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UCLAxOpen Free Course: The You in UX

Join us Tuesday, February 22th at 12pm for The You in UX, a free short course about careers in UX Design.

What is user experience design, and is it for you? This seminar will explore the career paths open to user experience designers. Hear from recent graduates about their industry experience, the current marketplace, and how the UCLA Extension User Experience Certificate can help you begin a strategic career in user experience design.

Speakers include Musangi Muthui (technologist, creative imagineer and business strategist) Andy Dang (product designer), and Zachary Taylor, (User Experience Certificate grad).

Enroll now!

COVID testing protocol for return to in-person classes at Gayley Center

Video explainer:

Dear Student,

We’ve created a simple a to-do list for you to attend your winter quarter class in Gayley Center:

Return to Classroom Health and Safety Checklist

  • Get a COVID booster.
    Upload an updated copy of your vaccination card with booster information to the UCLA COVID Vaccine Tracker either on the web or using the UCLA Mobile app.

  • Test for COVID 72 hours or fewer before your first in-person class, then again your first day of class.
    This first test can be done either through the campus distribution centers (UCLAx Gayley Center is one) or elsewhere in the community: the Los Angeles County-run sites or at CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens or local independent pharmacies. Either rapid tests or PCR are acceptable. Upload your results to the UCLA COVID Vaccine Tracker either on the web or using the UCLA Mobile app.

  • Complete a daily symptom check.
    Each day you have class, fill out the Symptom Monitoring Survey either on the web or using the UCLA Mobile app and receive your clearance certificate.

  • Wear a mask.
    Upgraded masks are required in all indoor spaces on campus, including classrooms, libraries and labs. Masks will be available upon request at Gayley and Lindbrook Centers.

  • Test for COVID weekly through the end of winter quarter.
    After the first 72-hour test, all are required to test through the free campus distribution centers once a week (note: NOT the vending machines). UCLAx Gayley Center is one of the distribution centers, so we recommend you arrive early enough before your class each week to take care of this (in Gayley Center: left side of lobby, double glass doors by elevator. Hours: 8am – 10pm Mon-Thu, 8am-5pm Fri.) Deposit a saliva sample per the test instructions in the marked collection bin. Results will be emailed to you within 24-48 hours.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

My best,

Kate Reeves
Program Coordinator
UCLAx Design Communication Arts
(310) 825-6448
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Interview with UX Graduate Nicholas Reedy

Congratulations to Nicholas on his recent graduation! Hear about his background and see some of his class projects below.

How did you get interested in user experience design and why did you choose this program? 

It’s a funny story, because I always attribute my budding interest in User Experience Design to my time spent as a Preschool Teacher. As crazy as it sounds, I always felt like running a preschool classroom was sort of the ultimate UX experience – having to design your classroom to fit the varying needs of your students, empathizing with your “users” to create developmentally appropriate curriculum – it all fits in with the principles of UX.

I had to make a career pivot once COVID hit. Digital preschool just wasn’t achievable, and that’s when I really started looking into the UX field. I have a BA in psychology, so I wanted to find something that could utilize that skill set. I had heard great things about UCLA’s extension program being an LA native myself, so I thought I’d do a bit of investigating and I’m thrilled I did.

Can you tell us about a project you completed that you’re proud of, or that you found especially challenging?

One project had me on a team where we had to figure out a new solution for “the car buying experience.” What was tricky about that one was it was a process that was already etched in stone; so many people had their preconceived notions of what the process would look like. There was very little empathy between channels as well, as car buyers and dealers felt that their way of handling the situation was superior to the other. This made gathering our initial research rather difficult, because there was not much constructive feedback to collect when it came to improving the process. Fortunately I was a part of an amazing team and we were able to develop a holistic approach to reinventing this somewhat antiquated experience, which focused on improving the fractured relationship between the two parties.

What are your professional aspirations?

I’m geared more towards the user research side of UX, things like running interviews, creating usability tests, things of that nature. I would love to take these skills into the video game industry and help design systems that make games enjoyable. I can’t even begin to tell you how many games I’ve had to put down because of an awful user experience. Functionality testing, measuring user enjoyment, building out UIs – these are all things that I want to help test and develop through various research methods. Looking even further into the future I’d love to take these skills into the VR world too, as it seems there is a ton of untapped potential in that field.

