Written by Noah Britton on 04/27/2020

You think you know what user experience (UX) design is, but you have no idea.

No worries. With these five courses, you can become a stellar UX web designer even if you’re starting from zero.

So, What is UX Design?

Top 5 Free UX Design Courses for 2020

While many people use “UX design” interchangeably with “UI design” or “usability,” it’s actually much bigger than both of those concepts.

UX design is an umbrella term that considers UI design and usability but thinks about a product’s development from start to finish including branding, design, usability, and function. A product that you think is great went through a UX design process that thought about the entire process of acquiring, owning, and troubleshooting before it was ever produced.

And what makes good UX design? Well, that fantastically frustrating answer is there isn’t an answer. The reality is that your website has 15-30 seconds to impress the user. And that means it needs good UX.

Good UX design is entirely dependant on the product and the context in which it is used. If your end-user thinks you have a fantastically designed product, that’s how you know it was a good UX design.

Luckily, you CAN determine what makes a great UX design course and there are many scattered across this great internet of ours. And some of them are even free.

In no particular order, here are our top 5 free courses that you can take this year and get your UX design on.

Top 5 Free UX Classes

1. Skillshare’s Online UI/UX Classes

Skillshare is an online learning community where working professionals can create courses teaching the things they do best and they have an entire section dedicated to UI/UX design.

It covers topics including mobile design, prototyping, and web design. It has very general introductory UX courses and incredibly specific UX courses on topics such as resume design and how to use Adobe XP or Illustrator.

There’s an entire world of UX courses for you to discover on Skillshare, all of them free of charge.

See Related: How To Choose The Right Web Developer

2. LinkedIn Learning’s “Become a User Experience Designer”

One of LinkedIn’s newer offerings to those looking to branch out in their career is a paid training arm that offers a variety of classes to help you advance or change careers. Happily, your first month is free or this class would not have made this list.

This course clocks in at just under 12 hours of curriculum-guided content, unlike Skillshare where you are putting together your own learning path. What we really like about this course is that it begins with an optional, hour-long overview of the UX field and what careers are available, which is perfect if you’re a beginner.

3. Udacity’s Product Design Course

Udacity is a website that offers a combination of paid and free courses designed to teach the skills that technology companies recruit for, and that includes UX design.

Granted, UX design is combined in a module with UI design in this course, but it is a great two-month-long course that will help you get that great idea out of your head and into this world. In addition to UX/UI concepts, you will learn about actionable metrics that you should be measuring as well as Google’s insanely popular Design Sprint process.

4. California Institute of the Arts UI/UX Design Specialization

If you haven’t discovered Coursera yet, welcome to your newest addiction. Coursera compiles free, online courses offered by universities around the country and puts them all in once place, just for you.

CalArts has offered up not just a course in UX design, but a series of four courses that leads you to a specialization certificate in UI/UX Design and a project you can add to your portfolio. Imagine that on your resume. Additionally, when you enroll in this specialization, you are eligible for an extended free trial of a full product suite of UX tools from Optimal Workshop.

See Related: What Does Responsive Web Design Mean?

5. Georgia Tech’s Introduction to User Experience Design

Another Coursera offering, this 8-hour, 5-week course from Georgia Tech’s School of Interactive Computing is the perfect beginner course for someone who wants to dip their toe into UX design.

Coursera user and course grad MC says it better than we could: “This is an insightful introductory course to User Experience Design. While it is just an introduction, the lessons and the examples provided were comprehensive, leaving you with a thirst for more.”

Final Thoughts

Whether you are looking for a career change or just to learn more about the field of UX design and how it can help you design a better mousetrap, these courses are a great starting point for your journey in this exciting field.

Have you taken any of these courses? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!

See Related: What Is A Wireframe In Web Design?

Thrive Design is a customer-centric web design company from Seattle. Contact us today to find out how we can elevate your business online! Find us on Clutch, UpCityLinkedInFacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest.

Noah Britton

Noah Britton is the founder of Thrive with 18 years of experience in the web industry and 10 years with WordPress.