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Certificate in User Experience (UX) Design

Create the kind of user experiences that shape the way we live

User experiences have the power to change lives. Every minute you spend on a website or app is the product of countless hours of dedicated work, from research and wireframing through to prototyping. Design thinking is critical to  ensure innovations in technology continue to put people first, and that products offer the type of user experience (UX) that affect real change in the world around us.

In fact, UX is so critical to the success of a product that 9/10 managers in the field say hiring User Experience Designers is a top priority. If you’ve ever looked at a website or app and said “I could have designed that better,” here is your chance to prove it.

UX design is in the top 5 technical skills desired by employers1

UX jobs have recently grown +210%
9/10 managers are hiring UX Designers (Working in the UX field)
75% of managers plan to double their UX jobs (Working in the UX field)
1According to LinkedIn

Why Choose York?

accelerated-learningACCELERATED LEARNINGFinish in 8 months

REAL-WORLD PROJECTSUpgrade core job skills

PART-TIME FORMAT(online + in-class)

Use Design Thinking to bring real-world user experience (UX) solutions to life

If you’re interested in UX, chances are you like to ask a lot of questions. But not all the answers can be found in the classroom or in your coursework.

That’s why we give you the chance to dive into real-world user experience design projects with actual companies.

Created in collaboration with industry leaders, the 4 course Certificate in User Experience (UX) Design combines all the benefits of a part-time schedule with the deep learning of a comprehensive curriculum. You’ll balance online study with in-class interactive sessions, giving you the chance to balance your commitments while gaining a solid understanding of design thinking as it relates to UX.

“York University’s Certificate in UX Design blends critical theory with real-world projects and case studies to provide students with a practical, well-rounded education. The part-time blended format makes it accessible for working professionals to develop a strong foundation in design practice, while developing the cross-functional skills needed to level up their careers.”

Alisha Kassam - Instructor, Certificate in UX Design- Alisha Kassam, Senior Designer, Shopify (Instructor)

 

 

Under the expert guidance of leaders in the field, you’ll have the chance to practice the core job skills top employers demand when hiring UX Designers, like logical problem solving, research skills and active communication. You’ll also build meaningful relationships with your peers over the course of the program, enhancing your learning.

The Certificate in User Experience (UX) Design covers all the core areas for career success, giving you the knowledge and expertise to:

  • Produce a portfolio of work that effectively applies UX best practices and processes to meet business needs across multiple industries and product types
  • Evaluate and utilize relevant methodologies such as design thinking, participatory design, and the MoSCoW methodology
  • Demonstrate best practices in visual design and system design
  • Formulate user personas
  • Explain how different design systems function and determine their appropriate usage
  • Demonstrate cross-functional skills such as team work, communications, problem solving, active listening and storytelling

These learning outcomes will set you apart from the crowd of hopeful job applicants in the competitive user experience design market.

Prove your User Experience Design skill to the world (and your next boss)

A lot of creative professionals think they already have a solid understanding of UX from on-the-job experience. The problem is they’re often lacking a full grasp of the entire User Experience Design lifecycle, which can be a roadblock to career advancement.

Our Certificate in User Experience Design is the new standard in University-level education in the field, and connects the dots of what you already know with what you need to know to get ahead in your career. Graduate with this credential on your resume, and you’ll have no trouble proving your deep knowledge and expertise, making landing your dream gig a whole lot easier.

There are many 1-2 week UX programs, but I don’t think most individuals come out knowing what they need to in order to succeed in their jobs (especially in cases where UX is not fully understood in the organization). I have a lot of respect for the approach York has taken in practicing UX methodology to create an ideal program.

Joselynn Maas - Advisory Council UX Design- Joselynn Maas, Lead, UX Strategy + Design, Grocery Gateway (Advisory Council Member)

Who should take this program?

User Experience (UX) Design is a great career option for people from a variety of industries.

The Certificate in User Experience (UX) Design is ideal for anyone who currently works in a creative field, like graphic or web design, or web development. People in strategic client-facing roles, like product/project managers, strategists and consultants are also a great fit.

