Designlab Online Design Bootcamp - Design 101 Course Review
Do you ever wish your websites & apps looked more "professional"? Supercharge your visual and UI design skills by completing hands-on projects & working 1-on-1 with an expert designer.
Hi there Despreneur Squad I have decided this year I want to further my personal development. This is why I have decided that I’m going to take Designlab – Design 101 course. As I believe this course would not only be helpful to me but lots of the Despreneur’s members I’ve decided to share my experience along the way.
I’m going to be posting a video for each major stage and share my thoughts and experiences from this. I’ll be updating this article over this next month with more information and videos as I complete more of the course.
Hello there Despreneur’s I basically wanted to record this video I decided that I want to take an online design Bootcamp. I was doing my research online at which were the best online boot camps you can take. There are two main online reviewers which are Course Report and Switch Up. I’ve already filtered these already, as you can see here Designlab is rated very well its getting 4.97 out of 5 stars. Designlab is only online, so the way I have filtered this is so that it’s only showing online courses. There are some in-person boot camp’s but doing it online cheaper and obviously, theres not as much staffing and the material is done online. This is the same if we look at Switchup reviews. Startup Institute I couldn’t filter this by just online bootcamps as their camp is in person. The next one is Bloc, Bloc was a big contender to think about and then its Designlab. So this is Blocs website the thing with their course is their course is quite a bit more expensive. It is a longer programme but for the moment I have decided that I’m going to go with Designlab but for the time being to get bit better understanding I not going to go for a full blown course which is the UX academy which they’d recently just started. I’m actually going to take one of their smaller courses which are design 101 which is great if you haven’t done really anything design. Well take a quick look at this now this is just a four week online course but the really good thing about this is with it being a Bootcamp and not just a course you buy and go through the material yourself is it says here you get feedback on your work and you get Skype sessions with really good design mentors. so you’ll really improve on the work that you actually do. so what we’ll be going through here is colour theory, typography and layout in web design. and using tools like Photoshop and sketch. so it’ll be really good as a foundation building block hence the name design 101. obviously, I’ll link this website so you can have a look for yourselves. but it looks good here an outline of the four weeks going to be. the next cohort starts on the 3rd February I believe and it is only $300. so I’m going to click is ready to enrol. and in here I’m going to fill out my name and I’m going to create a new password, ok. obviously for the purpose of this video is going to blur out my credit card information so it can’t be seen. this is defiantly something that I’d recommend from my own research. I’ll be going into as lot more detail at each stage and reviewing and saying how I think it’s going. and hopefully, this might be something that I can recommend to your guys. ha, hay there we go so I’m enrolled let’s create my profile. so obviously I wanted to show this to you guys as I wanted to be as transported as possible. sorry, I was just saying that I’m going to be sharing a bit more of a breakdown of how this course preforms and if I recommend it. and then it’ll hopefully be good for you guys so that my intention. I get a lot of you guys when you sign up saying that are asking questions about the design and the fundamentals as and hopefully this is a course that I can highly recommend. and I believe with the mentorship I think will believe it’ll be really good and for starting. I’m just going to fill short bio, there we go that’s that I want to learn the fundamentals of design. please do bare with my spelling and I think this should hopefully be it. oh no so you guys can’t see my shipping information is going to blur this out. there we go we’ve filled out all the information. oh, spread the word. there we go I can get you a $25 discount code. I’m actually going to embed this video into a blog post and I’m going to update this blog post as I go through the course and share my feedback and thoughts on this course and how everything goes. so I’ll just change my time zone to Europe GMT there we go brilliant and I’ll talk to you again once I’ve gone through the first bit of the enrolment.
Which bootcamp should you choose?
I have decided that I’m going to do an online bootcamp instead of a in person version to save on costs and it will allow me to continue my normal day to day life with out interruption.
I narrowed down my online design bootcamp search to one of two schools Designlab and Bloc. I decided between these two schools due to independent reviews by past students on Course Report and Switchup.
