Whether you’re considering a career in UX for the first time or are already employed in a related field, a career in UX design can be exciting, rewarding, and even lucrative! However, finding the best route into UX design, or the best UX training program or bootcamp, can sometimes seem daunting if you haven’t investigated it before and aren’t sure which option is the best for you. 

The internet is full of UX training bootcamps, however not all of them are created equal, and not every bootcamp will be right for you. Ultimately, the best option for you will depend on not just the academic rigor of the course, but also your personal circumstances. This will include your desired career path, allocated budget, and the time you have available to study around other commitments.

Here we’ll explain what a UX bootcamp is, before we explore what makes a good UX training program and identify some of the best UX bootcamps available for 2022.

What Is A UX Bootcamp?

A UX bootcamp is an in-depth, immersive, and often intensive training program for anyone looking to start a career in UX design. 

A UX bootcamp will normally take students through a comprehensive syllabus of learning to support them in becoming ready for a career in UX design. Typically, a quality UX bootcamp will be career-focused and cover everything from the basics of UX design and the tools used by UX designers through to creating a professional portfolio and applying for jobs.

In case you don’t already know, UX refers to ‘user experience’ and is often defined as the way a user interacts with a website or product. A UX designer will typically work to improve user experience at every stage of a user’s journey or interaction with a website or product. Roles in UX often cover a broad range of factors, including usability, accessibility, information architecture, research and UI design, to name a few. 

What Makes a Good UX Bootcamp?

There are a plethora of UX bootcamps on offer, which can make it confusing when trying to assess which UX training program is ‘the best’ (or at least the best for you). The truth is each UX bootcamp has its own unique offering, all with their own merits. Reviews, academic rigor, and the industry connections associated with a UX bootcamp are incredibly important—however most people will benefit from selecting a UX bootcamp that also works best for their learning preferences and current situation. 

What this looks like for you will depend on a number of different variables, such as your level of experience, how much time you have available to study, and the career path you’re looking to pursue. However, there are many factors that you’ll want to consider before committing to studying in a UX bootcamp. These are:

Study Time

UX bootcamps can vary when it comes to minimum required study time. Many courses offer part-time and full-time options, however some are more intense than others. You’ll want to be realistic and consider both how much time you have to study around work and other commitments, as well as your current level of knowledge against the intensity and rigor of the course.

Syllabus & Course Content

If you’re looking to study to gain work in UX design, rather than for personal interest, you may want to pay particular attention to the course content of each UX training program. Studying the wrong elements of UX design, or opting for a course that misses out on key elements, may make you less qualified for some jobs. To avoid making the wrong decision, research the quality of any UX bootcamps you’re interested in enrolling on. 

Here are some questions to ask:

  • Is the course created by UX experts? 
  • Is the syllabus up-to-date and does it cover all of the latest methods, trends, tools, and software typically used by UX designers? 
  • How well respected is it in the industry?
  • Where have alumni from the course found work, and what are their opinions of their learning experience?

A Full Breadth of UX Topics

It’s not uncommon for students to find that their interests and career ambitions may change slightly as they learn more about UX. There are many different positions in UX design, as well as lots of crossover with other areas, such as UI. While a shorter, more limited course may suit some, a more comprehensive program will often cover a greater depth and breadth of topics, often presenting better post-graduation employment opportunities. Make sure that the UX bootcamp you choose offers learning across the full UX process, including topics like UX research, information architecture, interaction design, UI design, prototyping, testing, and handoff.

UX Portfolios

One important element to look out for when it comes to assessing a potential UX bootcamp is the level of support it offers when it comes to building a comprehensive UX portfolio. While some UX bootcamps are more theoretical in nature, others offer more practical exercises which can be useful for building your portfolio. 

In many ways your UX portfolio is one of your most important assets in getting a job after your study has concluded, as it showcases to employers the quality of your work, your experience, and what you are capable of. A UX portfolio is something that you’ll want to build on throughout your career and can be useful for securing better positions and even freelance work. However, it can be especially important when you’re first starting out and have little direct UX experience, as it will be one of your main tools for communicating your ability to potential employers. 

To ensure you’re going to come out of the UX bootcamp with the type of portfolio you’re looking for, it’s best to take a look at the portfolios of graduates coming out of the program before you enroll. Make sure to check they’re different from each other, and tell an individual story! 

UX Design Course Fees

Whichever UX bootcamp you opt for, it’s natural that cost will be a significant consideration in the decision-making process. A career in UX can be lucrative and, with many job vacancies at present, employment prospects look bright. However, the financial commitment represents a significant investment for many, so it will be important to keep a number of things in mind when looking at the bottom line. 

