HOW TO BECOME A UX DESIGNER | A live online course with Head of Design, HelloSign at Dropbox | ELVTR
live online course


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Live online course
with Head of Design, HelloSign at Dropbox
28 APR 2021 - 9 JUN 2021  

Get ready to rethink your approach to UX Design. Hang Le will teach you LIVE her time-tested method for creating award-winning UX Design, step-by-step.

You'll learn how to maximize the value in UX personas, MVP development, wireframing and prototyping, and user feedback. You'll perfect your skills through serious practice and frank feedback. Then, you'll prepare to do it all professionally by mastering how to clear the first hurdle: the interview process.


Jumpstart Your Career

You have some design projects under your belt, but are you ready to set yourself apart as a professional? This live course will give you a 360 degree view of the practice of design today:

  • Craft and portfolio
  • Soft skills and interviewing techniques
  • The UX Designer as part of the business model

Live Learning

You’ll learn in live sessions with Hang and a group of UX Designers with similar goals. This course gives you:

  • 12 LIVE classes, including 4 practicums with your peers
  • Weekly office hours with Hang
  • BONUS workshop: Whiteboarding challenge
  • Direct feedback from Hang on your design and pitch

This is a design class with elbow grease. With Hang guiding you, you’ll fine-tune your approach to craft, pitch, and interviewing:

  • Build out an individual project from start to finish
  • Pitch yourself and the product you've developed in the course in a mock interview
  • Get direct feedback from Hang on your project and Whiteboarding challenge

Strong UX designers know what jobs play to their strengths. This course will help you understand:

  • The design world and and what roles fit you
  • Soft skills and presentation techniques to land your dream job
  • Interview types and refining your portfolio for the position
& Practice

You’ll add a piece to your portfolio, but that’s not all. Hang will take you deep into each of the design phases:

  • Looking at your design from a business perspective
  • Building UX Personas with user research and analysis
  • Wireframing, MVP, and developing user journeys

Each week, you’ll apply what you’ve learned to your own UX Design and end the course with a product design you can't wait to pitch to stakeholders.

  • Head of Design at HelloSign, a Dropbox company
  • 10+ years of improving lives with impactful UX and product design
  • Growth-oriented Design leader for Fortune 500 companies (SAP) and unicorns (Samsara, Earnin)
  • Speaker at industry-wide innovation events FinTech Design Summit and Tradecraft in 2019
  • Award-winning designer and empathetic mentor for diverse professionals at all career levels
WED (4/28) at 5 PM PST/8 PM EST
Principles and Practice of UX Design

We’ll kick off our learning by introducing the fundamental principles of UX design and what makes it different from other design practices. I’ll lay out some overarching best practices and I’ll discuss where UX fits in the broader development cycle, and why that matters to you as a designer. Lastly, I’ll help you refine your career vision by sharing some insights into why businesses hire designers (and when they don’t).

  • The secret recipe of great UX designers: Craft, Business, Communication, Prioritization
  • Tools and approaches commonly applied within the UX design discipline
  • Roles & responsibilities of the UX designer vs. the UI designer vs. Product designer

Assignment #1: Read at least 3 job postings with a combination of these titles: UX Designer at Google, Product Designer at Facebook, UI Designer, UX/UI Designer. Reflect on what role you align with and an area that you will learn about during or after this course.

MON (5/3) at 5 PM PST/8 PM EST
Business concepts & building hypothesis

Today, we’ll shatter the biggest myth of UX design: you can focus on design and leave the business to the other guys. A company’s business model, target audience, and success obstacles all impact the type of designs you create. More than that, part of the job of UX designer is innovating ways to eliminate those obstacles to success. We’ll learn how to understand UX and business in this class.