What advice would you give someone interested in learning more about User Experience Design?

If you’re passionate about it, go for it. Don’t think it’s ever too late to explore a new avenue, especially if you already find yourself in a completely different line of work. And don’t think you need to be a “UX Unicorn” to get somewhere with it. Focus on what part of User Experience Design calls to you and dive in, continuing to better yourself in that field every opportunity you get. There are so many resources out there that will make you a fantastic UXer (including your peers), so don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone to utilize them.

UCLAxOpen Free Course: Designing Business Models for Success

Join us Wednesday, February 9 at 12pm for Designing Business Models for Success, a free short course taught by accomplished multi-disciplinary strategist Lauren Cantor.

This 90-minute course will focus on the visual tools entrepreneurs need to create a shared language when discussing business models and strategy. It will also explore how to create or improve an existing business model, using real-world examples to better understand the mechanics behind the most successful business models.

Lauren Cantor

Lauren is a multi-disciplinary strategist with a focus on venture design and innovation. After working on Wall Street for close to 20 years, she switched focus to her passion for design and completed an MFA as Designer + Entrepreneur from the School of Visual Arts (where she was the 2017 Graduate Valedictorian). In addition, she holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, a BA magna cum laude from Columbia University in Astrophysics, and is a graduate of the UCLA Extension Design Communication Arts program. Lauren currently runs her own creative consulting firm, Field & Edge where she works with companies to create new business strategies by tackling issues of human-centered design. She also teaches Venture Design in the MFA programs at the School of Visual Arts and Art Center College of Design.

Enroll in Designing Business Models for Success today!

Enroll now! Frontend Web Coding Boot Camp: FAQ

Design by DCA graduate Laurie Racicot

***Now starting Thursday July 1st. Enroll today!***

Curious what you could learn in the 8-unit DCA elective, Frontend Web Coding Boot Camp? Instructor Mitch Gohman shared specifics about it with us:

Course Description

Learn to powerhouse web languages and toolsets to create immersive and impactful web-based environments in this intensive web coding boot camp. Become fluent in HTML (content), CSS (presentation), and JavaScript (behavior), the essential tools of a front-end web developer. Explore framework integration to speed up development and build responsive, grid layouts that meet today’s requirements for mobiles, tablets, and desktops. Examine contemporary design trends and real world practices to design and build a fully functional, modern, responsive website from scratch.


Students will develop a real-world website that leverages the concepts covered throughout the course and meets modern industry demands.

Course Competencies

  • HTML. You will be able to identify and generate key HTML language ingredients for more meaningful and semantic documents.
  • CSS. You will be able to create Cascading Style Sheets that expands on the functionality and appearance of HTML documents.
  • JS. You will be skilled in the fundamentals of JavaScript as a foundation for the interactivity of Web Applications.
  • Web Hosts and Publishing: You will be skilled in obtaining hosting space, managing domains, and publishing web content to a public server.
  • Web Application Design Considerations. You will be skilled in creating websites that meet the common constraints found in Web Design.


  1. Hello HTML, CSS and JS
  2. HTML Building Relationships
  3. CSS Selectors
  4. CSS Responsive Media Queries
  5. CSS Navigations
  6. CSS Positioning
  7. CSS Layouts (Flexbox, Floats, and Positioning)
  8. JS Fundamentals
  9. JS Syntax
  10. JS Class Switching
  11. JS Tabs
  12. JS Lightboxes
  13. JS Arrays, Loops and Automation
  14. JS Slideshows
  15. JS Scope and This
  16. jQuery
  17. Publishing Websites
  18. Final Project Workshop
  19. Final Submissions

Please contact Kate at with any questions. Thanks!

UCLAxOpen Free Course: Create a Simple Still Life with Charcoal and Eraser

Join us Monday, June 14 at 12pm for Create a Simple Still Life with Charcoal and Eraser, a free short workshop taught by studio arts instructor Stephanie Pryor.

