My takeaways from the remote NN/G workshops.
I transitioned into UX design around 5 years ago and the first book I read was “Design of everyday things” by Don norman. Recently, I got the chance to attend a conference that was conducted by the group founded by him- Nielsen Norman Group
I am always looking for opportunities to learn from design leaders in the industry and expand my knowledge in design. After many years, I got a chance to attend the virtual NN/g confrence in June 2020. Here's my experience about the conference.
NN/g is founded by UX design pioneers- Jakob Nielsen and Don Norman.
NN/g put in great effort to emulate the same experience virtually as one would get attending in person. For example they had a session “Cocktail with Jakob Nielsen” where people could take selfies with Jakob Nielsen and have a quick chat like they would do if someone met him at the conference. I felt this was very thoughtful of them since we won't be be able to attend conference in person.
About sessions and the instructors.
All the instructors and sessions were very enganging and they gave all course material slides used in teaching as pdf before the start of conference. The material is in great detail and the courses were taught in depth. To keep the sessions as similar to in person we had many group activities, pop up quizes, breaks and brainstorming sessions. Thanks to Zoom which helped in making all this possible. The sessions were very well moderated free of any technical glitches. The instructors were very engaging and ran the sessions smoothly.
I had some seminars that were divided between 2 day format from 9 am to 12:30 pm and some were 1 day format 8 am to 3pm.
Apart from the registered sessions they gave us many free sessions to attend in the July and August months like Q&A with Jakob Nielsen, UX Trivia quiz and many other networking events to keep us continuously engaged in those conference time periods.
We are also invited to relevant channels on Slack to grow our network, meet and chat with other partiipants and share knowledge.
About the participants in the sessions.
Due to the conference going virtual people from all over the world were able to attend the confrence as earlier it was held in only few major cities like San Francisco, London, Sydney and few more and if you miss the window for your nearest city you would have to wait for months to have conference again near your city.
I was able to meet people from many diff countries, diff time zones, diff continents and share experiences of how they are dealing COVID, working from home, their experience with NN/g and design at their organization.
It was a very different experience to meet people who were attending conference past their midnight while some have a beachy vibrant virtual background or some were in a space station.
The Exams and the results.
In order to get certification you have to take minimum 5 sessions and clear minimum 5 exams.
I tried to pass the exams that very day or next day while I have the context in my mind. You can take the exam after 30 mins of finishing the session. The exams are fairly difficult. They are muliple choice questions testing the knowledge of theories and topics, and 2) practical application of that knowledge to real-world situations and examples. You have only 3 attempts to pass the exams with minimum 80% to pass. The results do not tell you which questions were answered right or wrong. The results come in your mail.
I took 7 courses with focus on Interaction Design specialization and passed all 7 exams. I got my certificate on the day I passed my last exam.
I am oficially NN/g certified User Experienced Designer with specialization in Ineraction design.
I would highly recommend this conference who wants to brush up their UX knowledge or anyone entering the field of UX design as they get in depth knowledge and credibility from industry leaders.