Designlab's new UX Academy program

I’m considering a career change to UX, and after watching the UX Basics course on Treehouse and reading How to Get Started in UX, I’ve been comparing my options for further education.

As a part of my research, I began corresponding with Harish Venkatesan, the co-founder of Designlab, about Designlab’s UX courses. I asked him if the courses provided any job assistance, and he said that their short courses don’t, but their new longer UX Academy program would.

After speaking to Harish on the phone, I learned a lot more about this new program. It combines their current Design 101, UX Research, and Interaction Design courses and adds units on Intro to UX, Prototyping and Testing, and Professional Skills as well as capstone projects that help build your portfolio. Job preparation includes portfolio review, mock interviews, and a job network.

The program is 400 hours long with 40 mentor sessions and can be completed in as little as 10 hours/week (great for someone working full time like me) or as much as 40 hours/week. It costs $2,799, but Harish said both the price and the curriculum can be adjusted if you’ve already taken any of their shorter courses.

I think the program sounds good, but I’m a little leery because it’s brand new. It’s currently in its first session with a second to start in December and plans to have new sessions starting every month by February. Harish recommended taking their Design 101 course first to see if I like the program before committing to UX Academy.

Before even doing that, though, I’d first like to get the opinions on this program from anyone that might be taking it right now, anyone who has taken any of Designlab’s shorter courses, or any UX professionals in general.

Here are links to the program [description and outline]( for more info.

Hi @ChrisUX – welcome. :slight_smile:

I have taken one of the shorter courses. I did the Interaction Design course earlier this year and it was absolutely fantastic. I actually wrote a review, which you can read here.
If the longer course is on par, then I think it’s a good bet.

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Hi @ChrisUX ,

[B]Did you enroll in Designlab’s UX Academy bootcamp?[/B] If so, what has been your experience so far. Did you take Design 101 before enrolling? I’m also considering a career change to UX (from Marketing Communications) and have connected with Harish on their UX bootcamp. The online model, program content, job preparation, and affordable cost makes very attractive. Since the bootcamp program is new, I haven’t found much reviews online but I’ve read excellent reviews of their individual courses on Quora and Course Report.

Hi @Sasheika,

Like you I found great reviews of the short courses but nothing for the new UX Academy, so I decided to sign up for Design 101 in order to try out Designlab. I just started this past Friday, so I’ll post about my experience in a few weeks once I’ve completed more of the course.

While I was waiting for Design 101 to start, I also signed up for after reading UXMastery’s great review of it, and I highly recommend it. While it doesn’t have projects or mentors like Designlab (it’s a collection of videos), it’s cheap, has a great presenter, and provides some nice touches like a downloadable copy of presenter Colman Walsh’s actual usability testing script as well as a recording of a usability test that he conducted.

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Hi @ChrisUX,

Thank you for the UX Training suggestion. I will be taking the Design 101 course starting on Jan 8th. As I have reviewed various UX and UI job postings I have noticed a preference for strong InDesign or Photoshop skills so I am plan on brushing up on my technical skills in these programs in preparation for Jan start. I am curious, were there any other UX programs you were considering? I spoke with Juline from Bloc but their cost was a deal breaker for me. What are you doing now? Good luck with class!

I haven’t heard of needing to use InDesign for UX jobs. I’ve found that most people recommend Photoshop, Illustrator or, Sketch.

I also looked at CareerFoundry. It’s cheaper than Designlab but only offers 12 mentor sessions compared to Designlab’s 40 sessions. It also has a 15 hours per week minimum while Designlab requires only 10 hours per week. You can go at a slower pace at CareerFoundry if you need to, but if you take longer than 6 months to complete the course, they’ll start charging you a monthly fee to extend your time.

Hey @ChrisUX

I haven’t looked into CareerFoundry but have come across it on various sites. There’s been a few changes recently, and I am back to considering an in-person bootcamp, which was my initial interest. I have an info session with DESIGNATION and General Assembly to get more details on their programs. I’d have to relocate but that is something I planned on doing next year anyway. NYC is where my family lives but at the moment I fancy the DESIGNATION program more because of the hands experience with UI, UX and FEWD. Have you considered an in-person bootcamp?

I looked at General Assembly, but I’d also have to relocate to a more expensive area to attend. Plus it costs a lot more than the online classes.

I’m a little late joining the conversation, but I thought I might help. I mentor at UX Academy, CareerFoundry, and Springboard (all online). I also teach UX part time at General Assembly. At GA, it depends on who your instructor is and how much effort you put into the course to make it worth while. If you are considering GA, ask around about various instructors. For online mentorship, UX Academy is still figuring things out so there will be some rough patches. CareerFoundry is great if you want to be a freelance UX Designer. Springboard is good if you want flexibility (it’s a monthly subscription model). Also, check out It’s intense, but it might be helpful for what you are looking for.


That’s incredibly helpful @jdebari – it’s great to have you on board.

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Hey @jdebari thanks for your comments! Why do you say that CareerFoundry is great if one wants to be a freelancer? I’m taking their course right now.

I’m a little late to the party as well but I’ve enrolled at DesignLab’s UX Academy and will be starting in March. I went back and forth a lot between CF, DesignLab, ThinkFul as well as some others and ultimately, I’ve read nothing but rave reviews on DesignLab’s “mini-courses” and was very impressed with the student work and the prestigious mentors that they’ve listed on their site. After speaking with Harish back and forth via email and on the phone as well, I feel very confident in my decision and I truly believe that providing I put the hard work in, that UX Academy will assist me and provide me with all I need to achieve my career goals and ultimately gain entry-level employment as a UX Designer. I’ll keep you posted and I’d love some feedback from those who are studying with DesignLab, have studied there before or are about to embark on the same journey.



@jdebari UX Academy as in the one iffered through DesignLab?

@UXJeremy I’ve gone back and forth between CareerFoundry and DesignLab but I’m more inclined to go with DL. On their site it says that the next Academy starts in May. That’s much later than Id like. I hope spots are still available for March. Was the cost $2799?

Yes, the cost is $2800 but they will work with you on payments and planning. They also offer financing through private loans as well. As far as the start date, the next session (according to Harish) starts in Mid-March. I’m going to assume the dates on the page are incorrect but I would check with them directly.

Yes, the one offered by DL.

Hi @jdebari,
How has your experience with UX Academy been so far? Are you enrolled in the part-time course?
I’m trying to decide between CF and UX Academy. I would like to get some opinions if there is anyone else who has taken their courses.

Hi Tiff @tiff

I’m doing the part time track as I’d really like to finish up before the end of the year. What field are you in now? Are you in the US or UK? Have you received the email to register and pay the deposit? Harish said it would be coming out soon.

I’m currently enrolled in the March cohort which officially starts on Monday. Right now we’ve got access to some precoursework which has been good so far! I’m very curious as to what all of your backgrounds are since I don’t have any real graphic design/web design, etc background persay. So, what brought you all to UX Design? What did you do before or do you do now?


Hey @UXJeremy,

I’m a marketing director at a community college. I’ve worked in marketing communications for about 10 years in government, healthcare, non profit and now education. In my current role I handle everything from corporate communications public relations event planning and I oversee graphic designers. And although the web masters don’t report to me we work very closely on content management navigation and will be embarking on a revamp of our website soon. I have minimal skills and graphic design but I do have a great eye for Art and I’m a strong writer. I’m attracted to UX design because I realize the growing importance creating a digital space that puts the users experience first. I’m hoping to transition full time into field or find a position that blends both worlds (marketing+communication+UX)

Oh yes I live in Florida! Just a bit of extra info. I have an mba but finished it about 6/7 years ago.

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