Short Term Courses: UX & HCI

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Featured Short Term Courses: User Experience (UX) & Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)

Please note that all massive open online courses (MOOCs) are generally free to enroll but may incur a course fee for a verified certificate.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology – GetSmarter

MIT’s computer science and artificial intelligence laboratory offers a fully online short term course in human-computer interaction. The program is delivered in collaboration with GetSmarter, an online education provider. Students who wish to explore a career in human-computer interaction and user experience design can find much value in the course.

In order to access the course, students must have a current email account, a computer with internet, a PDF reader, and Adobe Flash Player to play the videos. It is also recommended to access the course in Google Chrome. The course offers an interactive learning experience to students with discussions forums, e-learning activities, and infographics.

Students taking the course are required to complete their student profile, confirm certificate delivery address, and submit a digital copy of their passport or identity document.

The coursework is divided into seven modules, with the first one being an orientation module. Some of the topics covered include an evaluation of interface design, collaborative computer interaction, tools for collaboration, and smart user interfaces. Students learn how to apply natural interfaces to make user interaction smooth, how to improve usability of programs, and how to incorporate multimedia, speech, and video in computer interaction. They also get an insight into the future of computer and human interaction and the cutting-edge research in this space.

  • Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Expected Time to Completion: Six weeks, eight to ten hours per week

Georgia Institute of Technology – Coursera

Georgia Institute of Technology offers an online introductory course in user experience design. It is open to all students wishing to learn more about these concepts, irrespective of their current education level. ​This program is delivered in collaboration with online course provider, Coursera.

The course comprises five weeks. Students are introduced to the four-step process of user interface design. In the beginning, students learn how to gather information about the user’s needs. Later, they learn how to design and model interfaces as per those needs, and finally, they evaluate the designs to look for improvements. The course serves as a useful primer for UI design, where students learn about the basics of design evaluation, as well as concepts, techniques, and terms related to user experience design.

  • Location: Atlanta, Georgia
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Expected Time to Completion: Five weeks, one to two hours per week

University of Michigan – Coursera

The University of Michigan offers an online course in user experience principles and processes. This program is delivered in collaboration with Coursera, an online education provider and is a part of the UX research and design specialization.

The program is ideal for anyone working in user experience design, or those who wish to learn more about the subject. The course is delivered completely online.

Some of the topics included in the curriculum are overview of UX design, what is UX research and design, how users perceive information, and design heuristics. The program helps students develop a wide range of real-world skills that they can apply in their jobs as a designer, marketer, or researcher. They learn how to conduct UX research and design, how to assess user needs, and how to make sketches and prototypes, as well as techniques for designing and critiquing interactive systems.​

  • Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Expected Time to Completion: Six weeks, two to four hours per week

University of California San Diego

University of California San Diego offers several online short term courses under its interaction design specialization, including “user experience: research & prototyping.”

The course is delivered over four weeks, covering four different modules. The modules are as follows: design research, ideation, synthesis, and prototyping. In the first module, students learn how to conduct research about user’s needs and goals, while the second module teaches them how to come up with new design ideas. In the third module, they learn how to use the data collected for creating new designs, and the final module teaches them to create prototypes for their ideas.

In order to test students’ learning, the course also includes assignments. At the end of the program, students are well-equipped to conduct design research, brainstorm ideas, and put them to use.

Some of the other courses included in the interaction design specialization are human-centered design: an introduction; design principles: an introduction; and information design.

  • Location: San Diego, California
  • Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Four weeks, two to three hours per week

Interaction Design Foundation

The Interaction Design Foundation offers an online course in human-computer interaction. While the course is offered online, it also offers the option to attend physical meetups in your city and interact with fellow students.

The coursework covers various aspects of HCI such as interaction design, screen design, and navigation design. What’s more, it also includes in-depth videos by renowned professor Alan Dix. The course is ideal for UX designers, project managers, software engineers, marketers, and even beginners who wish to enter the field of user experience and design.

Every week, students receive access to a new lesson, while completing the lessons at their own pace. The syllabus includes topics such as navigation design, cognition and perception, emotion and experience, and software architecture. Students learn how to implement different frameworks in design, the role of perception in design, and the evaluation of user’s experience using data.

Along with viewing video lectures, students can also participate in discussion forums to discuss the course materials with their peers. At the end of the course, students will receive an industry-trusted certificate, which can give a huge boost to their resume.

  • Location: Online
  • Accreditation: N/A
  • Expected Time to Completion: Nine weeks

Oregon State University

Oregon State University offers a short online course in user experience and user interface, as part of the learning experience design certificate. The course teaches students to apply design thinking principles, design interactive systems, and methods of prototyping.

This course is taught by Johanna Wood, a UX design researcher with considerable experience in user experience and design. Along with video lectures, the course also includes discussion forums, readings, and practical activities.

The course is offered over a period of six weeks. The curriculum teaches students key design concepts, factors that affect design, the role of feedback and input, prototypes, and methods of design evaluation. Students develop a user-centric approach to design, learn how to apply design processes, improve accessibility, and improve the overall user experience.

  • Location: Corvallis, Oregon
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Expected Time to Completion: Six weeks
  • Cost: $435 (+$60 registration fee)

Design Lab

Design Lab is an online design education platform, run by a group of design mentors. It offers several courses on UX and UI, one of which includes UX research and strategy. The course is ideal for novices in design and even complete beginners with an interest in the subject. The course instructors include expert designers and mentors.

Students can complete the coursework and projects when they like. The course includes video lessons and further reading to help students develop a strong foundation in design. Additionally, there are also one-on-one sessions with mentors, which students can arrange as per their own convenience.