Come prepared with:

A piece of charcoal (Alphacolor or any other compressed charcoal)

Sketch pad or drawing paper

A kneaded eraser

Several light-colored still-life objects (such a a bowl, cup or piece of fruit)

A light source such as a desk lap

Nitrile gloves

Stephanie Pryor is an artist who has exhibited extensively in solo and group shows in Los Angeles, New York, and Europe.

UCLAxOpen Free Course: Inclusive Design

On Saturday, April 3 from 12 – 1:30pm PST, the Visual Arts presents Inclusive Design: Designing for All, led by User Experience instructor Michelle Matthews.

This workshop will introduce topics of designing for accessibility and inclusion. Participants will learn about how differently abled users navigate mobile apps and the internet using various assistive technologies and how designers can optimize their design process to ensure their work is usable by all. Additionally, this workshop will cover how we ensure our design process is inclusive of various types of people, cultures and viewpoints through human-centered design methodologies. This workshop will include both lecture and interactive collaborative learning.

Michelle Matthews

UX and product design leader with 10 years of experience designing mobile and responsive experiences. She is currently Head of Product Design at Hatch, designing solutions to improve sleep for families. Previously she led design for the health subsidiary of Headspace, one of the world’s leading mindfulness apps. She has also served as the Head of User Experience at Soothe (on-demand home massages), introducing the company to the practice of design research and user-centered design. Before that she was notably the UX Lead at Heal (on-demand doctor home visits) and for the award-winning fitness app, Studio Tone It Up. She has also spent many years working at award-winning agencies, designing experiences for clients such as Lexus, Gerber and Purina. She uses her behavior change and motivational therapy skills acquired as a therapist and social worker to design truly human-centered, intuitive experiences with empathy.

Welcome New Photography Instructor Baz Here

We’re happy to welcome new instructor Baz Here to our photography program. Baz will be teaching Photography I this coming spring. Let’s get to know Baz with a few questions below…

How did you get started in photography, and what drew you to this art form? 

I started taking photographs when I was about eight years old after my grandmother gave me her old Nikon. I continued exploring photography through the courses my high school offered and just never stopped taking pictures. Oddly, I never considered myself a photographer as music was my primary endeavor. It wasn’t until my twenties when my journey with photography shifted. I needed promotional photography taken for my music career and started hiring different photographers—I never got the photos that I imagined in my head. I decided to start taking my own portraits. Through that process, my obsession with achieving my own perfect aesthetic led me to further my education and obtain my MFA in Photography.

Baz Here

What are you focusing on in your current practice?

I am interested in the sound current and its effect on visual aesthetics. The amalgamation is somewhat nascent in my practice, as in the past the two artforms seemed somewhat separate for me. I am fascinated by how sounds can alter meaning in a photograph. My most recent work has been mostly an exploration of religious iconography (and Christianity in general) and the psychological weight it can impose on a young queer person. But of course, as a white male artist, considering my privilege is impossible to not weave into all that I do at this point. I’m on my path making art, loving teaching art, and trying to be aware as possible of the spaces I occupy.

Baz Here

You’ll be teaching Photography I – what can students expect in your class? Can you show us a sample assignment?

I love the basics. One of my favorite parts of teaching the basics is that I get to relearn them all of the time. In my class, we will, of course, learn all the basics of photography—exposure, composition, lighting, post-production, and editing—but we will also begin to explore what it means to photograph something and the difference between “taking” and “making” photographs.

As far as sample assignments go, we will do all of the exercises one would expect in a Photo I class—learning how to use the camera in manual mode, and understanding how to compose an image—but perhaps my favorite assignments are introductions to portrait patterns (e.g., Rembrandt, butterfly…) and exploring light and shadow—using shadows of interesting objects to create abstract compositions.

Baz Here

What do you hope students take away from your class as they continue on with their photography education?

Whether my students journey into portraiture, fashion, landscape, food photography, etc., I hope the students will be inspired to think about all of the aspects of photography making—the technical, the aesthetic, the psychological, and of course, the incredible joy of clicking that shutter. I hope we can have a dialogue that will encourage motivation to improve but also the reliance on failure to find success.

Baz Here

What advice would you give to someone who is interested in photography but not sure how to get started?

Well, my advice would be quite simple. Just start making photographs!

Baz Here
Baz Here
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