what seemed like the perfect job, only to discover — either immediately or after several years — that your career didn’t bring you the joy or sense of fulfillment you thought it would. At times (okay, maybe often) you actually dread going to work, you feel stuck, and find yourself fantasizing about doing something else. Well, you're not alone.... Read more

15 More Quotes To Inspire UX Designers

Inspiration

15 More Quotes To Inspire UX Designers

We've put together 15 more quotes from design greats like Paul Rand, Lindon Leader, and Paula Scher to inspire you in your work.... Read more

Meet Kiruthika: From Graphic Designer in India to UI Designer at Tadaweb

Success Stories

Meet Kiruthika: From Graphic Designer in India to UI Designer at Tadaweb

Before joining UX Academy's Hadid cohort, Kiruthika was working as a Graphic Designer at a multidisciplinary studio in India, handling Branding, Print and Web design projects. This was when she discovered an interest in the web and digital design. So, after a year and a half of mainstream Graphic Design work, Kiruthika decided to transition to UX/UI Design with UX Academy. We caught up with her to talk about her time on the course, and find out how things are going in her new position!... Read more

What does the iPhone X’s AR engine mean for UX Designers?

UX Design

What does the iPhone X’s AR engine mean for UX Designers?

Apple today announced the latest iteration of the iPhone – the iPhone X. Alongside the usual incremental improvements that most of us are now largely indifferent to, the arrival of iOS 11 does deliver something more significant: a mainstream, mass-market mobile product that for the first time has an Augmented Reality (AR) engine baked right into the OS. Read on for an explanation of what AR is, and a look at its current and potential future applications. We also explore what AR could mean for UX designers, and, finally, our take on the $162bn question: are people going to use it?... Read more

11 Certain Signs You’re Ready For A New Career

Careers

11 Certain Signs You’re Ready For A New Career

A Day In The Life Of Someone Who’s Seriously In Need Of Another Job ... Read more

How Glenn Pivoted From Software Engineer to UX Designer at Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Success Stories

How Glenn Pivoted From Software Engineer to UX Designer at Hewlett Packard Enterprise

This month, we're talking to Glenn Ryan, a graduate of UX Academy's Hadid cohort. After completing the course, he successfully moved from a software engineering role at Hewlett Packard Enterprise to a UX Design position within the same company. Read on to find out how!... Read more

The Designlab Digest–August 2017

Digests

The Designlab Digest–August 2017

This month, we're exploring some lessons from print–with two articles on book cover design, and tips from prize-winning poster designer Allan Peters. We've also got an interview with type design legend Erik Spiekermann, and the story of "the world's (other) most hated font"–Papyrus.... Read more

12 Amazing Books To Get You Started In Design

Inspiration

12 Amazing Books To Get You Started In Design

There are thousands of great books out there covering every imaginable corner of design. So, as a beginner, where should you start? Read on for our list of 12 essential books to kick off your learning. They include introductions to visual composition, color, typography and user experience – as well as helpful guides to working in the industry.... Read more

“I dreamt of creating something out of nothing”: How Zach unlocked his potential with UX Academy

Success Stories

“I dreamt of creating something out of nothing”: How Zach unlocked his potential with UX Academy

This month, we’re talking to Zach Fichman-Klein, a graduate of UX Academy’s Eames cohort. Before joining the program, Zach was working in Saudi Arabia as a survival swimming instructor – "teaching people how to not drown if they fell into the Arabian Gulf". We talked to Zach about his experience in the course, his job search, and how he landed an awesome new role as UX Designer at Tyler Technologies in Portland, Maine.... Read more

How Molly Went From UX Academy To Founder Of Quanti Design

Success Stories

How Molly Went From UX Academy To Founder Of Quanti Design

After graduating from the University of Vermont with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, Molly Hellmuth began searching for a career path that would combine her problem solving and community development skills with her interest in art. She became drawn to UX, and chose to hone her skills with Designlab.... Read more

The Picasso You Didn't Know: Pablo Picasso's Illustration and Design Work

Design History

The Picasso You Didn't Know: Pablo Picasso's Illustration and Design Work

As the Picasso Cohort of UX Academy get started this month, we thought we’d take a closer look at the story of Pablo Picasso’s life and work, and pay tribute to his extraordinary range of talents. Primarily famous as a painter and sculptor, he also left a lesser-known body of work as an illustrator, graphic designer, and political activist. In this piece, we briefly tell the story of Picasso’s career, present a showcase of some of his book illustrations and poster designs, and provide a heap of links to more of this great artist’s prolific output.... Read more

Are Notifications A Dark Pattern?

UX Design

Are Notifications A Dark Pattern?