This program can enhance the careers of people with experience in:

Web or Graphic designWeb or Graphic Design

Web DevelopmentWeb Development

ConsultingConsulting

Business StrategyBusiness Strategy

Program Delivery

We know that finding time for continuing education isn’t easy. So, we make it easier by offering a program that works around your commitments.

The Certificate in User Experience (UX) is an 8-month part-time program, taken mostly online. You’ll come to our Keele Campus in Toronto, ON at the beginning and end of each course (8 Saturdays in total). This innovative model combines the benefits of online study with intensive in-class time, reducing your time commitment traveling to campus, while supporting your learning and peer collaboration.

program-delivery

Finish in 8 months

Advisory Council

Luis Aguila - Advisory Council UX DesignLuis V. Aguila
Manager, User Experience. Experience Centre, PwC Canada

Over the past 20+ years, Luis has worked with both public entities and private organizations. He’s led transformation projects for small and medium size enterprises, as well as multinational organizations, establishing business requirements and overall experience frameworks in order to support their business needs and objectives. He has experience with both User Experience strategy and production; he specializes in Design Thinking and Human-Centred Design and has created prototypes for multiple platforms. He has also designed appropriate research methodologies to gather user feedback. As a facilitator, Luis has managed executive teams and guided cross-disciplinary business units through co-creation and the Agile development methodology.

Mark Farmer
Senior Digital Strategist. Ontario College of Teachers

Mark Farmer is a digital communications professional with over 15 years’ experience working for non-profits and commercial enterprises, one-person shops and large multinational corporations in Canada and abroad. He specializes in digital strategy, social media, accessibility and user experience design. Mr. Farmer started in web design and development in the late ‘90s with TransCanada PipeLines, and founded his own shop, webness, in 2001. He spent five years as webmaster and then creative director for Earth Day Canada, before shifting to digital communications for organizations such as the Royal Ontario Museum, Intuit’s Global Business Division and York University. Currently he is the senior digital strategist at the Ontario College of Teachers. Mr. Farmer is the founder of the Toronto Museums & Culture Online Collective, co-founder of Social Media Café Toronto, and is a regular presenter at industry events and at colleges and universities around Toronto.

Joselynn Maas - Advisory Council UX DesignJoselynn Maas
Lead, UX Strategy + Design. Grocery Gateway (Longo’s Brothers Fruit Markets Ltd.)

Joselynn Maas has over 20 years of experience in strategic thinking, problem solving and experience design. Her career has been split between working in design roles for tech startups and corporations and also as an entrepreneur running her own branding consultancy. But one thing has always remained constant: her focus on the end experience for her customer and the consumer. Joselynn’s idea-centric approach has also allowed her to expand her experience across many industry sectors such as Technology, Retail, Hospitality, Luxury Goods, Consumer Goods, Grocery, and Not for Profit. She has managed teams at her own agency and within corporate environments and always ensures she has an active voice with management. Most recently, Joselynn has been leading and revamping the user experience strategy for Canada’s original online grocery delivery service, Grocery Gateway. As lead UX Strategy & Design, she is hands-on with ethnographic research, developing the UX roadmap alongside the product manager and constantly iterating and improving the user experience through an agile sprint model. In addition to long-standing employment and successful client relationships, Joselynn recently mentored a Humber College team who won an award for their work on Grocery Gateway at Amsterdam’s UX Insight awards. Her design work also been featured in En Route magazine, The National Post, the Globe and Mail, the SFMOMA (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) and AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario).

Angela Norwood - Advisory Council UX DesignAngela Norwood
Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Design. York University

Professor Norwood’s research interests include information visualization, social and cultural aspects of wayfinding, design epistemologies, and the ethics of design education.

