User-Centered Design Certificate
The User-Centered Design (UCD) Certificate is an evening graduate-level program in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) for students who want to explore a wide range of issues in usability and user-centered design.
- Autumn: Applications are due August 12
Applications must be received by the application deadline. Packages received after the deadline (even if postmarked by the due date) will not be accepted. The UCD program only accepts applications each fall.
How to Apply
Applications are accepted to start each autumn quarter. HCDE offers the UCD certificate program in conjunction with UW Professional & Continuing Education (PCE), who manages the application submission process.
To apply, please complete the application materials listed below and submit them to Professional & Continuing Education's registration office. You also can find these materials available by visiting their site (apply for admission). The required materials for application are:
- PCE General Application
- Statement of Goals (250 words or less)
- Professional Resume
- Unofficial college transcripts
Additionally, we encourage admitted UCD students to apply for Graduate Non-Matriculated (GNM) status. Once an applicant has been offered admission, they should submit the request for this status through the UW Graduate School (there is a $75 associated with the GNM application). This allows students to receive transferable graduate credits while completing the certificate. Students can transfer up to 12 UCD credits into our MS program with GNM status.
Participants complete four courses to earn the Certificate. These three courses are required of all students:
- HCDE 517—Usability Testing
- HCDE 518—User-Centered Design
- HCDE 521—Seminar: Current Issues in HCDE
In addition, students complete a fourth course from the following selection:
- HCDE 511—Information Visualization
- HCDE 536—Interaction Design
- HCDE 537—User-Centered Web Design
HCDE 518, User-Centered Design: This course will explore the user-centered design paradigm from a broad perspective, emphasizing how user research and prototype assessment can be integrated into different phases of the design process. Students will learn to think like a user-centered designer and to carry out activities that are key to user-centered design.
Both courses must be taken.
HCDE 517, Usability Testing: Introduction to usability testing as part of a user-centered product-development process. The hands-on step-by-step discussion of test design is augmented by a discussion of current theory and strategy.
HCDE 521, Current Issues in Human Centered Design & Engineering: This seminar course consists of presentations on current issues in HCDE. These presentations are also streamed over the web.
Choose one of the following electives:
HCDE 511, Information Visualization: The design and presentation of digital information. Use of graphics, animation, sound, visualization software, and hypermedia in presenting information to the user. Vision and perception. Methods of presenting complex information to enhance comprehension and analysis. Incorporation of visualization techniques into human-computer interfaces.
HCDE 536, Interaction Design: Investigates advanced topics in the theory and practice of interaction design, using a project-oriented approach. Develops expertise in design, development, and critique of solutions in online and mobile platforms. Examines issues such as interaction theory, requirements and specifications, design language, prototyping, evaluation, and presentation of projects. Prerequisite: HCDE 518.
HCDE 537, User-Centered Web Design: Theory and practice of the user-centered web development process. Principles and processes for documenting and implementing various development stages, including requirements analysis, user needs analysis, information architecture, prototyping, mockups, and production. This course also includes a lab, in addition to the main lecture section.
Tuition and Fees
Per Credit: $729
Registration Fee: $35
Certificate Program Fee: $50
(Variable): Quarterly student technology fee is $23 for a four-credit course and $29 for a five-credit course.
For more information on tuition and fees, please visit PCE's UCD Certificate page.
Students must pay fees when registering. Fees cannot be billed, except for third-party payers; for many working professionals, their employers function as third-party payers. Tuition can be billed only to third-party payers within the United States. Students who have a third-party payer must include a purchase order or letter of authorization to bill with the registration form. For details on third-party payment, please contact PCE at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-543-2310.
About the 2012–13 Instructors
Rebecca Destello, HCDE 517 and 518, is a usability analyst at Nordstrom. She graduated from the University of Washington with an MS in Human Centered Design & Engineering and a Certificate in User-Centered Design. Prior to that, she received a BA in Interdisciplinary Visual Arts, with a focus on design, printmaking, and art history, also from the UW.
Andrew Davidson, HCDE 517 and HCDE 518, is a technologist and designer specializing in interaction design and physical computing applications, working in a wide variety of professional and educational contexts.
Doug Pyle, HCDE 518, has been a user experience professional for many years. He started the user research group for microsoft.com, MSDN, TechNet, and Microsoft Press. He has also worked for Google as well as the Microsoft Robotics startup group.
Skip Walter, HCDE 518, has years of experience in executive management and consulting, software engineering, product development, technology mergers and acquisitions, and designing, architecting, producing, and delivering software solutions for industry.
Suzanne Boyd, HCDE 537, is Founder & Principal Consultant of Anthro-Tech, Inc.—a user-centered design consultancy focused on government agencies, nonprofits and organizations with a social-impact mission.