Have you ever had a nightmare where you were literally drowning in little red notification badges? I did once, and it got me thinking: what actually are notifications? And are they just another dark pattern – a form of coercion and online trickery? In this article, I explore the phenomenon of “pseudo-notifications”, and conclude with some thoughts on what the future might hold for notifications as a design pattern.... Read more

Great Design Thinkers: Frank Chimero on The Shape Of Design

UX Design

Great Design Thinkers: Frank Chimero on The Shape Of Design

This is the second in our series on contemporary design thinkers. In the first article, we explored how Tim Brown, CEO and President of IDEO, developed the idea of “design thinking”. This time, we’re taking a look at the ideas of Frank Chimero, who describes himself as a multi-disciplinary designer, accidental writer, and lapsed illustrator. He’s best known for his beautiful and insightful book The Shape of Design, which has recently been reissued in paperback and is also available to read online for free. In this article, we’ll explore 4 key lessons from Chimero’s work.... Read more

The Designlab Digest–July 2017

Digests

The Designlab Digest–July 2017

This month, you can read how Spotify overcame a fragmented product design, learn about how a Creative Director copes with ADHD, and hear from Errol Morris on how typography shapes our perception of truth. After that, we've got 3 great articles from the Designlab community, links to some awesome free design resources, and more posts from the Designlab blog for you to catch up on. Enjoy!... Read more

UX Academy: A Week In The Life

UX Academy

UX Academy: A Week In The Life

This month, we’re talking to Ava Yazdani, a student in UX Academy’s Eames Cohort. She combines part-time study on UX Academy with a full-time job in software sales and consulting. Ava's advice to new UX Academy students? "Make sure you look after yourself, and keep things in balance. In the long term, to reach your goals, you need to maintain your wellbeing and energy."... Read more

5 Ways To Get The Most Out Of A Designlab Short Course

Designlab

5 Ways To Get The Most Out Of A Designlab Short Course

When you’re new to design, it’s a challenge to know what to learn first, and how much reading up to do on each topic. In this article, we explain the thinking behind our short course curriculum, and also give specific tips on how to make the most of the 1-on-1 mentoring and project work that, each of which is a crucial part of our learning model. Read on to find out 5 ways you can maximize your learning and personal growth on a Designlab short course!... Read more

What On Earth Is A Brutalist Website? 5 Things Today’s Designers Can Learn From Brutalism

Design History

What On Earth Is A Brutalist Website? 5 Things Today’s Designers Can Learn From Brutalism

Last year, the Washington Post reported that “the hottest trend in Web design is making intentionally ugly, difficult sites”, an approach which they called “web brutalism”. Since 2014, the site Brutalist Websites has been collecting examples. But is this what Brutalism, a twentieth-century architectural movement, was really about? In this article, we’re going to take a look at the history of Brutalism, examine the principles behind the movement’s architectural designs, and see how those compare. To round up, we’ll set out 5 key lessons that Brutalism could offer to today’s designers.... Read more

Introducing Course Rubric and Project Approvals

Product Updates

Introducing Course Rubric and Project Approvals

Back in May, we launched our revamped UX Academy program. It included a major update to the course curriculum, as well as the addition of Group Crits and Career Services. But there were also more granular improvements to the Designlab platform, including the introduction of two new assessment features: a course rubric, and project approvals.... Read more

Great Design Thinkers: Tim Brown on Design Thinking

UX Design

Great Design Thinkers: Tim Brown on Design Thinking

This is the first in a new series of articles on contemporary design thinkers. We begin with Tim Brown, who is CEO and President of IDEO, a global design and innovation firm founded in 1991. He is best known for his work advancing user-centred design–and in particular for developing the idea of “design thinking”.... Read more

Watch John Berger’s Amazing “Ways Of Seeing”

Inspiration

Watch John Berger’s Amazing “Ways Of Seeing”

John Berger was an English artist, writer, novelist, and critic whose 1972 TV series and accompanying essay, both entitled Ways of Seeing, became essential reading for students of art and art history. In Ways of Seeing, Berger presents an analysis of our cultural relationship to art and advertising. He argues that high art is characterized by subliminal themes of male dominance, female objectification, personal property, landowning, and social power.... Read more

7 Must-See TED Talks For Designers

Inspiration

7 Must-See TED Talks For Designers

It’s over 10 years since TED Talks first appeared online, bringing expert research, wisdom, and inspiration in just about every discipline. We’ve gone through the archives, and picked out 7 of the best and most relevant talks for designers. Do you have another favorite TED Talk? Let us know in the comments!... Read more

The Designlab Digest–June 2017

Digests

The Designlab Digest–June 2017

This month, we've got an article about Myers-Briggs personality types in design, the story of Dropbox brand illustration, and a thought-provoking piece about behavioral manipulation and Internet addiction. Following that, there are 3 awesome articles from the Designlab community, and some more posts from the Designlab blog for you to catch up on. Enjoy!... Read more

Meet Anna: From Pharmacy Manager to Visual Designer at Centric Digital

Success Stories

Meet Anna: From Pharmacy Manager to Visual Designer at Centric Digital

Growing up, Anna always knew that she wanted to be in a creative field, but felt the pressure to get a secure, well-paid job. Her parents recommended that she go to pharmacy school, get her license, and then pursue whatever she wanted to later on, with pharmacy as a safety net. We talked to Anna about how she made the decision to join UX Academy’s Disney Cohort, broke free of an unrewarding job, and landed an amazing new role as Visual Designer at Centric Digital in New York.... Read more

Building Your Design Portfolio: 10 Dos and Don’ts

Tutorials

Building Your Design Portfolio: 10 Dos and Don’ts

Preparing your portfolio is exciting, but it can also be agonising. What should you include? Which layout should you choose? How do you keep it fresh? For help with these questions and more, check out our top 10 portfolio tips. Coming soon: 10 more tips for your UX design portfolio!... Read more