  • Common business models and strategies (B2B, B2C, differentiation, niche, etc.)
  • Success problems to solve for: Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral, Revenue
  • Building business and user goals through design

Assignment #2:

  1. Pick a business (B2B or B2C) — one that interests you or that you think is lacking in a specific area. Make sure you research the business and its competitors thoroughly before picking.
  2. Pick a value chain exchange or a feature that’s important to this business based on your market research.
  3. Form a goal for your project with 1 analysis, 1 goal statement, and 1 metric to measure success.
WED (5/5) at 5 PM PST/8 PM EST
UX Personas

Today we’ll explore the often misunderstood concept of the UX Persona. We’ll talk about why typical personas are ineffective, how you can create personas that are effective, and why it is essential to create one before diving into deeper research.

  • Why 90% of UX Personas are completely wrong
  • What goes into creating a useful UX Persona and how they fit into the design process
  • How to uncover needs, pain points, and needed features for a given project
  • Types of personas by use case, by frequency, life stage, etc.

Assignment #3: Define types of users who use this app and focus area. Answer these questions:

  • Who are these people? What are our assumptions about them?
  • How are they different from each other?
  • What more do you want to know about them?
MON (5/10) at 5 PM PST/8 PM EST
Analysis & research

The first step of design is research. In this lecture, I’ll show you my favorite tools and hacks for optimizing the information-gathering process.

  • Techniques: Qualitative and quantitative
  • What to do when you don’t have access to internal systems
  • Top analytical tools for turning qualitative and quantitative UX data into usable statistics
  • Framing and solving problems with “How Might We”

Assignment #4: Recruit users fitting the personas profile and speak with at least 3-5
new / current users of those apps. Then, do the following:

  • Fill out details in personas.
  • Form journey maps.
  • Revisit the business goal if needed (a new pain point arises, an area of focus isn’t important to the user, etc.)
WED (5/12) at 5 PM PST/8 PM EST
Theory+Practice: Ideate & use cases

Goal: Today’s class is fully hands-on as we learn quick ideation techniques and tips for narrowing down the right one. At the end of this class, you’ll be equipped with a full toolbox for tapping into your own creativity.

  • Rules of effective brainstorming
  • User journeys and ideation
  • Use case methodology
  • RICE or Value/Effort framework: How to prioritize

Assignment #5:

  1. Form and prioritize "How Might We's" and pick the top HMW.
  2. Ideate on the chosen "How Might We".
  3. Pick 3 ideas to move forward with (2 quick wins, 1 larger project).

Go deeper:

  • Form the user journey (low fidelity) in Figma for each idea.
MON (5/17) at 5 PM PST/8 PM EST
Wireframing & prototyping

Today, we’ll lay out how to build a great wireframe and prototype. I’ll share with you lessons I’ve learned in my years of doing this for B2B and B2C businesses and my techniques for enhancing product quality.

  • What’s the point of prototyping
  • Why early-user responses to the MVP matters for UX decisions
  • When to use low-fidelity and high-fidelity prototypes
  • How to use wireframing tools for maximum end-product quality

Assignment #6:

  1. Define core, secondary, and edge cases scenarios.
  2. Wireframe the key screens (3-5 screens) for each of the 3 ideas.

Go deeper:

  • Prototype core scenarios for each of your 3 ideas.
WED (5/19) at 5 PM PST/8 PM EST
Theory+Practice: Usability testing

You have a great design, but do users like it? Today we’ll introduce usability testing, explore methods, tools, and hacks for performing it, and learn how to interpret the results. Then, we’ll run an example test step-by-step with one of you as a volunteer ‘user’.

  • Qualitative vs quantitative testing and common methods
  • How to formulate testing goals
  • How to run effective tests and ask the right question
  • How to analyze and document usability testing results

Assignment #7:

  • Write test goal and questions
  • Test the prototypes with 3-5 people
  • What was surprising? Change your design

Go deeper:

  • Find design systems from the apps you chose
  • Make higher fidelity screens
MON (5/24) at 5 PM PST/8 PM EST
MVP and measuring success

Design rarely gets implemented as-is. Today, you’ll find out why. In this class, we’ll talk about the role of the MVP, learning post-release, and how to measure success. Then, we’ll take out the exercise you did in Class 4 and find out how to determine if you’ve achieved your original business goals with it.

