Ever wonder why Facebook and Instagram are so addictive or how Amazon and Groupon make buying feel so easy? Elegant user interfaces leverage a simple and intuitive design to solve user needs and meet business objectives while hiding complexity. Behind the technology are User Researchers, User Experience Designers and Information Architects working to simplify the user experience and eliminate obstacles that inhibit user goals. Learn the practical skills and the user centered design methodologies that are applied by these specialists, and how to apply them in practical ways when creating compelling user experiences. At the center of this course is user research, where we will learn how to create user personas, define user needs prototype designs and conduct usability studies. We will gain these skills by analyzing existing interfaces across desktop and mobile platforms, discussing what makes them effective, and provide an overview of tools and theories that guide user experience designers in their practice. By the completion of this course, you will have applied these skills to execute a usability test on wireframes designs that you create in class. No design experience necessary though some knowledge of Axure, Omnigraffle or Visio is encouraged.