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University of Michigan Free Online Course on Understanding User Needs

The University of Michigan is offering free online course on Understanding User Needs. This course is part of the User Experience (UX) Research and Design MicroMasters Program offered by MichiganX.

In this four week course, applicants will learn how to conduct effective user research to better understand what users love, hate, want and need. This course will start on July 11, 2017.

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Course At A Glance 

Length: 4 weeks
Effort: 3-4 hours pw
Subject: Computer Science
Institution: University of Michigan and edx
Languages: English
Price: Free
Certificate Available: Yes, Add a Verified Certificate for $99
Session: Course Starts on July 11, 2017

Providers’ Details

The mission of the University of Michigan is to serve the people of Michigan and the world through preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving and applying knowledge, art, and academic values, and in developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future.

About This Course

Designing effective interactive systems requires understanding the needs and capabilities of the people who will be using them.

Why Take This Course?

Learners will be introduced to numerous techniques to gather data from and about users.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the different types of user needs and their context
  • How to conduct effective user interviews
  • Develop personas and scenarios as design tools
  • Use public information (e.g., the Internet) to further your understanding of user needs
  • Review additional techniques for uncovering user needs


Kentaro Toyama

Kentaro Toyama is W.K. Kellogg Associate Professor at the University of Michigan School of Information, a fellow of the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT, and author of Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change from the Cult of Technology.


Recommended – successful completion of:

How To Join This Course

  • Go to the course website link
  • Create an edX account to SignUp
  • Choose “Register Now” to get started.
  • EdX offers honor code certificates of achievement, verified certificates of achievement, and XSeries certificates of achievement. Currently, verified certificates are only available in some courses.
  • Once applicant sign up for a course and activate their account, click on the Log In button on the edx.org homepage and type in their email address and edX password. This will take them to the dashboard, with access to each of their active courses. (Before a course begins, it will be listed on their dashboard but will not yet have a “view course” option.)

Apply Now