Intro to User Experience (UX)

Girl Develop It Philadelphia
Girl Develop It Philadelphia
Public group

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At its core, User Experience (UX) is defined as how someone feels about using a product, system, or service. Regardless of what we’re designing--a website, an Android app, or a toaster--we all strive to make our designs useful, easy to use, and enjoyable to use. But how exactly do we make something useful, easy to use, and enjoyable? How do we know if the target audience is having a good or bad experience? This class will arm you with the essential tips to find those answers.

This class is for anyone who makes (or wants to learn how to make) websites, mobile apps, or other software. If you’re a developer, a designer, a project manager, a content creator, or something else, you can integrate UX research and design into your practice.

By the end of this class, you’ll also learn tips and techniques to address the following:

The fundamentals of UX and why UX matters. Conducting user research so you can understand your audiences’ needs and make design decisions to address those needs. Basic usability testing techniques. Convincing skeptics you work with of the value of user experience. Engaging your clients and colleagues in the UX process so that they can bring their knowledge to the table and feel that their needs have been met. Working UX into your existing process, even if it’s one small step at a time, and even if you have little to no budget, time, or support. Participating in and learning an interactive brainstorming workshop we’ll do as a class. We’ll discuss the results and talk about ways that you can use the workshop at your current organization to collectively tackle UX issues. Recommendations for books, articles, and other resources to explore further areas of UX. Drawing for Free Book: One lucky student will receive a copy of Undercover User Experience Design by Cennydd Bowles ( We'll do a drawing at the end of class; please bring your business card to enter to win!

Transportation: First Round Capital's University City offices are located 4 blocks south of the Market-Frankford Line's 40th St stop ( It's the best way to get to the building quickly/cheaply. There is neighborhood street parking as well as metered parking, but it is notoriously a bit congested. Additionally, there is a parking garage above the Fresh Grocer at 40th & Walnut ( Subway, bus, or carpooling are your best bets!

About the teacher: Jess is a Philadelphia-based UX designer and researcher who speaks, writes, and volunteers for many things UX. She has spoken internationally at conferences such as SXSW, Midwest UX, IA Summit, and UX Camp Ottawa. She’s the main organizer for UX Book Club Philly and served as an officer for PhillyCHI, Philadelphia’s UX community. Previously a senior experience designer at Happy Cog, she is now senior UX specialist at AWeber.

Jess is passionate about making all things easy and enjoyable to use. A strong advocate for universal usability, she’s admittedly befuddled by a lack of clarity in everything from road signage to food packaging. She especially likes to drive her family nuts by complaining about the plastic film on food containers that can’t be removed without a knife.

In her spare time, Jess busies herself with reading, cooking, and enjoying a fine glass of wine or craft beer. She’s also mildly obsessed with the TV show Forensic Files.