Understand what users need, and more importantly, why they need it
Prime’s 14-week immersive User Experience Design program was crafted to help people with interests in design, organization, and technology build the foundational skills to start a career in user experience. Prime worked hand-in-hand with industry employers to ensure that graduates are ready for the challenges of building complex experiences that are valuable for businesses and resonate with users.
|Campus||Deadline||Tier 1||Tier 2||Graduation|
Apply before the Jul 16 deadline.
Average starting salary of program graduates.
Completion rate of students in the classroom.
Number of companies with Prime grads on their teams.
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User experience (UX) is a field that draws from many different disciplines including design, psychology, business, library science, organizational development, and software programming, to make sense of human-centered problems. With a playing field that wide, it’s no surprise that organizations don’t always agree on where the boundaries of UX are. Prime believes that the core of UX is based on expertise and context in a few core areas:
UX professionals have their own unique blend of experience and expertise in these areas based on how they build their career. If you ask a UXer what they do, you’ll get a slightly different answer depending on who you ask. While the day to day may vary, a career in UX will let you explore:
UX designers produce design artifacts such as:
User Experience Designers are integral to modern software development teams. UX designers apply skills from the above areas to serve as advocates for the user and help keep the team centered on the needs of the user. Sometimes designers work alongside developers; other times designers work with product owners and business analysts. Titles vary widely as well—user experience professionals may be labeled as UX designer, information architect, product designer, usability specialist, or interaction designer, to name a few. Prime familiarizes students with the software development lifecycle and how they can exercise their skills in each phase of the process.
User experience is a dynamic and interdisciplinary field and practitioners have a wide variety of backgrounds—some with formal training in human factors, psychology, or visual design, to name a few—and many others who have learned the practice through a non-traditional path. The eclectic mix of working professionals in user experience is part of why Prime is focused on celebrating diversity within our cohorts and why our cohorts include a spectrum of experience, backgrounds, and ages.Applicants come from varied backgrounds but there are a few things that make someone a compelling candidate:
Prime's admission process starts with an online application. You'll answer short essay questions, logic puzzles and you'll be presented with a creative challenge where you'll show us how you think. The process is designed to be fun–there's no timer and you can continue working on your answers at any time. Once submitted, our Admissions team will review and contact you with the next steps. Candidates that are invited to interview will have the chance to sit down with someone from our admissions team to confirm that the program feels like a mutual fit. Generally speaking, you'll know whether you're offered admission within 2-3 weeks of completing your application.
Our immersive user experience design program focuses heavily on the broad foundation of skills employers are looking for in UX designers. The curriculum spans the entire end-to-end design process—including up-front user research, wireframing and design, interactive prototyping and evaluation. The breadth of the program arms emerging UX designers with the context they need to build a career. The program is broken into three tiers. Click on each tab in the timeline below to learn more or fill our the form and we'll send you a copy of the syllabus.
By the end of the program you will be:
Tier 1 is a chance for you to learn and begin practicing with the basic tools of the trade in user experience. This includes a design process model, user-based research methods, and tactical tools like Sketch, Figma, and Axure. We’ll discuss everyday design examples to understand how all these components impact the user experience.
During Tier 1, you'll be making daily progress on weekly activities, and you’ll getting to know your cohortmates, instructor, and cohort advisor through daily sessions.
Tier 2 is when you really start practicing what it means to be a UX practitioner as you navigate real projects, sourced uniquely for your cohort. You'll complete four week-long project sprints as you practice research and prototyping methods in a low-stakes setting. You’ll gain experience in creating professional devilverables, including journey maps, annotated wireframes, and usability test reports. You’ll practice communicating your insights and ideas to your team and your client(s), and will experience how design teams operate in various settings. Communication is a recurring theme at Prime; beyond the classroom work, you’ll also participate in public speaking and leadership training with students from all of Prime’s programs.
Beyond the context that you’ll receive from instructors, Prime regularly hosts guests from the industry to share different perspectives on various aspects of user experience design, software development and product management overall.
Tier 3 is where the foundations you’ve been laying since Tier 1 are really put to work! You’ll work in pairs and small teams to solve a design problem for and with real clients. You’ll gain practical experience with the entire design process, from problem definition to prototyping, evaluating, refinement, and execution. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of designing for digital experiences, and the challenges you are likely to encounter when working on a UX team. We will also explore how to define and create concepts for designs that extend beyond a single screen.