Leah Pollock
Lead RnD Recruiter. Shopify

Leah Pollock is currently a Lead RnD Recruiter at Shopify in Toronto with a specific focus on hiring top talent in UX roles. After joining Shopify in 2016, Leah started working closely with the senior UX team to identify skills gaps at the company as well as some of the most pressing UX challenges Shopify was facing. From there Leah started to engage the greater UX community in Toronto and beyond and helped double the size of the Toronto UX team, increasing gender diversity by 50%. Before joining Shopify, Leah worked at several nonprofits for the better part of a decade where her accomplishments included developing a microfinance program for social enterprises, fundraising $4.3M in Community Bond sales for the Centre for Social Innovation, and building an accelerator program for entrepreneurs focused on solving social and environmental challenges. Leah is currently on maternity leave with her baby June and loves talking about UX when she’s not pushing a stroller around High Park and Roncesvalles.

Sean-SeamanSean Seaman
Manager, User Experience Design. Avanade Digital Innovation Studio

Sean Seaman is an Experience Design practitioner consulting with businesses, organizations and individuals, reimagining digital solutions that customers and businesses are facing. Presently, he manages Experience Design at Avanade Digital Innovation Studio, providing thought leadership in design sprints for enterprise clients. In addition, Sean gets great satisfaction in facilitating design thinking workshops with clients, helping them arrive at human-centric design solutions on their own. Sean has 18+ years experience in Experience Design practice, providing design direction and consultation for Fortune 500 companies. He has extensive experience in the Fin-tech, Retail, Transportation sectors, previously working with digital design agencies, major retailers and SAAS companies.

Chrissy Spilchuk
Product Designer. Ratehub.ca

Chrissy is an experienced and highly collaborative UX/UI designer who focuses on researching and understanding the intricacy of user needs and translating them into design solutions that drive business results. Her skills, education and expertise make her highly effective in moving designs from initial concept development through to research, prototyping, usability testing and into the creation of fully developed products, design languages and design systems. She is currently the product designer for all new and several existing verticals at ratehub.ca and over the last 4 years has helped to launch several new products to effectively expand and grow the business into all areas of personal finance. She is also currently in charge of building and scaling a new design system and executing on all areas of rebranding efforts. Chrissy holds a Bachelor of Design degree from OCAD University, and has taken several post-grad certificates in in user experience design from Bitmaker, HackerYou and The Interaction Design Foundation.

Borzu Talaie - Advisory Council UX DesignBorzu Talaie
Sessional Assistant Professor. Department of Design, York University

Borzu Talaie is an award-winning designer and educator who has worked in the design field since 1993. His area of practice ranges from branding and print design to interaction design, information design and interactive installations. He received his Master of Design degree in data visualization and visual analytics in 2014 from the Digital Futures program at OCAD University. Borzu is the founder of Borxu Design, a multi-disciplinary studio where entrepreneurs, designers, and engineers continually examine the intersection of business and communication design to deliver unique solutions to their data-driven projects. Borxu Design clientele include large-scale construction companies, media companies, and startups based in the Greater Toronto Area.

Mike Zacheja - Advisory Council UX DesignMike Zacheja
Principal User Experience Designer. Oracle

Mike is currently a Principal User Experience Designer at Oracle. In this role, he creates exceptional experiences for intelligent applications. Previously Mike spent over 10 years at IBM where he worked with Watson, designing experiences for a variety of offerings within Watson Customer Engagement.

 

Instructors

Carmen Branje - Instructor, Certificate in UX DesignCarmen Branje, PhD

Carmen has been a designer, researcher and teacher for more than a decade. He has achieved degrees in computer science and management science at Ryerson University and then went on to obtain his PhD in Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto. His PhD thesis entitled The Vibrochord – Investigating a Vibrotactile Instrument, explored the design, creation and use of the world’s first digital, fully vibrotactile musical instrument. Carmen went on to become a Professor at Centennial College where he led several applied research projects including MagnusMode and a Mixed Reality Mobile Game. He then left the world of academia and went into the financial industry to design online and mobile user experiences for CIBC and RBC. After starting and leading a small prototyping team at RBC Carmen left to establish the design practice at a small company based in Markham called Orbit Group.

