Are you starting out as a UX/UI designer and looking for ways to expand your knowledge without breaking the bank? Are you unsure which free resources are reliable and actually worth the time investment? Good news for you! Today we are presenting our creme-de-la-creme, top hot picks of the best FREE UX UI design online courses. No fluff, no short-form articles, just actual courses packed with juicy knowledge on UX and UI. So strap yourself in and get ready to boost your UX career.
1. CareerFoundry - UX Design Short Course
CareerFoundry has long built its reputation on helping its students not only learn the skills needed to thrive in UX design (and other fields), but also in actively assisting each individual as they strive to land their first role. No easy feat! This short course is no different. As well as offering a thorough introduction to UX design and its processes, students will learn about the UX job market and how to put together a professional portfolio ready to impress potential employers in job interviews.
Price: Free (with the potential to upgrade later).
How long it will take you: There are six daily lessons, each lasting about 15 minutes. You can choose to do practical tasks and analyses throughout the course as well.
Who is it for: A beginner in the UX world.
Why we love it: Curated and written by the same experts who created their full UX Design Program for career changers, this free, UX short course provides a comprehensive and practical introduction to UX design. Students will learn the basics from what UX actually is and why it’s so important, to the fundamentals of UX processes. In addition, students onboard some of the key skills needed to be successful in the field. If you’re new to UX and curious about what a longer course might entail, this is a great starting point.
2. Udacity – Product Design by Google
Udacity is all about lifelong learning and empowerment through education, and we love it! Lots of Udacity courses are free to start with a possibility to upgrade later. We’ve found the one which is perfect for anyone who has set out to learn about Product Design!
Price: free (with a potential upgrade)
How long it will take you: about 2 months
Who is it for: intermediate-level designers, who are familiar with UX basics
Why we love it: The course is instructed by people who work in Product Design at Google, so you know from the get-go – this one is a goldie. It’s centered around the idea of product validation and UX through Design Sprints (wooo go Sprints!) and offers a nice mix of theory and practice on the topics. A robust program covers 4 main areas: ideation and validation, UX/UI design, Design Sprints, and key metrics.
If you’re interested in going deeper with Design Sprints then we have a free 1.5 hour webinar that talks allll about how to start running Sprints confidently. Watch it here.
3. DesignTalk by InVision
DesignTalk is a series of webinars and online talks from practitioners working at companies like Airbnb, InVision, and Buffer. They’re all open, free and full of in-depth insights.
How long it will take you: one episode is about 1 to 2 hours
Who is it for: anyone from beginner to advanced UX designer
Why we love it: DesignTalk is an amazing chance to great real-life advice from people who know the industry inside and out. The array of topics is also impressive, so you can really pick and choose what you’d like to find out more about. Oh, and did we mention there are 88 episodes you can watch, with new ones coming out regularly?!
4. DesignBetter by InVision
This is an absolute fave of ours! DesignBetter is packed with free nuggets of knowledge which, as the name says, help you design better. There are quite a few handbooks available for download, but the one we got our eye on is the Principles of Product Design.
How long it will take you: the handbook is 183 pages long so depending on your schedule it could take anywhere between a couple of days to a couple of weeks
Who is it for: a beginner in the UX world, looking to learn the fundamentals of product design.
Why we love it: all DesignBetter handbooks are easy to read, yet filled with in-depth insights. We’re talking actual step-by-step instructions, detailed information, and no ambiguous talk.
Join our FREE community and connect with other Facilitators and Workshoppers
5. Coursera – Introduction to User Experience Design
Coursera offers tons of online courses, taught by professors from some of the best universities in the world! The courses are free to attend, though to receive an official certification you’ll need to pay.
How long it will take you: approximately 7 hours of dedicated work
Who is it for: newbies wanting to learn UX design
Why we love it: This UX course is a reaaalllly thorough way to get your basics right. The syllabus covers the introduction to UI, Information design, User Experience research, prototyping, and design principles. Besides, if you do decide to upgrade at some point, the prices are beyond fair.
6. Future Learn – Digital Skills: User Experience
Future Learn is a Massive Open Online Course learning platform, and is definitely worth checking out on its own! We’ve browsed through it and the UX course that stood out to us was Digital Skills: User Experience.
