6 Extremely Popular Online Design Courses to Enroll

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Design and branding are now more relevant. There has never been a better time when you’re thinking about switching professions to become a graphic designer. Over the last five years, demand for graphic design courses has skyrocketed, with a flood of new students coming in every month. With some beginner design courses, have you ever thought about upskilling?

Design Courses
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Some of the best design courses that you can find online and register for free are listed below. You can thus table the excuses and begin learning and either add a new talent or sharpen an old one.

Let’s get started (Click in the title link below to enroll a course)!

1. Design and Make Infographics

You can use Adobe Illustrator (which you can download for a free, 30-day trial) to create a content-rich infographic on a subject of your choice in this project-centered course. To illustrate a business trend or environmental question, or even to present a theme or development from your personal life, you could choose to create a visual representation of data from the world of sports, entertainment, policy, or science. Through effective use of design elements such as typography, color, and structure, your finished infographic will engage your target audience and communicate information clearly.

Whether you’re a graphic designer, a writer, or an intern in the department, you’ll learn:

  • What an infographic is and what makes a good one.
  • How to work within your limits.
  • How to work with a team (if you have one).
  • Why infographics are effective.
  • Techniques for spotting data in stories.
  • Six valuable steps for planning an effective infographic.
  • How to use and make some of the building blocks of infographics: maps, charts, and flow charts.
  • Ways data can be visualized to clarify it and give it meaning.
  • How to effectively design a good infographic by effectively using elements like type, color, and an underlying grid structure.
  • Some free or cheap, online tools for making various kinds of infographics.

You’ll learn all about why infographics are powerful as you work on your project, what makes a good infographic, and how to plan and build an infographic for optimal effect. You will explore different data visualization techniques, and in your free version of Adobe Illustrator, you will practice making visualizations such as maps, tables, flow charts, and basic sketches.

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About this course in a nutshell

  • Host university/institution: Michigan State University
  • Time to complete: 9 hours
  • Number of students: 121,441
  • Shareable certificate: Yes
  • Rating: 4.7 / 5

2. Graphic Design Elements for Non-Designers Specialization

You will discuss basic graphic design elements, color theory, pictures, publication design, and techniques for designing successful layouts in this hands-on specialization. In a professional environment, you will also learn about typography, the creative process, the importance of brainstorming, and how to discuss and criticize the design. To integrate and incorporate text, color, photographs, and photos, page layout software, and web sites will be used.

There are four design courses in this specialization, including:

  1. Basic Elements of Design: Design Principles and Software Overview
  2. Graphic Elements of Design: Color Theory and Image Formats
  3. Textual Elements of Design: Fonts, Typography, and Spacing
  4. Print and Digital Elements of Design: Branding and User Experience

This specialization is made for you if you are curious about the design process, work on a team of designers and need to speak some of their languages, or want to inspire the creatives on your team to be even better.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Appreciate the study of design layout and conceptual elements concerning design projects.
  • Analyze basic design concepts to apply in the professional setting, including typography, color theory, image selection, and layout best practices.
  • Design foundational creative projects, including business cards, brochures, ads, websites, and manuals.
  • Discover techniques for working and communicating with graphic designers and other creative professionals.

About this course in a nutshell

  • Host university/institution: University of Colorado Boulder
  • Time to complete: 4 months
  • Number of students: 22,042
  • Shareable certificate: Yes
  • Rating: 4.7 / 5

3. Graphic Design Specialization

This five-course sequence introduces students to the fundamental abilities needed by image-making and typography to create a sophisticated graphic design: method, historical context, and communication. In a finished branding project appropriate for a professional portfolio, the series is completed by a capstone project that applies the abilities of each course and peer reviews.

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The purpose of this specialization is to equip learners in the field of graphic design with a range of transferable formal and conceptual methods for “creating and communicating.” This core skill set will equip learners with a starting point for more work in interface design, motion graphics, and editorial design for formal studies in graphic design.

