Design for Humanity: A New Perspective on User Experience
4.2 (65 ratings)
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Design for Humanity: A New Perspective on User Experience

Design for inclusiveness by learning to challenge your vision, testing through stress cases, and analyzing real design
4.2 (65 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
661 students enrolled
Created by Eric A. Meyer
Last updated 3/2017
Price: $100
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 4 hours on-demand video
  • 2 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion

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What Will I Learn?
  • Understand the basic principles of user experience design
  • Challenge your own vision using new methodologies
  • Improve your ability to interview users
  • Stress test your work for potential flaws early
View Curriculum
  • An interest in design is helpful, but no background in design is required.
  • No special materials or software are required to complete the practical exercises in this course.

Designing for humans is tough. We design for millions, but every interaction between our work and a user is personal, and we aren’t taught to take care with those interactions. I created this course because I want everything we design to meet the real needs and wants of real people. 

This course draws from my recent book with Sara Wachter-Boettcher, Design for Real Life and is best for learners who are new to design or looking to strengthen their emerging user experience design skillset.  And since design is everywhere, a wide range of professionals will benefit from this course.

If you want a set of tools for stress-testing your work to make sure it’s as human-centered, compassionate, and inclusive as possible, this is the course for you. 

By the end of the course, you will have gone through practical exercises around how to challenge your vision and design a compassionate user research process; seen how to improve interviews and talk to real people about their user experiences with your product; explored new ways to think outside as well as inside the box; and practiced ways to avoid the tunnel vision we all too often develop about our own work.

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is not only for designers; it is targeted at a wide range of professionals.
  • This course is designed for individuals who are new to design or looking to strengthen an emerging skillset.
Compare to Other User Experience Design Courses
Curriculum For This Course
37 Lectures
Introduction to the Course
2 Lectures 04:50

A brief personal introduction from your instructor, Eric Meyer, explaining why the material is important to anyone whose work touches on design, including management and development.

Preview 03:22

A brief overview of the topic areas covered in the four main sections of the course.

Preview 01:28
Challenge Your Vision
11 Lectures 01:24:54

A brief overview of the subjects to be covered in Section 2.

Preview 00:56

There’s a fairly simple test of content and interactions: is this something a human would do, if a human were doing this?  If not, what would they do?  See how this test can be applied in various ways.

Preview 07:36

Apply the principle of “What Would a Human Do?” to some real-world material. 

What Would a Human Do? Exercise

This lecture explores the role of the Designated Dissenter, a valuable addition to any project team, and how it can be a major component of strengthening a team’s work—or even an individual’s.

The Designated Dissenter

Apply the principle of the Designated Dissenter to some real-world material.

The Designated Dissenter: Exercise

You may have done project postmortems, but there’s a flip side to that: a project premortem, where you try to envision failure modes ahead of time so as to avoid them entirely.  Find out how to make this disaster-planning technique work for you.

Conducting a Premortem

Practice this principle with a sampling of project premortems.

Conducting a Premortem: Exercise

Although its origins are rooted in improving online forms, the Question Protocol is a useful framework for challenging yourself to pare all manner of design touches and interactions down to their minimum. After all, the best design is not when you have nothing left to add, but when you have nothing left to take away.

The Question Protocol

Apply the The Question Protocol to some real-world material.

The Question Protocol: Exercise

Personas are a common UX tool, giving a human face to user interests and actions.  The thing is, most personas aren’t all that human: instead, they’re an anodized approximation of human interests.  Learn how and why to add rough edges and raw emotions to your personas.

Imperfect Personas

Practice adding imperfections to personas.

Imperfect Personas: Exercise
Learn From People
9 Lectures 01:02:32

A brief overview of the subjects to be covered in Section 3.

Preview 01:18

It’s always a good idea to interview actual users of your work, but there are good ways and great ways to go about it.  Learn how and why getting out into the field is your best bet for really understanding how your work is used.

Go to Them

Explore examples of how going to your users in the right way can yield extra insights.

Go to Them: Exercise

When you’re interviewing users, there is a place Steve Portigal calls the tipping point, when the interview goes from being informative to truly illuminating.  Learn how to get there in a variety of situations.

