IN THIS ARTICLE
- What Is User Interface (UI) Design?
- What Is a UI Design Course?
- 9 Best UI Design Courses for Beginners
- Making the Most Out of a UI Design Course
- FAQs About UI Design Courses
Get expert insights straight to your inbox.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that user interface (UI) designers are largely responsible for how we experience the world today. Using images, color, typography, and interactive elements like buttons, UI designers create intuitive, aesthetically pleasing digital interfaces that we all interact with.
But if you’re looking to begin your career as a UI designer, it can be difficult to know where to start. While in-person, university-level UI design courses are becoming more commonplace, their prohibitive cost and time-intensive nature make them inaccessible to many, especially career changers.
That’s why we’ve created this guide. Below, we’ll detail nine of the best UI design courses, all of which are more affordable than a university education, and all of which offer exciting career prospects.
What Is User Interface (UI) Design?
User interface (UI) design is the process of creating visually appealing and user-friendly interfaces for websites, mobile apps, and other digital products. UI designers use a variety of technical skills and techniques, including graphic design, web development, and user interaction and interface design, to create interfaces that are both visually appealing and easy to use.
Some of the key elements of user interface design include:
- Visual elements: UI designers use a variety of visual elements, such as typography, color, and imagery, to create interfaces that are both visually appealing and easy to read.
- Responsive web design: Responsive design is a technique that allows websites to adapt to different screen sizes and devices. UI designers must create interfaces that are responsive in order to ensure that users have a good experience on all devices.
- Modern design patterns: UI designers identify modern design patterns to create interfaces that are consistent with user expectations and easy to use. Common design patterns include dropdown menus, hamburgers, and tab bars.
- Web typography: Web typography is the art of using text on the web. UI designers must choose the right fonts, font sizes, and line heights to create interfaces that are easy to read and visually appealing.
- Web design: Web design is the overall process of creating a website, including the user interface design. UI designers must work closely with web developers to ensure that their designs are implemented correctly.
UI designers use a variety of tools and technologies to create their designs. These tools may include:
- Design tools: UI designers use user interface (UI) design tools, such as Sketch and Adobe Photoshop, to create mockups and prototypes of their designs. Creating interfaces isn’t just about an appealing design – they must be functional.
- Prototyping tools: Prototyping tools, such as Figma and InVision, allow UI designers to create an interactive prototype of their designs. This allows them to test their designs with users and get feedback before they are implemented.
User interface design is a critical part of the development of any digital product. By creating visually appealing and user-friendly interfaces, UI designers can help to ensure that users have a positive experience with the product.
Here are some examples of user interface design in practice:
- The design of the buttons, menus, and other controls on a website
- Designing layouts of the different elements on a mobile app screen
- The typography and color scheme used in a digital product
- The overall look and feel of a website or app
UI design is an important part of web development and web design, but it is not the same thing. Web development is the process of creating websites and web applications. UI design is focused on the user experience and how users interact with a website or app.
UI designers work closely with web developers to ensure that their designs are implemented correctly. However, UI designers do not need to be able to code. They can use design tools and prototyping tools to create their designs, and then hand them off to web developers to implement.
UI design is a rapidly growing field, and there is a high demand for skilled UI designers. If you are interested in a career in UI design, there are a number of resources and multiple courses available to help you learn UI design at your own pace.
What Is a UI Design Course?
UI design courses help learners master the foundations of user interface design. UI design courses cover visual design principles and design fundamentals like scale and color theory, along with usability principles like discoverability and feedback. The best UI courses also emphasize job readiness and offer opportunities for students to build in-demand practical skills through hands-on, real-world projects. To land your dream user interface design role, you’ll also need a thorough and practical understanding of UX design—which top courses offer as a part of their UI curriculum. An online course may involve practical project work, guidance from a professional mentor, and a number of different practical exercises designed to build up your portfolio.
9 Best UI Design Courses for Beginners
|UI/UX Design Bootcamp||4.6||$7,900||Learn More|
|UI Design Course||4.58||$399||Learn More|
|User Interface Design Course||4.54||$3250||Learn More|
|UX/UI Design Bootcamp||4.67||$12,150||Learn More|
|UI Design Program||4.53||$7900||Learn More|
|Product-Design Bootcamp||4.62||$16,900||Learn More|
|UI Video Course||N/A||$2,495||Learn More|
|Professional Certificate in UI Design||4.65||€2,350||Learn More|
|Introduction to UI Design||4.7||$89||Learn More|
The structure and content of your ideal UI design course will depend on your goals, needs, budget, and schedule. To help you weigh your options, we’ve assembled this guide to the best UI design courses for beginners.
