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University of Minnesota

UX Design MasterTrack® Certificate

University of Minnesota via Coursera MasterTrack


Solve real-world problems using creative user experience research and design techniques in this interactive program from the #6 public university in the Midwest.

Learn user experience research methods and how to apply them to advance your career.

User experience is a highly in demand field which requires a holistic understanding of the design process. In this program, you will complete a real module from the University of Minnesota's Human Factors and Ergonomics Graduate program. Through these courses, you'll gain both artful and scientific skills of conducting, implementing, and evaluating user experience design and research.

By the time you complete this program, you will apply your new career skills by designing a proposal and developing a user experience product for your organization or interests. You can use your UX Design MasterTrack Certificate as a pathway to the associated Human Factors or the Ergonomics Graduate Program at the University of Minnesota.

The certificate welcomes working professionals who seek to broaden their marketability and organizational value by applying user experience design to their chosen field as well as students who seek educational opportunities to explore learning user experience design on a post-bachelor level. As a MasterTrack Certificate student, you will master new skills through four graduate level courses that will require 6-8 hours of study per week. You will join our collaborative and engaging online learning community, complete hands-on projects, and collaborate with peers, researchers, and practitioners from the vibrant Twin Cities design community. You will also benefit from timely feedback, live sessions, and lectures provided by guest speakers like design leaders from Target, Medtronic, and more.

Want to learn more about this program? [Visit the University of Minnesota website](

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Course 1: User Research for User Experience Design
- This course emphasizes the understanding of designing for the user to foster improved product and delivery through heuristics evaluations, experience mapping through observation, surveys, analysis, and cognitive processes. Topics addressed include: an overview of design thinking, UX, philosophy of qualitative research, methods and principles behind qualitative data, effective interviews, validation, and ethics. You will master these concepts through course readings, hands-on exercises and through the development of a final project proposal that will be built and tested in course two. __Required Textbook:__ *Think Like a UX Researcher* by David Travis and Phillip Hodgson.

Course 2: Visual Literacy
- Literacy itself implies an ordered set of information; verbal literacy is linear, generally one-dimensional, reading a sequence of symbolic information, and is like spoken speech. Visual literacy recognizes two or more dimensions, and utilizes a more complex range of symbols and semiotic meanings. This course includes critical viewing, interpretation, and hands-on design activities as methods for learning. You will examine elements of communication theory, psychology theory in perception, design theory, use of new technologies, interface design, and the social and culture implications in media use, creation, and distribution. By applying the components of visual literacy you will be able to develop and recognize the meaning of images, empowering you to critically view, use, and produce effective visual content in your own field of interest. __Required Textbook:__ *Visual Intelligence: Sharpen Your Perception, Change Your Life* (2016) by Amy Herman.

Course 3: User Testing for User Experience Design
- Creating a great user experience involves a holistic approach and is rarely a linear process. This project-based course builds on a proposal that you will develop in *User Research for User Experience Design*. Through this hands-on project, you will gain an overview of qualitative research to progress product development and develop your design thinking skills. Topics addressed include: design thinking methods, UX/UI design methods and principles (interactive prototyping, testing, analysis, etc.). You will learn key skills and principles to guide your project through class readings, interactive exercises, and facilitated discussions. __Required Textbook:__ *Think Like a UX Researcher* by David Travis and Phillip Hodgson.

Course 4: Ethics and Research
- In this course, you will explore the breadth of ethical concerns and questions that you will encounter in the process of conducting and disseminating research. Topics addressed include: ethics in research setting, use of human subjects, data handling, plagiarism, authorship, publishing, research funding, social responsibility of researchers, collaboration, and professional codes of conduct. __Required Textbook:__ *Ethics in Design and Communication: Critical Perspectives* (2020) by Laura Scherling & Andrew DeRosa.


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