Summary of the pros and cons of the course, plus some tips and advices for curious newcomers.
I got my Google’s UX Design Course Certificate a while ago, and I have to say, I already miss this guy, Michael. In this article, I intend to summarize the pros and cons of the course, plus some tips and advices for curious newcomers.
I know there are many people talking about the same subject, but this one is super fresh and there are important tips I’ll enhance for those who wish to proceed with Coursera Google’s UX Design.
- General overview
- Coursera’s Enrollment options
- How to apply for Financial Aid or a Scholarship
- Nice things keep in mind
- Teaching methodology and Feedback
- Some communities you can join
- Some senior professionals or/and recruiters might not see this course with good eyes
- Getting a job after finishing the course isn’t a certain, but it happens!
- My personal opinion
“The Google UX Design Certificate is composed by seven different courses and is designed to help every type of learner earn the certificate and become an entry-level user experience (UX) designer. They state that regardless of your background, this certificate program will help you become an entry-level UX designer in less than six months, and no previous experience is necessary. The course is composed by videos, readings, discussion forums, in-video questions, and practice quizzes. To access graded assignments and be eligible to receive your official Google UX Design Certificate, people must pass all required assignments in all seven courses with a score of 80% or higher. By the end, you will have a portfolio filled with three cases you designed during the course.”
- Foundations of User Experience Design
- Start the UX Design Process: Empathize, Define, Ideate
- Build Wireframes and Low-Fidelity Prototypes
- Conduct UX Research and Test Early Concepts
- Create High-Fidelity Designs and Prototypes in Figma
- Responsive Web Design in Adobe XD
- Design a User Experience for Social Good & Prepare for Jobs
Coursera’s Enrollment options
When you enroll for a course, you get access to all courses on the certificate and you get a certificate when you complete the work. Your e-certificate can be added to your Participation page, where you can print it out or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you just want to read and watch the course content, you can participate as a listener for free.
When you enroll in a course, you’ll see different paid or free options depending on the course. These options may include:
- Paying for a Course Certificate
- Subscribing to a Specialization
- Subscribing to Coursera Plus
- Financial Aid or Scholarship
- Audit only
- Full course, no certificate
How to apply for Financial Aid or a Scholarship
If you can’t afford to pay for a Certificate, you can apply for Financial Aid or a Scholarship through the link on the course home page. You can also view most course materials for free using the audit mode.
To apply for Financial Aid or a Scholarship:
Using a computer, open the course home page for the course you want to apply for Financial Aid in.
Next to the information about Financial Aid or Scholarships, click Learn more and apply.
Fill out and submit your application. Make sure your application is over 150 words. Applications below this minimum will not be accepted.
Wait for your application to be reviewed. While you wait for your application to be reviewed, you can begin the course immediately in audit mode or free mode. The review process may take up to 15 days.
When your application is reviewed, you’ll get an email letting you know whether it’s been approved or denied. You can also check your Updates page to see the status of your
Financial Aid application
After you submit your application, it will take up to two weeks to review your application. Unfortunately, Coursera is unable to provide exceptions or rush individual applications.
You can see course materials for free while you are waiting for your application to be approved by using the audit mode.
If your application is approved, you’ll get an email letting you know, and you’ll be automatically enrolled in the course. Courses have personalized deadlines, so you won’t need to worry about falling behind.
If you do not complete the course within 180 days, you may submit another application.
You will have 2 weeks to unenroll from the course from the time your application has been accepted.
And remember: you’ll need to apply for each course.
For further information, visit the Learner Help Center page.
Nice things keep in mind
Adobe XD 9 months free signature — When you finish Course 1, Foundations of User Experience Design, you are gifted with nine months of free Adobe XD signature.
You can be a volunteer translating the material into your country’s language
Squarespace and Webflow discount
You have the chance to obtain a discount on these platforms!
Teaching methodology and Feedback
Asynchronous courses delivery refers to delivering course material in a way that is not bound to a particular time. Course content and assessments delivered asynchronously leaves it up to the students when they participate in your class. Students who have other responsibilities or less frequent access to technology will benefit from asynchronous teaching methods.
The feedback and notes will be provided by other students and if you have questions, you can email a tutor, who will answer in 3 to 5 days. I advise you to put all your week questions together and send in a single email, it was very helpful to me.*
If you wish to know more about this kind of methodology, here is an article from Brown University called Asynchronous Strategies for Inclusive Teaching.
