We've picked the best online courses available to help you start learning UX design for free.
Are you looking for a way to learn more about the field of user experience (UX) design without investing money in a full-fledged UX bootcamp or design degree?
Good news: there are a wealth of free UX design courses currently available online. These courses teach everything from the absolute basic understanding of what UX design is (and why it’s important) to more advanced topics like information architecture, user testing, and design thinking.
To save you time—and help you start learning UX faster—we’ve created a curated list of the best courses available to learn UX design online for free.
Benefits of Free vs. Paid UX/UI Design Courses
The internet is full of free resources, including some standout UX/UI design course content. When you’re comparing free versus paid options, there’s a few general pros and cons that you’ll want to note:
Easy on the wallet (heh), so you can test out UX design tools and techniques without any pressure
Smaller, more focused classes that are easy to fit into a busy schedule
Self-led learning format, so you can learn at your own pace
Lack of personalized, in-depth feedback, which can make it difficult to know where you need to improve
No end-to-end design training and career support, so you have to figure out for yourself what exactly you need to be learning if you want to get a job as a UX designer
Content can be outdated (so make sure to check when it was created!)
Lack of dedicated 1:1 mentorship, which can make it challenging to find answers to deeper, more nuanced questions
Should I Look Specifically for a UX Design Course, Or Is It Better to Learn UX/UI Design?
UX and UI design are like two distinct sides to one coin: they make the most sense when you learn how they work in conjunction with one another. If you end up pursuing UX design as a career, you’ll find that many job listings require an assortment of UX and UI skills.
In short: while you might choose classes that focus on UX-only topics for the sake of time or bandwidth, it never hurts to broaden your skills and include some UI basics as well.
8 Places to Learn UX Design Online for Free
1. Figma 101: 7-Day Free Email Course
Figma is an industry standard, all-in-one UX/UI design tool that you can use whether you’re learning how to design wireframes or turning your work into a clickable prototype.
However, signing up for a tool and learning how to use it effectively as a UX designer are two very different things. That’s where this free 7-day course from Designlab comes in handy.
When you sign up for this course, you’ll receive straightforward, easy-to-implement lessons delivered straight to your inbox every day for a week. Or, you can view all the lessons at once here. Each lesson is focused on a single, actionable UX/UI topic, and will teach you how to accomplish tasks like:
Create a login screen for a mobile app
Design a logo and icon set
Use Figma’s prototyping feature to make your app screens clickable
Speaking of Figma … not only do they provide a standout design tool, but they also offer a suite of online classes, called Learn Design, for emerging UX designers who are serious about honing their craft.
Learn Design offers bite-sized classes that provide a solid introduction to design fundamentals that include:
12 lessons, packed with written content, great visuals, and links to other resources if you want to dive deeper
5 design exercises that help you to practice what you’ve learned
An online community on Spectrum where you can post questions and ask for feedback on your practice exercises.
Note: While Learn Design does include essential design techniques (like storyboards), you’ll notice that there’s a definite lean towards more visual and UI design than strict UX content.
3. Adobe XD 101: 7-Day Free Email Course
If you’re a big fan of Adobe products, you might be curious to learn more about Adobe XD, a UX/UI design tool with a look and feel that’s extremely similar to Figma. Since you only have 7 days to test out the features (after which you’ll have to pay for a subscription), you might enjoy Adobe XD 101: a 7-day email course gives you a structured plan and tutorials to practice using Adobe XD for UX design work.
In just 30 minutes a day, you’ll learn how to:
Create a high-fidelity design using features like repeat grid, stacks and more.
Prototype interactivity with your design using overlays, Auto-Animate and more.
Produce shareable links to get feedback and collaborate with stakeholders.
Are you a fan of learning with video lessons? LearnUX offers a nice variety of UX/UI online courses that are focused on UX topics like usability and user testing, as well as UI content like resolution and density for screen designs, etc.
5. Design Better by InVision
Videos can be an effective learning format, particularly for lessons on visual topics like design. However, if you’re like me and tend to prefer reading to watching videos, you might enjoy the wealth of free downloadable ebook resources available from Design Better by InVision. Each ebook is focused on a single topic (like Product Design, Design Thinking, or even Animation), and provides a comprehensive look at the subject.
Each ebook is available in standard PDF, EPUB, or audiobook format—or simply read it in your browser.
Do you love the InVision product suite? You might be interested in checking out their product-specific courses insideInVision Learn.
6. Hack Design
One of the best perks to signing up for an email course is that you’re sure to get daily (or weekly) reminders that you are, in fact, supposed to be learning UX design.
With Hack Design, you can sign up for weekly design lesson emails to be delivered straight to your inbox, where you can read and practice the lesson on your own time.
The first 50 lessons are available for free, no sign up required, so you can get a taste of the type of information you’ll be receiving each week.
7. Accenture’s User Experience Design Course on Future Learn
Future Learn is full of standout online courses on a variety of topics (not limited to UX design). While some of these courses require you to sign up for a $12/month membership, there are many that can be accessed for free.
If you’re looking for an intro to UX design, you can check out Accenture’s Digital Skills: User Experience Design course on the FutureLearn platform. This course is a valuable primer that gives you a foundational understanding of what UX design is and the impact it has on a business, as well as more advanced concepts like information architecture.
8. Envato Tuts+
Envato Tuts+ is a robust hub of self-directed online courses that teach creative skills and techniques. Design, illustration, and coding are just a few of the options available.
Their collection of UX design courses is perfect for beginner students who want more basic lessons on topics that range from tools that user experience designers use to more niche topics like effective e-commerce website design or responsive web design best practices.
Which Free UX or UI Design Course Is Best For You?
Even with this curated list of the best free UX design courses available online, it can feel overwhelming to decide which course you should start with … and where to go from there.
If this happens to you, it can be helpful to remember that UX design is a field of lifelong learning. While free online courses can be an incredibly valuable way to get grounded in the basics—or learn more about a specific topic—there will always be more to learn and experience as you continue to grow in your career.
The Next Step
Free online courses can be a great way to help you gain knowledge or practice on a specific topic within UX/UI design. However, it can be extremely challenging to establish a new career as a UX designer just by piecing together information gained from free courses.
If you’re ready to go all in and pursue a creative career in UX design, there are special courses designed to help you get up to speed on the fundamentals that you’ll need for a fully intensive UX bootcamp program.
In addition to gaining a solid understanding of UX/UI foundational skills (and mentorship with an experienced designer), all graduates of UX Academy Foundations are eligible for a $500 discount off their UX Academy tuition.
In other words: if you become a UX Academy student, then all the information and experience you gain through UX Academy Foundations can be had for free.