As well as considering your budget, and what you can afford through savings or loans, quality for money is also key. Going for the cheapest course may not always be the best option if it doesn’t offer the best return on investment in terms of the program’s content, reputation, mentorship, support, and potential employment prospects. It’s usually best to consider cost in relation to the rigor and quality of the course itself, rather than in isolation.

It’s also worth mentioning that many UX providers, including Designlab, offer scholarship programs. Entry requirements and the amount covered by any scholarship fund is usually different depending on the provider, however aspects such as your background and academic achievement are likely to be considered. 

10 Of The Best UX Design Bootcamps For 2022

By now you should have a good idea about what a career in UX design entails, what makes a good UX bootcamp, and what you’re looking for when it comes to studying UX design. So, what UX bootcamps are there? 

Here we’ve identified the top ten most popular, high-quality, rigorous, employer-friendly, and well-respected UX bootcamps. In alphabetical order, here are 10 of the best UX design bootcamps for 2022:

BrainStation

In addition to courses in data science, design, marketing, and cybersecurity, BrainStation also has a UX bootcamp which can be studied part-time or full-time via its Online Live platform. Although currently on pause due to the pandemic, it’s also normally possible to study at one of their bases in New York, Miami, London, Vancouver, or Ontario. 

The bootcamp is a collaborative and project-based course with great instructors and a syllabus that is regularly updated. Their UX bootcamp covers the key tenets of UX, with a comprehensive curriculum that covers many aspects including UX design fundamentals, UX design processes, industry tools, research, strategy, user interface, app design, and professional career development. 

Pros and cons: BrainStation’s offering has many pros, including highly-rated instructors, a comprehensive syllabus, and one of the best job placement programs. However, some reviews mention that the course is a bit more expensive than others on the market, and the ROI could therefore be deemed as questionable.

CareerFoundry

CareerFoundry’s Certified UX Designer program is an online UX bootcamp which features comprehensive modules for students looking to switch careers into UX/UI design, web development, or data analytics. Based in Berlin, Germany, CareerFoundry offers courses to students all around the world. Lasting under 10 months, their course is flexible, allowing students to learn around other commitments. 

Taking a human-centric approach to learning, the course includes access to a tutor, mentor, and detailed written and video feedback. Their program covers the main skills that employers look for, including the tools most commonly used by those working in UX design. The CareerFoundry UX bootcamp has two core modules, Intro to UX Design and UX Immersion, as well as the option to choose a specialism in UI for Designers, Voice User Interface Design, or Frontend Development for Designers.

Pros and cons: In reviews, CareerFoundry’s UX offering is often praised for being well structured, and set at a good pace. Their helpful mentors are also popular, although some have highlighted a little less support with help to find a job once the course has concluded, as well as fewer portfolio projects than other options.

UX Academy

A leading UX/UI training provider with a big focus on mentor-led quality learning and curriculum that’s produced in-house, here at Designlab we offer a rigorous, career-focused UX Academy. Through a part-time or full-time track, our UX bootcamp teaches in-demand UX/UI design skills and is designed for those looking to transition into a career in UX design. 

Through over 480 hours of study, students complete over 100 hands-on exercises and build a valuable professional portfolio with four in-depth portfolio projects, with the help of mentorship from top designers. UX Academy covers everything from design basics, UX Research and Information Architecture, Interaction Design, UI Design, Prototyping, Testing,Iteration and Implementation - all to ensure you get a thorough understanding across the full UX design process. There’s also a huge focus on community aspects such as weekly Group Crits, lively and engaged Slack communities, and a Student Life Committee that runs empower hours, meet and greets, and virtual field trips.

As a prerequisite to UX Academy, we offer UX Academy Foundations, a course which is ideal for those new to the field of UX design. Lasting 4 to 8 weeks, the course covers visual and UI design and ends in a final project you can use in your UX Academy application.

Pros and cons: UX Academy is widely recognized as being comprehensive, with perhaps the most rigorous curriculum of any UX bootcamp out there, and therefore some of the highest quality graduate portfolios. However, the course does assume some prior UX design knowledge, which makes completing the UX Academy Foundations course necessary in most cases.

Flatiron School

In addition to courses in software engineering, data science, and cybersecurity, Flatiron School provides a 15-week Product Design (UX/UI design) Bootcamp. Also available for part time study (over 20, 40, or 60 weeks), the course is provided predominantly online, although prior to the pandemic some on-campus study could be completed in key US cities, including New York, Chicago, and Austin. Core modules include the UX and UI process. This is complemented by hands-on learning and tutorials on compiling a professional portfolio.

Pros and cons: Flatiron School’s offering is perhaps one of the most inclusive study options, as well as one of the most flexible to study. However, compared to some other UX bootcamps it is a little more pricey and does not offer a job guarantee.

