A Beginner's Guide to User Experience

Jose Hurtado
4 min readApr 28, 2021


I started learning about User-Centered design processes and UX methodologies like user research, user flow, prototyping, and testing using some resources like: YouTube, Udemy, Medium, Coursera, and every link I received in my inbox, and to be honest, this ISN’T the best practice but sometimes and for some learners works.

To add some context to the story, let me explain how found the IDF website: One day I read an article inside the IDF (Interaction Design Foundation) website about User Research (A 10-step Guide to be specific), part of my secondary research for a client project, and the first impression was how well organized and the amount of content this website display for free, and immediately checked the price tab to compare with other platforms we currently use on the Agency for research and literature, but to make the story long short, I started to learn on this platform using the foundation path of learning, User Experience: The Beginner’s Guide was the first course.

User Experience: The Beginner’s Guide

In this course with an estimated learning time of 6 weeks and divide into 6 lessons, you’ll learn some topics like:

  • Carry out a user-focused design process to create designs that are truly relevant to users.
  • Communicate to internal and external stakeholders about the importance of UX design and user research.
  • Carry out a design process that avoids the most common mistakes seen in design projects of designers who are new to UX.
  • Analyze and improve the visceral, behavioral, and reflective levels of the user experience of existing products or services.

Let’s recap some relevant topics by lesson below:

Lesson 1: Introduction to User Experience

In this lesson basically, I learned and polish some knowledge about user experience and introduce topics like:

  • Areas of design categorized under the umbrella of ‘user experience’
  • Why you should care about user experience
  • Mind Empathy Gap
  • Usability as part of user experience
  • Human-Centered Design
This video by Matthew Magain from UX Mastery provides a great informal overview of the discipline of UX Design

Lesson 2: Why You Should Care About User Experience

This lesson focuses on why you should conduct user experience design and what you will get out of it.

Within this lesson we will cover:

  • Return on Investment on user experience design
  • How to Sell UX Design to Clients
  • The Benefits of UX Design
  • User Research: What It Is and Why You Should Do It

Lesson 3: Understanding User Experience

In this lesson, Marc Hassenzahl will help you get a better understanding of what user experience is. Marc Hassenzahl is the professor of Experience Design at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, Germany, and some of the most relevant topics covered are:

  • Why you should design for experiences rather than product features.
  • Guidelines for doing experience design
  • Future directions for experience design.

Lesson 4: Three Aspects of Product Experience

During this lesson the old man of user experience, Don Norman’s teach you the three levels of experience design:

  • Visceral Design: What is our immediate impression of a design?
  • Behavioral Design: What is our experience when we use a design?
  • Reflective Design: How do we interpret a design and what does it mean to us?

For who need to know who is Don Norman, is the co-founder and Principal Emeritus of Nielsen Norman Group, University professor, industry executive, company advisor, electrical engineer, psychologist, computer scientist, cognitive scientist, designer, speaker and author fo the best seller book “The Design of Everyday Things” for my personal opinion the UX Bible.

The three ways that good design makes you happy | Don Norman

Lesson 5: Emotion and Experience

This lesson focused on how to consider emotions when conducting experience design. It also briefly touched upon the importance of understanding your target group when conducting experience design.

  • Emotions in Systems
  • Application Areas
  • The process behind designing a positive experience with virtual Christmas crackers
  • Why it’s important to consider who your target group is when you want to design for the ‘peak’ positive experience.

Lesson 6: Design Thinking: A Non-Linear Process

5 stages in the design thinking process

Design thinking is a user-centered design process that takes an understanding of the users and the kinds of experiences that are relevant for them as the starting point for all design work.

This lesson covered the 5 stages in the design thinking process for going from idea to finished:

  • Empathize with your users (Ask What? How? Why?)
  • Define the Problem and Interpret the Results
  • Ideation Methods
  • Prototypes (Low-Fidelity & High-Fidelity)
  • Testing Process

My Conclusion and Suggestions

My Final thoughts

If you want to read more about the IDF, relevant reviews, featured publications, starts your UX journey, or get an industry-recognized course certificates, I definetly recommend IDF as a place to start or polish the existing UX/UI Knowledge, also if you want a career shift from any field to UX design feel free to use the link below:

Get 2 Months of Free Membership

Thanks for reading👏




Jose Hurtado

Digital Product Designer | Software Engineer | Over 20years Helping Companies to improve User experience and Interfaces | 🚀 IxDF & UXPA member