How To Get Started In User Interface (UI) Design

UX Design

How To Get Started In User Interface (UI) Design

In Part 1 of this series, we explored the history of user interface design, from MS-DOS and Windows 1 through to iOS and Material Design. In this second installment, we take a look at what UI design means in today's market, and examine what separates good and bad interfaces. We also discuss why looks aren't everything. Finally, we sneak a peek at some of the new patterns emerging in UI design – including Google's "Fuchsia" and Microsoft's "Fluent Design", and point you to a bunch of great resources to help you get started in UI Design.... Read more

From MS-DOS to Material Design: A Brief History of User Interfaces

UX Design

From MS-DOS to Material Design: A Brief History of User Interfaces

A while back, we took a look at how to get started in user experience (UX) design. In this article, we're going to follow that up by looking in a little more depth at one aspect of UX–user interface (UI) design. In this installment, we’ll explore the importance of interfaces, examine how UI design is distinct from UX design, and take a brief look at the history of UI design. Stay tuned for Part 2, where we'll discuss what UI design means today, check out some case studies, and point you to further resources.... Read more

15 Quotes To Inspire UX Designers

Inspiration

15 Quotes To Inspire UX Designers

We've put together 15 quotes from design greats like Dieter Rams, Jony Ive, and Massimo Vignelli to inspire you in your work.... Read more

Introducing the Norman Cohort of UX Academy

UX Academy

Welcome to members of our new UX Academy intake, the Norman Cohort! They're named after Don Norman, a co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group.... Read more

Our Favorite Rebrands Of 2017 (So Far)

Inspiration

Our Favorite Rebrands Of 2017 (So Far)

Nothing gets us designers talking quite like the overhaul of a prominent company’s visual identity. In this article, Designlab’s Andrew Wilshere takes a look at three of his favorite rebrands of 2017 so far: Mozilla, a non-profit web project best known for the open-source Firefox browser; the British charity Alzheimer’s Society; and Southern Living, an American magazine and lifestyle brand.... Read more

The Designlab Digest–May 2017

Digests

The Designlab Digest–May 2017

This month, we've got some old anti-alcohol posters from the Soviet Union, a story about how King Camp Gillette revolutionized product pricing, and a nice writeup from Marvel on maintaining their style guide using Sketch. We've also got 3 awesome articles from the UX Academy community, and some more posts from the Designlab blog for you to catch up on. Enjoy!... Read more

11 Tips For Building Great Color Palettes

Tutorials

11 Tips For Building Great Color Palettes

Whether you’re a novice or an old hand, how to use color is one of the most contentious and elusive questions in design. Colors have myriad cultural, social, and emotional meanings, and the complexity of choosing a palette isn’t made any simpler by the fact that a designer’s options are practically infinite. In this week’s article, our in-house design guru, Patrick Multani, shares his tips for how to build great color palettes. Let us know what you think in the comments – and feel free to share any other tips that you use in your work!... Read more

Meet Puja: From Pharmacy School to UX/UI Designer at Life Fitness

Success Stories

This month, we’re talking to Puja Patel, a graduate of UX Academy’s Eames Cohort. Before applying to UXA, Puja had completed pharmacy school and had just finished taking her board exams. But after formalizing her training as a pharmacist, she knew it wasn’t the career for her. We talked to Puja about how she made the difficult decision to switch careers, and embark on a new life as a UX designer!... Read more

7 Reasons We Love Hayao Miyazaki—Introducing the UXA Miyazaki Cohort

UX Academy

7 Reasons We Love Hayao Miyazaki—Introducing the UXA Miyazaki Cohort

Each of Designlab’s UX Academy intakes is named after someone who inspires us. Our April cohort is named after the great Japanese animator and film director, Hayao Miyazaki (born 1941), celebrated for films such as Kiki’s Delivery Service, My Neighbor Totoro and The Wind Rises.... Read more

Introducing the new UX Academy

UX Academy

Introducing the new UX Academy

Revamped curriculum, Career Services, Group Crits: today, we’re pushing the button on a *huge* update of UX Academy. UX Academy first launched in late 2015 as an experiment — to see if the Designlab online platform, which we’d pioneered for short courses like Design 101, could be extended to train full-time designers. Just 18 months later, the experiment has been a resounding success — with huge value delivered to students, and many graduates landing a UX design job within six months of completing the course.... Read more

10 Ways To Excel In A UX Bootcamp–Even With A Full-Time Job

UX Academy

10 Ways To Excel In A UX Bootcamp–Even With A Full-Time Job

In his Commencement Address to Stanford University in 2005, Steve Jobs told students: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” If you're dissatisfied with your current path and are passionate about design, programs like UX Academy offer a portal to a new career. But retraining can be tough going, as you learn and apply new skills, complete demanding coursework, and often hold down the day job as well. To help, we've put together 10 tips to help you excel as you study, including advice on how to manage a packed schedule, eat right, and dispute self-doubt.... Read more

“But will I get a job at the end of it?”—Introducing Career Services at Designlab

UX Academy

“But will I get a job at the end of it?”—Introducing Career Services at Designlab