  • Minimum Viable Product: Desirability, Feasibility, Viability
  • Measuring design success from the business side
  • Phased releases & iterative learning

Assignment #8:

  • Form success measurement
  • Refine your design to show MVP
  • Define version 0, version 1, version 2, etc.
WED (5/26) at 5 PM PST/8 PM EST
Presenting your work

Great design speaks for itself, right? Wrong. Designers trying to move up the career ladder quickly learn that there is a right way and a wrong way to present their work, and today you will, too. We’ll talk about the differences between presenting for stakeholders and for interviewers during a job search, and how to tie everything together in a presentation.

  • Impact, not effort
  • Storytelling, speaking patterns, and getting to the point
  • Product presentation strategies and how to explain technically complex data and/or details
  • Questions every UX designer will face

Assignment #9:

  • Form a deck (between 5-10 slides)
  • Write “the point” of each slide (3 bullet points per slide)
  • I will give feedback on your deck and bullet points

Go deeper:

  • Record yourself presenting (no more than 5 mins long)
  • Watch your own recording and improve presentation skills
  • First 3 volunteers will present their deck at final class and get feedback from Hang
MON (5/31) at 5 PM PST/8 PM EST
Industry closeup: Finding yourself (as a designer)

Get ready to move past the project and take a higher level look at what you bring to the table. What sets you apart from others? What kind of designer are you and what kind of job and culture is suited to your strengths? And most important of all, how do you talk about your potential with potential employers?

  • What kind of designer are you? (Strengths, Areas for Development)
  • How to write a personal elevator pitch
  • How to get the job when you’re *not* a perfect match
  • “Don’ts” of pitching yourself

Assignment #10:

  • Write your elevator pitch
  • Frame the qualities of where you want to work
  • Research 3-5 designers who're currently working at a company you want to apply to. What background do they have? How do they talk about themselves? What’s on their portfolio?

Go deeper:

  • Rewrite your resume to reflect your differentiation
WED (6/2) at 5 PM PST/8 PM EST
Getting a UX design job

Today, you’ll prepare to master the complex mix of technical talent, design thinking, and soft skills that is the UX design interview. I’ll run through my best strategies to prep for each type of interview and give you a simple method for nailing the Whiteboard exercise. Then, I’ll show you some of my favorite portfolio examples and why they caught my eye as a UX design manager.

  • Understanding the room, roles, and what each person is looking for
  • Common interview questions (and what they’re really asking)
  • Partnership, Critique, and how to nail the Whiteboard exercise
  • Tailoring the portfolio to the job and to who you are

Assignment #11:

  • Find at least 1 person of each job title below and have a coffee chat with them: Product Manager, Design/UX Researcher, and Design Lead/Manager.
  • Write answers to each of the common questions, practice answering

Go deeper:

  • Students will review each other’s portfolio website and give feedback (anonymously)
  • Refine portfolio based on feedback
  • Prepare for final presentation
MON (6/7) at 5 PM PST/8 PM EST
Workshop: Presenting your portfolio project

In our last lesson together, you’ll get to test drive the presentation of the project you’ve been working on throughout the course. You’ll get direct feedback from Hang and your co-learners and that you can use to make your real-life product presentation spectacular.

  • Final presentation and feedback (3 volunteers, 10 mins presentation + 10 mins feedback each)

Assignment #12:

  • Refine your presentation
WED (6/9) at 5 PM PST/8 PM EST
Bonus Workshop: Whiteboarding challenge

You will have a chance to practice the whiteboarding exercise over Zoom with Hang and your co-learners. You’ll also get the chance to improve your critique skills by giving feedback.

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