You Ask, I Answer: IBM Courses for UX Designers?

Cristina asks, “Thank you providing an overview (in layman’s terms) of IBM’s free Cognitive classes which I stumbled across on their website during my job search. Would these classes be helpful to an aspiring UX designer?”

UX design itself is one of those things that you want to be clear about doing. It’s different than graphic design or UI design, and more closely related to CX, or customer experience. In terms of courses, no. The courses you want to focus on are part of IBM’s Enterprise Design Thinking curriculum.

https://www.ibm.com/design/thinking/

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In today’s episode, Christina asks, thank you for providing an overview in layman’s terms of IBM free cognitive classes, which I stumbled across on their website during my job search.

Would these classes be helpful to an aspiring UX designer? No.

So let’s let’s unpack this.

UX design itself is one of those things that you want to be clear and very intentional that you are doing.

I’m sure you know this.

But for those who have not spent a lot of time hanging out with various creative folks, UX is different than graphic design.

It’s different than UI design.

And it’s more closely related to CX or customer experience.

So think of it this way.

Graphic Design is the use of predominantly visual tools.

Although there is such a thing as audio to I’m to give somebody to communicate information to somebody, it uses things like colors, and images and text and things.

And you see it everywhere, right? You see it in everything that you read, you see it on every website, you go on, you see it outdoors, and billboards you see in thing even things like architecture, UI, or user interface is the specific subset of that for helping design, the way that an interface looks and the way that somebody would use it.

Now UI and UX are somewhat are much more closely related.

Some people use them interchangeably, but the user experience part typically has more strategy to it, and more focused on people and outcomes.

Think about the old consulting saw people process platform where people process technology, UI focuses a lot on the technology.

UX focuses on each of the three in a blend of how do we give the user of this thing, the best possible experience.

And then cx explodes that to every aspect of the customer journey.

So it’s not scope limited to say just the interface of a particular or the experience that a particular part of the customer journey delivers.

Customer Experience covers the whole gamut from the moment you pick up the phone, to the moment that user is done with your product or service.

In terms of IBM courses for UX, you definitely cognitive classes is good to see how coders and data scientists and folks are using the IBM tools and learning the tools to be able to create great outcomes.

There is an entire design thinking a set of courses, some which are free, some of which are not free.

from IBM, the practice you don’t want is free and the design thing for AI are free.

So those two are, are free.

And they’re excellent.

I took and did the certifications for both of those, they were fantastic.

Because they teach you IBM design thinking philosophy, which is their way, their specific way of doing it.

And then you see applications of it.

And the AI one is really powerful, because it’s spends a lot of time thinking about those human elements, those human outcomes, those business outcomes, what is a business problem to be solved, that artificial intelligence is useful for.

And that’s different than just traditional user experience, because a substantial chunk of user experience in AI is going to be about the outcome, the data scientist and the AI engineer are going to go build and test and deploy machine learning models, inside of these elaborate systems.

And inside the systems, then you don’t ever see there is no user experience in terms of what the user sees, the user sees nothing.

They just know that it’s out there as sort of a black box, what the user does see is the outcome, here’s the result and see that dashboard, or it’s a model that’s in production, or it’s a mobile phone app, but whatever it is, the user doesn’t, doesn’t interact directly with the model for the most part.

So design thinking for AI, which I think is like, again, it was one of the best courses I’ve taken on this talks about how do we think about the outcomes of our AI work in ways that are valuable, and that communicate that value effectively to the customer.

So you can find that it’s ibm.com slash design.

Slash thinking is where you can take those the practitioner badge and the AI badge.

certifications are available for free.

So take in and pass both of those.

And this, I think, a really good principles that it when you go through the course, it’s interesting, because it’s not academically, all that complex, right.

It’s not something that requires you to have like a PhD in mathematics to understand the principles of design thinking, What’s hard about it will be the application of those principles to your work, the willingness to follow the outline process, knowing that it will slow you down to the time to an MVP, but it will set the foundation so that if the product does make it through the MVP process, and and becomes goes into production, you don’t have to re engineer from the ground up, you’ve done the hard work up front, to build it to succeed.

So check out those courses.

I think those are a really terrific starting place for an aspiring UX designer to think and learn and train on IBM is version of that.

Now, as much as I love IBM, I would also suggest that you look around at some of the other major tech companies and some of the other major you’re designing consulting firms as well, to see what their perspectives on UX are because you want to get a basket of different capabilities.

Every one of these larger companies has its own focus and interpretation of how the world works and how they build for the world.

And so you want to make sure that you have a handful of these to work with set and a half of these philosophies and how each company like how Google approaches design, how Apple approaches design, how IBM approaches design, how Toyota approaches design, so that you can be as flexible as possible for requirements.

So great question a fun question, check out that course.

And be on the lookout for other design thinking courses as well.

As always, please leave comments in the comments box below.

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