“But will I get a job at the end of it?”—that’s often the priority question from prospective students when they’re weighing whether to enroll in a program like Designlab’s UX Academy. Over the past few months, we’ve been piloting Career Services in UX Academy—a new feature we're incredibly excited about. Students are assigned to a Career Coach at the end of the course, and they then work together for up to 3 months to improve their portfolio, job applications, and interview techniques. In this article, we explain the thinking behind Career Services, outline how it works, and explore some of the ways that it’s already benefiting students.... Read more

5 Ways To Create A Winning UX Academy Application

UX Academy

5 Ways To Create A Winning UX Academy Application

UX Academy is an intensive, rigorous program – requiring at least 40 hours of coursework each week on the full time track, and 20 hours part time. We want students to succeed, not struggle – and that’s why we enforce strict admission criteria for the program. We’ve received over 500 applications to UX Academy in the past year, and in this article we’re sharing with you the 5 qualities that set apart successful applications.... Read more

The Designlab Digest–April 2017

Digests

Welcome to the first Designlab Digest! Once a month we’ll post design highlights from around the web. This time, we’ve got Paul Klee’s notebooks, debunked myths about millenials, advice on how to get the feedback you need, and a heap more great stuff from the Designlab community and blog.... Read more

Meet Stanford: From Marketer to UX/UI Designer at RainFocus

Success Stories

Stanford Kekauoha was a member of UX Academy’s fourth intake, the Disney cohort. He talked to us about how he came to switch from his Masters in Education Technology, enroll in UXA — and land an awesome new job at UX/UI designer at RainFocus... Read more

Where will UX design be in 5 years? 5 Predictions

UX Design

O'Reilly's recently published 2017 Design Salary Survey showed not only that designers working in UX command the highest median salary ($89,000), but also that those adopting new tools like Sketch, and agile, iterative ways of working, attract the highest pay. In this article, we explore the future direction of UX design within the wider industry, and explain why we believe the trend towards hiring UX expertise will continue in the years ahead.... Read more

Meet Lisa: From English Teacher to UX/UI Developer at Dell

Success Stories

This month, we’re talking to Lisa Lehrman, a member of Designlab’s Eames Cohort of UX Academy. Before starting out on the course, she’d been working as an English teacher in Spain, and had recently returned to the Bay Area ready to take a chance and move her career in a new direction. We talked to Lisa about what happened next!... Read more

Sketch Tips To Maximize Your Productivity—Part 4: Symbols

Tutorials

Have you ever decided to make a change in a design project, and found yourself working your way through a screen full of artboards updating Every. Single. Button? Chances are you could have saved yourself a lot of time and frustration – and got a better result – by using the Symbol function in Sketch. In Part 4 of our series of Sketch tips, we’ll give you the lowdown on how to get the most out of symbols.... Read more

7 Ways Roy Lichtenstein Inspires Us—Introducing the UXA Lichtenstein Cohort

UX Academy

Each of Designlab’s UX Academy intakes is named after someone who inspires us. Our March cohort follow in the footsteps of the great twentieth-century pop artist Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997), famous for his humorous, high-impact paintings that mimicked the forms of contemporary popular culture.... Read more

Meet Rachee: From Web Designer To Product Designer at Eved

Success Stories

This month, we’re talking to UX Academy graduate Rachee Jacobs, who studied with the second cohort of UXA students in 2016. Before UXA, Rachee was a digital designer, tackling everything from logos and brochures to websites, landing pages and even conference booths. We talked to her about her passion for design, her experience of the UXA program, and how she landed a new job as Product Designer at Eved in Chicago.... Read more

Netflix’s Abstract: The 3 Must-See Episodes

Inspiration

If you hadn’t heard yet, Netflix recently released a series of eight 40-minute documentaries entitled “Abstract: The Art of Design”. While the show has divided critical opinion, there are 3 episodes that graphic designers must see: those about Christoph Niemann (illustrator), Paula Scher (graphic designer), and Platon (photographer).... Read more

User Personas: What Are They And Why Use Them?

UX Design

When I started learning design, I had never heard of a “user persona”, and certainly had no idea how to research them or use them effectively in my projects. In this article, I’m going to summarise what I’ve learned since then about what a user persona is and why they’re important not only to experience, interface, and interaction design–but even to visual and branding design.... Read more

9 Ways Projects Will Make You Love Learning Design

Designlab

When I decided to get serious about learning design a couple of years ago, one problem I definitely didn’t have was a lack of information. However, my experience of learning design changed when I started working on projects—small-scale design briefs that allowed me to learn new skills incrementally by challenging me to solve specific problems.... Read more

7 Things We Love About Susan Kare—Introducing the Kare Cohort

UX Academy

Each of Designlab’s UX Academy intakes is named after someone that inspires us. February’s cohort takes the name of contemporary designer Susan Kare, famous for making the original Apple Mac icons, and a succession of other pixel graphics including the card designs for Microsoft Solitaire (Windows 3.0).... Read more

The Ultimate Guide to Getting Started In Sketch (With Free 99-Point Cheat Sheet)

Tutorials

Whether you’re a total novice, a designer in training, or a seasoned pro switching from another product, this article is for you. First, we’ll introduce Sketch—what it is, why it’s popular, and how to claim a free trial and install it on your Mac. Second, we’ll explore Sketch’s user interface, explain the basics, and walk you through some tips and tutorials. Third, we’ll take a look at some of the app’s more advanced features (Bézier curves and blending modes are especially fun). And finally, we’ll point you to a heap of quality Sketch resources, and link you to our free 99-point Sketch Cheat Sheet to download and refer to as you learn. Sound good?... Read more

Sketch Tips To Maximize Your Productivity—Part 3: Composition, Light, and Shadow

Tutorials

Welcome to Part 3 of our series of tips to help you use Sketch more productively. In Part 2, we looked at useful techniques for editing objects and exporting graphics. This time, we’re going to focus on how you can apply your skills in Sketch by managing light and shadow in a composition.... Read more

What Is Designlab’s Mission?

