IN THIS ARTICLE
- Is It Worth Taking A UX Research Course?
- Best UX Research Courses
- How Do You Choose a UX Research Course?
- Making the Most Out of Your UX Research Course
- FAQs About UX Research Courses
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When it comes to the field of UX design, many generalists have been replaced by specialists, especially in the fields of UX research, information architecture, UX development, usability testing, UX writing, and user interface design.
UX research—which entails field studies, user interviews, competitive analysis, persona building, journey mapping, prototype feedback, social media monitoring, benchmark testing, and ensuring accessibility—is one of the most in-demand of these specializations, given that the insights they cull often guide the rest of the UX design process. And given their importance, companies are willing to shell out for UX researchers, with salaries averaging just above $100,000 a year.
So if you’re looking to cash in on this trend, you may be wondering: how do I specialize in UX research? This guide is a great place to start. Whether you’re looking to upskill, career pivot, or enter the field, a UX research course is definitely worth exploring. Below, we’ve detailed the 10 best UX research courses, and what makes them great, so that you can choose the course that’s right for you.
Is It Worth Taking A UX Research Course?
Yes. UX research is among the fastest-growing fields within user experience design. A good UX research course will give you the foundation to either kickstart your career or specialize, and should also give you a robust foundation on user research concepts.
Best UX Research Courses
Here are the 10 best UX research courses:
|UX Career Track||4.64||$7,900||Learn More|
|User Experience Research and Design Specialization||4.0||$39||Learn More|
|User Research – Methods and Best Practices||4.61||$16||Learn More|
|Conducting UX Research||4.7||$29||Learn More|
|UX Research Bootcamp||4.91||$875||Learn More|
|Google UX Design Professional Certificate||4.8||$39||Learn More|
|UX Research for Beginners Course||4.5||N/A||Learn More|
|UX Research||N/A||$299||Learn More|
|UX & User Research Course||4.58||$499||Learn More|
|Advance Your Skills as a User Experience Researcher||4.4||$19.99||Learn More|
Springboard’s UX Career Track is a comprehensive user experience design program, with an entire module of around 44 hours dedicated to UX research and another 10 hours to synthesizing and presenting findings. The UX research curriculum includes user research methods, research plans, recruiting users through screener surveys, diary studies, interviews, synthesis best practices, affinity maps, empathy maps, personas, problem statements, journey maps, and research presentations. During these modules, you’ll also work on mini-projects in UX research to gain practical experience.
The course features videos and in-depth articles. You’ll also complete several mini-projects and three industry-ready portfolio projects. Throughout the program, you’ll have access to a mentor, with whom you’ll have weekly 1-on-1 calls. The course also includes career coaching and a money-back job guarantee.
This course is comprehensive and best suited for those with a bachelor’s degree or at least one year of professional experience in adjacent fields such as human-computer interaction, graphic/visual design, or architecture.
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This is a 6-month online program expecting a commitment of 15-20 hours per week.
This program costs $7,900 when paid upfront. You can also pay in monthly installments of $1,590, or wait until you’ve landed a job before paying.
This program on Coursera, offered by Michigan University, focuses on using UX research to design world-class products. It covers topics such as the role of research in product design, user-centered design, qualitative and quantitative research methods, user testing and analysis, user stories, storyboards, high-fidelity mockups, surveys, analytics, and online testing. The final module is a capstone project involving multi-stage testing and communication of findings.
This course is beginner-friendly and does not require any prior experience in UX.
This course can be completed in about nine months at a suggested pace of 2 hours/per week. However, it is self-paced, you are welcome to complete it sooner.
The Coursera subscription starts from $39 per month, which you need to have if you would like a certificate. However, you can audit all the course material for free.
This course from Interaction Design Foundation is an intermediate-level program that dives deeper into the practice of qualitative UX research. The curriculum includes types of user research, qualitative methods, planning research projects, usability testing, user interviews, contextual inquiry, observational research, analysis, and communication. By the end of this course, you’ll have completed three portfolio projects that you can use as case studies and will have also earned a certificate.
As an intermediate course, it is best for those with a background in product design and development, such as UX designers, project managers, entrepreneurs, or marketers. It is also suitable for beginners, but they might have a steeper learning curve.
The estimated learning time is about 32 hours, spread over seven weeks, with a commitment of 4-5 hours per week. However, it is a self-paced program with no deadlines, so you can take your time with it.
To complete this course, you need to have a membership with Interaction Design Foundation, which starts at $16 per month.
This course by Pluralsight is a short introduction to the practice of UX research. It teaches you how to do UX research, and how this fits into the product development timeline. It also covers several qualitative and quantitative user research techniques. Each module includes several case studies to demonstrate the practical application of these methods.
This course is beginner-friendly.
1 hour 20 minutes
To take this course, you need a Pluralsight membership, which costs $29 per month.
- Switchup: 4.91
This UX design bootcamp from Memorisely is designed to help you master generative and evaluative research skills, as well as the latest UX design tools. The curriculum includes research goals, generative interviews, competitor benchmarking, usability testing, surveys, synthesis and analysis, and UX research reports. The course is structured as a combination of live Zoom classes, self-study, and co-working sessions.
This course is beginner-friendly.
The course is conducted over five weeks part-time with live classes every Tuesday and Thursday.
This course costs $875 if you pay upfront. You can also pay in three monthly installments of $325 each.
- Coursera: 4.8
This professional UX research training program from Google focuses on teaching in-demand UX skills that prepare students for an entry-level UX job. The curriculum includes UX design foundations, common research methods, identifying biases, empathy maps, personas, user stories, user journey maps, problem statements, competitive audits, wireframes, prototypes, usability studies, and affinity diagrams. You will use Figma and Adobe XD as part of this program and complete a capstone project.
