28 Resources for Getting Started In UX

Jeff Sauro, PhD

The field of user experience encompasses a wide array of individual jobs including designers, researchers, information architects and product developers.

It has received attention lately for being both one of the fastest growing job sectors and notoriously difficulty to recruit qualified candidates for.

If you’re interested in breaking into the field, or just want to see what all the fuss is about, here is a list of resources:

Getting Started in UX

These articles will help you gain an appreciation for the overall field of user experience and the types of skills required.

  1. UX Matters Complete Guide to Getting Started in UX
  2. Patrick Neeman suggests Four Ways To Break Into User Experience
  3. Undercover User Experience Design by Cennydd Bowles and James Box
  4. Getting Experience with User Experience from UX Booth
  5. UX Mastery also has a book on Getting Started

Books and Papers

There are a lot of books and papers on the field of User Experience, here are a few that cover some fundamental concepts and are inspiring.

  1. Design of Everyday things: To get you inspired.
  2. The Inmates are Running the Asylum: To understand the importance of user centered design.
  3. Measuring the User Experience: Get to know metrics and measuring fuzzy things.
  4. A Practical Guide to Measuring Usability: A crash course in usability testing and metrics
  5. Just about any book from the Rosenfeld library
  6. The classic paper, Designing for Usability and What Designers Think [pdf] and a corresponding blog about it
  7. A Practical Guide to Usability Testing : Now in its second edition, this classic text from Joe Dumas and Ginny Redish is still the best resource for the mechanics of usability testing.


Want to dive a little deeper into User Experience? Here are a few online courses and videos that will introduce you to the details of experience design.

  1. David Travis Udemy Course User Experience: The Ultimate Guide to Usability
  2. All you can learn seminars from UX Experts
  3. Human-Computer Interaction course on coursera.org


Conferences and Events

  1. UX Book clubs: Most cities have their own UX book club, like our popular one in Denver that meets monthly and even a UX Happy Hour
  2. UX Boot Camp: Our annual boot camp focuses on measurement, metrics and method
  3. UxPA:  The User Experience Professionals Association has an annual meeting with content suited well to those new to user experience and especially usability.
  4. IxDA : The Interaction Design Association has resources and an annual conference geared toward design.
  5. The GIANT Conference
  6. UX Week Design Conference

University Programs

If you’re looking to get a formal education from an accredited institution that covers UX related material check out these programs.

  1. Bentley University Masters in Human Factors in Information Design and has some great faculty including our friend Bill Albert.
  2. Stanford University offers a number of undergraduate and graduate degrees in human computer interaction.
  3. Masters of Human Computer Interaction at Carnegie Mellon
  4. Clemson University offers a Masters in Professional Communication where our friend Tharon Howard teaches.
  5. Virginia Tech offers a Masters in Computer Science with a certificate in Human Computer Interaction

Money and Methods

And it never hurts to know what you can expect to make, depending on your specialization, in the field.

  1. Here are some salaries for the profession and for UX Researchers, Designers, Managers and IAs. This data is updated every other year (a new update is coming soon).
  2. Finally, understanding and using the methods UX professionals use is a great way to learn new approaches and apply what you know.


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