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9 months, 10 hrs/wk
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Start Your UI/UX Designer Career with NIU CPE

According to the report by CNN Money, the demand for user experience designers will rise by 13% between 2017 and 2027. UI/UX designers enjoy high job satisfaction, great pay and the opportunity to work with technologies that drive innovation and growth.

The NIU CPE UI/UX Design Bootcamp, created and delivered by Springboard, will prepare you to learn the core principles, tools and best practices to secure a variety of roles in the design industry. You’ll learn design concepts through a curated curriculum pulled from some of the best resources available and then apply what you learn through hands-on learning activities and end-to-end projects that include UI practice exercises, a capstone project for your portfolio and three additional projects that are optional for you to complete. This 100% online program allows you to learn on your own schedule, and you can complete the course earlier if you put in more study hours per week.

Key Highlights of the Bootcamp

  • 100% online and flexible schedule, complete at your own time.

  • 400-hour course of industry-focused curriculum with recommended 10-15 hours of study a week.

  • Get 1:1 regular guidance from an industry mentor.

  • Complete a capstone project.

  • Build an impressive portfolio that can be shared with hiring managers.

  • Hands-on support from our coaches to help you prepare for job interviews. 

  • Certificate of participation upon completion.

Careers in UI/UX Design

In the design industry, there are several career paths to consider based on your goals and interests. You can opt to be a generalist or a specialist and choose between working for an agency or being a freelancer. Below are some potential fields, job titles, and average salaries in the industry:

Northern Illinois University

Industry-Curated Course Curriculum

The UI/UX Design Bootcamp aims to equip you with the necessary skills to secure your first UI/UX design job. You'll engage in practical assignments mirroring the real-world tasks that designers handle regularly. These projects hold immense value as they enhance your portfolio and showcase your proficiency in handling end-to-end design projects to prospective employers. Take a glimpse at some of the curriculum units below:

NEW! AI Learning Units

Leverage AI tools to create more intuitive and engaging design, and set yourself apart as a designer equipped with the latest knowledge and skills. We've added seven new optional units to our curriculum to allow you to learn AI alongside key topics in UI/UX. New AI units include:

  • Introduction to AI and Its Relevance to UX.

  • AI-Enhanced User Research.

  • Dynamic Persona Building and Journey Mapping with AI.

  • Information Architecture and Ethical Considerations in AI.

  • Designing for AI: Tools, Practices, and Usability Testing.

  • Prototyping for AI: Tools for Prototyping AI-Based Systems.

  • AI and Usability Testing: Adjusting Techniques for AI Systems.

Intro to Design Tools
  • Explore the landscape of design tools and gain an understanding of how to use them.

  • Learn the essential elements of Sketch, Adobe XD, or Figma and practice using one of these tools.

  • Incorporate learnings from user tests and iterate on your designs as you transition into digital wireframes.

  • Develop an understanding of the importance of designing for edge cases.

  • Begin considering transitions between screens.

High Fidelity Mockups
  • Learn about the importance of accessibility and the value of inclusive design.

  • Understand the fundamentals of accessibility, the WCAG guidelines and how to perform a basic accessibility audit.

  • Understand the fundamentals of grids.

  • Learn techniques to design high fidelity mockups of screens using your design tool of choice.

  • Learn how to facilitate critiques to quickly get and incorporate feedback as you build your designs.

  • Examine best practices to consider when communicating with other designers and stakeholders as you create high fidelity mockups.

Build a Unique Project Portfolio that Showcases your UI and UX Skills

Students complete a required capstone project and get the chance to work on three additional portfolio projects. One of these projects will be a design sprint, an intensive one-week experience where you'll swiftly go through the entire design process. You may complete an industry design project, where you’ll collaborate with an actual company. Detailed descriptions of the portfolio projects are available for you to explore below:

Capstone 1

This is a multi-month, end-to-end design project that includes each phase of the design process and will help you sharpen your new UX and UI skills you’ll learn throughout the course.

