UX Design & Research Education in the Twin Cities & Beyond

July 14, 2020
Leslie Mollner
UX Designer

So you live in Minnesota’s Twin Cities and you want to be a User Experience Designer and/or Researcher? There are a variety of bases to cover in preparation for kickstarting your future career, and we’re here to help you get started. We’ll be showing you where to start and what your options are and we hope this list of ideas will improve your outlook on entering this growing industry.

Organizations to Join: Get out and meet people

IxDA Twin Cities

The local chapter of the international Interaction Design Foundation organized by Halftone founder Mike Arney.

TC UX Meetup

This is a quarterly meetup for user experience, design, and content professionals in the greater Twin Cities area.

UXPA Minnesota

Check out Minnesota’s chapter of the User Experience Professionals Association with monthly networking, presentations, and educational events happening around the Twin Cities.

Online Resources for Education: Heads down, self-learning opportunities

Interaction Design Foundation (IDF)

Coming to you from Denmark, the IDF is a relatively inexpensive online resource for UX Design & Research courses. 

About $16 per month (paid annually) for unlimited courses and access to additional UX resources.

LinkedIn Learning

Formerly Lynda.com, LinkedIn Learning includes a number of UX Design and Research courses.

After a 7-day trial, you can choose a monthly option for $29.99 per month or an annual option for $19.99 per month.


A grand collection of thousands of online creative classes. Approaches learning in a community-based setting. Includes a variety of UX Design and Research classes. 

Skillshare gives new users 2 months of unlimited classes free with a yearly fee of about $96 after the first two months.


An online learning platform that offers a UX Design track among its many other tech industry educational curriculum offerings. 

Currently, their Basic plan is $25 per month. They also provide a more robust UX Design Techdegree program.


Another resource with thousands of online classes. On this platform, you buy courses individually rather than through a subscription service. 

The cost of individual courses varies but can be up to about $200. Look for occasional sales on courses as this will greatly reduce your cost per course.

College Courses & Programs: Work toward a certificate or degree in UX

Metropolitan State University

Metro State University offers an online, 16-credit graduate certificate called the Design of User Experience GCERT. In the College of Liberal Arts, there is also the Design of User Experience Minor which is a 20-credit educational program.

MCAD/Minneapolis College of Art & Design

MCAD has a User Experience Design course in its online M.A. degree program for Graphic and Web Design.

Normandale Community College

A Continuing Education, Business Professional Skills program that is being created by Normandale in partnership with the Nerdery.

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Check out the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities where there is a growing emphasis on UX Design & Research within the Graphic Design program. They also have a new UX/UI bootcamp program starting in May of 2020.

University of Wisconsin-Madison

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has a one-year, online graduate capstone certificate in User Experience Design. This program involves work with a virtual cohort for one year.

Bootcamp Programs: Immerse yourself in the UX field 

General Assembly

Offered remotely, the General Assembly UX Design Immersive program provides instruction, one-on-one career coaching, and connections with employers. The program has been upgraded for 2020 and starts every one to two months.

The Makery

The Makery in Minneapolis offers a part-time, 6-week long, project-based bootcamp program. This bootcamp is offered twice a year and is perfect for individuals who want or need to remain working during their educational experience.

Prime Digital Academy

Prime provides a robust and intensive 18-week, full-time, immersive bootcamp for User Experience Design. This cohort-based program emphasizes communication, collaboration, and career networking.

Books and Blogs: A laundry list of resources


100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People

By Susan Weinschenk

About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design

By Alan Cooper, Robert Reimann, David Cronin, Christopher Noessel

The Design of Everyday Things

By Don Norman

Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited

By Steve Krug


The Elements of User Experience 

By Jesse James Garrett

Just Enough Research

By Erika Hall

A Project Guide to UX Design

By Russ Unger & Carolyn Chandler

Researching UX: User Research

By James Lang & Emma Howell

The User Experience Team of One

By Leah Buley

UX for Beginners: A Crash Course in 100 Short Lessons

By Joel Marsh


A List Apart

NN/g Nielsen Norman Group

Smashing Magazine


UX Booth

UX Collective

UX Magazine

UX Matters

US Movement

UX Planet