General Assembly

With 15 campuses over four continents, General Assembly offers several tech courses that are available to study either remotely or on-campus in multiple US cities and international hubs such as New York, London, Paris, and Toronto. Their User Experience Design Immersive bootcamp, available for study full-time or part-time covers the fundamentals of UX and UI, as well as Design Iteration and Development. There are also other units including on how to plan your career and work with product teams. 

Pros and cons: General Assembly’s bootcamp is comprehensive, fun to learn, and has one of the best alumni networks. While the course offers some mentorship it’s not as well developed as some similar courses and the pace of study can also be less flexible for those wanting to study around other commitments—there’s also a pretty large price tag. 

Interaction Design Foundation

Interaction Design Foundation offers a few different UX bootcamps, including UX Fundamentals (for beginners), UX Portfolio & Career (for those with prior working knowledge of UX), and bootcamps focusing on User Research and User Interface Design. The courses are all remote learning, part-time (8-10 hours for 12 weeks) and have a focus on real-world learning and preparing students for the job market.

Pros and cons: Interaction Design Foundation’s offering is one of the most affordable and offers lots of support including critique on portfolios and mock interviews. It’s also very focused on UX specifically, meaning that related principles and learning can be missed. It’s also been said that their bootcamps are more suited to people who need to upgrade their existing UX portfolio, rather than learn the craft from scratch.

Ironhack

Ironhack offers several bootcamps, including in UX/UI design, as well as web development, data analytics, and cybersecurity. Their hands-on UX/UI bootcamp is designed around helping students get a job in tech and covers fundamental UX elements including user experience, research, Figma, design thinking, and user interface. The course can be studied full-time in 9 weeks, or part-time in 24 weeks, and is suitable for beginners. It’s possible to study the course remotely, as well as in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Lisbon, Madrid, Mexico City, Miami, Paris, and Sao Paulo.

Pros and cons: Often voted the most ‘beginner friendly’, Ironhack’s UX/UI bootcamp is also one of the best rated. The course can be completed in a relatively short amount of time, however it offers relatively limited self-directed learning for those who prefer more independent study.

Learn.UI design

Although Learn.UI design leads with its UI course, this provider also offers a comprehensive UX online bootcamp. Video-based, the course includes 31 lessons and covers the fundamentals of UX design, including the tools needed to work as a UX designer and the common methods and processes used in the field. 

The videos are broken down into six key areas on the syllabus, including the fundamentals of interaction design, design patterns and best practices, user research and testing, and communicating design. The bootcamp aims to bring beginners up to a professional standard, and comes with downloadable exercises, checklists and a community chat function which allows students to connect with each other. 

Pros and cons: The Learn.UI design UX/UI offering is well established and has a reputation for providing great practical skills. This also means that it is less theoretical in nature and not as heavily focused as some other bootcamps on aspects such as design thinking.

Springboard

With a range of online courses across different tech disciplines, Springboard also has online design-led bootcamps, including Introduction to Design, a 4-week mentor-led course which provides a comprehensive overview of design fundamentals. For those looking for in-depth and career-focused study, Springboard also has a 6-month UX Career Track bootcamp, as well as a 9-month UI/UX Design Career Track course which also includes study on UI design. Requiring around 15-20 hours of study a week to complete, their courses are flexible with a focus on mentorship, access to thought leaders and learning practical skills.

Pros and cons: This is one of the highest rated UX bootcamps out there. It has many benefits including a job guarantee, good mentorship, and the course also includes an industry design project which can be great to show employers. Some reviews have highlighted that parts of the offering are a little dated, and that a lot of the material is sourced from external resources rather than produced in-house. 

Thinkful

Thinkful offers a remote learning UX/UI design bootcamp, with flexible payment options and support from industry professionals and mentors. The bootcamp takes around 5-6 months to complete, depending on the option you go for, with some courses also available to study part-time. 

The UX/UI Bootcamp, which matches students with career coaches, provides a comprehensive run down of the key fundamentals in UX/UI design—with modules including UX/UI Design Fundamentals and Visual Design. The bootcamp also includes modules which guide students in designing their first product, how to build a professional portfolio, and how to start a job search after graduation.

Pros and cons: Thinkful’s bootcamp offers good front-end fundamentals and is one of the best for career coaching options. It’s also reasonably priced, however the course does take longer (at least 5 months) than many others to complete.


We hope this list of 10 UX design bootcamps helps you in making a decision on where you’d like to place your investment in learning UX design in 2022!

If you’re interested in exploring our UX Academy program as one of your UX bootcamp options, you can book a call with an Admissions Rep to learn more. We’d also recommend checking out the prerequisite course, UX Academy Foundations.

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Team Designlab

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