Understanding UX CPD Courses

Understanding UX CPD Courses

12 Feb 2023

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When you go online, or use an app on your phone, what makes you return to it? If a website is slow, its graphics look dated, or it’s too complicated to use, you may not return to that site. In this CPD article, we look at what UX is and why knowledge of UX Design is beneficial, no matter what industry you work in.

Understanding UX need not be complicated. UX stands for ‘User Experience’. Professor Donald Norman, who coined the term, said ‘User experience’ encompasses all aspects of the end-user's interaction with the company, its services, and its products’. In other words, the full customer experience.

If you can navigate, find what you want and the design is aesthetically pleasing, you’ve had a positive ‘User Experience’. A positive ‘User Experience’ is vital for websites and apps to retain users and to attract new ones.

What is UX?

UX Design is a process used to design a product that will provide users with positive interactions. It must also ensure that interactions are relevant and logical, making it easy for a user to navigate the product, app or website, even if they’ve never visited before.

While we often think of UX as a digital only consideration, the principles can be applied to both digital and physical products. If a product you use doesn’t function as it should, or it is difficult to use, a user is more likely to consider a competitor’s product. This is why good UX Design is vital in today’s business world and knowledge of UX Design is sought after across all industries.

What’s the difference between UI and UX?

While UX stands for User Experience, UI stands for User Interface. UX and UI are often spoke about together but they are not the same thing. If a company or brand uses certain colours and typography, a UI designer will ensure that these are then used on their website or app.

An example of this would be a supermarket chain. In store, the retailer will use a colour and font. Along with their logo, this makes their product recognizable in person. If you go to their website or mobile app for online shopping, the colours, fonts and logos will match their in store branding.  

Both UX and UI designers will work together in a team with a Project Manager or Engineer and both are vital parts of an overall project. While there is some overlap in the roles, there are some differences. UX Design is thought of as ‘human first’, the interaction the user has with the functions of the product. It ensures that menus are logical and that all information is in a hierarchical from, making navigation easy. Good UX Design makes everything seem easy.

UI Design is more focused on the aesthetics of the project, ensuring typography and colours are suitable and easy to read, that transitioning from one part of the app to another is smooth and animations, icons, search functions etc., are all aesthetically pleasing. UX Designers create wireframes and prototypes that will form the basis of a website or app, for example. These are the building blocks of a user’s journey and UX Designers ensure that these flow seamlessly. UI Designers will finalize the look of the product to boost user engagement, ensuring all parts are consistent, polished and match company branding guidelines.

Fundamental UX design key principles

What are the basic principles of UX?

UX Designers help create products that are usable and practical. To get to the end goal of designing a successful product the following basic principles must be considered.

  • Usefulness: The end product must fill a need for the end user.
  • Usability: The product must be easy to use and be able to provide familiar functions. It must be able to do what it was designed to.
  • Desirability: You must be able to make an attractive product with consistent visual design. Each section or page must be consistent across the user journey.
  • Accessibility: All users must be able to use the product, including those with disabilities. This may mean the addition of extra functionality and avoidance of certain colours or fonts to ensure inclusivity.
  • Support: The product should be well supported so users can resolve problems easily and quickly. The extent of the support needed will depend on the user base. This may need to be extended if the popularity of the product grows.
  • Credibility: Users must be able to trust your product, knowing that their data is safe and the product is by a reputable company.
  • User Testing: All new products need to be tested by people other than those who helped build it. New eyes on a product will see things in a different way, how buttons and forms work and if it all does actually work. Any product team must be adaptable and be able to update or revise their product based on user feedback.

What are the benefits of taking a UX CPD course?

Investing your time in taking a UX course has many benefits. The ability to enhance your abilities and apply these new found skills in your life will give you confidence in the modern world. Even if you have had no previous tech or design experience, any business will benefit from a greater understanding of their customer’s journey with their product. Depending on why you want to learn UX design, each of these points can be the most important for you.

1. Future proof your career

The ability to attract new customers and then retain those customers is a critical part of any business. As a business evolves, develops new products and gets feedback from a wider user base, these products will need to be updated and as technology changes. The ability to adapt to new innovative technologies, and make changes to current technologies and methods used, will make you a very valued member of the product team. 

2. You will drive business growth

By investing in learning UX Design and principles, you are ensuring that a business’ users, or customers, have a positive experience. Knowing how your customers’ use your product will enable you to adapt to their needs, driving growth. Happy customers will return, trust you, and recommend your product to their friends.

3. You will learn more than just design

You will get a deeper understanding of people. As we live in a world where more and more people are digitally savvy, UX is about figuring out what makes people tick and what happens to influence them online.

Advantages of CPD courses for UX designers

4. Your earning potential may increase

UX Designers are on demand right now and once you gain experience and a portfolio in the field, you can easily rise to the top. Not only will your skillset increase, so will your earning potential. Working as a UX Designer opens the world to you and depending on what project you are working on, you can potentially work from anywhere in the world.

5. Your work may change someone’s life

Good design makes the world better. UX Design has the potential to enable those with disabilities, or older persons, to interact with the world in a way never thought possible. There’s nothing stopping you from designing the next Text to Speech interface for patients with MS, for example, or the launch interface on the next spaceship!

6. Help you to switch careers

UX Design brings knowledge from different areas of life. Even if you’ve never worked in a related field, your expertise of human interaction and how we think means you will have a unique perspective on projects. Don’t write off your chances if you’ve never worked in the area before. It benefits industries to have skilled employees from all backgrounds and communities.

7. You can study online

No matter what stage of your career you’re at, juggling commitments and trying to learn new skills can be difficult. Many UX Design courses are available online, enabling you to learn at your own pace, at a time that’s convenient for you. Learn more about the benefits of online courses in our previous article.

Where to find UX CPD courses?

The CPD Certification Service host a range of accredited courses that offer insight and practical steps in learning about UX Design. Our CPD Courses Catalogue has thousands of training courses, conferences and events, workshops and eLearning available from a variety of CPD providers which have been reviewed and approved as meeting the required learning standards.

We hope this article was helpful. If you are looking to become a CPD Provider, please contact our team to discuss your requirements in more detail. Alternatively, if you want to record your CPD, please visit the myCPD Portal where you can manage, track and log your learning in one simple place.

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