Retrospective of the Interaction Design Foundation

How the Interaction Design Foundation courses helped me so far, in truly understanding what design means and providing me with knowledge, frameworks, methods, ideas, and much more to execute design.

Quick introduction

First and foremost: Hey there! My name is Liam, a UX-UI designer stationed in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. I translate business and people’s needs, into valuable, useful design-solutions. Practicing this at Linx-IT Solutions bv, a software development company. Their focus lays on optimizing the marketing communication processes of retail chains.

My love for interaction, visual, UX, UI design, and the psychological science behind it is endless. Especially since I get to apply these on a range of unique projects. Simultaneously upgrading Linx’ UX maturity.

The challenge of a commercial environment

Since this is a B2B2C environment within the retail sector, time-to-market and revenue is of the utter most importance. Although I always tend to strive for the perfect process, practice proves different. Trade-offs are made on a daily basis.

“The project should have been done yesterday!”

~ Internal joke when asking for the project deadline at the end of the briefing session.

As other cases, there is little to no room for user research. After hours of reading articles, books, and cases, in order to see if there is a solution to this problem, the doubt kicked in.

It felt like I was not fully executing my profession in the way I should. Nor was there room for me to learn how to perform solid, contextual user research. Nevertheless, since creative problem solving is one of our traits, I maintained the drive and proactively kept going.

Becoming an IxDF student

While exploring the web, searching for solutions, the Interaction Design Foundation (IxDF) came up a few times. This was the place to be for articles. Which helped me solve the smaller design challenges. Reviewing the contents of the courses a little later, was the deciding factor to contact my CEO. Since the CEO believes in and stimulates personal- and professional development, we registered me as a student. From there on, things changed…

Once my educational plan was established, I flew through the courses. Each course providing great explanation on different aspects where doubt ruled. But most importantly, it made me secure again on how to perform good user research, and what to do when there is little to no room for it.

Highlighting the User Research, Data-Driven Design, and UX Management courses in particular. These keep on assisting me and my organisation on a daily basis. Our design and development processes are continuously being improved, thanks to this invaluable knowledge.

So, what’s next?

As we speak, the learning curve is far from over. I’m currently almost 2 years a student. My end-goal is to fully complete the learning paths UX Designer, UI Designer and Interaction Designer that the IxDF is offering. Parallel to the courses, reading a lot of professional literature strengthens that knowledge even more.

I highly recommend the Interaction Design Foundation for everyone who wants to learn about UX and interaction design. If you are entirely new to UX, I’d suggest you start at the basics and work your way up, since the study material is ordered around experience and difficulty level.

Thank you kindly Interaction Design Foundation and everyone who made the IxDF possible.

And to all the students: Have fun learning, It’ll be worth it!

More information about the IxDF can be found below,

The Interaction Design Foundation