Rahim Bhimani - Instructor, Certificate in UX DesignRahim Bhimani, MBA

Rahim is an award-winning designer who initially studied Industrial Design at Carleton University and, following his graduation, moved to San Francisco, California in 2011. He pursued an MBA in Design Strategy from the California College of the Arts and had the opportunity to work for companies like Umbra, Teknion, California Innovations, Fuseproject, Samsung & Code & Theory as a Design Strategist, UX Designer and Design Researcher. Rahim also ran his start-up called Story Jar in San Francisco and was accepted into an incubator. On the side, he runs a small studio called Arabesque Studios that focuses on designing products inspired by Islamic Geometry. He loves creative problem solving and is looking forward to teaching and helping you reach your personal design goals.

Alisha Kassam - Instructor, Certificate in UX DesignAlisha Kassam

For the past 8 years, Alisha has been using research, design and strategy to help some of Canada’s biggest brands in Canada and beyond create experiences that focus on people. Alisha is especially focused on how design thinking can create both social change while having positive impact on business. Today, she is applying her experiences and philosophy to her role as Senior Designer at Shopify. She is also the founder of Side x Side Collective, an organization affecting change within the design industry by providing women, agender, and non-binary designers and technologists with goal-oriented mentorship and support.

Philippe Jean - Instructor, Certificate in UX DesignPhilippe Jean

Philippe is a Product Designer and Design Educator based in Toronto, Canada. This hybrid role is a reflection of Philippe’s belief in the importance of bridging the gap between design academia and industry. As a Product Designer at Index Exchange, Philippe helps to define problems, interpret product requirements, and understand the needs of users. Day to day, Philippe diverges and then converges solutions through a process of ideation, prototyping, and testing. By working collaboratively with cross-functional teams, such as product management and software engineers, Philippe discovers and clarifies the what and the why of products while leveraging expertise in user experience, visual design, and product strategy to define the how. As a Design Educator , Philippe aims to activate creativity and to foster critical thinking and strong decision making from students within their academic projects. As such, by emphasizing outcome over output, Philippe intends to apply a holistic design education to ultimately shape designers with a strong, personal voice and who can potentially provide leadership in their projects.

Courses

Fundamentals of UX Design

Learn the tools, practices and disciplines involved in the practice and theory of user experience design (UX Design).  UX Design is the theory and practice of designing an emergent experience by carefully selecting and synchronizing intersection points between a human experiencer and a technological system.   Get an overview of the wide range of disciplines involved in the theory and practices of user experience design and learn to explain their interactions. Gain foundational knowledge required to successfully complete the remaining three practical courses in the program.

UX Design Research

Learn how to conduct, synthesize, and share qualitative research with design and product teams. Tackle the differences between quantitative and qualitative research and cover a variety of common research methods used within product and agency environments. Gain hands-on experience writing research plans, discussion guides, and conducting user interviews. In addition, learn how to synthesize these findings, and develop themes and strategic direction that emerge from the data and practice sharing these findings in a written and oral format.

Visual Design, Wireframing and Prototyping

Gain an understanding of the full spectrum of creating various wireframe fidelities, mocks and design validating artifacts. Using a collaborative approach, practice how to translate ideas and preliminary concepts into meaningful user interfaces to support business goals and user needs.  Learn the fundamental principles and theories and gain hands-on experience with industry standards for visual design, interactive design, and usability testing methodologies. Learn techniques on how to get participants’ feedback from prototyping to develop and leverage design solutions according to insights and collected data. Lastly, learn design systems and establish a strategy by cataloging design assets/components into a universal ecosystem.

Applied UX Design

Investigate the practical aspects of innovation and how design tools and methods can be used to deploy a viable product/solution. Design processes and techniques will be put into practice through various applied projects. Present your design concepts verbally as well as visually at a professional level. Evaluate a product for customer insights, mechanical UX features, marketing context, and design aesthetics and present new concepts as realized through the design/innovation process. A final presentation will be made representing a high level of professional finish, including but not limited to drawings, marketing materials, sketch models, and finished solutions for a real-life industry partner.

