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User Experience

The certificate program in User Experience has officially been approved and is launching this fall 2016.

Apply Now!


Certificate Program in User Experience

Appealing to a wide audience that includes designers, engineers, information architects, writers, sociologists, and entrepreneurs, this certificate provides a thorough education on how to develop compelling user experiences (UX). Students learn the latest strategies, techniques, and underlying technologies used by leading agencies to develop and deploy world-class user experiences. Areas covered include user research, developing user personas and scenarios, information architecture, responsive design, mobile first, system and user interface design, prototype creation, and usability testing, analytics and analysis. An emphasis will be on learning through making, and evaluation will be based on the application of research with aesthetics being a component but not an end artifact in isolation. Portfolios will display process, prototypes, application scenarios and result observations.

Students can complete the program in one year, if they start in the fall or winter. They can also start the program in any quarter for a slightly longer time period. The curriculum has a suggested sequence, and the certificate requires an undergraduate degree from an accredited university for admittance.  

Approximate Program Cost: $9,100 ● Certificate Candidacy Fee: $250

Duration: Four to Eight Quarters


Suggested Curriculum Sequence

FALL                                                  WINTER                                                SPRING                                              SUMMER

-Design Thinking I



-User Experience I



-User Experience: Toolkit and Development

-Design Thinking II



-User Experience II



-User Experience III



-User Experience: Research + Testing


-User Experience IV



-User Experience:

Mobile First  



9 Required Courses :

•Design Thinking I

X 481.55   Art 4 units

Design thinking is one of the most effective ways to strengthen your insights, thinking skills, and ability to innovate. Informed by Stanford’s d.School, this multi-disciplinary process strengthens familiar skills that are often undervalued. You learn to launch successful and innovative design solutions across the spectrum of media, including web, print and packaging. Topics include prototyping and testing, rapid iteration, radical collaboration, empathetic observation, interviewing for empathy, persona mapping, assuming a beginner’s mindset, introduction of complex problems, and testing and observation. Weekly assignments encourage you to learn by doing, and take you through a series of hands-on exercises. The goal of design thinking is not simply to innovate, but to create innovators. By the end of the course, you will see solutions that would otherwise be invisible, which become what we call “innovation.”


•User Experience I: Survey

X 481.99AF   Art 4 units

Today’s designers must envision compelling ways to facilitate rich interactive experiences. This course introduces the latest tools, techniques, and technologies used by leading agencies to develop world-course user experiences. Topics include conducting user research, developing user personas and scenarios, information architecture, system and user interface design, prototype creation, and usability testing and analysis.  Develop and present a single comprehensive project for our portfolio that includes usability research and design mockup.


•User Experience: Toolkit and Development

X 481.99FG   Art 4 units

Industry standard user experience design tools will be presented. Concepts such as a template creation, stencil building and user interface library will be discussed. Projects include wireframing and creating user flow documents. Students will be required to use Omnigraffle; additional softwares including Axure, Visio, Balsamiq and Omniture will be discussed but are not required. Creating mockups without these softwares will also be discussed, including using CSS and HTML 5 to create prototypes.


•User Experience II: Iteration

X 481.99AG  Art 4 units

Building on User Experience I, this course draws on real world use cases to introduce a full range of user interface presentation challenges. Instruction covers the total spectrum of interface design standards, including e-commerce websites, service design, and physically based environments. Projects incorporate the full spectrum of screen resolutions and device types, and may include designing interfaces to scale and degrade, and considerations as to cost of implementation. The course prepares students to recognize user experience design problems and iterate solution proposals.

Prerequisite: X 481.99AF User Experience I


•User Experience: Research + Testing

X 481.99C   Art 4 units

Today’s designers must satisfy the needs of multiple constituents, including clients, colleagues, and especially, end-users. User research helps assess gaps in an existing experience, discover design opportunities, refine concepts and strategy, and test the creative/design execution. This course covers the key concepts of evaluation and evaluation methods, and students develop both quantitative and qualitative measures, such as contextual observation, heuristic analysis, surveying, interviewing, focus groups, persona development, evaluation during the design/iteration cycle, usability testing, and analysis of systems in use. Students leave the course with an understanding of which methods to use, given constraints, and how to design, field, and report on findings so through an iterative testing cycle the project is improved.

Prerequisite: X 481.99AF User Experience Design.  


User Experience III: Applied

X 489.65        Art 4 units

In this course, students are challenged to work on a complex existing real world issue through team partnership with outside collaborators. Moving from abstraction to real life, students focus on existing project such as AIGA’s All for Good, the TED Prize, and UCLA Grand Challenges, as well as incorporating the philosophies of designing for advocacy and “big ideas”. Course includes articulating challenges and goals, the art of information gathering, prototyping, field work, and studio time. Projects will be presented in common responsive outputs such as web and mobile, similar to what would be produced in a professional design firm. Students leave the course with a functional prototype, and experience working with clients and complex teams.

Prerequisite: X 481.99AF User Experience I and X 479.8K User Experience II, or equivalent experience.


•Design Thinking II: Delivering the Idea

X 481.55A    Art 4 units

Design thinking II is a methodology for practical, creative resolution of problems or issues that looks for an improved future result. In the Design thinking creative process students experience “building up” of ideas, a design methodology that leads to creative solutions. Projects use divergent and convergent thinking strategies that will help define a thinking methodology include:  project selection (problem space) > field study (interview / observation) > opportunities (brainstorming / ideation) > prototypes/sketching (thinking tools) > iterative design (combination / evaluation) > test (user feedback). Within these steps, problems are framed, the right questions can be asked, more ideas can be created, and the best answers are chosen and implements for low level to high level. These steps are not linear. Methodologies to parse, explore, find, gather and visualize design thinking will become paramount in the course deliverables.

Prerequisite: Design Thinking I X 481.55 and User Experience I X 481.99AF


•User Experience: Mobile First

X 481.24B  Art 4 units

User Experience Design is challenged and inspired by new developments in laptops, tablets, mobile devices and wearables. This course introduces the concept of device centric design; topics include cultural anthropology, app design, cross- cultural preferences in device usage, cultural norms, screen dimensions and input device preferences. Projects will involve creating mobile specific environments, adaptive and responsive layouts, mobile first philosophy, grid usage, predictive device changes, Android/iOS guidelines, and Microsoft.

Prerequisite: X 481.99AF User Experience I and X 479.8K User Experience II.


•User Experience IV : Capstone

Art 4 units

In this course, students build on what they have learned in UX III and build out their own project for review and portfolio.  In this hand’s on course, students build a viable User Experience project and go through the professional steps of discovery, design, prototyping, testing, revising, iterating and presenting an applied project for real world application.  Students take the project through the steps a professional incubator would take, involving stakeholders, and experiencing working with investors and VC’s. Pitch sessions at LAVA or similar group.

Prerequisite: X 481.99AF User Experience I, X 479.8K User Experience II, and x489.56 User Experience III or equivalent experience.

Apply Now!

For any questions regarding the User Experience Certificate, please email us at ux@uclaextension.edu or call us at 310-206-1422


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