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  2. Preparing for Prime

What should I be doing before I start my UX program?

Prepare for Prime and level up with these free-online resources

Tips for starting:

1) Start learning and exploring the world of UX: We recommend incoming students continue to explore the world of UX - as a practice, the various careers within and what people are taking about in the UX space.   

2) Begin making connections: We encourage incoming students to explore more about the industry - podcasts, youtube videos and networking conversations are all great way to expand your awareness and understanding of careers in this field.

3) Familiarize yourself with your MAC: We standardize on apple laptops - start learning how to become more proficient on your device. Check out our macOS Getting Started Guide.

Starter resources

🎧 Contemporary Podcasts to pique your curiosity

Podcasts are an incredibly efficient and fun way to dive into the field. Here are some recommended by alumni and local UXers!

  • 99% Invisible: Discussions about the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world
  • Mixed-Methods: Learn about the different approaches to research and how to implement them in practice
  • UX Podcast: A variety of topics related to business, technology, and people – the key components of a UX practice!
  • The UX Intern: The host asks beginner kinds of questions to notable design leaders. (No longer maintained, but still a good place to start and identify recognized practitioners to further investigate)

🤝 Ways to meet the local UX community

Beginners are always welcome within local community learning events! Consider attending events that address UX, design, coding, psychology/behavior, and anything else in the ‘humans and technology’ categories! Challenge yourself to meet one new person and learn one new thing about them at each event you attend!

Local groups that host regular events:

  • UXPA MN: A local chapter of the national organization, with monthly events on Thursday evenings (A student membership is 100% recommended!)
  • Hexagon UX: An inclusive space for womxn and non-binary practitioner

📩 Email newsletters with value

📚 Foundational books to read

The following usability and user research books (available at most libraries) are well-known in the field and will provide you with a great foundation in the philosophy and mechanics of the practice:

☑️ Level up in the software

In our program, we use (but do not teach) the following software tools. It can be helpful to get a headstart, but be mindful of the trial periods; special licensing agreements are for accepted students only.
  • Figma â€“ A vector-based program for creating digital design assets, interactive prototypes, and design systems.  (Accepted students will be provided with a free Educational License)*
  • FigJam â€“ A digital whiteboard solution for remote sketching and collaboration. (Accepted students will be provided with a free Educational License)*
  • Keynote â€“ A free Mac program that students use for both giving presentations as well as preparing multi-page documents
  • Slack â€“ A team-based communication platform that we use for official Prime communications
  • Mac iOS â€“ Helpful tips for those transitioning from a PC to a Mac, which we require for all students
Here are a few other design programs that will not be used during the program, but are used by some folks in the industry.
  • Sketch â€“ A vector-based program for creating digital design assets.*
  • InVision â€“ A lightweight prototyping tool with a digital whiteboard solution for remote sketching and collaboration
  • Axure â€“ A robust interactive prototyping tool with industry longevity*
*30 Day free trial