Design Sprint

This is a Google Ventures-style design sprint that will allow you experience working on a complete project in a short (1 week!) timeframe.

Capstone 2

This is another end-to-end project that incorporates each stage of the design process. You’ll apply all of the methods you’ve learned from the course while working with real-world constraints.

Industry Design Project

This is a ~4-week real-world project. You will be partnered with a company and use your design skills to help the company tackle a business problem. While working on this project, you’ll apply all of your course learnings and hone your professional and collaborative skills:

  • Identify a customer problem to solve.

  • Conduct competitive research.

  • Sketch, design and build a prototype.

  • Perform usability testing and identify improvements.

Student Support

As you embark on your online learning journey, we have various support systems in place to assist you in case you encounter any challenges. These include:

Regular 1:1 mentor video calls: Receive valuable feedback on projects, address any challenges you may face, and remain accountable with your dedicated mentor.

Dedicated mentor calls: You can take advantage of additional 1:1 mentor calls from our diverse community of mentors, all at no extra cost.

Online community: Engage in discussions with your fellow peers, share your work, and seek input.

Student advisors: Whether you have questions about accountability, time management, or any other concerns, student advisors are here to help.

1:1 career coaching sessions: Benefit from personalized coaching sessions, and take advantage of optional career curriculum.

Northern Illinois University

Meet Our Mentors

Angelo Lo Presti
Sr Product, UI/UX Designer
Meg Clayton
Sr UX Designer
Deb Howell-Novak
Sr UX Designer
Matthew Weprin
Sr Manager, Design & UX

Is This Program Right for You?

Are you someone with a keen eye for design? Do you enjoy transforming things into beautiful, well-organized, and user-friendly creations? If so, then this program is the perfect fit!


We welcome individuals from all backgrounds to join the program, provided that you can showcase strong visual skills, creativity, and effective communication abilities.


What is UX?

UX Stands for User Experience. According to prolific designer Don Norman, "User experience encompasses all aspects of the end user's interaction with the company, its services and its products."

What is UI?

UI stands for User Interaction: It focuses on the aesthetics or the look of the product a user interacts with.

What does a UX/UI designer do?

UX designers are responsible for a user's overall experience as they interact with every aspect of a product or service, such as an app or multi-step form.

UI designers are responsible for determining the visual elements (e.g. menus, buttons, icons, etc.) that a person uses to interact with a product or service.

What skills are needed to become a UI/UX designer?

You’ll need a mix of design skills we’ll teach you, such as wireframing and prototyping, as well as a strong research acumen. You’ll also need a set of soft skills that you can develop over time, such as empathy (understanding users’ pain points), the ability to communicate with internal and external stakeholders and collaboration across all parts of the company.

What type of jobs can you do after a UI/UX design bootcamp?

There are a variety of jobs that you can take based on your interests and career goals. The above listings in the Careers section are some of the most common titles (UX Designer, UI Designer, Motion Designer, UX Researcher and Information Architect).

As you move up in your career, you’ll find more advanced specialties or ones that require technical proficiencies, such as coding:

  • UX Strategist

  • UX Architect

  • UX Product Manager

  • UX Analyst

  • UX/UI Engineer

  • UX/UI Developer

  • Product Designer

How long does it take to become a UI/UX designer?

In 9 months, our bootcamp will equip you with the technical skills you’ll need to build an impressive UI/UX portfolio and launch a successful career in UI/UX design. If you are motivated to power through the material at a faster pace, we allow you to study on your own time and finish the course earlier.

What is the salary of a UI/UX Designer?

The average UX and UI designer salary in the US is around $79,716 according to Glassdoor.

Are UI/UX designers in high demand?

Yes, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that jobs will grow 23% over the next 10 years, faster than the average for all occupations.

More Questions About the Program?

Speak to our enrollment team by completing an application, email Carolina, our enrollment assistant or explore more frequently asked questions

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