Designlab

Harish Venkatesan co-founded Designlab in 2012. In the past year, the company has begun to scale up–expanding its core staff from 3 to 12, growing its mentor base to 400 designers, and serving over a thousand students around the world in 2016. I talked to Harish about what motivated him to start Designlab, the mission and values that drive the company’s work today, and where he sees the future of design education... Read more

7 Inspiring Facts About Nicolas Jenson—Introducing the Jenson Cohort

UX Academy

Each of Designlab’s UX Academy intakes is named after someone that inspires us. January’s cohort is named after the type designer Nicolas Jenson (b. 1420, Sommevoire, France; d. 1480, Venice, Italy).... Read more

12 Days of UXmas: Day 12—Iterate, and take stock

Tutorials

On the twelfth day of UXmas, Designlab sent to me... congratulations on completing all the challenges!... Read more

12 Days of UXmas: Day 11—User Testing

Tutorials

On the eleventh day of UXmas, Designlab sent to me... user testing tips... Read more

12 Days of UXmas: Day 10—Prototyping

Tutorials

On the tenth day of UXmas, Designlab sent to me... some prototyping funtimes... Read more

12 Days of UXmas: Day 9—Sketching

Tutorials

On the ninth day of UXmas, Designlab sent to me... a sprinkling of inspiration... Read more

The Gift Economy and What it Means for Designers

Inspiration

The holiday season is traditionally a time to give and receive gifts. But what are the origins of this custom, and why do we observe it? In this article, we’re going to take a look at the cultural significance of the gift, and explore how creative vocations, including design, are wrapped up in the gift economy.... Read more

12 Days of UXmas: Day 8—Sitemap & User Flow

Tutorials

On the eighth day of UXmas, Designlab sent to me... a shorthand way to design user flows... Read more

12 Days of UXmas: Day 7—Brainstorming

Tutorials

On the seventh day of UXmas, Designlab sent to me... new year greetings... Read more

12 Days of UXmas: Day 6—Point of View Statements

Tutorials

On the sixth day of UXmas, Designlab sent to me… some how-might-we questions... Read more

12 Days of UXmas: Day 5—Map Out Scenarios

Tutorials

On the fifth day of UXmas, Designlab sent to me... five gold user scenarios... Read more

12 Days of UXmas: Day 4—Outline Some User Personas

Tutorials

On the fourth day of UXmas, Designlab sent to me... instructions on how to make user personas... Read more

12 Days of UXmas: Day 3—Create an Affinity Diagram

Tutorials

On the third day of UXmas, Designlab sent to me... something about post-it notes... Read more

12 Days of UXmas: Day 2—Make a Research Plan

Tutorials

On the second day of UXmas, Designlab sent to me... a user research challenge... Read more

12 Days of UXmas: Day 1—Choose a Project

Tutorials

On the first day of UXmas, Designlab sent to me... the first challenge... Read more

Are You Ready For 12 Days Of UXmas?

Tutorials

For 12 days starting on December 26th, we’re going to take you through the user experience (UX) design process from beginning to end. Each day, you’ll have a choice between a 5-minute and a 30-minute challenge.... Read more

Meet Jonathan: Upskilling With UX Academy

Success Stories

This month, we’re talking to Jonathan Netek, a graduate of UX Academy Carson Cohort. Before enrolling in UXA, Jonathan was a UX Designer at Baylor College of Medicine. After upskilling with Designlab, he landed a new higher profile job doing UX/Visual Design at FlightAware in Houston, TX.... Read more

3 Obsolete 1990s UX Design Classics That We Love

UX Design

In this article, we’re going to take a look at three iconic pieces of consumer gadgetry from the 1990s, and analyse what it was about their user experience design that made them so popular. We’ll examine the Psion Series 3 line of palmtop computers, the much-loved Nokia 5110 cellphone, and the PalmPilot personal digital assistant (PDA), the last of which helped to push the mobile device sector towards embracing touch screens and gesture input. Picking up where we left off in our Getting Started in UX Design article, we’ll analyse how each device matches up to the UX honeycomb, and conclude by asking what today’s UX designers can learn from these products, how they succeeded, and why they declined.... Read more

Sketch Tips To Maximize Your Productivity—Part 2: Editing And Exporting In Sketch

Tutorials

Welcome to Part 2 of our series of tips to help you use Sketch more productively. Last time, we looked at how to work with objects, layers, and artboards. In this installment, we’ll explore some useful shortcuts for editing elements, and offer advice on exporting graphics.... Read more

9 Reasons Jony Ive Inspires Us—Introducing The Ive Cohort

UX Academy

Each of Designlab’s UX Academy intakes is named after someone that inspires us. December’s cohort takes the name of Sir Jony Ive, Chief Design Officer at Apple.... Read more

