Full day training course offered at The UX Conference Toronto

UX Basic Training

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

Course Date: June 03, 2013

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

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
  • 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
    • 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

Free Material With Course Attendance

Free Material With Course Attendance

Report: How to Conduct Usability Studies

Get 230 tips for planning and conducting user research.

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

Participant Comments

Participant Comments

"Lots of take away after this session. Basically covered most of the basics of UX. Clear & well presented. I do have a bit of bacground on UX & this session does make everything clearer. It is easy to understand."

Lay Lai Lee, Providend Ltd, Singapore

"I feel I have been provided with a tool box for improving UX on my company's product."

Karina Methus, Netlife AS, Norway

"High quality content and instruction from the usability gurus themselves. Although most of the course is focused on Web Design and Usability, much of it is applicable to general product design."

Elizabeth Knowles, Clinical Product Specialist, Electa

"A great intro into UX which lays a strong foundation for more advanced topics. A must for any project manager!"

Andrew Kucheriavy, Intechnic

  • More Participant Comments
    "Nice crash course into the world of UX Design."

    Merlin Zuni, Havas Digital

    "Instructor has an excellent command of the content. Very knowledgeable and excellent facilitator. Clearly an expert in her subject matter. Articulate."

    Amy Murray, WisdomeEdge

    "This basic course was a real eye-opener on the depth and intricacies of UX. It is a great jumping off point for even more UX study."

    Dave Feroe, Dave Feroe Design

    "Overview of UX methods but doesn't delve in to anything too deeply. The speaker was great. Nice, courteous, and on point. A great communicator. Don't know how she got through so much content. She knows her stuff!"

    Nadia Malik, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab

    "I come [from] a consolidated retail company, but with very little UX experience. This course really gives you an idea of how to start and what to do."

    Catalina, Santiago, Chile

    "This course was informational and valuable. I want to send every member on my team to give [them] overview knowledge."

    Matt Denny,  Naval Air Warfare

    "I feel really invigorated by the session. The delivery was well-paced and the level of detail was spot-on for a day long grounding in UX."

    Georgia Rakusen, What Users Do

    "I have learned so much in the first day, it's crazy! And I have already done UCD testing before."

    Christine Spencer, Conceptual Mind Works, Inc.

    "Great class. Gave me a good refresher of UX and really enjoyed the end to end lifecycle of UX."

    Jagannath Chakravarty, Octo Consulting Group

    "It's a great overview of UX principles. I liked the correlations with real-world situations and collaborative critiquing of various UI."

    Don Hill, Tokio Marine

    "Excellent examples and use of visuals. Great speaker with lots of konwledge! Real life examples and actionable information."

    Cindy Wildish-Rasmussen, MCIS, Inc.

    "Instructor was very polished and knowledgeable. She was able to keep the class engaged for 8 hours while covering a lot of content! Kudos! I will use the documentation and expect I will refer to it regularly!"

    Melinda Bauman, University of Virginia Library

    "This is a good (very good) intro to UX Design. A must."

    Moris Urar, GlueStudio, Sri Lanka

    "I thoroughly enjoyed Kathryn's course. She provided the best summary I've seen of UX practices. I would recommend this course to not only beginner UX'ers, but also to the more advanced as a holistic refresher."

    Allie Etcoff, Zappos.com

    "This was a great intro course for anyone starting out in the UX world. It was very informative and had just the right amount of depth to get you more interested in the field."

    Caroline Santos, Cedars-Sinai

    "This is a great high level intro that anyone could take to gain a great understanding of what UX is and how it fits into a company project. For a seasoned UXer, it’s a good reinforcement of basics."

    Devin Brown, Audience Partners

    "I learned I have a lot to learn. Our department has not (yet) adopted UX; but see it as a new buzz word. However the fact that [management] are sending people to UX training gives me hope :)"


    "As a usability researcher, this course greatly reinforced what I have seen in the field as well as provided me with new insights into ways to convince our client that UX is the way to go! Kathryn was very knowledgable and able to answer some tough questions."

    James Villacci, Fulcrum IT Services

    "Great course! A lot of information in a short amount of time. Crash-course."

    Yvon Schuurmans, Utrecht, The Netherlands

    "It's a really great introduction to the whole UX world, thanks to the great speaker Kara."

    Sebastian Kolenko, NCM

    "Really good, I'm mainly self-taught so enforcing what I thought I know was a real help. I also learnt a lot that I didn't [know]."

    Fraser Crick, Estee Lauder

    "UX covers covers many aspects of digital marketing. Therefore a good background is useful to inform decisions. I will embed knowledge into future work. I feel more comfortable about UX now. Very good presentation."

    Poalo Margari, Caputo & Partners

    "As someone with a limited background in UX and all things design, this course made me feel comfortable speaking the lingo and understanding the concepts in a UX content, and I will never look at the web content the same way."

    Anastasio Adams, Deloitte Consulting

    "This course was very valuable for what I currently do in my job, and I feel more confident with UX. I would highly recommend this course."

    Kayla Rossi, PRIDE Industries

    "Great course! I think it's important to have a good foundation/understanding of usability principles and how that applies in the workplace. Kara's course was great for that!"

    Ahmed Ghoneim, Ubisoft Toronto

    "This course really dispelled a lot of the myths that I had about UX and made me aware of certain terminology that I did not know about."

    Christian Bortey, Prinova

    "Articulate presenter, packed content, good leave-behinds. This course outlines fundamental practices for UX, useful for the development of those new to UX, as well as providing authority to those experienced UX practitioners."

    Henry Rahr, Corelock



Kara Pernice

Kara Pernice (@KaraAnn) is Senior Vice President at Nielsen Norman Group. Pernice uniquely combines her 20-plus years of business, research, and design knowledge and experience to help organizations increase their UX maturity and derive interfaces which are usable, useful, and surpass business goals. Pernice is accomplished at evaluating and managing design situations, and crafting with a team the most fitting design and research methods, and converting this analysis into outstanding design. Pernice has led teams running hundreds of intercontinental research studies, and is expert in many usability methods. Read more about Kara.