UX Crash Course: 31 Fundamentals

My New Year’s Resolution for 2014 was to get more people started in User Experience (UX) Design. I posted one lesson every day in January, and thousands of people came to learn!

Below you will find links to all 31 daily lessons.

Basic UX Principles: How to get started

The following list isn’t everything you can learn in UX. It’s a quick overview, so you can go from zero-to-hero as quickly as possible. You will get a practical taste of all the big parts of UX, and a sense of where you need to learn more. The order of the lessons follows a real-life UX process (more or less) so you can apply these ideas as-you-go. Each lesson also stands alone, so feel free to bookmark them as a reference!


Introduction & Key Ideas

#01 — What is UX?

#02 — User Goals & Business Goals

#03 — The 5 Main Ingredients of UX


How to Understand Users

#04 — What is User Research?

#05 — How to Ask People Questions

#06 — Creating User Profiles

#07 — Designing for Devices

#08 — Design Patterns


Information Architecture

#09 — What is Information Architecture?

#10 — User Stories & Types of Information Architecture

#11 — What is a Wireframe?


Visual Design Principles

#12 — Visual Weight, Contrast & Depth

#13 — Colour

#14 — Repetition & Pattern-Breaking

#15 — Line Tension & Edge Tension

#16 — Alignment & Proximity


Functional Layout Design

#17 — Z-Pattern, F-Pattern, and Visual Hierarchy

#18 — Browsing vs. Searching vs. Discovery

#19 — Page Framework

#20 — The Fold, Images, & Headlines

#21 — The Axis of Interaction

#22 — Forms

#23 — Calls-to-Action, Instructions & Labels

#24 — Primary & Secondary Buttons


User Psychology

#25 — Conditioning

#26 — Persuasion

#27 — How Experience Changes Experience


Designing with Data

#28 — What is Data?

#29 — Summary Statistics

#30 — Graph Shapes

#31 — A/B Tests


All done? There is a sequel to this course: 

UX Crash Course: User Psychology


If you know someone else who wants to learn UX, please share!

If this is how you discovered my blog, it doesn’t stop here! I post a lot of awesome shit about UX, design, persuasion, and human behaviour. It’s a lot easier than hunting for links on your own!

Comments? Questions? Concerns? Find me on Twitter.

Watch on gutsanduppercuts.tumblr.com

This is James Sinclair applying an excellent and logical approach to teaching the fundamentals of Wing Chun.
Too many teachers (Sifus) make it sound far more complicated than it is, stressing specific movements and using a million Chinese terms to emphasize what they’re doing. While I’m all for using the traditional terms, there has to be a line drawn when they end up over-complicating what you’re trying to actually teach.

Sinclair was a student of Ip Chun (son of Ip Man) and, in my opinion, he’s one of the better teachers I’ve seen when it comes to demonstration videos.
On top of his teaching method, watch him actually apply his knowledge to the attack at the end. He’s relaxed and amazingly confident that he can fend off his opponent’s blows. And he does so, easily. Really nice stuff.

Daily UX Crash Course: 1 of 31

My mission this month is to get more designers (or aspiring designers) started in User Experience design. The best place to start any education is at the beginning:

What is UX?

Everything has a user experience. Our job is not to create the user experience. It is our job to make it good.

And what do I mean by “good” user experience?

It is common to think that a good user experience is one that makes users happy. Not true! If happiness was our only goal, we could just throw in some Lolcats and random compliments and go home. But — although that’s not the worst universe I can imagine — your boss may not be satisfied with the results.

The goal of a UX designer is to make users effective.

A user’s experience is just the tip of the iceberg:

Many people mistakenly think that “UX” means a user’s experience, but it is actually about “doing” the process of User Experience Design.

A user’s individual experience is their conscious, subjective opinion of your app or site. User feedback is important — sometimes — but UX designers need to do a lot more than that.

"Doing" UX:

UX Design (also sometimes called UXD) involves a process very similar to doing science: we do research to understand the users, we develop ideas to solve the users’ needs — and the needs of the business — and we build and measure those solutions in the real world to see if they work.

You will learn about all of that this month. Or if that’s not your deal, Lolcats are still an option.

Tomorrow we’ll learn about the two types of UX goals that should change everything you design…