There are five design courses in this specialization, including:

  1. Fundamentals of Graphic Design
  2. Introductions to Typography
  3. Introduction to Image-making
  4. Ideas from the History of Graphic Design
  5. Brand New Brand

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Gain the fundamental skills needed to be a graphic designer
  • Complete a capstone project to add to your professional portfolio
  • Communicate through image-making and typography
  • Work in interface design, motion graphics, and editorial design

About this course in a nutshell

  • Host university/institution: California Institute of the Arts
  • Time to complete: 6 months
  • Number of students: 185,809
  • Shareable certificate: Yes
  • Rating: 4.7 / 5

4. Interaction Design Specialization

You will learn how to design technologies in this specialization that bring people joy, rather than annoyance. In addition, you can learn how to generate design concepts, how to prototype them easily, and how to use prototypes to get input from other stakeholders, such as your peers, customers, and users. You’ll also learn visual design, perception, and cognition principles that inform the successful design of interaction.

There are eight design courses in this specialization, including:

  1. Human-Centered Design: an Introduction
  2. Design Principles: an Introduction
  3. Social Computing
  4. Input and Interaction
  5. User Interaction: Research & Prototyping
  6. Information Design
  7. Designing, Running and Analyzing Experiments
  8. Interaction Design Capstone Project

About this course in a nutshell

  • Host university/institution: University of California San Diego
  • Time to complete: 10 months
  • Number of students: 46,163
  • Shareable certificate: Yes
  • Rating: 4.4 / 5

5. UI/UX Design Specialization

The UI/UX Design Specialization provides a design-centered approach to the design of the user interface and user experience, and provides realistic, skill-based training focused on a visual communication perspective, rather than one focused on marketing or programming alone.

You will recap and explain all phases of the UI/UX development process in this sequence of four courses, from user research to determine the approach, scope, and information architecture of a project, to designing site maps and wireframes. In UX design, you can learn current best practices and conventions and apply them to construct powerful and convincing screen-based experiences for websites or applications.

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There are four design courses in this specialization, including:

  1. Visual Elements of User Interface Design
  2. UX Design Fundamentals
  3. Web Design: Strategy and Information Architecture
  4. Web Design: Wireframes to Prototypes

Learners enrolled in the UI/UX Design Specialization are eligible for an extended free trial (1 month) of a full product suite of UX tools from Optimal Workshop.

About this course in a nutshell

  • Host university/institution: California Institute of the Arts
  • Time to complete: 4 months
  • Number of students: 76,981
  • Shareable certificate: Yes
  • Rating: 4.8 / 5

6. User Experience Research and Design Specialization

Integrate UX Research and UX Design by identifying consumer expectations, quickly producing prototypes, and testing design ideas to produce great products. Through a user study, ideation and refinement, systematic review, prototyping, and user testing, learners can gain hands-on experience with taking a product from the initial concept, implementing perspectives and methods to ensure a better user experience at every phase.

This UX Research and UX Design specialization end with a capstone project in which students will apply the concepts of UX Research and Design to design a full product, taking it from an initial idea to an interactive prototype.

There are six design courses in this specialization, including:

  1. Introduction to User Experience Principles and Processes
  2. Understanding User Needs
  3. Evaluating Designs with Users
  4. UX Design: From Concept to Prototype
  5. UX Research at Scale: Surveys, Analytics, Online Testing
  6. UX (User Experience) Capstone

About this course in a nutshell

  • Host university/institution: University of Michigan
  • Time to complete: 9 months
  • Number of students: 21,308
  • Shareable certificate: Yes
  • Rating: 4.7 / 5

Final thoughts

Graphic design is an exciting, innovative technical area in which you can make everyday use of your passion for art. Graphic designers can turn statistical data into visual graphics and diagrams with the use of pictures, text, and color, which can make complicated concepts more available.

With the design courses above, you can improve your ability to become the best graphic designer in your field. All of them are designed to be easy for even a beginner to follow, so there is no reason for you to hesitate joining.

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