Course information is subject to change

Program Policies

 

Confidentiality and Financial Security

Given the experiential and practical nature of the courses and the application of Ontario’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) to York University, The School of Continuing Studies works to ensure that instructors and participants acknowledge and respect the privacy and confidentiality of personal information that may be presented in the context of instruction. Instructors will limit the amount of personal information that is collected, used or disclosed in their sessions, and will ensure that all identifying personal information (including proper name, address, etc.) is omitted from all written documents in order to protect personal privacy and confidentiality. Instructors should not bring or share personal or other confidential files or records with the class or allow students to do so.

We are committed to protecting your privacy and your financial security, and we do this in several ways:

  • Your credit card information is never received or stored by our system. Only your financial institution has access to your credit card information.
  • Your Student Portal is password-protected. To access any personal and academic information, you must enter your username and portal password.

York University Privacy Policy

How to Register

All registrations are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration is not guaranteed and programs can reach its maximum enrolment capacity, so early registration is recommended.

The School of Continuing Studies reserves the right to alter fees, other charges, instructors and course dates/locations.

Online – Visit our website at continue.yorku.ca to register in any course or program offered by the School of Continuing Studies.

Fees

The School of Continuing Studies allows students in this program to pay in multiple installments. You must pay the initial payment as stated below and with the remainder paid upon program start.

The instalment plan comes with a one-time, non-refundable administrative fee of $125 due at the time of registration. The following are the details of the instalment plan policy according to the program you have registered for:

  • Customized payment plans are available to those being partially or fully reimbursed by their employer. For further information please contact the Registration and Student Records Coordinator at 416-736-5616.
  • A student that fails to make instalment payments as required will not be permitted to continue in the program.

Mailing Address and Changes in Personal Status

All correspondence, including your registration confirmation, grade report and refund cheque, will be sent to the email address provided at the time of registration.
To maintain accurate student records, notification of any changes to your name, address and contact information are required. To update your personal information:

  • Log in to the Student Portal with your student ID and password and update your personal information OR
  • go online to Contact Us and email all changesOR
  • submit a written request to the Registration and Student Records Coordinator at regscs@yorku.ca

All name-change requests must be accompanied by official documentation justifying such a change.

We will not accept telephone requests to change a name or address.

Education and Amount Certificates (Income Tax Receipts) (T2202A)

Income Tax receipts will be available online in February of the following year. Please refer to the income tax guide for allowable deductions.

Session Transfer

Students must contact the Program Manager for permission to transfer to another session.

Transfer requests are only granted for documented medical reasons. Please contact the program manager for information on the required documentation.

Withdrawal from the Program

Students registered in a part-time program that is less than 1 year in length may withdraw from the program. However, they are strongly advised to consult with the Program Manager before a final decision is made. A full refund is granted only when the School of Continuing Studies cancels a program. Refunds will be issued using the initial method of payment or by cheque, if original payment was made by money order. Withdrawal requests must be submitted on the official School of Continuing Studies Withdrawal Request Form to the School of Continuing Studies and subject to the terms listed below.

 

  • If you withdraw 7 calendar days prior to the start of the program, you will receive a 75% refund of program tuition instalment and no academic penalty.
  • If you withdraw between 6 calendar days prior to the start of the program to 7 calendar days after the start of the program, you will receive a 50% refund of program tuition instalment and a $50 administrative fee and no academic penalty.
  • No refunds will be issued after the first 7 days of the program.

Refunds will be issued using the initial method of payment or by cheque, if original payment was made by money order.

Notification of change or cancellation of classes

When necessary, the School of Continuing Studies may alter, postpone or cancel classes. In these instances, students will be notified by email, based on the information provided at the time of registration.
Cancellations or changes will also be posted on the School of Continuing Studies Twitter account.

