Course: Introduction to User Experience Techniques

Information Architecture, Usability Testing, Interaction Design, User Research

Price: $595       Length: 2 days      Student or bulk discounts are available.

This is a practical, hands-on course aimed at people who need to use or understand User Experience techniques.

A: Target Audience

Developers, Business Analysts, Visual Designers, Project Managers, Product Owners, Junior Experience Professionals: anyone who wishes to learn basic User Experience skills.

B: Course Description

This two-day course teaches basic skills and techniques for User Experience professionals. Topics covered are: Usability Testing, Information Architecture, Interaction Design, and User Research skills, and a summary of major benefits of User Experience design.

Examples and exercises are drawn from web sites, web, desktop, and mobile applications. However, the skills taught are commonly utilized in design of products for all software platforms, from mobile and phone applications through kiosks and larger interactive spaces.

Upon completion of this course the student should:

  • Know the basics of many techniques used by Information Architects, Usability Engineers, and Interaction Designers
  • Understand the purpose behind each procedure
  • Know when to use those techniques in the software development lifecycle
  • Understand both the advantages and the main pitfalls of each technique
  • Have completed exercises in wire framing, competitive analyses, heuristic evaluations, card sorting, and other User Experience and Usability procedures
  • Have a number of URLs to reference current knowledge and additional information on those techniques
  • Know specific methods to find additional research in these areas.

C: Course Objectives

  1. To introduce students to knowledge-gathering techniques used in the design of user-centered software products.
  2. To provide students with a toolset of techniques to draw on when creating or evaluating software.
  3. To give students practice in creating wire frames and other common UX deliverables, as well as an understanding of their benefits and drawbacks.
  4. To provide students with clear references and the skills to gather additional knowledge on the topics covered.

D: Organization

This is a lecture-lab course in which topics are presented by the instructor. Practice techniques are completed by students during the class.

E: Course Topics

Day 1: Wire Framing, Basic User Research, and Usability Testing

  1. Benefits of Information Architecture and User Experience
  2. Communicating Design: Wire Frames
    • Purpose.
    • How to Create Wire Frames 
    • Wire Framing exercises 1 and 2
    • Shortcomings and alternatives
  3. Communicating Interactivity: Storyboards and Prototypes
  4. Requirements and Specifications
  5. Creating Complex Wire Frames: How does Amazon do it? 
  6. What should we learn about our users?  User Research Basics
  7. Usability Testing:
    • Rationale and Examples
    • Conducting a Usability Test
    • Guidelines and Tips for Effective Testing
    • Analyzing Your Results
    • Reporting on Usability Tests
    • Usability Testing Exercises
  8. Finding Usability Research
  9. Day 2: Information Architecture Techniques, Web Issues, Additional User Research Skills

  10. Conducting Expert Reviews: Heuristic Evaluations
  11.  Competitive Analyses: Design Input from our Competition
  12.  Personas: Creating Convincing Personas from User Research
  13.  Using Card Sorts to build User-Directed Navigation
  14.  Interaction Design: Techniques and Standards
  15.  Interaction Design: What is important and where should I place it?
  16.  Organizing Complex Navigation: Transitional Volatility
  17.  Common Web Issues
  18.  Focus Groups
  19.  Don’t Lead the User: Interview Techniques
  20.  Surveys: Benefits and Pitfalls
  21.  Statistics
  22.  Ethnography: Conducting research where the users are
  23.  Contextual Inquiry: Conducting User Research in the workplace

F: About The Instructor:

Picture of Mark Richman
Mark Richman has made software products and web sites easy to use for clients such as JP MorganChase, McKesson, and Georgia Power. He earned an MS in Human-Computer Interaction from Georgia Tech and has been a featured speaker at CHI-Atlanta and the Atlanta IA Society