Photo of a review of DesignLab as a product design bootcamp

A review of Designlab as a product design bootcamp

Hi, I’m Elle! I work as a product designer at Getaround and as an industry mentor here at Pathrise, where I help our fellows land great jobs in product design through technical workshops and 1-on-1s.

What does Designlab do?

Designlab is an online bootcamp that helps people learn the necessary technical skills to get a job as a product or user experience (UX) designer. The program, UX Academy, is divided into 8 modules that cover design and communication basics, introduction to design thinking and UX design methods, UX research, information architecture, interaction design, user interface (UI) design, iteration and implementation, and personal brand and portfolio setup. Students complete 2 capstone projects in responsive web design and 1 in end-to-end application design. 

Before enrolling in UX Academy, students must have some prior design experience or take Designlab’s introduction course, Design 101. This 4-week course takes about 10-15 hours of work a week. Students are paired with an expert design mentor who will assist them with learning visual and UI design basics. UX Academy, the full 480-hour bootcamp, can be completed full-time (40 hours a week) in 15 weeks or part-time (20 hours a week) in 28 weeks. Students spend their time learning from self-paced lessons, mentor sessions, hands-on projects, and group critiques.

After completing UX Academy, students work with a career coach who has industry experience. Career coaches help students identify job opportunities, revise portfolios, and prepare for interviews. UX Academy students receive 24 weeks of post-graduation support, including one coaching session per week, access to the job-tracking tool Huntr, and a Slack channel where students can share job resources.

Who is Designlab for?

People who have some experience in design and are looking to move into careers in product and user experience design could benefit from Designlab’s UX Academy. Those with no prior design experience can take Design 101 to learn the basics. 

What does Designlab cost? How much work is involved?

Tuition for the UX Academy is $6,749. The cost of Design 101, the foundation course, is $399. Students who take Design 101 and enroll in UX Academy receive a $400 credit towards the bootcamp tuition. 

Financing is available through Climb Credit. Loans come with an interest rate of around 7% and must be paid back within 3 years. Designlab also offers a 6-month payment plan with a $400 service fee for those who do not want to pay upfront. Students must pay $1,075 before class begins and make 5 additional payments of $1075 and 1 payment of $975.

To apply to UX Academy, candidates fill out a brief application. Students who previously worked as a digital designer include a link to their recent work in the application. Students who took Design 101 include the link to their final course project.

Ratings and reviews

The reviews online of Designlab are mixed, but skewed towards positive. They are on SwitchUp’s list of best bootcamps. On CourseReport, students found the curriculum and the instructors helpful, but felt that program could have offered more job-seeking guidance. Students who reviewed Designlab on Career Karma felt that they learned a lot, but warned it was a “a rigorous program.”

Many students thought that Design 101 was a great introductory course. One grad reports that Design 101 was “quite good for the price.”

On SwitchUp, people found that UX Academy was good for learning the skills to jumpstart a career in design, though some expressed concerns about the Designlab’s job hunting resources, which they did not feel werewas adequate. People generally found the curriculum and mentorship to be helpful, with one grad noting that their mentor “really opened my eyes to how I needed to completely change my approach to design.”

Alternatives to Designlab

There are a number of alternative bootcamps and online resources that can help aspiring product and user experience designers, if they choose not to enroll in Designlab.

  • Students interested in taking online self-guided or instructor-led product design courses can check out DesignerUp. Learn more about DesignerUp in our review.
  • HackDesign sends weekly design lessons right to your inbox for free, which can be beneficial for product designers at any stage.
  • One of the most well known bootcamps is General Assembly, which offers full-time, part-time, and 1-day courses on a variety of topics like software engineering, data science, UX design, digital marketing, product management, and more. Read more about General Assembly in our review.
  • If you are interested in a subscription-based learning platform, check out Learn UX, which offers courses in UX/UI design.
  • You can check out Udacity and Springboard, which are online educational platforms that students can use to brush up on the basics or advance their current tech skills. Read more about Udacity and Springboard in our reviews.
  • GrowthX Academy is an online bootcamp with courses in growth marketing, UX design, and sales and business development. Learn more about GrowthX Academy in our review of the program.
  • Students can also check out Coursera, which provides courses ranging from free to $25,000. By partnering with accredited universities, Coursera offers a wide range of low-cost college courses.
  • An online learning platform with over 100,000 video courses in a wide variety of topics, Udemy allows students to pick & choose classes, often paying around $10 per class.
  • Students can also consider Kenzie Academy, a full-time tech bootcamp that offers in-person and online courses in 2 tracks: software engineering & UX design and front-end engineering. Learn more about Kenzie Academy in our review.
  • Thinkful and BrainStation are tech bootcamps with tracks in product/UX design, software engineering, and more.
  • Similarly, Bloc, Skillcrush, Treehouse, Interaction Design Foundation, and CareerFoundry are online bootcamps and resources with tracks in web development and design.
  • Flatiron School and Designation offer online and in-person design courses on the same campus.
  • Students located in the Bay Area or looking to work in Silicon Valley can check out Tradecraft, which has tracks in product design, growth marketing, engineering, and sales.

How does Designlab compare to Pathrise?

Designlab is an online bootcamp that offers courses for people who want to develop the skills to become a designer from scratch. At Pathrise, fellows in our program should already have some background in their field of interest so that they can participate fully in our workshops, which prepare students for the questions they will see in their technical interviews. 

Pathrise helps you land the best possible job. Our mentors have years of experience on both sides of the hiring table and fellows receive 1-on-1 support every step of the way. Pathrise focuses on technical and behavioral interviewing, as well as resume and LinkedIn optimization, portfolio building, reverse recruiting lessons, and negotiation guidance.

Our program is flexible, with only 4 hours of group sessions per week and 1-on-1 sessions that can be scheduled whenever job-seekers need them. Our curriculum is personalized to address each fellow’s specific needs. The Pathrise income share agreement is 9% of their first year’s salary and we never require upfront payments or deposits.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that helps students land their dream job in tech through 1-on-1 mentorship. If you are interested in working with any of our mentors to get help with the technical and behavioral interviews or any other aspect of the job search, join Pathrise. 

Apply today.

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