Learning UX with the Interaction Design Foundation — A Review

What if you could get structured education in UX design without leaving your home, for less than what you pay for Netflix? If you haven’t heard of it before, the Interaction Design Foundation (IDF) is a Denmark-based non-profit whose goal is to make design education accessible and affordable to everyone.

Free Literature & Articles

IDF’s open-sourced literature, used by institutions like MIT and the University of Cambridge, are rich in information on topics ranging from gamification to social design.

Their cornerstone publication, The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, is currently in its second iteration and is actually a compilation of work written by Ivy League professors, expert designers, and bestselling authors such as Don Norman.

“A goldmine of information on interaction design.” — Don Norman

If you’re short on time (like many of us are) or simply looking for a lighter read than an encyclopedia, browse through UX Daily, a hub for countless of great articles on topics surrounding user experience design.

 Latest articles on UX Daily.

Latest articles on UX Daily.

My recent favorite is How to Change Your Career from Graphic Design to UX Design, something that I would’ve found useful about a year ago when I first made my switch from graphic design to UX design.

The best part about the books and articles? They’re completely free to read — no membership required.

But let’s say you’re serious about your interaction design or user experience career and you’re ready to join the IDF community. What can you expect out of your membership?

Courses

The biggest perk is unlimited access to over 30 UX courses, which are all self-paced and taught by experienced veterans in their field. Each course contains lessons that are either a single video, an illustrated article, or a combination of both. To give you an idea of what the courses are like, here are screenshots of the one that I’m currently taking, Get Your First Job as a UX or Interaction Designer.

Lessons are composed of multiple parts to take at your own convenience

 

n exercise to engage the students

 

Quick questions refresh your memory and reinforce the material, ensuring that this isn’t one of those online courses you can just click through. ;)

Here are the most popular courses:

To boost your career, you will automatically be awarded an industry-recognized certificate after completing any of the courses. Unlike many other learning platforms, certificates won’t cost you anything extra. A certificate might not hold as much weight as real job experience, but it can’t hurt to show them off in your LinkedIn profile, resume, or website.

Example certificate.

Community and Network

As a member, you get to join one of the 467 chapters around the world and connect with UX designers in your community. Here, you can discover events and conferences or learn from each other in online discussions. For example, members who are just starting out in the field can request and receive valuable feedback on their portfolios. Other discussion topics include Mobile UX, User Research, and Jobs.

The “Portfolio Review” discussion category.

Summary

The Interaction Design Foundation is an excellent platform for learning and connecting with others about UX design. Content such as articles and open-sourced literature are free for everyone to enjoy, while the more valued UX courses and access to the community, networks, and discussions are available at an affordable price.

If you’re interested, use this link to get your first 3 months free (the fee is charged yearly).

Thanks for reading!