UX Design Principles Pluralsight course review

I’ve just finished the “Creating User Experiences: Fundamental Design Principles” course on Pluralsight, I am glad I took it, and here is why you should.

The course is held by Billy Hollis, an internationally known author and speaker focused on user experience design. It was published in May 2012, so it is quite fresh (You’ll hear some reference to XAML, even if the content is not focused on any particular technology).

I think what I liked the most about this course is the fact that Billy is not just imposing design ideas and pushing them in your throat (which would be too confronting for us developers, even if he was right), he spends a fair share amount of time explaining each topics, and illustrate them with great metaphors. If you are a minimum open minded you should get great value out of this course. Billy makes you think outside the box, he encourages you to use your right side brain, and understand design principles by simply looking at what’s around us (physical objects, nature, …). During the course he refers several time to “don’t make me think” a book on UX design, which is about giving confidence to users, by making it easier for them to achieve their goals when using your app. Billy thinks that every developer can participate in elaborating good design when building software, not only designers should be involved. Get away of the easy path “let’s build functional stuff for now and we will hire a designer later if we have time and budget”. The course is also live and interactive as the author suggests that you do some live exercises during each module.

He actually makes you realize and understand by yourself the need for change. We’re in a new era of software and devices, where grids and menus aren’t enough. You can’t remain satisfied by just making things possible, you need to make them easier for your users. Understanding some fundamental design principles will help. This course can definitely be followed by any developers who wants to improve user experience of software they are working on, and I definitely recommend it.