CareerFoundry Review Part 2: UX Immersion
The UX Immersion course is the bulk of CareerFoundry’s UX Design bootcamp, here’s what you can expect.
This article addresses the second of a three-part course for the CareerFoundry UX Design bootcamp. To learn more about the first portion of the course, you can read my review here or watch my video review.
The UX Design Course offered by CareerFoundry is composed of three courses: Intro to UX Design, UX Immersion, and a Specialization course (plus an optional Job Preparation Course).
This article is going to only cover the second part of the course, UX Immersion.
There are six ‘achievements’ in this course, which essentially act as chapters. Each achievement has 7 to 11 lessons, each of which has a task. By the end of the course, you will have handed in 57 assignments. CareerFoundry estimates that it will take you about 7 months to complete the UX Immersion course if you hand in 2 assignments per week by committing 15–20 per week to the course.
Topics you will learn include:
- User-Centered Design
- Emotional & Visual Design
- Competitive Analysis
- Generative and Evaluative Research
- User Personas and Business Requirements
- Mobile-First Responsive Design
- Information Architecture and User Flows
- Iterative Wireframing and Prototyping
- Usability and Preference Testing
- Design Documentation and Presentation
It took me about 5 months to complete the course, I aimed to do an assignment a day. Of course, it did not always work out this way. Sometimes I would hand in 4 assignments a day, sometimes I would go an entire week without handing anything in.
My goal was to finish the course in 4 months, but unfortunately, I got COVID so that stifled my progress for a few weeks.
You are given 3 prompts for what app you can choose as your UX Immersion project, you will be working on this for the entire course.
I chose the ‘Expert’ app, the brief stated that this was an app that allows users to connect with an expert in virtually any field in minutes. Throughout the design process, I tailored my app to young adults that needed to learn life skills to become full-fledged adults. I renamed it ‘Adulting’, and it allows users to connect with experts in minutes via audio calls, video chats, and messaging to learn how to do things like changing a tire or doing taxes.
If you want to see the final result, and what you’ll be doing yourself in the UX Immersion course, you can view my project here.
The content was easy to digest
If you learn well from reading and videos, then this course is for you. While the concepts are more advanced than the intro course, the content is broken down into easily digestibly pieces so that you are not overwhelmed by new information. They make advanced ideas and processes simple.
The community is amazing
I’m not a ‘community’ person, I very much like being on my own. However, there is a portion of the course where you have to get design feedback from members of the CF Slack group. Once I downloaded the app — I never got off of it. I check it everyday now. It is such an encouraging and helpful community, even people who graduated CF a year ago come back and talk to people. You can get advice, task help, find jobs, and do things like design jams!
The flexibility proved to be imperative
Had I joined a bootcamp that had set attendance days or a shorter timeline, I would have wasted a whole lot of time and money. When I got sick with COVID, I was out of commission for at least 3 weeks. It wasn’t just being sick, it was then recovering from the sickness afterwards (getting back to eating and generally being a person). If I didn’t have the flexibility that CF offers, I don’t know what I would have done. Very happy with my choice.
You leave with a real portfolio piece
As previously mentioned, you go through the whole design process in this course and create a finished app design as well as a case study and portfolio.
You learn a little bit of UI
While this isn’t the focus of the course, they teach you enough about colors, design standards, and design principles that you get a taste of UI design.
There is a bit of busy work in the beginning that doesn’t involve working on your app. It took me a while to complete just because I didn’t want to do it, they are simple tasks. PUSH THROUGH. Once you get past the first achievement you really dive into designing your app.
You have to do design documents throughout the design process, unfortunately this is a real part of the job, so I understand why we have to do it. I’m glad that CF didn’t cut this part out because it is something that we need to know how to do, but I didn’t like doing it so it’s a con.
You need to make your project stand out
Because you’re given a project prompt, you will have an app that looks like hundreds of others. Not great for job hunting. It is up to you to differentiate your design. If you Google ‘Expert App CareerFoundry’, you will find a dozen apps. Change the app’s name, tailor it to a specific audience, do something creative.
Your time depends on your tutor’s
When your tutor (the person who grades your assignments) goes on vacation, you don’t get any grades until they come back. I feel that CF should have some system in place for this, like having your advisors or mentor grade your assignments so you can move forward.
They change the interface a lot
During my time at CF, they have changed the interface at least 4 times. This is something that the students find disruptive and unnecessary, and we have repeatedly complained in the Slack group.
Common Questions I Get
Do I feel career-ready?
Yes, 100%. CF does a great job at preparing you for interviews; they go over different design challenges as well as potential interview questions. They prepare you for working with non-designers and how to work in a team. I do not have a job yet, as I am looking specifically for an entry-level position so that I can learn as much as possible.
Why did I pick CF?
Cost and flexibility. I felt that the cost for a 10-month program was reasonable and that I would get good value from it — I was correct. I also needed a flexible bootcamp because I was working a part-time job as a digital strategist when I registered. Clearly, that flexibility came in handy.
Do I feel that CF was worth it?
Absolutely. As previously mentioned, I feel that CF’s value was great. I came out of the course with a great portfolio piece and a wealth of knowledge. The community is also invaluable, as I am still learning from and communicating with them.
Which specialization did I choose?
I chose the UI specialization. I was torn between UI and voice UI, but I think that CF’s voice UI course is mostly about chatbots and Alexa, which doesn’t really interest me. I am not great at visual design, so I went with UI. To learn voice UI, I started taking NYU’s Non-Visual Interfaces & AR/VR UX Design in Unity course, and to learn front-end development I use Codecademy.
I hope that you gained some value by reading about my experience with CareerFoundry. I really do recommend it, but only if it meets your priorites. Try their free 6-day course to get a better understanding of how they communicate information, that’s what I did.
If you do decide that you want to give CF a shot, I have an affiliate link that will give you 5% off of your course (If you do the UX Design bootcamp that’s like ~$350 off).
If not, I have also heard great things about Design Lab, Springboard, and General Assembly. Continue researching and focus on what matters to you! Good luck!