Meet Tracy: From Graphic Design to UI & UX Design

Success Stories

This month, we’re talking to UX Academy graduate Tracy Lin. Before enrolling, Tracy was was a freelance graphic designer working full time in production management – a role she continued to fulfil alongside her studies with Designlab. We talked to Tracy her experience of the course and how she’s getting on in her new job as a UX/UI designer with a fashion group.... Read more

Designing The Student-To-Mentor Feedback Process At Designlab

Product Updates

As an online education platform devoted to teaching design skills through hands-on practice and 1-on-1 mentorship, we think a lot at Designlab about what it means to be a good teacher. Faced with increasing demand for our courses, we recently realized that we needed to answer an important question: how can we provide quality mentorship experiences at scale? We took this design problem and, applying our UX design thinking process, undertook a product sprint to find the right solution.... Read more

Sketch Tips To Maximize Your Productivity—Part 1: Getting Started In Sketch

Tutorials

Welcome to Part 1 of our new series of tips to help you use Sketch more productively. In this installment, we’re going to look at some shortcuts to working with objects, layers, and artboards quickly and efficiently.... Read more

9 Reasons We Love Zaha Hadid—Introducing the UX Academy Hadid Cohort

UX Academy

Each of Designlab’s UX Academy intakes is named after someone that inspires us. November’s cohort takes the name of Zaha Hadid, the British–Iraqi architect who passed away earlier this year at the age of sixty-five.... Read more

Meet Peter: From Marketer To UI Designer At Adidas

Success Stories

This month, we’re talking to Peter Javorkai, a UX Academy graduate who previously worked as a digital expert in advertising and marketing for a multinational agency. Working both client-side and agency-side, he spent six years in the role before deciding to enroll with Designlab. Read on to learn about Peter's experience of the course, and to find out what he did next.... Read more

7 Reasons Why You Should Get Into UX Design

Careers

What is user experience (UX) design? And why is it so big right now? As well as answering these questions, this article will explore how UX design can enhance people’s lives, how the industry will change and grow in the coming years, and how you can get trained up as a UX designer without going to design school. Oh, and did I mention that the average salary of a UX designer is approaching $90,000?... Read more

Introducing the Gray Cohort of UX Academy

UX Academy

Each of Designlab’s UX Academy cohorts is named after someone that inspires us. October’s intake takes the name of Eileen Gray, a prolific twentieth-century designer who was forgotten for much of her career but has achieved widespread recognition in the decades following her death.... Read more

Meet Sammy: From Biosciences Into UX Design

Success Stories

This month we’re talking to Sammy de Joya, another UX Academy success story who successfully made the switch from a career in biosciences, landing a UX design job a couple of weeks before she finished her studies at Designlab.... Read more

Introducing the Fuller Cohort of UX Academy

UX Academy

Paige Saez here, Creative Director of Designlab, with an update about recent developments in the UX Academy community. In amongst many larger developments, we’ve also begun to focus on the smaller, more experientially significant process changes too. One of these small but significant changes is the names we give to our UX Academy cohorts.... Read more

Upcoming Updates to Group Hangouts

Product Updates

In this post, we’ll outline how we applied the design thinking process to Hangouts in UX Academy — how we analyzed the strengths and weaknesses, our findings, and the resulting updates that will be coming soon.... Read more

Getting Started in UX Design

UX Design

Ask anyone who’s recently browsed design job listings, and they’ll tell you that the demand for UX designers is high. More importantly, the demands made of those designers are constantly shifting in light of new and improved technologies, and in response to changing user needs. In this article we’re going to explore what UX design is, and how it’s different from user interface (UI) and visual design. To help those deciding whether to embark on the journey of becoming a UX designer, we’ll demystify core UX terminology, introduce some key tools, and point to further reading and resources so you can continue your learning.... Read more

Learning in the Bauhaus School: five lessons for today’s designers (and five ways the web still is Bauhaus)

Design History

The news that Harvard University has put over 32,000 digitised Bauhaus School works online set the creative world buzzing recently. In the 1920s and 30s, Bauhaus teachers and students challenged the conventions of fine art, architecture and design by advocating a return to individual craftsmanship, and seeking designs that were simple, rational, and functional. In this article, we’ll explore what the movement was about, outline five lessons the Bauhaus School can offer to today’s designers, and demonstrate how contemporary web design continues to show Bauhaus influences.... Read more

How To Give And Receive Design Critique Well

Tutorials

It’s pretty unusual to find someone who enjoys critique. In this article we’ll look at what critique is, why it matters, and why we should all learn to love and cherish it. We’ll explore what is involved in conducting a good design critique, and outline some key principles for how to give good feedback to others. In conclusion, we’ll offer a few words on how to receive critique well, and look at a 10-point checklist to help you next time you’re invited to comment on somebody’s work.... Read more

How to Get Hired: Understand If You’re an I, T, or X-Shaped Person

Careers

Do you and your organisation have strength in breadth as well as depth? In this article we explore how important “T-shaped” people are to effective collaboration, and suggest some ways to expand your own set of skills.... Read more

From Management to UX Designer at Backbase: Meet Celeste North

Success Stories

Welcome to the latest in our series of interviews with Designlab students. This time, we meet Celeste North, a UX Academy graduate who made the transition from a job as Country Manager for MUBI to become a UX Designer with Backbase, based in Amsterdam.... Read more

Sketch vs Illustrator: which one should you buy?

