How to train in UX even if you can’t get funding from your employer

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pens and post it on a busy desk
Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

A year ago I asked my employer for training in UX Design. It was relevant to the big digital project I was working on, but as a Software Developer they felt it was not within my role. The 1 or 2 weeks UX courses I found were expensive, not close to home, and taking a week off for this didn’t feel right, but I really wanted to learn more.

At the time I already knew about the Interaction Design Foundation (IDF), as it had been a great source of information while completing my Interaction Design project for my Computing and IT Degree in 2016. So when I saw their Facebook posts about online courses, I had a look. It wasn’t expensive at all and I could take as many courses as I wanted. As it was online, I could make it work for me.

screenshot of an ad about the classes
Facebook post I kept seeing in my timeline from IDF

My IT degree had already been online with The Open University so I knew about studying that way. I signed up in May with 3 courses:

I became very much addicted because by September I had completed 13 courses!

IDF recently announced a new course on Accessibility coming soon, it will be my 18th course. My little collection of certificates is growing nicely.

My certificate of the Gamification course

This gave me the confidence to call myself a UX Designer, meet others in the Glasgow UX Community, apply to UX roles and go to UX talks. A lot of UX talks 😉 I even started a portfolio.

So, if for whatever reason you can’t obtain the training you were looking for, have a look at online courses and go for it!

A few tips:

  • take notes as you go along, so you can go back to it later
  • don’t be put off by the fact that a course is intermediate or even advanced level, I did some advanced courses (even though I’m no expert) and still gain a lot from it
  • try to find a way to apply what you’ve learnt, you don’t have to create an app or website from scratch, you can take an existing app / website and try to improve it with what you’ve just learnt
  • do make contact with the wider UX community, there is a lot of people out there ready to share their knowledge and help

Happy learning!

Edit: Since that post, I’ve finished the course: Accessibility How to Design for All and really recommend it too.


Note:

This post was prompted by the Interaction Design Foundation. At the time, they had asked their ‘top performers’ (1%) to write about their learning experience and to share it as a way to promote their classes. I was happy to as I had learn a lot that way and this gave me the push to write my first post on Medium.