Thursday, January 23, 2014

"The Unicorn Institute -- Courses to shape the future of UX design"

Today I saw the ads for the new Unicorn Institute. An interesting initiative to create a new program with the purpose to educate students to become the future of UX design. It is right now a Kickstarter project led by some well known people in the field.

This is how they introduce the idea:

"You might be asking yourself: Why do we need a UX design school? Doesn’t this already exist someplace?
It’s true, you can learn parts of user experience design through a variety of programs, both online and in person. However, it’s challenging to piece together all of the required skills for a UX designer.
We’re creating a holistic program that connects education and industry to bridge the skills gap between what students learn and what industry needs. Our long-term goal is to create a bricks-and-mortar school where students learn the comprehensive skills to earn meaningful jobs in the field of user experience design.
We want to create a school to produce industry-ready UX professionals—otherwise known as “unicorns.” A UX unicorn is the ultimate generalists: a person who has the right mix of hard and soft skills."
It will be quite interesting to follow the development of this. As someone who has worked with academic programs for many years and experienced the complexity and difficulty in making them work, I am impressed by the ambition and speed of this project. 
Interestingly enough, I think that we in our school already have a program where we educate UX designers in the way this projects describes it.  We have done that for over a decade. We have the experience on how to educate, what skills and competence is needed, and how to work with a highly diverse group of students. Anyhow, we need more programs like this, so this is a welcome initiative!

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