Cancellation of courses/programs – Fee Refunds

The School of Continuing Studies reserves the right to withdraw or cancel programs/courses. Should a course or program be withdrawn or cancelled, the School will issue a full refund of fees paid.

University Policy on Student Conduct

Students and instructors are expected to maintain a professional relationship characterized by courtesy, collegiality and mutual respect, and to refrain from actions that would be disruptive to such a relationship;

It is the responsibility of the instructor to maintain an appropriate academic atmosphere in the classroom, and the responsibility of the student to cooperate in that endeavour; and,

The instructor is the best person to decide, in first instance, whether such an atmosphere is present in the class, and may, at their discretion, take steps that they feel are appropriate to resolve an issue or dispute.

In any case where a student feels that this policy has been violated, they are urged to notify the instructor of the course/program as soon as possible. Students may be asked to provide a detailed written description of their complaint to the instructor. The instructor may take measures they feel are appropriate to resolve the issue and/or may forward the complaint to the Program Manager for review. Please refer to the full policy document on the York University website at: http://www.yorku.ca/scdr/

Grading

Students registered in certificate programs will be evaluated using the following categories of achievement:

Grade Grade Point Per Cent Range Description
A+ 9 90-100 Exceptional
A 8 80-89 Excellent
B+ 7 75-79 Very Good
B 6 70-74 Good
C+ 5 65-69 Competent
C 4 60-64 Fairly Competent
D+ 3 55-59 Passing
D 2 50-54 Marginally Passing
E 1 (marginally below 50%) Marginally Failing
F 0 (below 50%) Failing


Note: 
all of the above-noted grades are used to calculate averages and credits.

Definitions of Grading Descriptions

A+ Exceptional. Thorough knowledge of concepts and/or techniques and exceptional skill or great originality in the use of those concepts/techniques in satisfying the requirements of an assignment or course.

A Excellent. Thorough knowledge of concepts and/or techniques together with a high degree of skill and/or some elements of originality in satisfying the requirements of an assignment or course.

B+ Very Good. Thorough knowledge of concepts and/or techniques together with a fairly high degree of skill in the use of those concepts/techniques in satisfying the requirements of an assignment or course.

B Good. Good level of knowledge of concepts and/or techniques together with considerable skill in using them to satisfy the requirements of an assignment or course.

C+ Competent. Acceptable level of knowledge of concepts and/or techniques together with considerable skill in using them to satisfy the requirements of an assignment or course.

C Fairly Competent. Acceptable level of knowledge of concepts and/or techniques together with some skill in using them to satisfy the requirements of an assignment or course.

D+ Passing. Slightly better than minimal knowledge of required concepts and/or techniques together with some ability to use them in satisfying the requirements of an assignment or course.

D Barely Passing. Minimum knowledge of concepts and/or techniques needed to satisfy the requirements of an assignment or course.

E Marginally Failing.

F Failing.

Students must achieve a passing grade in each course as they progress through the program. In the event that a student does not receive a passing grade, they must retake that course in the following session—and subsequently pass that course—before proceeding to successive courses.

Grade Appeal and Reappraisal and Petitions

Students may, with sufficient grounds, request a reappraisal of any “tangible” work required for a course/program. Tangible work may include written, graphic, digitized, modelled, video recording or audio recording formats. Students seeking a grade reappraisal must complete and submit the attached form, along with the original work and instructions for the assignment, to the Program Manager within 2 weeks of the date of issue of the letter of grade.
Students and instructors will be informed in writing of the reappraisal result and the reappraiser’s comments. The School of Continuing Studies will ensure the anonymity of both the student and the reappraiser.

Download a Grade Reappraisal form

Financial Petitions

You may submit a financial petition if you experience a serious documented medical illness or a death of an immediate family member that causes you to drop courses. Financial petitions may be granted at the discretion of the University, and will be considered for a period of one year after the occurrence of the illness or death.

The Financial Petition form is located here: http://sfs.yorku.ca/refunds/petitions/

Please complete the form and return it via email cpehelp@yorku.ca or via fax at 416-650-8042.

Register for this Program