Tools

It’s six years to the day since Sketch first launched. But how does it stack up against Adobe’s Creative Suite workhorse, Illustrator?... Read more

Why Design III: Your Growth Potential + Leadership

Careers

The benefits of studying design go beyond money, career growth, and learning. Read on to learn more about how design can impact your career trajectory and leadership skills.... Read more

Meet Wendy: From Customer Service to Product Designer at Microsoft

Success Stories

Wendy Pei's journey into UX started out in customer service, and then freelance graphic and UI design. After joining and graduating from the first cohort of UX Academy, she landed a position as Product Designer at Microsoft. Read this interview to learn more about Wendy, her path to becoming a Product Designer, and her mission to design a safer, happier, healthier and more informed world.... Read more

Why Design II: Problem Solving in New Ways

Careers

Learning design can definitely impact how you’re perceived on the job – but maybe not in the way you think!... Read more

Why Design I: Design is in Demand

Careers

Designers are getting serious respect from Silicon Valley. You’ve likely seen the stats and the press.... Read more

Meet Designlab Mentor Patrick Multani

Mentor

It was curiosity - and potentially the promise of a new computer - that initially drew Patrick Multani to design... but it hasn’t been products that have kept him interested in the field. Instead, it’s the opposite. Patrick loves how design can inspire ideas and create change. He’s working to help rethink and shape the future of education - and serving as a mentor and community lead with Designlab is part of his journey.... Read more

Meet Marko, the self-taught freelancer

Success Stories

When Marko Vuletič was a teenager in Slovenia, he made a promise to himself – he would never be average. This decision made over a decade ago has shaped and transformed how Marko has approached his career, from dropping out of college to deciding to specialize as a designer.... Read more

4 Fast Ways To Level Up Your Typography Game

Tutorials

When you’re first discovering the world of type, the amount of typefaces to learn and recognize can be overwhelming! Here are four techniques for you to use to start to recognize, correctly identify and even pair different typefaces:... Read more

How To Choose The Right Font For Your Design

Tutorials

Choosing the “right” font for your design determines how well your designs are perceived. The title of this article should actually be “How To Choose The Right Typeface For Your Design” because the choice you’re making is about typeface and not font. Let’s not get bogged down by the minor details just yet though. First, let’s talk about shoes and how they relate to typography...... Read more

16 Vital Typography Terms To Learn To Start Enhancing Your Designs "Invisibly"

Tutorials

Did you know nearly 95% of all information on the internet is type? We’re not saying that 95% of designs are pure typography but it’s a high leverage aspect to design that can create positive perception for your designs OR degrade your designs. The Pareto principle states that 20% of our efforts produce 80% of our results...... Read more

Designlab Course Interview: The Power of Mentors During a Career Switch

Success Stories

Kacy is a veteran of three Designlab’s courses - Design 101, UX Research, UX Academy - and her investment in learning a new skill has paid off. She says, “As cliche as it sounds, Designlab truly changed my life. It helped me rediscover my passion for art and has put me on a path to UX design that I couldn’t be more excited for!”... Read more

Kill Your Darlings: How To Edit Your Own Portfolio

Careers

Your portfolio is your best marketing tool. It’s your visual resume. When someone looks at a resume, they typically only glance it over. The same is true for a portfolio. You only have so much time to convey who you are and what you do, so get specific. Kill, baby, kill.... Read more

The Art of Critique

Inspiration

Critique is a foundational part of art and design education. Critique is the process of evaluating others work and ideas. The process is simple, but there is definitely an art to giving and receiving a meaningful critique.... Read more

Make Your First GIF

Tutorials

There’s an app for everything GIF related. GIF keyboards, searches and extensions to easily add GIFs to your e-mails. So why would you want to make a GIF yourself? Because while you make you’re first GIF, you’ll be on your way to learning just how versatile Photoshop CC really is.... Read more

Designlab Course Review: Aspiring Coder Christine Oskison Realizes Design is Her Language

Careers

Christine Oskison had dreamed about a career change, but knew that pursuing another degree wasn’t realistic. She completed online web development classes, but realized that, “While I enjoyed learning how to code, I was even more passionate about learning visual design.” Read on to hear about her experiences with using online learning to build a design portfolio and the assignment she’d have you complete to become a better designer.... Read more

The History of 5 Well Known Icons

Inspiration

What is an icon? Icons are visual representations of objects, concepts or ideas. When used correctly, they can educate, communicate and increase usability. The most successful icons are those that are universally recognized around the globe. But here is the thing?—?the most widely recognized icons and symbols are rarely looked at for more than 2 seconds before understanding what the intention is. Meaning, people don’t give much attention or thought to them because they naturally blend in. In my opinion, a symbol that has become so embedded in mankind's everyday life deserves some attention! So let’s look at how these icons were born.... Read more

What is Service Design?