Springboard’s UI/UX Design Career Track is a career-oriented bootcamp and hands-on course that prepares students for UI and UX design jobs. Through videos, articles, hands-on design projects, and career-related coursework, students learn how to harness user empathy and an iterative problem-solving approach through design thinking. Over the course of the program, students learn how to use UI and UX design to inspire trust and delight in users as they navigate a digital product. It’s one of the best UI design courses around, with a reasonable course price.
Students learn design theory and build a UI design toolbox via exercises woven throughout each module of the program. UI topics covered include:
- Visual principles. Balance, scale, proximity, alignment, repetition, contrast, space, visual hierarchies, and color theory are all used to create frictionless, beautiful interfaces. Students also learn how to use brand platforms to define a product’s visual style.
- Usability heuristics. Harnessing key interaction principles like consistency, progressive disclosure, cognitive load reduction, and discoverability helps create interfaces that prioritize key usability heuristics.
- UI elements and patterns. Inputting controls, navigation components, informational components, and containers helps optimize the various stages of the UI design process. Students also learn how to implement reusable components to solve common UI problems in mobile app design as well as interface design for websites.
- Design systems. Building style guides, pattern libraries, and design toolkits help create a consistent design language, thereby increasing efficiency and consistency in product development.
Throughout the course, students complete four projects to showcase in a UI portfolio. This includes multiple end-to-end projects (two capstone projects as well as a design sprint project) that encompass the entire design process. Additionally, students are matched with a real company to complete a 40-hour project that solves a business problem and prepare them for their first design job.
Each Springboard student meets one-on-one with an industry expert mentor throughout the course and receives personalized career coaching. The course is fully remote, offers a flexible schedule, and can be completed in nine months at a pace of 15-20 hours per week.
Springboard’s UI/UX Design Career Track is ideal for career-switchers or upskillers who want to land an entry-level UI design job. Thanks to Springboard’s dual focus on UI and UX design, graduates bring a competitive skillset and foundational industry experience to the job market.
The course carries an upfront cost of $7,900. Alternatively, students may pay $1,590 per month in installments. Learners are only charged for the months they’re enrolled, which makes the installment model a great fit for fast learners. Alternatively, students who choose a deferred tuition plan can pay $500 up front and the rest after landing a job. Scholarships for veterans and women in tech are also available.
DesignLab’s UI Design Course teaches students how to recognize and implement popular UI patterns while improving fluency in areas of design like typography, color, and imagery. Over the course of four weeks, students explore UI design trends and meet once a week with a vetted professional designer. To conclude the course, students create a high-fidelity prototype to showcase their new skills. DesignLab offers a flexible schedule, and students can expect to work roughly 10-15 hours per week.
Get To Know Other Design Students
DesignLab’s course requires basic design knowledge and experience with at least one design tool. The program is intended for mid-level designers who wish to upgrade their existing skillset.
The course costs $399. DesignLab offers a two-month tuition payment plan.
Brainstation’s UI Design Course Online teaches students how to create user interface designs for a wide range of digital products. The program offers online classes in which learners receive live instruction once a week. Each session is three hours long and meets once a day for a duration of ten weeks. Over the course of the program, students explore the principles of UI, visual design, and responsive design. Students also create professional design portfolios and collaborate with fellow learners in live online breakout rooms.
Brainstation’s course was designed for beginners who want to break into UI design. The course is ideal for learners whose schedules permit them to attend class regularly at a set time each week.
The course costs $3250. Brainstation offers installments and monthly payment plans.
Thinkful’s UX/UI Design Bootcamp helps students build in-demand UI design skills over the course of five to six months. Students enrolled in the full-time version of the course study with a cohort at an accelerated pace, working Monday through Friday from 10am-5pm EST and committing 50 hours of study per week. Students enrolled in the part-time version of the course work independently, committing 20-25 hours of study per week.
Thinkful’s course is ideal for learners who want the option to enroll in a full-time, immersive learning experience.
Paid upfront, full-time tuition costs $12,150, while part-time tuition costs $9,500. Monthly payment plans and deferred payment options are available.
Over the course of CareerFoundry’s UI Design Program, students learn the skills, tools, and processes required to pivot into the field of UI design. The asynchronous, fully online program focuses on career prep and helps students build a professional design portfolio composed of real-world projects.
CareerFoundry’s program is ideal for UI beginners who can commit 15-20 hours of study per week over the course of nine months.
Tuition costs $7505 when paid in full upfront, or $7900 total when paid over the course of a monthly installment plan.
Flatiron School’s UX/UI Design Bootcamp covers ethical and inclusive design, design research methods, product strategy, and more. The school offers both full-time and part-time flexibility. Students enrolled on a fixed, full-time schedule dedicate eight hours per day to coursework Monday through Friday for a span of 15 weeks. The live, full-time version of Flatiron’s program is available in person and online. Students enrolled on a part-time schedule learn independently at their own pace over the course of 40 weeks. The part-time version of Flatiron’s program is only available online.
