My learning experience with the Interaction Design Foundation (IxDF)

A review – February 2023

I did not follow a straight path to design, but I’ve always been passionate about storytelling, creation, and learning. When I was around 9 years old, I used to sketch fake magazine covers, storyboards and characters for which I created ID cards and background stories (already working on personas, I suppose!). One day I made myself and my brother some mini tablet prototypes to carry with us in our “spy” childhood adventures. Many years passed, and my journey has taken me from studying Applied Foreign Languages, Law, and Graphic Design to working today as a Digital Product Designer in the tech industry.

I graduated and started my professional journey in Paris in 2007, a few months after the first iPhone launched. I quickly jumped into freelancing, offering my creative services to various clients before moving to Montreal, Canada, in 2011, ready to seize new opportunities. I worked as an Art Director and Designer on a wide variety of accounts for different Web and Advertising agencies. Eventually, I found myself drawn to digital products and user experience, so I shifted my focus to UX and UI design. Soon enough, I had the great opportunity to take on a Product Designer position at Shutterstock, where my teammates and solid design leadership helped me learn and grow tremendously.

To be honest, I’m primarily self-taught in UX and UI design for web platforms. I learned everything by reading a lot on the internet and in books and practicing in tech companies and start-ups. At some point in 2021, I decided to look for new work and personal development opportunities, and that’s when I discovered the Interaction Design Foundation UX courses. I thought it was a reputable and affordable way to get a refresher on the basics and fill some knowledge gaps I might have. Plus, I enjoy getting certifications that officially acknowledge my achievements. I started with the Interaction Designer learning path, as it seemed to cover the subjects that would be the most relevant to my current role.

One of the things I personally like about the Interaction Design Foundation courses I have taken so far is that they allowed me to cultivate a beginner’s mindset. I approached the topics with fresh eyes as if I was starting from scratch. This approach helped me avoid assumptions and biases, made me more open-minded and curious about the content and expanded my problem-solving skills at work.

I also noticed that following these UX courses reignited my passion for design. If I’m being sincere, working as a designer in tech companies or corporations has sometimes made me grow a bit cynical. The various lessons reminded me of the power and value of design and how it can make a difference in people’s lives.

I’m really looking forward to reaching the more advanced courses about brain science and designing for AR and VR experiences. I believe they will provide me with insights and knowledge that will be useful for future personal projects that are currently dormant in my notebook. Oh, and there’s also a course about Emotional design that I’m excited to take! Nowadays, I’m employed full-time, working on technical developers’ tools and services for real-time 3D, so I follow the learning path on my personal time, at my own rhythm.

If my background story resonates with you and you’re interested in learning more about design, design thinking, and their various applications, I’d say it’s worth checking out the Interaction Design Foundation learning platform among all the different solutions available out there. I find it flexible and compelling, and you might learn something that will (re)start a spark, as it did for me.