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What am I learning?

A short explanation of what you will be covering in this two-week course.
Design is everywhere. It opens doors, invites us in, and shows us around to new products, spaces, and experiences. From voice powered devices to touch screen interactions, design connects us to our homes and helps us to explore digital spaces and online worlds. It allows us to turn ideas into products and to navigate the physical world around us. What happens when the connection to the user is broken? How can design help people and the digital systems they use meet and affect each other? Welcome to the Introduction to UX and Accessible Design. In this short course, you’ll reflect on the role of the digital interface in the user’s experience and explore the challenges and limitations of user experience design.
You will consider what types of experiences drive the development of innovative interfaces and think about accessibility in practise. You’ll interrogate the principles behind user interface design and explore how responsive design has changed our experience of technology. You’ll also learn from designers, researchers, and technologists about what makes accessible design truly usable for all. Share with peers across the world as you explore how to forge your own careers in user experience and interface design, and learn the thinking behind shaping and changing access for good. But first, tell us what makes a good user experience for you. Join us and join the conversation.

This course is about how user interface design is at the centre of creative technology development. From your laptop to your smartphone, your table, even your car, user interfaces are the part of technology that connects you to your devices, that connects humans to algorithms, and that allows people to take their ideas and turn them into products.

More specifically, this course focuses on the design of accessible user interfaces. As you begin to look at what user interface design is, you’ll explore the contexts within which people have to think about and create new types of user interfaces. What types of experiences necessitate innovative interfaces?

The course will introduce some of the core issues relating to interface design, including accessibility guidance, and look at the impact that user interfaces and accessible design are having on the entire technology environment.

Each week of this course is centred around learning outcomes: statements which express what it is you will be better able to do by the end of the course. They are a useful way of checking on how you’re progressing.

You can revisit steps as you progress through the course so that you feel confident you’re meeting the learning outcomes. As you are working through the steps and activities, you might want to refer back to this step to check your progress against the learning outcomes.

Week 1 covers the following learning outcomes:

  • Explain the role of user experience (UX) and interfaces in design.
  • Describe the main features of accessible digital UX design.
  • Compare different types of digital UX design problems.

Week 2 covers the following learning outcomes:

  • Describe principles behind accessible website UX.
  • Explore the accessible design approach.
  • Explore approaches and stages of accessible design.
  • Identify the roles and skills needed in the field of accessible interface design.

As you learn the principles behind user interface (UI) design, you will gain some insight into the nuances and differences between the terms UX and UI. You will then explore what we mean when we describe an interface as either good or bad. Throughout the course, you will reflect on the role of the interface in the user’s experience and how it relates to the wider concept of graphic design.

As you develop a better understanding of what user interfaces actually are, you will also learn what skills you need in order to get started thinking about developing user interfaces, and how you can go about getting these skills in order to develop your career. You will also have a chance to hear precisely what it’s like to do this kind of work directly from user interface experts who do this every day.

Over to you

Before we start, why not introduce yourself to other learners, using the Comments section below. What brings you to the course, and what are you hoping to learn?
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Introduction to UX and Accessible Design

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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