How long it will take you: 3 weeks, granted you invest 2 hours of your time per week to the course
Who is it for: newbies in the world of UX design
Why we love it: the course has a robust program, covering pretty much everything a beginner UX designer should know. From the importance of UX design to basics like user journeys, visual design, and wireframes to tools and testing.
Related: Have you watched our FREE 1.5-hour free Design Sprint webclass?
7. Hack Design
Hack Design is an easy to follow online course, with one primary objective – making design less subjective and inaccessible. You can read the first 50 lessons online for free AND subscribe to a mailing list to get a new design lesson each week.
How long it will take you: Anywhere from a few weeks to a few months
Who is it for: anyone in the UX/UI design world
Why we love it: ahhh, where do we start with this one. Everything about this UX resource is GOLD. From the convenience of getting the lessons delivered right into your inbox, to the design community behind it, and all the neat little extras (like this toolkit that will help you navigate the ocean of design tools). The array of topics is impressive as well, so we highly recommend you check this one out.
Join Facilitator Club and discover the support and resources you need to take your facilitation skills to the next level!
8. LinkedIn Learning
Lynda.com, which is now part of LinkedIn Learning, is an online course platform offering courses on a pretty wide array of themes (for instance, UX design courses!). Though they’re not for free, you can get a free month pass. Why not make the most of it?!
Price: first month free, subscription starting at $25 after the trial period
How long it will take you: the UX/UI courses on Lynda are quite brief: anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours of learning time. See how many you can fit into the trial month, but we suggest not going toooo crazy, so you actually have time to process the learnings.
Who is it for: newbies and experienced designers alike
Why we love it: There’re a ton of courses to choose from, which are geared for different levels of knowledge. So really, you can come back to Lynda anytime to level up your skills.
9. Material Design Guidelines by Google
This resource is narrow-focused, but oh so good we couldn’t not include it! Google released design guidelines on Material Design and it’s a real pleasure to look at.
How long will it take you: there’s a ton of material on the website, so estimate a good few days to power through it.
Who is it for: all UI designers looking to upgrade their skills in Material Design
Why we love it: it’s thorough, well-designed and nicely written – a win on all fronts!
10. Envato Tuts+
Envato is a marketplace for graphics, WordPress themes, and all kinds of creative assets. Their Tuts+ platform is completely free and has tutorials and how-to’s on web design, photography, and code.
How long will it take you: the bite-sized courses will not take you long, but there are lots of them on the platform.
Who is it for: anyone from a UX/UI beginner to a pro.
Why we love it: new courses are added regularly, so there’s always something to look forward to! The short-form format also makes it easy to learn little chunks at a time and reduces the friction of committing to a full-blown course.
11. Ultimate Start Guide for Beginner UX/UI Designers
Ok, we know we said no articles, but this one is too good not to share. The Ultimate Start Guide was created by Johny Vino, a designer on a self-proclaimed mission of humanizing design. Johny has been collecting resources, tools, and tips that have helped him in his career over the past five years and summarized his experience in this Ultimate Guide.
How long will it take you: 6 minutes
Who is it for: a beginner UX/UI designer
Why we love it: it’s real, concise and to the point. It’s also coming from someone who was in the same shoes a few years back, so you know that this guide will address all the pain-points and struggles of a newbie UX/UI designer.
BONUS #12. The AJ&Smart YouTube channel!
Ok maybe we’re a little biased, and yes we know, it’s not a course…BUT we pour a shedload of love and attention into our YouTube channel to make it a trusted hub that supports people in advancing their careers and becoming happier and more fulfilled at work. From simple workshop ideas, facilitation tips UX designers can use to advance their career, and guides to the hottest UX/UI design tools, you’ll find a treasure trove of knowledge-nuggets over there. Oh, and of course it’s completely free!
So that concludes our list of free courses that you can use to learn UX and UI for free! These resources are a great place to start and get an overall understanding of the UX/UI landscape. Let us know if there are other resources that we absolutely need to include on the list, or whether you tried the ones mentioned above. We’d love to hear from you!
If you’d like more insights about UX and UI design, check out some of our other posts on the subject:
UX Designer Salary Guide (and how to increase your salary as a UX designer)
UX Bootcamp vs Design Degree: Which One Should You Choose?