Building your skills is important, but without something to show off your work, employers aren’t able to see the impact you could have on their team. Alongside project work, you’ll be collecting artifacts you’ve been creating throughout the program into a portfolio that will help you to put your best foot forward with prospective employers. This work, along with coaching and resume review from Prime staff and volunteers from the community, will get you ready to make a great first impression with employers at career day.
Prime connects students with employers searching for fresh talent, but we don’t send you in unprepared. We’ll work with you to build a resume and a portfolio of work that you can show off with pride. You’ll receive coaching on interviewing strategies from your instructors as well as actionable feedback from industry recruiters and local hiring managers who spend time with you on a mock interview day. Prime’s industry network team is always connecting job seekers and alumni with fresh opportunities.
Success after Prime sometimes depends more on who you know than what you know. Through our mentor program, we introduce you to smart, supportive professionals from the local tech community. During your first week in the classroom, we pair small groups of students with a few working professionals, including one Prime alum who understands exactly the rigors and rewards of your education. You’ll meet bi-weekly with your mentor group for advice and insights to help kick-start your new career.
The culmination of all this preparation is career day, a remarkable opportunity to interview with multiple employers excited about Prime and eager to speak with you. Prime’s huge network of employers means there are always companies ready to talk to you about open positions. Not every student lands their first role through a connection from Career Day, but every graduate benefits by shaking off their entry-level interviewing butterflies and gaining confidence in speaking about themselves and their portfolios.
Prime partners help connect students with valuable skills beyond graduation. Improve the inclusive web with free courses from Deque, and bolster your resume by pursuing your Digital Accessibility Certification with a partner prep course.
Your tuition supports Prime’s industry-leading instruction staff, excellent student-to-teacher ratio, development of our employer network, and ongoing curriculum development. Tuition covers instruction and access to educational software licenses. Students are responsible for their own transportation, meals, living expenses, and portfolio hosting fees (~$150). Note that financing need not be finalized when you apply. Once accepted into the program, we’ll work with you one-on-one on your best option!
Pay out of pocket or finance on your own.
includes $500 discount
For students paying out of pocket with their own funds or planning to secure a personal loan through their bank or various lender options.Tuition is $17,000
Start learning with a low investment.
per month (based on credit)
We offer flexible financing with Ascent or Climb that can cover your down payment, tuition and living expenses no matter what your credit score.Tuition is $17,000
Having access to a computer you call your own is a critical part of achieving mastery as a tech professional. To provide a consistent experience we've standardized on Apple laptops (running a current version of OS X). If you aren't sure if your computer meets these specifications or want help selecting a laptop for Prime contact us. Prime will provide you with an external monitor for use in the classroom.
Paying for a program like Prime is a big deal. Check out all the resources and options open to you in more detail on our funding page.
Prime is committed to maintaining real relationships with our alumni and providing support and advice that spans your entire career. Whether you’re swinging into Prime to say hello or touch base with friends on Slack, alumni are part of our community forever.
We provide free co-working space for alumni to ensure that no grad goes through their job search alone. We also operate a weekly session for alumni who are currently job searching called Alum Scrum. These sessions focus on specific interviewing tips and advice on navigating the tricky situations that arise in a job search.
Beyond job search support, Prime encourages alumni to continue to hone their skills through whiteboard challenges, coordinated user group attendance, and keeping in close contact with your classmates as you all make your marks on the local tech industry.
"My experience at Prime Digital Academy was transformative. I've never experienced education in a more immersive, well-supported, and holistic way. The instructors' don't consider you just a number (as I've experienced in so many mainstream institutions); they really want you to succeed. My life has been forever changed for the better."
"At some point in life everyone has a moment they can pinpoint as being completely life altering, mine was my acceptance into Prime. I started Prime as a college drop-out floating through life with no idea of what to do. I left a completely different person. I'm strong, confident (most days), independent, and I feel prepared for the future."
"The learning is intense and the teachers know how to push you to the edge of your abilities and then watch as you make things happen that you wouldn't have thought possible. The amount of knowledge you absorb is incredible. What you find is that your classmates and the Prime staff is there to support you throughout the entire experience."
The following upcoming cohort dates are planned. You are encouraged to apply early (even if your cohort's applications aren't open yet) as you may be asked to complete pre-study work depending on your experience. Each row in the table below represents a cohort at Prime and the dates that they'll enter the various tiers of study within the program.
|Format||Hours||Deadline||Tier 1||Tier 2||Tier 3||Graduation|
|On Campus||M-F, 8:30am-5pm CST||Jul 16||Sep 11||Sep 25||Nov 6||Dec 15|