They both offer in depth bootcamps but I think for my first online bootcamp I’m going to get to grip with the fundamentals and see how much I like it before shelling out $1,000’s. This is why I have decided to take Designlab’s Design 101 course.
Designlab Design 101 Course
This course is only $299 with discount and is a great deal considering you’ll:
- Learn about the fundamentals of color theory, typography, and layout in web design
- Gain familiarity with the design tool of your choice (Photoshop, Sketch, or Illustrator)
- Hone your skills & start building your portfolio with a series of hands-on projects
- Work with your own expert mentor, with written feedback on all your work and 4 Skype sessions
You’ll end the course with a certificate of completion, a portfolio of projects, and a strong foundational skill set in design.
Who is this course for?
The course is tailor-made for busy professionals. Spend about 5-10 hours per week on readings, projects, and mentor work.
Calling all developers! Up your ante in design, move into more front-end work, and start building great products.
Improve your ability to communicate with your design and product teams through wireframes and mockups. Learn the language!
Looking to move into design as a career? Great choice. This course is a foundational offering to help you get the lay of the land and learn where to go next.
What you’ll learn
Four weeks. Five to ten hours per week. You’ll be able to confidently wireframe, make visual design decisions, and communicate like a designer.
WEEK 1 – Getting to know design
- See where your current skills stand & meet your mentor. Learn to see and recognize good design.
WEEK 2 – Visual Hierarchy & Layout
- You’ll learn some key graphic design principles in this unit.
- Learn the basic fundamentals of visual design, as well as how to build your first wireframe.
WEEK 3 – Color Theory & Typography
- Learn how to add a splash of color to your design work!
- Get acquainted with basic typographic principles and understand how to choose fonts.
WEEK 4 – Process
- Put it all together in this this final unit, where you work on your capstone project.
Welcome to Design 101!
This overview guide will walk you through how the course works. We’ll help you learn how to structure your time and effort to get the most out of your next few weeks on Designlab.
Feel free to refer to this guide as the course goes on if you have any questions about course format or approach.
Over the next 4 weeks, you’ll embark on a journey to hone your design skills. You’ll look at a lot of design (both good and bad), read about design theory and learn concepts, and most importantly, work on a series of projects to sharpen your intuition and technical ability. Along the way, you’ll have an expert mentor that will serve as your guide into the design world. The course will begin with a short skills assessment that will help give you and your mentor a starting point to work from through the rest of the course.
The course consists of 6 units that cover the following topics: Getting to know design, visual hierarchy, layout, typography, color theory and process.
Each unit on Designlab contains a series of lectures, articles, and videos that we’ve written and curated from around the web.
Take your time to read through the lectures and watch the videos, and make sure to take notes along the way to identify questions you might have about certain topics. This theory will help form the foundation of your design knowledge.
Project Work + Feedback
Project work is the heart of the Designlab experience. To improve your skills as a designer, the single most important thing you can do is practice, repeatedly.
In addition to the lesson content, each unit contains projects for you to complete. These projects & exercises will help push your understanding of the material, demonstrate your ability, and give your mentors a chance to identify where you can improve.
Projects are where you can truly grow as a designer by creating a body of work. Make sure to get feedback from your mentor and iterate on your work throughout the course.
Also, feel free to share your personal goals with your mentor coming into the course. For example, if you’d like to get one or two solid portfolio pieces at the end of the next few weeks, make sure to mention that! You can adapt the projects as much as you’d like to fit your particular needs.
Your mentor Skype sessions are a great opportunity to learn 1-on-1 from some of the best designers in the world.
Each session lasts 30-60 minutes, and are largely student-driven. We encourage you to bring an agenda of questions and topics you’d like to discuss during each session (more on this later).
We’ll explain more about how session scheduling works next.
We have recommended guidelines on the online coursework for how long you should spend on each item (readings and project work). We’ve broken the content down week-by-week, and you can keep pace with the material if you spend roughly 6-10 hours a week.
