Designation’s Academic Philosophy

Won J. You
2 min readOct 25, 2016


In August of 2015, I created a document that outlined the educational philosophy for Designation’s UX/UI boot camp. Up until that point, no such document existed, and as more guest lecturers and part-time instructors joined the program, it became necessary to outline our point of view on how best to meet our students’ needs. I looked at this list as the design principles for the program.

The Designation curriculum is:


We emphasize the inter-connectivity of the three disciplines of UX, UI, and interaction design to produce T-shaped designers. Even though students gain deeper proficiency in a single discipline, they must understand how all three interrelate.


The concepts that are taught should always be related back to how they work in the real world. No concept should ever be taught within a vacuum. Instead, there should always be some example of how the concepts apply to a professional setting.


Every lesson has clearly defined objectives and outlines that inform students what they’re going to be taught and what they’re expected to learn.


Students are provided engaging, insightful, and compelling content. The curriculum is shaped to keep students interested and invested in the material.


Students learn best through kinesthetic learning — learning by doing, which we refer to as “I Do, We Do, You Do.” The instructor teaches the basic concept and demonstrates how it works (I Do); students apply that concept through in-class activities and group projects (We Do); and students work on their own to absorb the concept (You Do).


Students learn best when they work in teams and with partners. The majority of in-class exercises and projects encourage collaboration and teaching each other. This helps them reach their true potential.


All student work is provided concrete, actionable feedback, verbal or written. It is consistently honest and forthright and takes the form of tactical changes. This allows students to understand what they did well and what they can improve on in future exercises. This evaluation is a key ingredient in helping students gain skills and strength.


We provide the most rigorous program possible to maximize the investments students make by joining the boot camp. The experience is always tough and uncompromising in the best way possible.


The curriculum is as comprehensive and effective as possible for students, so it’s in a continuous state of refinement. It reflects the changing nature of the profession, input from advisers and working designers, and feedback from cohorts.

Won J. You is the chief product officer and curriculum director at Designation, a UX/UI bootcamp based in Chicago.



Won J. You

I’m an over-caffeinated designer, information junkie, gamer, and educator.