What is User Experience?

Many of the apps we use today have been thought up and crafted by designers! UX is people's experience of a product or service. Delightful UX has the features and functionality that you need, loads and responds quickly, and is very easy and enjoyable to use. UI design is the artful creation of user interfaces people interact with that contributes to how they feel about the overall user experience.

Watch last summer's virtual class on extended reality (AR/VR/XR) design!

YouthXDesign.org Summer Class

About YouthXDesign

Patricia's mission is to empower more women and minorities to be directly involved in creating a digital future that is equitable for everyone! She has been teaching this program every summer since 2020 and has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater's CyberHigh summer camp program since 2014.

YouthXDesign is recommended for high school students ages 14-18, especially those who are interested in computing careers but don't want to code. In this program, students will learn about and apply fundamental design concepts and discover UX disciplines like user research, interaction design, and visual design. Registration is free for people of color or with any EJI.org donation.

Why should young people learn about UX?

Because we live in the digital age, it is critical for them to learn about the decisions and thinking behind the technology. In the real world, cross-functional teams (product managers, designers, and developers) work together to deliver apps and services we use every day. In this class, they will learn how to problem-solve with their peers, craft a great experience, and work together to create something useful!

Why is UX/UI Design a great career for people of color?

Access to technology has always lagged for communities of color, and these experiences are not really made with them in mind. Most UX designers are white (76.1%), followed by Hispanic and Latino designers (10.4%), Asian (7.6%), Black or African American (3.5%), and Native American or Alaska Native (0.3%).

There are many compelling reasons to get into UX design. The field pays well, needs more people, and lets you work anywhere! The average UX designer salary is $117,000, with a median salary of $87,000 with only an Associate degree or some college. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that jobs for UX designers will grow at 8% (much higher than average). Due to the digital nature of UX design work, companies are more willing to hire designers working remotely too. Learn about a few impactful POC UX designers below.

Ian Spalter, Head of Instagram Japan
Alana Washington, Head of Shipper Experience at Uber Freight
Sarah Ju-En Tan, Product Designer at Atlassian

Ian Spalter, Head of Instagram Japan (featured in Netflix series Abstract: The Art of Design)

Alana Washington, Head of Shipper Experience Design at Uber Freight (see her interview)

Sarah Ju-En Tan, Product Designer at Atlassian (watch her webinar on AR/VR design)


Creativity - Come up with novel solutions for problems

Communication - Effectively express ideas and present their projects

Collaboration - Group brainstorming sessions and cooperative projects

Leadership - Practice decision-making and ownership of their designs


Problem Discovery - Process of uncovering real-world problems

Design Thinking - Human-centered iterative process designers use to tackle problems

Rapid Prototyping - An iterative design approach to quickly improve user interfaces

Usability Testing - Methods to improve designs with continuous feedback from users


Google Meet & Docs - For collaboration, documentation, and presentations

Figma - Mobile app design creation and prototyping

POP (Prototyping on Paper) - An option for those who want to sketch by hand and prototype with a smartphone


Find an opportunity and discover your app idea


Sketch your idea and test your design prototypes


Polish your app and get it ready for programming

UX in a Nutshell

Learn more about UX/UI design, UX careers, how designers and programmers work together, and getting into coding from the Deconstructing YouTube video series, recorded for the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater's Virtual Tech Camp hosted by my good friend Dr. Alana Platt.

Watch the video series

Designing AR/VR Apps

View the presentation for the lecture and access the Figma project to do it yourself

Get access to files and project folder

Watch the video series

Designing Mobile Apps

Learn about design thinking, user research, interaction design, and visual design

Download the mobile app design activity PDF

Resources for Students

As a student, it may be hard to find materials to learn UX, which is why Patricia is making her content accessible for free. Here are more resources below.

For Teachers

See you next summer!

Be the first to know about a live class or new videos.