The course comprises four weeks of study. Students gain an understanding of user-focused design, research techniques, and competitor assessment. They also learn how to identify and solve design problems, create prototypes based on research, and finally, test their ideas with real users. Customer research and building a solid product are core focuses of the course.

The course offers plenty of hands-on experience for students. They create storyboards, customer journey maps, empathy maps, and personas. They also spend a total of four hours with a professional designer who offers them with detailed feedback on their work. On completion of the course, students receive a certificate of completion, which students can add to their resume.

  • Location: Online
  • Accreditation: N/A
  • Expected Time to Completion: Four weeks
  • Cost: $399 for four weeks

Other Online Certificate Programs in UX, UI & HCI

Bentley University

Bentley University offers an online certificate program in user experience. It is one of the oldest programs of its kind and is also widely renowned. Students who wish to pursue advanced studies but cannot commit to a full-time graduate program can find the program valuable. The program helps students develop a strong foundation in project management, usability engineering, and product design.

The program comprises nine courses: three core courses and six electives. The three core courses include usability testing, managing a user experience group, and human factors and user experience. Some of the electives include content strategy, designing the user experience, qualitative data analysis, usability testing, customer experience, and measuring user engagement.

This certificate program provides students with a solid understanding of human behavior and its applications, the benefits of prototyping, the measurement of usability, and the difference between usability tests.​

  • Location: Waltham Massachusetts
  • Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Expected Time to Completion: 12 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $1,400 per course

Indiana University

Indiana University offers an online graduate certificate program in human-computer interaction. The program is entirely focused on user experience, emerging technologies, and UX design principles.

Admission requirements for the program include a bachelor’s degree, an overall grade point average of 3.0 (or higher), GRE scores, and TOEFL or IELTS scores for students whose native language is not English.

The program comprises ​15 credit-hours. Some of the courses included in the curriculum are interaction design methods, the psychology of HCI, collaborative and social computing, prototyping for interactive systems, and analysis and evaluation.

The program teaches students to design future applications using social science, computing, and interaction design. They learn how to design better user experiences using information technology. Graduates of the program can pursue jobs in the highly lucrative user experience design market.

  • Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission
  • Expected Time to Completion: Must be completed within 36 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $357 per credit-hour

University of Baltimore

The University of Baltimore offers an online graduate certificate in user experience (UX) design. The program is focused on information architecture, interaction design, and usability analysis.

Applicants to the program must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university, a minimum grade point average of 3.0, official transcripts from all prior universities, and a current resume.

​Made up of 12 credit-hours, the program trains students in planning, analyzing, prototyping, and integrating interaction design with interface design. Some of the courses include interaction and interface design, computers and cognition, information architecture, and research methods.

Students learn how to design user experiences that are not only favourable to the user, but also to the needs of the business. They learn the concepts of usability testing, information design, and requirements analysis. Additionally, they learn how to design and manage information resources. At the end of the program, graduates can take up roles such as commercial and industrial designers, graphic designers, and set and exhibit designers.

  • Location: Baltimore, Maryland
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Expected Time to Completion: 15 weeks
  • Estimated Tuition: $10,753 for full program

Professors to Know in UX & HCI Programs

Rosa Arriaga, PhD Georgia Institute of Technology

Dr. Rosa Arriaga is a senior research scientist in Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Interactive Computing. She teaches courses such as introduction to cognitive science, user interface design, human-computer interaction, lifespan development, and autism and technology. Prior to joining Georgia Institute of Technology, she worked at Southern New Hampshire University and Harvard University.

Presently, Dr. Arriaga’s areas of interest include human-computer interaction, health informatics, social computing, and cognitive science. She is a member of professional organizations such as the Association for Computing Machinery and the American Psychological Society. She has published her research in prominent journals such as the Journal of Neural Computation and the American Journal of Community Psychology. She has also published papers in top HCI Computing Conferences, including CHI, CSCW, and Interact. Additionally, she has won several honors such as an Outstanding Instructor Award and an Outstanding Research Scientist Award. She earned her PhD and MA from Harvard University, and her BA from San Diego State University.

Scott Klemmer, PhD University of California San Diego

Dr. Scott Klemmer teaches computer science engineering and cognitive science at the University of California San Diego. He has also co-founded the Design Lab at the University of California, San Diego, and serves as its associate director. Some of the courses he teaches include human-computer interaction design, advanced interaction design, research topics in human-computer interaction, and an introduction to human-computer interaction design. Before he joined UCSD, he worked at Stanford University.

Dr. Klemmer has been published in renowned journals such as the Journal of Medical Internet Research and the HCI Journal. He also has received numerous awards such as the Katayanagi Emerging Leadership Prize and the Stanford Bredt Faculty Scholar award. He completed his PhD and MS at the University of California, Berkeley, and dual BA in art-semiotics and computer science from Brown University.

Mark Newman, PhD University of Michigan

Dr. Mark Newman is an associate professor in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. He teaches courses on user experience research and design, programming, and application development. His research efforts are focused on human-computer interaction, ubiquitous computing, and health informatics. He is a member of professional organizations such as the Association for Computing Machinery and the Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (SIGCHI).

Dr. Newman’s work has been published in top journals such as the Journal of Human-Computer Studies, the International Journal of Human Computer Studies, and the HCI Journal. He also has won many laurels for his teaching, including the Award for Excellence in Instruction and an Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award. He completed his PhD and MS at the University of California Berkeley, and his BA at Macalester College.