User Experience Design—Mad UX—Capstone Certificate Program

The UW–Madison User Experience Design—Mad UX—online capstone certificate provides you with introductory through intermediate user experience skills to plan, design, and assess innovative digital user experiences via digital applications and media. You can complete the certificate entirely online,  within one calendar year allowing for balance of your education, work and life.

In Mad UX, you will:

  • learn theories, techniques and tools of digital design
  • practice assessing user satisfaction with digital media
  • practice different prototyping techniques
  • collect and analyze data about users, user needs and use environments
  • work to improve the usability, accessibility, and pleasure with which people interact with digital spaces over periods of time.

Mad UX will accommodate both existing computing professionals whose expanding job responsibilities require a deeper understanding of user experience design, and people new to the technology workforce seeking introductory skills in user experience design.

The Mad UX certificate draws on and combines expertise from three highly ranked UW–Madison partner units: The School of Library and Information Studies, the Department of Computer Science and the Digital Media group of the School of Education.


“User Experience Design 1” (3 credits, summer term) Introduces you to the user experience (UX) design process, key stages in designing for user experience, and tasks, methods, and tools involved at each stage. This includes understanding and modeling users needs and contexts, and performing basic design, prototyping, and formative evaluation. The class also introduces you to the structure of the certificate and prepares you for online learning. You will develop and present a proposal for a real life project that guides your work over the year toward the final capstone project.

“User Experience Design 2” (3 credits, fall semester) In the second class, you advance your understanding of the UX design process by learning and applying tools and techniques at an intermediate level, including conceptual and interaction design, more advanced methods for prototyping of design solutions, and iterative design based on user models and evaluation. You will apply skills learned in the course to further develop and iteratively improve prototypes for your capstone project.

“User Experience Design 3” (3 credits, spring semester) In the third class, you further enhance your mastery of the UX design process through learning and practice, broadening your command of available methods and tools and your ability to address more complex design problems. You advance your competencies in testing prototypes, understanding political and social elements of  design, and design project management. You will begin to finalize your capstone project through testing and redesign and you will draft plans for communication and management of your design proposal.

“User Experience Capstone” (1 credit, 4 week summer term) In the final capstone experience, you illustrate how you have obtained and incorporated stakeholder feedback on your capstone project in prior classes. You will present your capstone project to a panel of judges and classmates, demonstrating professional oral, written and video communications skills.