Learning UX with the Interaction Design Foundation: A Review
In a world that’s increasingly focused on side-hustles and ‘slash careers’ (Lawyer/Photographer, Designer/Copywriter), the need for easily accessible and good quality education has never been so prominent. And when it comes to clueing up on all things Design, what better place to turn than the effortlessly sleek and infamously stylish, Scandinavia.
Born out of Denmark with the goal of creating “accessible and affordable Ivy League-level design education”, The Interaction Design Foundation (IDF) is an open-source hub that passionately advocates for great design knowledge. What’s more, their unique style of learning isn’t limited to an endless list of videos. Members can access an extensive library of textbooks and professional discussion forums, alongside the invitation to participate in real-life projects and activities.
Focusing on the interaction between human psychology and existing design trends, the IDF’s user experience courses support industry trailblazers by offering ‘future-proof’ knowledge. Amongst the 32 UX courses on offer, users can indulge from multiple ends of the design spectrum. From Human-Computer Interaction, which provides a deep insight into using human capabilities and limitations to produce user-centred design, to the solid methodology of Conducting Usability Testing, each course offers meticulous yet timeless design advice.
What’s more, founders Mads Soegaard and Rikke Dam don’t take gathering their information lightly. The pair flew to Germany and spent several days recording world-renowned, Marc Hassenzahl, in order to create a free textbook on User Experience. They also spent time at Cambridge University with a film crew persuading a museum to let them film after hours, in order to create some impressive resources on Visual Representation.
Their global community now reaches 471 local groups in 84 countries, prompting users all over the world to frequently host meetups where both members and non-members alike can get together to discuss quality design. As Soegaard describes it, “The IDF is a global movement to advocate great design and what great design can do for humankind. Nothing less.”
As they continue to collaborate with the likes of Stanford and Cambridge, as well as the founder of UX himself, Don Norman, the IDF remains completely transparent with how they spend each dollar of their users’ sign-up fee. Membership costs $150, with $0 going towards a profit of their own. The only issue can be that courses get filled up fast, so you need to be speedy.
Here at Usabilla, great UX is engrained in our company DNA and we understand the real impact it can have for a business or brand. That’s why we wanted to share this find – to promote the importance of UX knowledge and, in turn, enjoyable digital interactions.