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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Visual Elements of User Interface Design by California Institute of the Arts

5,442 ratings

About the Course

This design-centric course examines the broad question of what an interface is and what role a designer plays in creating a user interface. Learning how to design and articulate meaning using color, type, and imagery is essential to making interfaces function clearly and seamlessly. Through a series of lectures and visual exercises, you will focus on the many individual elements and components that make up the skillset of an interface designer. By the end of this course, you will be able to describe the key formal elements of clear, consistent, and intuitive UI design, and apply your learned skills to the design of a static screen-based interface. This is the first course in the UI/UX Design Specialization, which brings a design-centric approach to user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design, and offers practical, skill-based instruction centered around a visual communications perspective, rather than on one focused on marketing or programming alone. These courses are ideal for anyone with some experience in graphic or visual design and who would like to build their skill set in UI or UX for app and web design. It would also be ideal for anyone with experience in front- or back-end web development or human-computer interaction and want to sharpen their visual design and analysis skills for UI or UX....

Top reviews


Mar 31, 2020

This course is very useful for a beginner who is looking for the basics of UI/UX course.

This course will give you the basic idea of interface design which very important for its advanced studies.


Nov 20, 2018

I never thought this is possible. I am very grateful to Coursera and Calarts. This is a starting milestone to changing my career life for better. I am ready to pursue more and more with your support.

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By Nenna

May 13, 2020

I really liked the course and the classes. The videos are very good and with good explanations. It would be nice to have more examples of simple/complex designs, with explanations ( as a pdf, reading material) so people get an even better idea, especially as we are speaking of beginners who really don't have a sense of how the good design should look like, a combination of colors and so on...

Honestly, I didn't find reviewing someone's project comfortable, because, we all have different "feeling" for design, and therefore it wouldn't be fair not to give someone a point because I simply don't like their design (example, of two people who reviewed my work, one really liked it, and another one didn't like some elements). It would be better to have a discussion, where we can share our ideas/work and discuss it.

Minus: Some reviewers are not honest, meaning they can take away some points for elements that are actually there, or they can give you 0 points without an explanation. In my opinion, the feedback should be imperative, and the grading system should be improved as well. Maybe people should be put in different groups and review each other work through the entire process.

By Katarina Đ

May 25, 2021

Video lessons themselves were really concise, informative and useful building a nice foundation for our own research and growth. Provided reading material was great and opened the doors to many other relevant and interesting articles for further learning. The only thing this course is lacking in is instructor-student interaction. Each assignment is peer reviewed and it is often done in a hurry or at random by fellow peers eager to finish the course as fast as they can. Meaningful reviews provide a great learning opportunity for both parties but that seems to be largely ignored in favor of 'speed runs'. Reviews are also often dishonest, with reviewers clicking random answers while the wronged party has no option to report the faulty review. All of that considerably devalues the experience - what should have set apart this course from a lot of other - free - ones on the internet was indeed the graded assignments part but it was a missed opportunity.

By Paige H

Apr 19, 2022

The format of the course was great, super informative and useful information that I can apply immediately. I really appreciate the visual aspect of this course (videos and visual elements on screen), I found it to be a great way to learn the fundamentals along with the real-world excercise that is built throughout the course. My only complaint, consistant with other classmates on here, is the peer-review. There was very little helpful feedback, in fact some peers just wrote '.' in the box just to get it done. It's a bit like the blind leading the blind without good critical feedback that might make my design better. I would suggest implementing a review system utilizing CalArts TAs or grad students -- someone with a background in this area.

By Anna T

Oct 29, 2020

I think the course itself has very good content, but a lot of the information given in class, outside of readings, is more theory-based rather than teaching actual rules and set guidelines. Yes, there is freedom in design but knowing and understanding rules and how to use them (ex. when and how to use color or rules about font sizes and how many should be used) would be very useful. Also, this is nothing against the class, but some individuals do not give fair reviews, let alone useful feedback for the purposes of improvement. A requirement of a certain amount of characters should be presented when entering a written review of someone's work. "Good" or "-" is not a reasonable response. If I do something wrong, I want to know why.

By Chetan K N

May 28, 2020

This section is one of t he best section. The instructor explain pretty much everything in details and in a smooth way. The content and the topic are to the point. There is no any extra unrelated topic. At last but no the least I love this course. No matter whether you are beginner of expert. Although I have a one one persona who know about illustrator, XD, photoshop or other design software whom can design but if the person is taking this course very first time and if he doesn't know any idea about designing software, than there might be problem so in initial section it should be include. I think so ...

By Gosia F

May 14, 2020

very good course, videos provide lots of knowledge in a very logic way.

Maybe the order of the exercises in the last 2 weeks is not the best and logical,

(it's much more easy for many of my peers and me to finish first week 4 and then get back to the week 3)

but I would still recommend the course.

The course provides also good resources (links and articles).

Attention: the course is for people who already know how to use graphic programs

so if you are starting your adventure with PS or AI you will maybe need more patience to be able to complete the tasks.

It's not a good idea to upload project made in MS Word.

By Michelle S

Apr 10, 2020

Hi All!

I just completed my certification , 1of 4, and while I really enjoyed the lectures, peer reviews left me frustrated and is also the reason I did not give it 5 stars.

It is extremely frustrating to invest time and energy on a project only to have it dismissed without proper guidance or advice on how to fix the issues and proceed. This could be resolved if the teaching staff could be part of the grading process.

The only reason for posting this is that perhaps, feedback can help bring about some change which makes this a more conducive platform for learning.



By Richard L

Nov 11, 2020

Actually I think I've learned more from the course than I thought I had. I've been working on my company website and I've done some quite good work today. So I'll uprate it to four stars. On the downside, the course was rather dry and theoretical, with a lot of talking and not much doing. It would benefit from more practical exercises and giving examples of excellent real world websites and apps, instead of ones by students. The peer assessment system is not fit for purpose and a lot of people are complaining about it. I can't understand why CalArts and Coursera don't fix it.

By Bryan R

Oct 26, 2022

Very interesting course. I learned a lot. I think the week 3 and 4 should be switched because you can't know what kind of icons you'll use if you don't do a wireframe for your app and that's something that you do on week 4. Something I saw is that a lot of students didn't follow the tasks as requested and that was very disappointing as a peer. A lot did whatever they wanted without caring about what the course said. I know it's not fault of the course but those students where in there own world and kinda disappointing to judge and help to make them grow.

By Kathleen C

Nov 2, 2020

Great insights on interactivity and connecting the user to the design interface in a way that is so much more tangible than how a traditional graphic designer has been trained (particularly for print design). I really enjoyed it! My only concern as a somewhat experienced designer looking to add the skillset of UI/UX is being graded by students with no experience at all who might get too hung up on a technicality (e.g. having 12-13 balance images in the moodboard rather than 15-20 and getting docked points because I didn't make the technical threshold).

By Brittany G

Jul 7, 2021

While I truly enjoyed the course itself, I am incredibly disappointed with the grading system. While I understand why peer-reviewed work is important, I should be allowed to reach out to staff regarding the reviews I was given. Each week 1 of the 2 students graded me incorrectly and I lost points due to their incorrect grading, especially on my final project. I passed in the end and that is fine, but students should be given access to course moderators/staff for issues like this. Other than that, the course itself was great.