The course is ideal for learners in New York or Denver who desire a full-time, in-person learning opportunity.
The course costs $16,900 in total. Payment plans and loans are available.
- Alumni reviews are generally positive.
The Learn UI Design course offers 35 hours of video lessons in which learners can watch professional designer Erik Kennedy work through design problems. Students also complete skill-based exercises and receive PDF cheatsheets and checklists with vital design reminders and frameworks. With tiered pricing options, students can purchase access to discussion forums via Slack as well as one-on-one coaching sessions. Erik has a background in software engineering—proving that an art school background isn’t necessary to launch a career in design.
This course is ideal for on-the-go learners who need a flexible price point. Students can tune in from anywhere on any device and watch over a pro’s shoulder—or purchase access to personalized instruction.
The course costs $995 for access to all video lessons, PDFs, and exercises. Tuition costs $1495 for students who purchase access to the course Slack channel. For students who purchase additional one-on-one coaching, the total cost of the course is $2,495.
The Professional Certificate in UI Design is an online, self-paced program that requires 3 hours of study per week over the course of 12 weeks. The course is designed to help learners accelerate their careers with in-demand skills and a professional UI certificate. Students receive support from a mentor and a Slack community of fellow learners.
This course is ideal for graphic designers who want to pivot into UI design, as well as UX designers who want to flesh out their UI design skills. No prior design experience is required.
The course costs €2,350. Payment plans are available.
- Coursera Alumni: 4.7/5
- Average: 4.7/5
The Introduction to UI Design by the University of Minnesota is a flexible, online course that requires 14 hours of study to complete. Offered through Coursera as a Specialization course, the program aims to provide students with a high-level understanding of the UI design process. Over the course of four modules, students learn about the UI design process as well as psychology and human factors for user interface design.
This course is ideal for beginners who want an affordable overview of UI fundamentals.
Coursera Specialization courses cost $39-$89 per month.
Making the Most Out of a UI Design Course
Enrolling in a UI design course is an investment. Here’s how to make the most out of the program you choose.
What Should You Expect To Learn in a UI Design Course?
An effective UI design course will cover key concepts including design thinking, human-centered design, visual design, interaction design, and usability heuristics. You should expect to learn how to implement these concepts to create intuitive, beautiful interfaces that advance a brand’s identity.
What Will My Schedule Look Like?
The schedule of your course will depend on the structure of the program. Flexible online courses allow students to create their own schedules, while courses that rely on live classroom instruction—virtually or in person—require regular attendance. Part-time programs require 10-20 hours of study per week, allowing students to work while completing the program. These programs often run for a duration of 3-9 months.
How Will You Implement What You’ve Learned?
Effective UI design courses offer opportunities to implement interaction design skills via real-world projects. End-to-end design projects help learners cultivate valuable practical experience and build a professional portfolio.
FAQs About UI Design Courses
Wondering whether a UI design is right for you? Check out these answers to frequently asked questions about UX design courses.
Do You Need a Degree for a Career in UI/UX?
A college degree is not necessary to launch a career in UI/UX. Because UI/UX is an emerging field, few opportunities for training are available through traditional degree programs. Instead, designers typically seek training through hands-on courses that emphasize the development of applied skills.
Are There Any Prerequisites To Take a Design Course?
Design courses typically do not carry prerequisites. To excel in UI design, you’ll need creativity, a knack for problem-solving, and an eye for visual communication. Graphic design, front-end development, or visual design skills can be helpful but are not necessary to enroll.
Is a UI Design Course the Same as a Bootcamp?
Many programs refer to UI design courses as bootcamps. These certificate programs are built to make design education accessible to aspiring product designers, product managers, mobile app designers, and more.
To choose the program that’s right for you, consider how the curriculum, duration, and structure of the course align with your needs. Introductory courses will focus on foundational skills and key concepts, but more immersive programs will focus on building applied skills through portfolio projects to prepare you to land a UI design job. You can also complete a UX design bootcamp, or one that focuses on Graphic Design if you want to become a graphic designer.
What Does UI and UX Design Have In Common?
UI and UX have in common that they both aim to create a positive user experience, but UI focuses on the visual elements of a product, while UX design focuses on the overall user journey.
Do You Need a Master’s Degree to Work In UI?
No – a degree can be beneficial, but most companies are satisfied with practical experience and some training.
Since you’re here…
Looking to launch your career in design? In our UI/UX Design Bootcamp, you’ll work 1-on-1 with industry experts to build job-ready skills – on your schedule. 99.5% of our graduates are fully employed in design within 12 months of graduation, and our student reviews back us up. Get dabbling today with our free UI/UX design curriculum. When you’re ready for a job, we’re here.