UX Design

Most design disciplines draw from other areas and fields. Technology, cognitive science and aesthetics all contribute to design as we know it today. Service design, a more recent application of design expertise, is no different. Service design draws on many concepts, ranging from user experience, marketing and project management in order to optimize new services.... Read more

The Power of the Grid

Inspiration

Both budding and expert designers know how important a layout is to design. It’s the most basic and fundamental element of every project. Grids help ensure a consistent framework to organize graphic elements, like type and images, into a hierarchy. If you want to use a grid, or break it altogether, you have to first understand the basics of a grid system.... Read more

Designlab Product Updates: Improving Process and Workflow

Product Updates

Since Christmas we’ve been working hard on creating a clearer workflow process for students projects.... Read more

Designlab Course Review: Engineer Alicia Jackson Gets Creative

UX Design

Designlab

As an engineer, Alicia Jackson’s day-to-day design experience was mostly technical drawings and blueprints over typography and color palettes. But, she says, “I’ve always had a love of designing more creatively.” For the past 10 years she worked on her graphic design skills and developed her talent into creating invitations, flyers, and web designs. So why would Alicia choose to take a design course after her success with self-study? She says, “Although I heard many good things about my work and have done some independent study, it was not until taking Design 101 that I really got a chance to work with someone that is a professional in the industry.” Read on to hear more about Alicia’s experience as a Design 101 student and first-time online learner.... Read more

Mentor Profile: Ryan Brock Helps Kickstart Your Design Career

Mentor

“One of the biggest problems I see with people who want to get into design is they think it’s much harder than it actually is. It’s a career that you can try really easily without taking a big risk,” says Designlab mentor Ryan Brock. And Ryan should know. His own journey as a designer has been filled with trying, exploring, and doing.... Read more

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Designlab

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Designlab Course Review: Jesse Yowell Discovers Typography

Designlab

While working as a Support Engineer for Atlassian for the last eight years, Jesse Yowell had an urge to pivot his career from engineering to user experience. After talking to designers at Atlassian and reading books about UX, Jesse knew it was time to enroll in a course to start building his skills and his portfolio. “I found the Design 101 course on Designlab, which seemed like the perfect starting point,” he says. Here’s Jesse first-hand account of his experience as a Designlab student!... Read more

UX or UI - Which Career is Best for You?

Careers

Both UX and UI designers work on creating beautiful interfaces, but their involvement and skill sets are required at different times during the design and development process. So how do you know which career is the best fit for you? Learn more about what UX and UI designers do on a daily basis to figure out where you’ll excel.... Read more

Pattern Libraries: What They Are and Why You Need One

UX Design

Not every design project should start from scratch. It's true – there's a time and place for creativity, and there's also a time and place to use fail-proof and time-tested solutions. Some of the best UX and interaction designers rely on pattern libraries to bring previously tested and usable solutions to their digital projects. Here's what you need to know about pattern libraries and how to make them work for you.... Read more

You Might Be a Good Designer If...

Careers

Thinking about a career in design but not sure if it’s the right fit? Worried you don’t have the art school background or Photoshop chops? Fear not! The truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for becoming a designer - no two designers are alike in experience, career path, interest, or skill set.... Read more

Founders Learning Design: Sandi MacPherson, Quibb

Designlab

As design becomes an increasingly crucial part of the DNA of tech startups, we see a lot of product-focused founders thinking about whether they should learn some UI/UX skills. We were excited when the founder of one of our favorite products, a news-sharing site for professionals called Quibb, took our Design 101 course on Designlab. We took a few minutes to chat with Sandi... Read more

Why User Research Matters

UX Design

Let’s tell the story of a typical tech product. It starts with a great idea — maybe a personal pain point you’ve faced, or a hunch about where the market is headed. You spec out an amazing app. You get a team of engineers to build it, and find a designer to make the product look and feel awesome. You’ve nailed it! Only thing is… you launch, and no one cares.... Read more

Student Stories: Dalton Mitchell, Programmer

Designlab

Dalton Mitchell is a programming extraordinaire and former Designlab student. We sat down with Dalton to chat about his aspirations, artistry, and pursuits in design.... Read more

Startup Essentials: You Should Be User Testing

UX Design

You might have heard about how usability testing is all the rage these days. But, you’re a 2-person startup working out of a garage (or, more likely: a coffee shop in the Mission). Resources are tight, time is of the essence, and you wouldn’t even know where to find a UX Researcher if you wanted.... Read more

From Seed to Story

Inspiration

When setting out to begin a new story, I start with a seed. Some idea has struck me as an intriguing possibility, one that sticks in my brain and won’t pass until I write it down. I try to keep a notebook on me at all times for such moments, such as the Field Notes notebooks. In a pinch the notes app on my phone works perfectly.... Read more

Learning to Solve

Inspiration

Why do we create? Creativity, at its foundation, comes from a simple need: to solve. Let us explain. On the surface, this may seem like a simple answer to a complicated question. What does a painting solve, for instance? Or a novel? Or a streamlined website user interface?... Read more

Unmasking Myths of Creativity

Careers

Creativity is a defining feature of what it means to be human. Yet modern concepts of creative people—and the process of creativity—remain off-kilter because of popular myths. Why is something so important to human nature so frequently misunderstood?... Read more

How to Design a Great Landing Page

Tutorials

Landing pages. The chance to make a great first impression on a visitor to your site. Done right, a good landing page can have a multiplier effect on your user acquisition strategies and convert all your visitors into registered users/emails; done poorly, a bad landing page can cause your efforts to fall flat... Read more

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