The only “scheduled” component of the course are the mentor sessions, which you’ll arrange with your mentor at the end of this guide. You can look at your mentor’s availability and coordinate a time to meet with them weekly. Once your sessions are booked, we’ll send you email reminders to keep you on track.
If you know you can’t make a session, let your mentors know at least 24 hours in advance. Last-minute cancellations will count as forfeited sessions and your mentors will mark them as completed.
Note: if you ever have any challenges with scheduling or coordinating with your mentors, please reach out to us and we’ll help resolve the situation!
We recommend completing the projects using industry standard tools like Sketch, Photoshop, and Illustrator. If you’re not familiar with the tools yet, here are some intro units that might be helpful to work through: Photoshop, Illustrator and Sketch.
We have a growing number of perks and discounts available through Designlab partners. Click here to view the full list and redeem!
Here are some newsletters and websites we recommend signing up for as resources in your design career moving forward: UX Design Weekly, Smashing Newsletter, Sidebar and Dear Design Student.
Questions for Mentors
Your mentors are great resources and it’s important to ask the right questions to get the most out of your time with them. Here’s a short list of questions if you run out of things to talk about, or if you’re not sure about what kind of things you can ask your mentors. Feel free to refer to this during your next session!
Additionally, be sure to use your first session to share your background and specific course goals with your mentor. Maybe you’d like to get a portfolio piece out of the course, or you’re hoping to evolve your own process as you advance in your career. Whatever it may be, make sure to share with your mentor so you can work together to reach those goals!
Thanks for reading through the guide! Here’s a quick summary of some key points:
Design 101 contains around 40 hours of design coursework, much of it project-based. You can access the online coursework at your own pace, and schedule mentor sessions accordingly.
You have a mentor that you’ll work with throughout the course, giving you online feedback on your work and meeting with you through Skype sessions. You can refer back to this guide (via the course help page) for tips or guidance on what to talk about during your sessions.
Make sure to complete the projects and share with your mentor & peers. This will be a key part of how you learn and grow as a designer!
If you ever need help or have questions/comments, feel free to email us.
After enrolling you’ll first need to complete the pre-course content which is to get you up to speed on how to use either, Photoshop, Illustrator Sketch. You are given the assignment to replicate a particular landing page. Designlab assumes you have never used any of these design applications and once you’ve decided which one you’re going to use they provide step by step video tutorials of how to replicate this should.
Most people decide to use Sketch as you can use the free they offer to complete this course but should you want to continue using this afterwards Designlab has a great deal and you can buy Sketch for 50% off. This is one perk they offer through enrolling in the course plus much more.
Once you have completed the pre-course contented you’ll then be presented with a course overview walkthrough. This will give you a great informationally overview of the Designlab design 101 course. Its runs through course overview, online homework, project work and feedback, sessions, scheduling, tools and resources, mentorship tips and summary.
In the video above I’ve shared my experience of completing the Designlab – Design 101 course. So far I’ve done 3 and half weeks worth of this course and I’m loving it! I have to say that the mentors are what make this course so good. If you have any questions they are able to answer them and when you submitted assignment work they’ll provide you with insightful feedback on how you can improve your work. Though it has to be said the mentors would prefer to give you feedback in such a way instead of them basically changing the design by telling you to change certain things they’ll get you the think out the overall practice you are struggling with and guide you in the right direction to fixing your issue. The mentors definitely are the make and break of this course.
One thing that I was pleasantly surprised by was the way they teach the content. Since I’ve already taken many different online courses most of these are taught via video this course is a little different. The majority of the course content it articles they get you to read and assignments you have to complete to cement the learning you have just done. With having the mentor once you submit your assignment work for a particular section they’ll then revive it and give you feedback on how you can improve it. You are able to then make changes and improve off your original design and then submit a version two. Most people from what I saw only tended to do a few revision of their work but on my final project, I think I reached six different versions.
If you have any questions please feel free post these in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them.
To be continue…
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