Designlab's new UX Academy program



I’m still in the first half of the course… the only tool we’ve had to use so far has been sketch, which is really easy to pick up. They suggest you do some tutorials online before you start the academy, and they are ok with you using a different tool if you already know it. We are about to start using Invision, and it looks pretty simple, so I don’t think you need to be an expert in anything… but it will save you a little time if you’re familiar with the tools


Design Lab is very focused on learning “design thinking” and you do practice a lot of

User-Centered Design
Interaction Design & Heuristics of Usability
Develop SMART business goals and SMART user goals
Task Models & Customer Experience Maps
Information Architecture (Card Sorting)
UX Design Principles and best practice

The one caveat is … if you are planning to do the full time schedule, it really is 40 hours/week… don’t think you can do it faster. I decided not to work while I was doing it… I might be able to do a few days here and there for clients, but in general, I’ve needed to focus (I supposed you could do the course during the week, then work weekends… ) the students that are trying to do both work and full time have all cut back to half time. Which is a cool thing Design Lab allows you to do… I like that they are very focused on getting you through the program. they really want people to finish and do well… it’s not one of those “we’ve got your money, now we’re done” sort of things.


BTW… one of your projects is to write blog postings about design. i’ve had a lot fun doing it, if anyone wants to see some quick results of my "design"


@jdebari I appreciate your feedback but feel your comments have a distinct favoritism to CF. Its subtle but nonetheless you have chimed in that opinion several times.


hi @inca431,

I am about to start DL design101 as a prereq for ux academy.

How was the rest of your experience in the second half?

How have you found it post program? finding work, feel confident in your skill set ?


Hi @helenlearns_ux ,

You are free to have whatever opinion about the various programs you want.
I have been an instructor and mentor with various online and offline
programs and that is my opinion, nothing else. I do not favor CF personally
as I feel each program has its pros and cons.

I recently replied to another thread mentioning that neither CF or DL offer
mentor training and seem to accept almost anyone and I do feel that is a
disservice to the students. is the only program that has some rigour to it from a mentor/student



Hi, Helen
I’m still in the program. I won’t finish for a few more weeks. I just finished the first capstone project, and I hated it! but it’s not because of the program, I just really didn’t like the capstone I chose and I found it very confusing to go through the process of UX Design for that specific project. I started my second capstone today and I have to say it’s already a much easier project. I’ll update when I finish the program in a few weeks.


Thanks Inca! i hope you enjoy the rest of the program.

I am in LA too so if you ever want to get together and chat ux, I am open to that.
I am in highland park.



Helen! that would be great!
I am going to this screening on Thursday…

and I’m pretty sure a few other people from Design Lab are going, so if you can make it you could check in with them about how they feel about UX Academy as well.



Oh, I would love to attend this but I have to cover a shift at work that night.

let me know how it is, it sounds really interesting!


Hi Chris!

how was the documentary?

hope the course is going well and you are learning lots!


It was great! and the course is intense… I’m almost done. I’ll report in a few weeks when completely finished. chris


Hey @helenlearns_ux and all! Chiming in here as co-founder/CEO of Designlab. Just wanted to offer some further information in response to Julia’s comment (and others) about our program on this thread.

Here’s how we approach mentorship:

  • We vet all of our mentors thoroughly before they join the platform, looking for strong designers with demonstrated expertise (
  • We require mandatory onboarding before mentors get started
  • We monitor student feedback and promptly respond to any sort of mentor issues
  • We provide significant community support (and access to our range of mentors through our new Office Hours program — in addition to the 1-on-1 mentorship that’s core to the course experience

Moving forward:

  • We’re implementing detailed critique features within our platform that will allow students to directly coach their mentors on how to better meet student needs, during the course
  • We’re working with industry experts from reputable design firms like Frog on expanding our mentor training even further
  • We’re developing career advancement curriculum to propel designers from junior to senior to director level — meaning our mentors will also avail from this opportunity to continually improve
  • We’ll be hiring some in-house instructors to augment our part-time mentorship model

Generally, as I’ve said elsewhere, we pride ourselves on being ultra responsive to students, and on continually improving the product, platform, and curriculum through rapid sprints on an ongoing basis. We have some very exciting plans through the end of this year and early next, and I think you’ll all be thrilled to see what’s in store.

If you have any questions about the course and our approach, whether it’s a fit, or you just want to talk about UX in general :slight_smile: — give me a call on my cell at 408.802.2008 or email me:, we’d love to chat. Thanks!


I just tried calling Harish, but his voicemail is not set up.


Hi, I’m Martin, co-founder of CareerFoundry.

It’s so great that so many of you are considering a career in UX design! At CareerFoundry we have been offering a bootcamp style UX design course since 2014 and learned a ton in the two and a half years of running it. The importance of a mentor can’t be overestimated when you want to start in a new field. At CareerFoundry we think of our mentors as people who can give you a link in to an otherwise closed off world and help you break in.

Other things are important as well Curriculum, Community, Placement Support and generally a good UX :wink:

I dont want to hijack this thread but if you want to ask me anything about our program just reach out to me at


Hi, I admire your dedication, I think you are doing everything right and things will work out for you. I’m a developer trying to get into UX and it hasn’t been easy either.


I had the same issue, but Madi got through to me last night. It appears they have an influx of tickets right now, so they seem a bit behind. I reached out to @trydesignlab on Twitter for an extra bump, and heard back in a couple hours. HTH!


Hey! Now that you’re done with the course, care to provide us with an overview/review? Thanks for any info you can spare!


I’m not quite finished with Designlab UX Academy yet… @brookshirebeth

I still have to redo my portfolio, then I have an exit interview… I’ll keep you all updated.


Oops! Jumped the gun there, a bit. Thanks for the heads up, and best of luck redoing your portfolio!