This course is beginner-friendly. No prior experience or degree is required.
It is recommended to complete this course in 6 months, at 10 hours per week. However, it is self-paced, and you can complete it sooner.
The Coursera subscription starts from $39 per month. The certificate can be completed in less than six months of part-time study, which means most learners complete it for under $300. However, you can audit all the course material for free.
This Career Foundry course is structured as six tutorials that help beginners get acquainted with the world of UX research. Each tutorial consists of a video introduction, supporting literature, a quiz, and a practical task. The curriculum includes an introduction to research methods, planning research sessions, tools, user interviews, card sorting, and analysis of UX research findings.
This course is designed for beginners.
The tutorials add up to just over an hour.
This is a free course.
This course focuses on UX research throughout the digital product development cycle. The curriculum includes interviews, observational research, cultural probes, surveys, and web analytics. It helps learners understand data collection and sources, research methods, focus groups, card courting, user testing, A/B testing, and analysis.
This is a beginner-friendly course with no prerequisites.
The program is designed to be completed in six weeks if you commit to about 6-9 hours per week. However, it is self-paced, and you can take your time.
You can access this course for free for a limited time. You can upgrade to a verified track at $299 with certification.
The Design Lab UX Research course is designed to teach beginners the ins and outs of user-centered design, along with key components of the customer research process. The curriculum, spread over four weeks, includes an introduction to UX design, customer empathy, contextual inquiry, diary studies, interviews, user definition, empathy maps, storyboards, customer journey, heuristic review, feature matrix, ideation, prototyping, and validation.
The course also offers four mentor sessions, where a professional designer will give you personalized feedback. At the end of the program, you will have a research portfolio and a certificate of completion.
This is a beginner-friendly course.
It is a four-week course demanding a commitment of 10-15 hours per week.
The course costs $499, with discounts available.
This course from LinkedIn Learning is designed to give you an understanding of UX research fundamentals, including design thinking, journey mapping, methods, and best practices. Through the course, you will also learn how UX research interacts with product design, customer experience, marketing, and agile development.
This intermediate course is best for those with some experience with UX research or product development.
The video lessons are 3 hours and 24 minutes long.
You need a LinkedIn membership to take this course, which costs $19.99 per month when you pay for the year upfront.
How Do You Choose a UX Research Course?
There are various online courses in UX research available today, with differences in structure, curriculum, time, and price. Here are the factors you need to consider before choosing the right UX course for you.
Evaluate your current situation and your career goals. If you’re a UX designer, then you might need an intermediate or advanced-level program. If you’re transitioning from another career or entering UX design for the first time, you might be suited for a more beginner or intermediate program. If your goal is to get a higher-paying job, a certification might be critical. And if you’re a freelance UX designer, strong case studies are essential.
A good course should teach you foundational concepts, empowering you to learn how to do more advanced UX research on your own.
UX design and UX research are rapidly evolving fields. New tools and methods are emerging every few months, leaving previous processes outdated. A good course has instructors who teach the basics, which seldom change, while also introducing you to the more advanced concepts that are rapidly evolving. They need to be practitioners with a track record of delivering successful products. Check the instructor’s background and work experience. Also, look for ratings and reviews to understand their educational experience better.
Reviews and Ratings
The best measure of any course’s effectiveness is the alumni’s success. Look for the program’s ratings on various third-party websites. Read reviews and testimonials of past students to understand if those in a similar situation to yours have found the program valuable.
Pricing and Payment Options
There are free courses, those available on monthly subscriptions, and others that charge a course fee. Several discounts and scholarships are also available. While choosing a course, understand what you are paying for. Evaluate if the course is affordable. Check if there is a deferred tuition plan or a job guarantee that inspires more confidence in the return on investment (ROI).
There are several short courses that can be completed in under five hours. However, most comprehensive certificate courses demand a commitment of 10-20 hours a week over 6-9 months. Make sure you know how long you need to commit. Try to schedule it in your calendar to see if you can make the time.
As a UX researcher, your standing in the job market depends heavily on your ability to demonstrate your skills. Projects are necessary for this. Make sure that the UX research course you are taking up has enough practical assignments that you can add to your portfolio.
Making the Most Out of Your UX Research Course
Ask yourself these questions to get the most out of your UX research course:
How Does a Course in UX Research Work?
A UX research course is typically online and contains a number of lectures, readings, practical exercises, and a few portfolio projects. Each week, you will have access to a few topics you are expected to master. You will be part of discussion forums you can use to collaborate with fellow learners. Some programs might have live lectures at a scheduled time. Some others, like the Springboard UX Career Track, might offer 1-on-1 mentoring and coaching sessions too.
What Should You Expect to Learn in a UX Research Course?
A comprehensive course should teach you foundational design principles, user research processes, tools, methods, and best practices. It should strengthen your UX research skills while giving you the ability to build on it on your own.
What Will Your Schedule Look Like?
A typical UX research course requires 10-20 hours each week. This means you will study for 1-2 hours every weekday and spend 5-10 hours over the weekend.
FAQs About UX Research Courses
We’ve got the answers to your most frequently asked questions.
Should You Specialize in UX Research, or Go Broader With UX Design?
As the field evolves, the need for specialists continues to grow. Specialized roles also earn more. So it’s a good idea to specialize, and UX research is an increasingly important specialization. That being said, it is helpful to have a broader understanding of UX design before specializing.
Is UX Research a Good Career?
Can You Become a UX Researcher Without a Degree?
Yes. UX researchers are in demand, with not enough qualified candidates for all available open positions. Therefore, organizations are open to hiring skilled professionals, even without a college degree. A good bootcamp or certificate program is a great way to do this.
Related Read: How To Become a UX Researcher
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