DesignLab is an online school of design that focuses on user experience (UX) and user interface (UI). With the frequent developments in digital design and design tools, DesignLab continues to ensure that its curriculum is up to par with the demands of the creative market. Find out if this is the design school for you through this comprehensive DesignLab review.
|DesignLab Quick Facts|
|Cost||$399 – $7,240|
|Start Dates||July 2nd – Short Courses
July 5th – UX Academy Foundations
July 19th – UX Academy
|Courses||UX Academy Foundations (Beginners), UX Academy (Full Program), Short Courses (Design 101, UI Design, UX Research and Strategy, UX Interaction Design)|
|Available Programs||Online, Part-time, Full-time|
DesignLab’s flagship program is its UX Academy program where you will be trained in both UX and UI design. DesignLab believes that students learn through constant feedback and hands-on support, which is why you are paired with an expert mentor. You will improve your craft in online design with the help of your mentor.
As well as the UX Academy program, there are short online courses on different aspects of design. If you have no prior experience in UX or web design, you can take a beginner’s course first that lasts for four to eight weeks.
If you want to specialize in UX design, then DesignLab is worth it. You will learn about in-demand UX and UI design trends, and acquire the necessary skills to give you an advantage in the job market. DesignLab takes a one-on-one learning approach, so you can receive mentor support while working on hands-on projects.
However, if you’re more interested in building websites then you might want to look at bootcamps that offer courses on web development. DesignLab is solely focused on UX/UI design methods and finding the optimal interface for user needs.
Since launching its UX Academy program in 2015, 702 DesignLab graduates have been hired based on their time at DesignLab. On average, a DesignLab graduate gets hired within 123 days. Since 2019, 231 students have received a job offer with the help of its new career services.
DesignLab does not offer a job guarantee. However, it has a strong career support and coaching program. This program provides career support for up to 24 weeks after you’ve completed the course to help you with your job hunting, with a total of 18 consulting sessions.
You will be paired with a career coach who will help you find a full-time or part-time role as a UX/UI or product designer. Your career coach will also guide you in your job search, polish your portfolio, and help you prepare for interviews.
A full-time course in the UX Academy program of DesignLab costs a total of $7,249. If you don’t have a design background, you’ll need to first take the UX Academy Foundations program, which costs $499. DesignLab also offers various short courses, which cost between $399 and $499.
If you are worried about how to pay for the UX Academy program, DesignLab has various options for you to consider. There are different payment schemes, loan financing, and scholarships available. You can also benefit from an additional $500 discount if you’ve previously taken the UX Academy Foundations program.
DesignLab offers a Diversify Design scholarship program for underrepresented groups in tech, such as BIPOC, women, LGBTQIA+ people, and people with disabilities. Every month, DesignLab offers one scholarship worth 50 percent of the UX Academy tuition. It also offers three additional scholarships of $1,000 each month.
DesignLab does not have any income share agreements listed on its website.
DesignLab partners with Climb Credit to offer students low-interest loan options. Depending on the terms, your total tuition amount could range from $6,941 to $7,611. Your expected monthly payment will be between $177 to $194. As with the other payment schemes, you can also expect a discount of $500 if you are a UX Academy Foundations student.
You will receive a discount of $400 if you pay for your tuition upfront. First, you’ll need to pay a deposit of $399 to secure your slot. Before the start of the first day of class, you must pay the remaining balance of $6,450. If you are a UX Academy Foundations student, you gain an additional discount of $500, making your total tuition only $6,749.
DesignLab offers a six-month tuition installment payment plan. After you pay the required course deposit of $399, the tuition payment will be divided into six equal payments of $1,125 per month.
DesignLab does not offer GI Bill benefits to its students.
DesignLab only offers online courses, which can be taken on a part-time or full-time schedule.
DesignLab’s main course is the UX Academy program that runs for 15 to 28 weeks depending on your chosen schedule. If you have no prior experience in web design, you can take the Foundations course, which starts a few weeks before UX Academy. There are also four short courses available focused on specialized topics.
If you don’t have any prior digital design training or experience, you have the option to learn the basic skills and concepts through the UX Academy Foundations. In this prep course, you will learn visual design concepts and practical skills with a design expert via a one-on-one session that lasts four to eight weeks. There are a total of eight sessions.
You will cover the basics of visual design, the principles and elements of UI design, colors, images and logos, and typography. You will also learn about designing for different types of devices as well as evaluating and critiquing a design. The final requirement is a 10-hour design challenge where you can apply your learnings to a design project.
Once you have completed the UX Academy Foundations program, you can immediately proceed to the full UX Academy program.
The program starts with an introduction to basic user experience design and communication. You’ll learn how to conduct UX research and how to synthesize your findings into a project. You’ll also explore website architecture (how to organize information in a website) and interaction design (developing patterns and user flow for the website).
The next stage of the program focuses on user interface design. You will learn to choose the right colors, fonts, icons, and patterns. You’ll use feedback from user tests to ascertain if your design is effective. Finally, you’ll be required to work on three capstone projects in responsive web design, adding a feature, and end-to-end application.
One of the unique features of this program is the group critiques. There are a total of 12 group crits scheduled where students and mentors will give feedback on your project. This is designed to show the importance of user comments in digital design.
Design 101 is a short program in product and web design aimed at beginners. You will learn the design process through a total of four one-on-one sessions. As well as learning the basic concepts, you work on 16 design projects that you can include in your portfolio.
In the first week, you learn how to think like a designer by learning the principles of design and sketching ideas. The second week is all about color theory, typography, and imagery. The third week will be on layout, composition, and learning UI patterns. The fourth and final week is when you’ll create and present your final design project.
The UI design course is about finding the right modern design patterns with the help of a design expert as a mentor. This course is for designers with intermediate-level knowledge and is intended to develop your existing design skills.
In your first week, you become familiar with UI design patterns and discover your own brand and identity. You will then learn how to arrange page elements effectively and create a responsive web design. The third week covers colors, icons, and typography. In the fourth week, you’ll focus on creating your UI prototype.
If you want to become a UX designer, this course will develop your skills in the research field. This short course is all about achieving a user-centered design and establishing your user research skills and processes. The goal is to be able to transform insights into an actual product that will appeal to the target user.
The first week will focus on building empathy with customers and learning the basics of UX design. The second week is about defining your users by identifying and analyzing data trends. You then transform these findings into tangible designs and prototypes in the third week. In the final week you’ll discover how to test the design’s usability.
If you are hoping to become a product manager, then this beginner’s course on perfecting your product is for you. For four weeks, you will learn how to create functional and well-designed products. The goal is to create a user-friendly product by learning the fundamentals of interaction design.
You will be introduced to interaction design in the first week. The second week is dedicated to sketching and finding the right information structure to create a positive impact on users. For the third week, you will deep dive into user flows and wireframes to better map out your design for the benefit of the users. The final week will focus on studying design patterns.
DesignLab operates on a completely online set-up so you can easily fit studying into your personal schedule. There are full-time and part-time options for the UX Academy program. You’ll need to complete a total of 480 hours of study. The short courses are completed within four sessions, while the UX Academy Foundations course takes four to eight weeks.
On a full-time schedule, the UX Academy program runs for a total of 15 weeks. You need to allow at least 40 hours per week to finish on time. 14 weeks will be dedicated to the learning sessions and projects, and the fifteenth week is for the UX Academy graduation. During the graduation week, you will finish polishing your portfolio.
You’ll complete the UX Academy program in 28 weeks on a part-time schedule. You should allow around 20 hours per week for your studies if you want to finish on time. The first 26 weeks are for studying and projects, while weeks 27-28 are for the graduation process.
DesignLab does not offer a self-paced study option.
The process to get accepted into DesignLab depends on whether you have prior design experience or not. Check the application process below to make sure you are prepared. DesignLab also recommends that you attend one of their open webinars before proceeding with your application.
There is no available data for DesignLab’s acceptance rate.
Below is a step-by-step process on how to apply for admission to DesignLab:
1. Complete the UX Academy Foundations course (optional). If you have no prior design experience, then you need to take this course first before you can proceed with the UX Academy program. You can skip this step if you have previous design experience.
2. Submit your online application. Your application should include links to your previous design work. The work will be assessed based on the following principles:
3. English language proficiency. DesignLab emphasizes the value of communication between mentors and students. To qualify for the course, you need to have a minimum of C1 or greater in the Common European Framework of Reference Languages (CEFR) level.
4. Prepare your tuition payment and start UX Academy. Once you are accepted and confirmed for the program, you can choose your payment option for your selected UX Academy schedule to confirm your place.
Having rich experience in UX and UI design will transform your future career path, whether you’re pursuing web design, product design, or project management. DesignLab offers focused programs that cover everything from the basics to the most technical aspects of design.
Whether it is for a full program or short courses, DesignLab offers a unique mentoring experience that aims to help you get used to constant feedback on your projects. This will not only enrich your talents as a UX designer, but also improve your networking and communication skills.
Guided by a design expert and a community of designers, students, and alumni, you are off to a good start in your career with a DesignLab program.