Google UX design certificate VS Interaction Design graduate study

I graduated from College for Creative Studies in 2018 majoring Product Design.

I’ve started Interaction Design Graduate program at CCS this week and I came across Google is planning on releasing a UX design certificate.

My priority is getting hired in Product/Industrial Design field (even during the program, I will be actively searching for a job).

As you know Graduate program is very costly, for my career and goal (getting hired as a industrial or product design in the near future) which program
would be better for me to pursue? When companies hiring, does Master’s degree and Certificate matters a lot?

I would appreciate any insights!

If you want to be in the hardware space, a UX certificate is another bullet point on your resume which truthfully as a hiring manager shows me you might have interest in a field, but if you can’t demonstrate using that skill in your field, it does not mean much.

I take masters candidates more seriously, and also hold their portfolios to a higher standard than I would a Bachelors candidate. That is still a bit hard (since most BA candidates have ~3 years of design focused studies and graduate students only have 2).

The reality is I don’t expect either for a new grad hire. If you have a good portfolio and I’m hiring for a new grad position, that floats to the top of my list before I ever read your CV.

The supplemental UX certificate or degree has to accentuate or complement the ID work. It needs to make sense, based on what is seen in the portfolio. I applaud the goog’s intentions with the certificate program but wonder how cookie-cutter it will be with the coursework. My entire intention with entering graduate studies was to reflect upon and improve core industrial design experience and have managed somewhat to select courses and projects that are tangentially complementary IMO.

Cyberdemon and slippyfish makes relevant points here. To be able to see the blending and cross fertilization of both UX/UI and the hardware side of a project in your portfolio is indeed the new acid test for PD portfolios in the 21st century.

I’m currently writing a job description for a designer that can do the kind of detail 3D CAD necessary to iterate physical prototypes (and document changes) as well as have the skills to take a design brief and take it to wire-frames in InVision and then work directly with the developer to execute the UX/UI experience. The friction I am seeing comes with pushing trends like Neumorphism against the Developer’s propensity to be lazy and over rely on icon libraries to create workable user experiences that are unique from the heavily entrenched user perspective.

Unique,creative and usable design concepts reside in the blending of these disciplines, not in the isolation of one separated from the others in a portfolio. Show me the sweat and genius created by forging these 3 disciplines (Industrial Design, Product Design, UX/UI) together = the full stack product designer of the 21st century. The ability to move back and forth quickly between the work shop, the CAD lab and the meeting space in a span of just a few hours is what I need in a designer.

what kind of product do you want to design?
laying out a phone app is in very high demand, will be automated soon, so the value of UI design will shift to coding and debugging, which is tough to teach yourself. ID’rs can do a lot of human machine interface design which really requires more training than using free layout tools for apps

Huh? This is as far reversed as I could imagine.

There is no way to “automate” the layout, information architecture, and user testing that involves in going into building an intuitive interface. Nocode platforms are up and coming which is actually reducing a lot of the dependency on coding for certain types of applications, but software development jobs aren’t going away. As someone who self-taught themselves code, I would also argue that this advice is wrong. There are tremendously good assets available online that allow you to learn coding fundamentals and advanced skills as long as you are willing to commit hundreds of hours to understand those skills. But the two are not mutually exclusive.

The design thinking process which applies to ID applies to User Experience and User Interface design. You need a consistent cycle of exploration, testing and iteration to build good products. Bootcamps may teach those fundamentals but you still need a breadth of practice just like you would in a design degree to refine the various skills involved.

i guess i could’ve explained my points better. Perhaps if I flip the situation. A UX designer with an ID certificate might have a niche but wouldn’t do actual ID work and vice versa, both are simply too complex to do well as ameteurs, which is what we’re discussing… that said, Adobe is making it easier and simpler to do UI design (heck, layouts can be done in powerpoint, if you know what your doing) and as Adobe pushes further into AI they want to automate that earliest step as much as possible. I’m not saying it’s good design, it’s just an accelerant.

but the real question is where does the OP want to end up. Frankly it sounds like the ID portfolio was too week to land a job and now is looking to alternative paths into a profession. UX is a typical plan B, I’ve worked with a number of very good designers who weren’t cut out for ID originally. but they all had to get at least the 2 years masters before they had an employable level of skill.
I’ve also worked with some entirely self taught UI designers, but while able to code and test a website or app, the lack critical feedback left them lacking some aesthetic basics.

I’ve been wondering what it would be like for ID to be in the enviable position UX has, so desperate for warm bodies an online certificate is considered in-the-door worthy. (As opposed to Architecture which has so many people banging their doors down they have to make it harder and harder to enter the profession.)
I’m guessing hiring managers think someone who completes the certificate has enough interest to be trained up properly on the job.
What would an equivalent ID certificate cover? Are there already enough tutorials to get most of the way there?

If you look at a typical ID degree based on # of credits to graduate (depending on art school or general college) you’d probably be able to see some other patterns.

-Of a 4 year program, year 1 was mostly foundational design practice (color theory, cutting up chip board)
-Of the remaining 3 years, you have core studio as 1/3rd? of your work? 12 hrs/wk x 30 weeks x 3 yrs. That boils to about 27 straight weeks of work assuming 5 days a week.
-ID is heavily focused on physical object creation, so the tools and skills needed to learn how to work in the woodshop, cut foam, research materials, waiting for the paint to dry, etc all take up a substantial amount of the time investment, beyond actual education.

UX bootcamps have much lower barrier to entry in terms of tools (text box, rectangles, pictures, go!) - so they spend a bit more time looking specifically at the overall process. It certainly doesn’t go as deep, but we’ve seen friends or classmates come out of 4 year programs who still have generally poor overall skills because ID requires a lot more investment and practice to get good results.

That to me is the biggest difference. To become proficient at the third dimension takes a lot more effort than 2D work on a screen. The overall research, thinking and process methodologies are all very similar - but reflecting on your own experiences, how much of your overall design education was spent thinking and learning methodologies vs listening to critiques, building stuff, staring at the sky pondering brilliant ideas of what to even work on, etc.

Upvoting all of this.

Also - “for ID to be in the enviable position UX has”… we’d have to live in a world where physical products become obsolete even faster, where the cost of physical products is essentially zero, and the palette for new product creation is drastically limited by size and color. These are all characteristics of UI design and I think a primary reason why that industry needs so many more ‘warm bodies’.

UX/UI just has a lot more touchpoints in the world than physical products do. Just think of any regular business, even physical products will have websites to support their sales, knowledge bases and helpdesks to support customers, all of the internal tools, etc used by employees all have teams of designers. Even think of us as designers. How many tools do we use to support the creation of a “simple” product?

Digital products have that entire support ecosystem as well (even software development tools have huge designed ecosystems for things as boring as databases and server software, AWS employs huge teams of designers).

Also, think of the difference between how physical products and digital products exist after they are “done”. If you make a garbage can for target, you hand off the CAD, sign off on the final samples, and move onto your next product. If you make an App you release the software, then typically continue development, refinement and new feature adds until the product either dies or goes end of life. That means as a business, to introduce two digital products you may need two entire teams vs 1 team that can finish product A and move to product B. That created a lot more overall space to grow UX design, along with a number of sub-specialties in the field (UX designer, UI Designer, Visual Designer, UX Copywriter, Information Architect, Design System Designer, Prototyper, etc).

Yes absolutely, thanks for that experienced explanation. There’s a multiplier on UX/UI that isn’t found in the physical world.

Think of an iPad/tablet; one industrial design needed for an enclosure (that will probably receive a number of internal updates to extend its lifespan), and infinite UX designs for the apps.