I work as a UX Lead during the day and teach classes at FIT in the evening. My curriculum focuses on the basics of flow charting, wireframing and UI design with an emphasis on the mobile experience. Grasp of a good user experience is taught via ongoing discussions about a student’s project as they flesh it out. What happens if I push this button? What if I want to go back? How can we show these 3 pieces of information in a single info graphic? Do we even need a sign in page? Like that. I’ve found that trying to verbally explain what exactly constitutes good UX is a bit like trying to explain what it’s like to be in love. Better to have students experience good and bad UX in an actual design scenario.

Every semester I have between 12-20 senior students. In 4 months, each student has to come up with a mobile product (app, IoT device or website), solve high level UX problems (why should anyone create all the user generated content your app requires?), flow chart it, wire frame it by hand, produce device-accurate high fidelity wires and finally design the UI. I project manage every student and discuss their project with them every step of the way. Class time extends well beyond the classroom as everyone has a Basecamp thread so I can keep tabs on progress. It’s grueling, but extremely rewarding both for them and for me. They learn about practical UX and get a great portfolio piece and I get forced to think about UX problems I would otherwise never encounter in my professional life. Teaching is the most spiritually rewarding job I’ve ever had.

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