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Top MOOCs to learn UI & UX design in 2021

Updated: Jan 25

Massive Online Open Courses or MOOCs have gained quite a bit of popularity in the last five years. The word ‘massive’ is to be understood in the sense that 100,000 learners or more at the same time have open and equal opportunities to attend these courses. MOOCs are truly a tremendous technological leap, and what makes them so attractive is that they don’t imply any cost to learners. UX Design (User Experience Design) and UI Design (User Interface Design) work closely together to create IT products that are both easy to use and look good.


The two fields require different skills, but you'll have a competitive advantage if you can do both UX and UI design. These skills are among the most sought-after by employers and jobs in these two fields can fetch from $65,000 to $85,000 according to LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network.


Discover below the hand-picked list of MOOC-based programs from leading universities and organizations to help you master skills in UX and UI Design.



User Interface Design Specialization

By The University of Minnesota via Coursera | 5 courses

In this Specialization, you will learn industry-standard theory and methods for developing successful user interfaces (UIs). Upon completing this Specialization, you will have fluency with the user research, prototyping, and evaluation techniques necessary for creating intuitive interfaces that facilitate good user experiences. You will also have demonstrated this fluency through an in-depth Capstone Project that can be shown to prospective employers in the fast-growing field of UI design.



User Experience (UX) Research and Design MicroMasters

By The University of Michigan via EdX | 9 courses

Integrate UX Research and UX Design to create great products through understanding user needs, rapidly generating prototypes, and evaluating design concepts. Learners will gain hands-on experience with taking a product from the initial concept, through user research, ideation and refinement, formal analysis, prototyping, and user testing, applying perspectives and methods to ensure a great user experience at every step.



Digital Skills: User Experience

By Accenture via Futurelearn | 3 weeks, 2 hrs per week

In this course, you will learn what UX is and why it’s so important. You’ll learn the foundations of UX design and what distinguishes good from bad UX. You will also explore the UX design process; user research, designing your experience, using your goals and ideas to draw wireframes, and then building usable prototypes.



Interaction Design Specialization

By The UC San Diego via Coursera | 8 courses

You will learn how to design technologies that bring people joy, rather than frustration. You'll learn how to generate design ideas, techniques for quickly prototyping them, and how to use prototypes to get feedback from other stakeholders like your teammates, clients, and users. You'll also learn principles of visual design, perception, and cognition that inform effective interaction design.



Best Practices for iOS User Interface Design

By University of California, Irvine via Coursera | 1 course

You will learn to develop sophisticated user interfaces for iOS, with a focus on user interface design best practices, UI animations, and responsive design. You will learn about the key UI widgets, mapping interfaces, and view restoration.



What is the point of taking a MOOC?

The importance of MOOCs in education, and especially in higher education, is currently a hot topic. For some students and educators, MOOCs present challenges in terms of quality, consistency, and delivery of courses and programs. The question in itself raises other questions like: Are students moving toward a common goal? Are there quality educators present to guide students through the materials? How do we measure the academic rigor of these courses?


Educators are challenging the quality of learning that MOOCs can provide and the competencies and skills that students can gain. Educators and learners are asking ‘if everything that can be learned online can be considered “online learning”? For learners looking for MOOCs to boost their knowledge in many different areas, MOOCs are indeed a learning tool and are a part of online learning. MOOCs can bring knowledge to students who may not have access otherwise, and be of use to learners who can’t afford the costs of higher education. Non-traditional education realized through MOOCs is a useful form of online learning and can complement traditional university learning.



Why are MOOCs so popular?

As a global society, getting an education has become increasingly important, but increasingly difficult beyond the high school level. Institutions of higher education present the obstacles of entrance examinations, tuition, distance, living expenses, and so much more. All over the world, there are universities that are opening their virtual doors to students in the form of MOOCs.


Ivy League institutions like Harvard in Boston, Massachusetts are offering MOOCs that range from education to bioengineering. In addition to top-tier schools offering free courses, companies such as Apple offer free course creation tools for educators through iTunesU. These are two examples of how learners and educators can take advantage of or create a MOOC learning experience. Many more tools like these are available through platforms such as Coursera, edX, Udacity, and Udemy. This is just a shortlist. Many other companies and universities are creating open online learning structures for any student interested in learning.








Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash