After graduating from college almost two years ago (damn it, I feel so old), I made a personal vow to never stop learning. I enrolled myself in an Intro to Finance class in Coursera (from design to finance – go figure), and I made it through the end, except for one little thing: the Final Exam LOL.
But, it was a great experience. The most challenging part with self-studying is actually sticking with it ’till the end because you go at your own pace. You don’t really need to follow a strict schedule like in university. Fast forward to now: I’ve come across various methods of free online self-studying (Coursera is obvs great so I won’t include it here), and here are just some of my thoughts on it:
Futurelearn’s Begin Programming: Build Your First Mobile Game
My friends and I have long been interested in app development but we haven’t really gotten around to learning it. So when I saw this course I wasted no time in getting my friends to sign up. We are now four weeks in and we are already one week behind, lol. But so far, so good! The instructors provided different versions of the source code for each week. The way they taught us is by letting us play and customize the code depending on what is required by the task. There are also mini quizzes along the way to test your understanding.
We are taught the basics of the Java programming language and working with Android Studio. As indicated in the title, this class is for people who have little to no knowledge in programming. So for software/web developers: better find another, more advanced app development class.
Ok, I know these sites aren’t exactly free. But they do offer some interesting free classes like: Designing A Modern App, Making Your First Zine, among other things. I’m all for free things, and the classes that Skillshare and CL offer only take a couple days (or even hours, if the class is really short) to finish. Free, quick, and informative – definitely a must-try.
Design blogs are my favorite source of information, as seen here. Here are a couple of UI/UX Design-related articles that I am loving at the moment:
- How To Be More Organized While Designing UI – This comprehensive article details the many ways you can organize your UI design workflow. I’m very excited to apply this to our own workflow!
- A Design Workflow Tutorial for Developers: Deliver Better UI/UX On Time – Speaking of workflows, this is another great article written for developers! It’s a little rare to find an article like this because most of the articles on UI/UX out there caters to designers and not developers.
- Better Icon Design in 6 Easy Steps – I absolutely love this tutorial. It’s very detailed, it’s easy to understand, and well, it’s keut.
Good ol’ Youtube
Ah, Youtube. What is life without you? Every motion graphic designer knows how vital Youtube is (Mt. Mograph, anyone?) Youtube is great for teaching yourself anything – from troubleshooting your laptop that magically upgraded to Windows 10 while you were sleeping (yep, it happens), to contouring, to WebDev – basically anything you can think of. The most recent tutorial that I watched on YouTube is a Material Design Icon Tutorial (as seen above).
If internet connection is not a problem, then YouTube is a great resource for self-studying specific tasks.
I’m going to be a little biased with this because I personally had a bad experience with a Udemy class, specifically the User Experience Design For Mobile Apps & Websites (UI & UX) class. It is a huge waste of time and money. It’s just really, really bad. The videos are slideshows of ugly stock photos played along some really awful voiceover which seems to be just reading off from a random UI/UX article on the internet. It doesn’t seem like Udemy is really filtering their instructors. I’m still giving it the benefit of the doubt though: if you’ve had a great experience with Udemy, tell me all about it!
Bonus: Free Code Camp
Signed up for a Free Code Camp account last weekend, but I haven’t really gotten around to using it much. BUT I love the experience that I had so far, people are very friendly, and most importantly, you get to learn WHILE helping nonprofits! For free! The internet is an amazing place.
Aaaand, that’s about it! I’m sure there’s a lot more out there that I don’t know of. Are you currently enrolled in a MOOC (massive open online course) right now? What are your favorites?