My experience with Interaction Design Foundation & 3 tips on how to stay focused while studying online
Interaction Design Foundation is a non-profit community founded in Denmark 17 years ago. I decided to become their member in July 2018, with a recommendation from a colleague who is also a UX designer, like me.
As a member I got a lot of benefits, such as:
– access to 32 free both beginner and advanced certified UX courses (accredited and recognised by LinkedIn, Adobe, etc.)
– an access to IDF community and a chance to connect with other designers, UX professionals and managers
– information about the most important UX events worldwide
When I signed up, first thing I wanted to do was to check the courses they had. I faced the first problem here because I didn’t know what to choose because I liked too many things! Eventually, I decided to enroll for Mobile User Experience (UX) Design and Emotional Design — How to Make Products People Will Love and study both courses at the same time.
What’s also worth mentioning is that at the same time my office location was moved on the other part of the city. This meant I had to commute every morning for 40 min, so I decided to use this time for studying because my evening free hours free busy with classes on college I had after work. As much as I could take this change in my life as a bad one, I decided to use the maximum of my time, and in return I got a lot!
I particularly liked mini quizzes at the end of each lesson, which is there to ensure that you are keeping up and not just skimming through the text or videos, which is great! The questions become more complex as the course progresses, and their score increases.
One more thing I saw on IDF and nowhere else are open-ended questions, graded in-person by experts. After you’re graded, you also get a proper feedback based on the answer you submitted. IDF doesn’t offer to mentor for each course, but you have the full online support of their community.
When you reach 70% of the course completion, you can retrieve the certificate straight away and post on your LinkedIn profile. But, you can also try to continue with studying and if you achieve more than 90% — you’ll get a Top 10 in a Class note on your certificate which is really cool.
Impact of IDF in my career and life
I was so excited when I got my first certificate and published it on my LinkedIn profile, but even more when I started to receive a lot of various UX job offers. Seemed that the recruiters know and appreciate when they see IDF certificates, so they continued to contact me even more often when I added all 4 certificates.
After finishing the course for Conducting Usability Testing, I decided to apply the learnings and reuse the scripts, pre-test and post-test questionnaires when doing testing at my work. It turned out great, and I got some good and valuable feedback afterwards.
Emotional Design — How to Make Products People Will Love course widened my knowledge in UX, but I also got great knowledge of psychology as well. It’s great to have a big picture of how things work and how with a certain design we can affect and manipulate human behaviour.
Courses in Mobile User Experience (UX) Design and The Ultimate Guide to Visual Perception and Design teach me some important UX rules about the priorities of the elements and content we put on UI, and how with colours and visuals can impact both users’ decisions and entire look and feel of the site or the mobile app.
3 tips on how to stay focused while learning online
- How I did it? I read 2–4 chapters every morning and it took me 10–20 min to finish them. Amazing, right? 20 min every day changed my life, my career and my approach to work. I became more confident about the things I do and I enjoyed my day-to-day tasks a lot more than before!
- Worked for me, don’t know if it will work for everyone.. I enrolled for 2 courses at once, so I can change. For example, I can choose — whether I prefer to do the Mobile UX of Visual Design. And at the end of the road, I got 2 certificates instead of one 🙂
- Even if you’ll feel overwhelmed sometimes, don’t worry. Take a break and continue when you want. That’s the power of a self-paced course — you can sign up for one or more courses at once and read anytime you want. And the best thing is — the content will always be available to you, even when you finish it!