Why Learning UX from Youtube & Blogs is a Very Bad Idea

There is a general pattern to the development of a UX professional, especially if that person evolves from any domains that are closely related to UX such as web development, business analysis or DevOps or visual design. In these related domains, a professional will always come across UX methodology and might even work with many UX architects and researchers. This exposure to UX methodology and terminology will give a false impression to the professional that he/she will have an impression that ‘I know UX. I have worked with & seen UX guys create wireframes, journey maps’. I used to hold the same thought in my head when i moved over from content management & busienss to UX. This pre-conceived notion inside the head will make them feel that there is nothing to learn in UX and all he/she needs to do is read a few blogs, watch a few UX conference videos and then put together a portfolio. But be warned, if you walk into the hands of a seasoned UX professional, your self assumed UX professional image will be shred to pieces. So anyone who wants to move to UX from related domains has to understand that, just like any other domains, UX also has itsown specialized knowledge, techniques, tools and methodology, that will have to be learned to master UX. And Youtube, blogs are never a good source to learn UX.

I will not recommend Learning from Blogs or youtube videos because:

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  1. They are written/created as random pieces of knowledge. From one blog you will get a way to organise information. From another you will learn how to conduct user interviews. From yet another you will learn how to create a great landing page. The problem of learning like this is that you will never know how to use these information you learned, because you are not learning it in a structured way. Every piece appears to be silos. Actually every piece put together create valuable output for the business. To give you another example from the early days of my UX career that, i used to believe that just by downloading a cheatsheet on Jakob Neilsens Heuristics, i will be able to do Heuristic evaluation of products. But when i entered the industry i knew that, just by applying heuristics, i will only scratch the surface, i will never be able to find real problems. Because there are more things such as creating personas, doing task analysis etc to be done when it comes to heuristic review so that my observations have actionable value for business.
  2. Blogs & youtube videos are written/created with different objectives – SEO ranking, upselling etc. So honestly only a few blogs sources/writers are out there who want to impart real knowledge to UX beginners. So most of the blogs have half baked or bad or non-standared content, because they are not written by UX experts. So always learn from authentic books available in the market or find sources such as N/N, UIE, ID .org etc
  3. When you are trying to learn anything new, you have to learn in an organized, structured way as a body of knowledge and not as random pieces of information. Each lesson should have a theme and each lesson should progressively build on the previous lesson. Courses and books are better in this than random youtube videos & blog articles.
  4. No knowledge becomes usable if you dont get to practice what you learned. In that sense both books and blogs fail miserably. They cant give you practice problems. Courses to certain extend can be useful in this regard

I would also say that even books & courses are not sufficient for a beginner. Because they dont help you to apply what you learned in real projects. Until you know which techniques suits which situation or problem space, you will never have the clarity of concepts and confidence to apply the UX techniques. So always find a mentor to work with who will give you real projects, evaluate your progress and help you approach the UX projects as per the Industry standards.

So the bottomline is instead of youtube videos and blogs I would suggest you learn from authentic books or online courses on HCI, UX and usability and work with a UX Mentor to fast-track your UX knowledge & career.

Finally, just as any new beginner, i was also very skeptical about spending money when it comes to learning UX. I relied mostly on free sources. Result- my progress was pathetically slow and so random that i hardly made any progress at all. At least i never gained any confidence on my UX skills to apply for any UX jobs or to clear a real interview at a top tech or design studio when i was depending on Free resources. Fed up with no progress, i decided to spend money and i decided i will find quality resources to learn UX. Then my progress was really good. So its absolutely fine to start off with free resources but at one point you will feel fed up with your progress and you will decide to pay for quality Learning resources. So my question is why waste any more time on half backed, uncooked, hastily prepared UX knowledge. So do spend money on quality resources & training for fast progress. But do spend wisely. Thats what i did all my career and that is what i do even now.

If you want any help with UX career or if you are looking for Mentoring, feel free to let me know, i can certainly help. I really see a lot of value in staying connected, so here are few ways you can connect & stay in touch
1. FB – https://m.facebook.com/sivaprasad.paliyath &
2. Linkedin – www.linkedin.com/in/sivaprasad2020