*You can email the tutor and receive feedback. Use it!
Don’t forget to use all the resources provided. Although it is an asynchronous course, you can email a tutor that will write you back answering your questions in three to five days. I used to gather my weekly questions and send all of them in one message to make a good use of this resource.
There are groups/communities on social media to share experience (they are very helpful)
There are groups/communities on social media to other students where you can share your portfolio and queries, take your User Testings sessions, and ask questions. Through Discord channels, for example, you can train your English skills. You can also use these communities to network, find jobs, look for mentors and learn more.
Some communities you can join
Some people will “steal” your work
We are online and there will always be trolls.
In this course, you will be evaluated by other students and evaluate them back. You need to submit your assignment first, and then you will be allowed to grade someone else’s work. It is very common to sometimes encounter empty files or wrong ones. I always thought it was a mistake and commented gently: I think you submitted the wrong file until…
I received my OWN WORK to evaluate! Someone downloaded it and resubmitted as his own to obtain the necessary score to move on in the course. That was when it clicked: all the times I saw an empty or wrong file, it wasn’t an error, but a scheme to finish the course. I don’t think they also copy the work for other purposes, like portfolios, but I think you should know it can happen. Specially if you are working on a very special idea of yours. There are also some people who give you bad grades without further explanations, don’t let it bother you and resubmit your assignment.
How to update the certificates in your LinkedIn profile
You can update your LinkedIn account after you finish each course, or you can choose to wait to update the “big one” after the completion of the whole seven courses. Here is how you should proceed:
Google teaches its own methodology
You’re not going to see the same UX Design process everywhere, or the same terminology (for instance, the five Sprint phases created by Google cited in the image below). It is important to keep that in mind and research and learn also from different sources, like articles and books.
Nice fonts for you to read
Some senior professionals or/and recruiters might not see this course with good eyes
And I’m about to discuss the most polemic issue about Google’s UX Design Course on Coursera: It’s validation inside the community. It is well known, most people who work in this field come from other areas, like Computer Engineering, Psychology, Anthropology, Graphic Design and so goes on.
That’s how we know that what truly matters when it comes to seek employment is the experience you have, your capability of solving problems and your general profile.
The Google course will give the student a nice overview and provide a skillet to create a portfolio with three projects with no further mentorship or base of knowledge — the quality of the outcome will depend on the student performance and effort only.
But it’s important to add here the perspective of a well-known and senior professional in the field, like Professor Darren Hood:
Entering and operating in the world of UX involves a commitment to lifelong learning. For this reason, it is important for new and aspiring UXers (and even more advanced UXers, at times) to engage with viable, trustworthy, and practical sources of education, especially in this day and time when misinformation and predatory educational practices abound.
You can check his article Darren Hood’s Living & Breathing UX Education & Mentoring Repository by clicking here.
Getting a job after finishing the course isn’t a certain, but it happens!
There are many stories of people who landed jobs after or even before completing the seven courses, but there are also a lot of people who are still looking for opportunities. The same is true for most other well-known and expensive courses and bootcamps: there are people in all kinds of different situations.
I understand this scenario as a result of two factors: lucky and effort. There are people who are more privileged and sometimes even lucky and face opportunities early in their careers, but the majority of those who get there are studying and fighting for their opportunities, always studying and improving their network and portfolio — it becomes very clear when we start to observe people’s resumes and portfolios. By the end of the day, it’s more about “the student” making the course than otherwise.
My personal opinion
My transitioning starting point was precisely with the Google’s UX Design Course — Why? Because it was accessible. From the language perspective, the low (or free) cost and features that benefit those who access from poor connection places and also cares about things like neurodiversity in its formulation and methodology (the videos are short and mixed with text and images, making it easier for people who suffer from ADHD to follow up, for example.)
You see, in Brazil there are still too few free contents and courses about UX, and the user experience culture is still very young. The same is true for most non-English-speaking countries in the world — a fact that is among one of the reasons that make this course so accessible to people.
It is true, I did not learn depth content in this course, but it helped by providing me with a general overview of UX Design and how and where to look for more. So, it’s also true I consider this course a great starting point for anyone who wishes to learn about UX and would definitely recommend it.
More articles about the course:
Read also about UX Research and UX Design: Why Prototyping Is Essential?and if like this content and wish to become a Medium member referred by me Click Here to join!
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