Reaching the Tipping Point

Get some practice with ways to reach the tipping point in your user interviews.

Reaching the Tipping Point: Exercise

User journey maps are a common tool for understanding user actions, giving shape and detail to the path people may take when using your product or service. Learn how user journey maps are structured, how they apply to your work, and how to make them even better.

User Journey Maps

Practice filling in portions of some sample user journey maps.

User Journey Maps: Exercise

It]s important to make sure that our interviews don’t become a source of tunnel vision, narrowly focusing on one or a handful of kinds of users.  Learn how to make sure that you’re incorporating a wider, more diverse set of people to interview and test with.

Broaden Your Vision

Apply the principle of broadening your vision to some real-world material.

Broaden Your Vision: Exercise
Stress-Testing Your Work
9 Lectures 01:00:25

A brief overview of the subjects to be covered in Section 4.

Preview 01:03

People are emotional, and people use our work.  Thus, it’s important to take into consideration the emotional impact our work can have, even (or especially) when we don’t intend it.  Doing this kind of vetting can avoid a plethora of negative situations down the road.

QA for Emotion

Apply the principle of emotional QA to some real-world material.

QA for Emotion: Exercise

Most of what we create will be used by people going about the course of their lives, filled with distractions and stresses and draining influences.  It therefore behooves us to try to introduce some of those factors to our testing, bringing our testers closer to real-world use conditions than a traditional user test might reach.

Adding Cognitive Drains

Consider ways to add cognitive drains to your testing.

Adding Cognitive Drains: Exercise

Ah, Bollywood, famous for its larger-than-life productions and over-the-top plots.  How does this relate to design?  By putting your testers into a Bollywood state of mind, you might get more honest feedback than normal.

The Bollywood Method

Practice applying the Bollywood Method to some user scenarios.

The Bollywood Method: Exercise

It’s back!  The Designated Dissenter makes a return to help you with stress testing of your work.

The Designated Dissenter Redux

Reconsider the principle of the Designated Dissenter in light of the material learned in this section.

The Designated Dissenter Redux: Exercise
Making the Case
6 Lectures 40:05

A brief overview of the subjects to be covered in Section 5.

Preview 01:09

It’s been argued that there are only three business cases to do anything.  We’ll cover all three, with examples of how these play out in the real world and perspectives on how to bring these home to your projects.

The Three Business Cases

A lot of our work, and this course, is about figuring out what pain points our users have when they interact with our work.  But to sell internal stakeholders on the changes we want to make, it’s a good idea to find their pain points and work to address them too.

Finding Your Stakeholders’ Pain Points

If you’re in search of a formal way of expressing your arguments for making a change, Toulmin’s Argumentation Model is a useful framework.  This lecture will explore all the steps of the model and illustrate their use in making the case for a design change.

The Argumentation Model

Reports and emails are standard methods of persuasion, but sometimes you need to break out of the mold and really make a spectacle of your evidence.  See how unconventional approaches and human connection can help cement support for your proposals and keep yourself motivated to keep improving.

Making a Spectacle

If you’re pushing to change the overall direction of your work to be more compassionate in an environment that isn’t set up for that sort of thing, it’s all too easy to be seen as a roadblock, as a naysayer.  Learn to leverage a common improvisational-comedy technique to transform your ideas from objections to enhancements.

Yes, and…
About the Instructor
Eric A. Meyer
4.2 Average rating
65 Reviews
661 Students
1 Course
Author, Developer, Designer, Web Guy

Eric A. Meyer is an internationally-recognized author, speaker, blogger, and sometime teacher and consultant. He is currently technical lead at Rebecca’s Gift ( and co-founder of An Event Apart ( with Jeffrey Zeldman. In the course of his lengthy career, Eric has written numerous books and articles about CSS, HTML, and web standards. In his most recent book, Design for Real Life, Eric and his co-author Sara Wachter-Boettcher ( teach how to design with not just empathy, but compassion. He’s been working on the Web since 1993 and still finds it deeply compelling.