A little introduction before we dive into the topic, so you know who I am and why I am writing this article. 

I’m pursuing a degree in computer science. But I found that my interest lies in design. So I took up a couple of free online courses to get started as a UX designer. 

The online design community has been very supportive to me. So I’d like to give back to the community and if I’m able to help even a single person in the tiniest way possible, then I’ll sleep a little better tonight 🙂 

In this article, I’m going to share a few free UX design courses which helped me get started as a UX designer. So here we go!

Credits: Unsplash 

CareerFoundry UI Design Short Course 

Please don’t point out that UI and UX are two different things, I know it. They are complementary to each other. 

This was the first course I ever took. I still remember the first time I opened up Adobe XD and designed a screen for a climate action app. I was so proud of it that I sent it to my friends :’)

This course is a mix of video and written lessons which helped me get familiar with the absolute basics. 

Certificate provided: No 

CareerFoundry UX Design Short Course

It is a 6 day short course of written lessons delivered to your inbox. Personally, I found it a little less useful than the UI course. 

Certificate provided: No

User Experience Course by Accenture

I loved this course! Ideal for beginners, I would have taken this as my first course in UX, had I known earlier. I believe this one’s pretty underrated. 

Certificate provided: Yes

Google’s UX design Course 

This is the most comprehensive course I came across, hands down. It’s like the queen among all the other courses. A lot of patience and hard work is required to finish this one, but it’s worth it. My favorite course ever! 

How’s it free? You can apply for financial aid. It gets approved in 15 days, so meanwhile you could audit the course and start learning. Financial aid helps you get your certificate, whereas auditing helps you access the entire course without getting the certificate. 

Certificate provided: Yes

IBM Design Thinking Course

I did not find this course beginner-friendly. It is probably for people who are already working in teams and want to enhance their skills. But anyways, there’s no harm in absorbing available information so I went ahead and took three badges from this one too 😉

Certificate provided: Yes, you get Credly badges but you can download them as a certificate 

UI Design Specialization by University of Minnesota

I still haven’t completed the entire course. It is a bit theoretical and might get boring, but it talks about some really important things, like evaluating user interfaces and the art of giving feedback. 

As explained earlier, you can claim your certificate by applying for financial aid. 

Certificate provided: Yes

UI/UX Design Specialization by CalArts

I haven’t done this course but I know a lot of people who have done it. So I thought it would be fair to include it in this list 

Certificate provided: Yes

In conclusion, there is absolutely no shortage of free online courses. A lot of them are certified too. Whether certificates are valuable or not is a separate debate. Some people put skills over certificates while others believe certificates are proof of skills. 

I still think it’s crazy how we can learn anything from anywhere. I never thought I’ll be learning about accessibility in design by someone who works in Google 🙂

All the very best for your design journey! Connect with me on LinkedIn if you’d like to discuss anything. And if you’d like to add something to this article, feel free to drop a comment ✨

Cheshta Dua is a guest author on Difference by Design. If you’ve interesting ideas to share, find out more about submitting a Guest blog here

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