My name is Ariel and I’m a UX Designer from Brazil with a background in Cinema and Agribusiness Management. This is my first article on Medium and I intend to showcase my experiences and share some perspectives on UX, Technology and Design.
This article is about my learning experience with the Interaction Design Foundation (IxDF) and how it helped me shape my work ethics not only as a Designer but as an overall Information Technology (IT) professional.
About the Interaction Design Foundation
IxDF is an non-profitable, international, online Design education platform founded in Denmark. Its UX courses are available in English and most of them have subtitles, which improves learning conditions for non-English speaking students.
The dynamics is simple: you pay an annual fee for your Membership and you get total access to every course available (there are over 30).
- Design Thinking
- Qualitative and Quantitative User Research
- Human-Computer Interaction
- UI Design
- Mobile UX Design
- UX Management
- Design for Augmented and Virtual Reality
And many others!
The learning possibilities are astoundingly wide — which allows those who are taking their first steps to have more clarity about their professional perspectives.
The platform also offers learning paths for specific roles such as UX Designer, UI Designer, Usability Expert, User Researcher, Project Manager or Front-End Developer.
The platform is built on the idea of tailor-made, self-paced learning in order for everyone to have their best, optimized learning experience. There are no deadlines to finish course lessons and, at the end of each one, you gain an industry trusted certificate if you reach a minimum score.
Now let me tell you how I became a student at IxDF.
Background: Before IxDF
I first started studying UX Design on my own. I was a Cinema graduation student frustrated with the lack of professional opportunities. Before that, I had studied Agribusiness Management in the University of Brasília.
When I first heard about UX Design, I fell in love with the mindset of developing technological solutions to solve problems holistically and using unpredictability in your favor. It was great to know that there is a whole study and work field dedicated to create digital tools that help people with their problems and needs, whilst ensuring great usage experiences!
Because I lacked the resources, the first few months of study were conducted on my own — through Youtube channels, social media content, available e-books and so on. That lasted until I was approached by a friend of mine who is a Full-Stack Developer. He needed someone to take care of the UI of a project for a major Brazilian workers association.
It was the beginning of my first freelance job as an UI Designer (which I’ll go into more details in another article).
Decision: Choosing IxDF
After finnishing my first UI freelance job, I decided to continue improving my knowledge and professional skills with through an online educational platform, especially given the fact that the pandemic was already taking place. I was not sure which platform I should choose, since there are many options available.
Eventually, the one that was most appealing to me was IxDF, both for its dynamics — self-paced learning, hypermedia content and industry-recognized digital certiticates — and for its princing.
It’s great to say this again and again: IxDF is a very affordable educational platform! You pay for a year’s access to all its User Experience courses and content, with Webinars conducted by industry specialists on advanced subjects such as Affordances, Color Theory, Analytics and many others for $1, if you are a member.
Great Learning Experience: IxDF’s benefits
It’s safe to say that I was satisfied from the start! There are great benefits that come with an IxDF’s membership, such as:
- Self-paced learning: the platform is built on the idea of allowing people to have control over their learning dynamics and time management — which is highly motivating and user-centered.
- Dynamic learning: right from the start you are informed that the platform mixes different types of content (text, video, images) in order to enhance our ability to learn, creating a dynamic learning experience.
- Great instructors and staff: the instructors really put their efforts into their classes. It’s amazing to learn from well established professionals and academics such as Frank Spillers, William Hudson, Alan Dix and many more!
- Active community: along with a dynamic learning environment, there is also the possibility of interacting with other students around the world. There are even local groups in which you can interact with people from your City or Country.
- Affordable pricing: it’s never too much to say: IxDF is affordable ($11 per month, paid yearly).
- Great customer experience: the UI is very intuitive and clean. Information is displayed in concise, clear ways and it is hard not to find something you are looking for. If you don’t find something, they’ll help you right away!
- Digital course certificates: it is delightful to have a course certificate from IxDF! The UX Design courses’ gamification characteristics help to keep yourself motivated to go further and further — always remembering to respect your limits without rushing things unnecessarily.
The Process: Learning from IxDF
Studying at IxDF allowed me to develop inner values and work ethics.
IxDF’s learning experience was different from every other digital educational platform I had attended to. Right from the start, you can feel that it is a constructive, human-centered educational service dedicated to provide the best learning experience for people who want to make a change for themselves and for others. That’s what UX is about!
You learn values based on non-agressive communication, serenity in problem-solving, information-based decision making and constant improvement. You quickly get used to it and it’s impossible not to take that with you in each project you work on.
My first UX gig: How IxDF helped me land it
The project was to create a landing page for a therapeutic service based in Brasília. The client needed a better digital communication tool between new clients and his services.
The knowledge gathered in the Management course gave me a solid foundation on how to negotiate and manage the project. Communication was at the core of the process and the need for developing great communication skills is constantly repeated through IxDF’s content. Thanks to that, I was able to coordinate the client’s needs with the working dynamics of the Development team, constantly going back-and-forth with each side, and balancing between requirements and restrictions.
This type of environment allowed us to provide the most feasable and appropriate design solutions for the project. We managed to deliver a landing page that had a modern aesthetics and that was easy to use, especially in terms of getting in touch with the therapist. Both our team and our client were satisfied with the results!
The Take Away: IxDF and the road ahead
As I’ve said before, IxDF helped me shape my professional views and work ethics.
I still have a lot to learn in order to advance my career and continue to help people solve problems through technology and great design solutions in order to get the job done efficiently and bring value to users, clients and teams.
I believe it’s all about empathy, agility and seeing things holistically — something you are constantly reminded of if you study at IxDF!
Regardless of how much knowledge I already gathered at IxDF, I intend to keep an active membership for as long as it continues to help me improve as an IT professional (and as long as the Foundation is glad to have me among its students)!
The Interaction Design Foundation is a place that shows you how great Design can change the status quo and it is also a place where you learn how to understand people’s problems and needs — always remembering that they are at the center of the stage.