Full day training course offered at Usability Week Toronto

UX Basic Training

Be an effective UX professional: Know the lingo and sell the process

Focusing on user experience (UX) can differentiate a company from its competitors. In one day, we give you a thorough overview of the user experience field and its many components. You will learn the importance of a user-centered design process and the benefit of incorporating UX activities at every stage of a project.

This course is ideal for people who are beginning to work in user experience or have some knowledge of the field. It clarifies what UX professionals do, and need to do, to create good, usable designs.

"As a newbie in the UX field, the UX basic training course had both breadth and depth of the specialty making it a great place for me to start."

Melanie Langmead
CapTech Consulting

Topics covered

  • Business value of UX design
    • Learn tips for promoting UX as a competitive advantage
    • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and usability metrics
    • Return on Investment (ROI)
    • Learn to sell UX as a competitive advantage
  • Foundation of user experience
    • Defining key terms and understanding the relationships among them, such as: user experience (UX), usability, utility, usefulness, user centered design (UCD), human factors, human-computer interaction (HCI), user interface (UI), graphical user interface (GUI), natural user interface (NUI), eyetracking gaze plot and heat maps, cross-channel design, responsive web design, emotional design, information architecture (IA), visual/graphic design, interaction design (IxD), search engine optimization (SEO), content strategy, accessibility, and more
    • Design products around people, instead of teaching people how to use products
    • What it means to do user experience design
    • Usability, usefulness, utility, and user experience
    • How we measure usability
    • Usability and user satisfaction
  • Understanding people in order to improve our design
    • Age and gender differences
    • Cognitive aspects of user behavior
    • Designing for the initial experience compared to supporting skilled performance
    • Growth in user expertise over time and learning curves
    • Supporting people with disabilities
    • Create personas to focus the team on specific audience segments
  • What you can do to improve the UX
    • Form multidisciplinary project teams
    • Know who you're designing for
    • Follow design standards
    • Test your design early and often
  • Know when to apply which research methods and how to use the data to improve design
    • Conducting studies in usability labs
    • Testing your design remotely with people in their own home or office
    • Eyetracking costs and benefits
    • Field studies, site visits, and ethnography to uncover how your product is used "in the wild"
    • Surveys and focus groups to gather preference data
    • Customer satisfaction scores
    • A/B and multivariate testing 
    • What to measure with site analytics
    • Reading the value of site metrics 
    • Content strategy
    • Determining navigation through card sorting or tree testing
    • Qualitative vs. quantitative methods
    • Outsourcing or doing it yourself
  • Starting designs off right
    • Focus on all levels of user interface from content to visual design
    • Follow usability guidelines and best practices
    • Pattern libraries
    • Platform conventions
  • History, trends, and challenges for UX
    • Adaptive content and responsive web design
    • Evaluating UX research, articles, and blogs
    • User and system control
    • Graphical user interfaces and direct manipulation
    • Touch screen, gestural, and spatial interfaces
  • Integrating usability with the project lifecycle
    • Traditional development processes and UX
    • Agile methods and UX
    • Creating time for research and iterative design
    • Involve developers early
    • Cross-platform and transmedia design
    • Durability of usability guidelines
    • Iterative design and prototyping
  • Understand the purpose and roles of UX professionals throughout a project lifecycle
    • Who should conduct research: Designers or dedicated experts?
    • How to evaluate consultant quality
    • Building a UX team
    • Fitting UX within your organization
    • Being effective as the sole UX person in a company or group
    • Transitioning into a UX role
    • UX degrees and certifications
  • Stages of organizational UX maturity
    • Assess your organization’s commitment to UX
    • What to expect as your organization goes through the next step of UX maturity
    • Choosing high-impact projects to drive personal and organizational growth
  • Differences in UX emphasis between types of products
    • Websites vs. intranets
    • Mission-critical apps vs. consumer apps
    • Desktop vs. mobile
    • Software vs. physical products

Free Material with Course Attendance

Report: Return on Investment (ROI) for Usability

This 212-page report features best practices for increasing key performance indicators and estimating usability budgets through 72 richly illustrated case studies.


The basis of the course is a lecture format with a couple of group exercises to reinforce the learned principles and guidelines.

The course also includes:

  • Findings from our own usability studies
  • Videos from usability testing of people's behavior in response to a design
  • Screenshots of designs that work and don’t work, and why
  • Opportunities to ask questions and get answers


Kara Pernice

Kara Pernice is the Managing Director at Nielsen Norman Group. Pernice uniquely combines her 20-plus years of research knowledge with her design experience and business education to help organizations derive interfaces which are usable, useful, and surpass business goals. Pernice is accomplished at evaluating any design situation to determine or craft the most fitting research method, conduct or lead the research, observe and analyze user behavior, and convert this analysis into outstanding design. Pernice has led hundreds of intercontinental research studies, and is expert in many usability methods. Read more about Kara

Course Date: June 03, 2013

Apply this course toward UX Certification

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