Web design
Web design

My Favorite UI/UX Design Courses (2022)

Published on
September 26, 2022
My Favorite UI/UX Design Courses (2022)
Founder & Creative Director at Mercury Jane Media, Jennifer Ross
Jennifer Ross
Founder & Full-Stack Designer, Mercury Jane Media
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As someone who entered tech as a developer, I've constantly sought out resources to help me improve my design skills and capabilities. This year, I've discovered several gold mines that I'm excited to share! All three of the courses featured in this post have helped me tremendously with the work I'm doing for clients every day. They cover everything from core UI design principles to UX research and testing. There are even lots of intersections with copywriting that have helped me write better calls to action. Although each involve considerable monetary and time investments, I think of them as just that — investments! I would say the ROI I'm already getting from each is at least 10x what I put in.

So, if you're a junior or mid-level UI/UX designer looking for courses that will really help you close gaps and level up, don't sleep on these! 

Dann Petty's "Design Full-Time"

Dann Petty’s "Design Full-Time" course (pictured above) was so practical and immediately improved my design AND copywriting capabilities. Even though the course was primarily focused on designing UIs for websites, there was a fair amount of content on UX, too, that often segued into copywriting, especially when talking about calls to action throughout the site. 

Dann explains good design principles through examples (both good and bad). I loved how he critiqued many websites I’ve looked to for inspiration and focused on popular companies in the design/tech ecosystem (Stripe, Discord, Slack, Figma, Pitch, Around, Webflow, Sketch, Github, Notion, Hello Monday, Tesla). He reiterated the importance of consistency and clarity, which echoes a lot of the principles I’ve learned through the StoryBrand framework

I also learned some concepts that were totally new to me, like teasing continuation and the importance of identifying and eliminating any widows (instance of one word being left on a line by itself) that occur because of the length of the copy, layout, or combination of both. 

More than anything, the course really helped me address a lot of the inconsistencies I’ve seen with calls to action, especially, which gave me a stronger understanding of what is truly best practice and why. For example, I’ve seen some sites include one or two calls to action in the top navigation and the main lock-up (a term I learned through the course which refers to the area in the top hero section of the home page that typically includes a header, description, and one or two buttons with calls to action). Sometimes they are the same calls to action, sometimes they are the same but worded differently, and sometimes they are all totally different! Dann’s main advice was that it’s best to emphasize a primary call to action in the main lock-up and it’s okay if it is repeated in the top navigation, too, but it should be less emphasized and the wording should be the same or very similar. His reasoning being that too many different calls to action with different wording can be really confusing and overwhelming to users. Paul Boag echoes this in his course "Web UX Design for High Converting Websites", featured below. 

Matt D. Smith's "Shift Nudge"

Like Dann, Matt D. Smith (MDS) is also a very successful freelance designer whose work I admire. I was apprehensive about purchasing his limited-access design course, "Shift Nudge", as it came with a pretty hefty price tag, but I am so thankful I did! It’s the most comprehensive UI design course I’ve encountered and it’s no wonder many people refer to it as the "UI Bible". 

Whereas Dann’s course was more of a big-picture overview, this one is all about the details. There are 11 lessons on typography alone! But, Matt also includes many design critiques (course homework submissions and popular websites/apps) and examples of designs he’s worked on to really illustrate the concepts. So, it’s the perfect combination of direct instruction on fundamentals and overarching principles coupled with real-world examples. 

I also love how the course was made with Notion. It makes it so easy to navigate/follow, take notes, learn through a variety of methods (written explanations, links to resources, and videos), and I would imagine, on his end, it’s very easy to update, too.

Paul Boag's "Web UX Design for High Converting Websites"

I love Frontend Masters courses and the platform as a whole. And I really love how they’re starting to add more courses on design, expanding beyond their focus on front-end engineering! 

This year, master consumer experience consultant Paul Boag brought three new courses to the platform: "Mastering the Design Process", "Finding Clients as a Freelancer", and "Web UX Design for High Converting Websites". The first two are next on my list, but I decided to start with his UX course because that was the subject I had the least comprehensive knowledge of prior to taking the course. 

I loved Paul’s teaching style — very practical and matter-of-fact, but laced with lots of humor and sarcasm that make the concepts more memorable and compelling. 

He echoed a lot of the principles Dann expressed in "Design Full-Time" regarding simplicity and consistency. He even took it a step further and said you should "simplify mercilessly" and get rid of anything that doesn’t positively impact conversion on a website. 

The most valuable knowledge I gained from the course was a much more comprehensive understanding of all of the different types of UX research and testing methodologies. Paul took the time to break down facilitated and non-facilitated approaches to usability testing and shared so many recommended resources for each. It was really great to see how valuable testing could be implemented on limited budgets and time frames. 

The greatest takeaway regarding testing was to test early and often!