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My experience with NNGroup

Mario Araque UXC Certified Nielsen Norman Group

A few weeks ago, I went to London for the UX Conference with the best of the best in anything related with UX: Nielsen Norman Group. It was a beautiful experience and, with this post, I want to share my recommendations to go to this conference and earn the certification.

The format

We need to pass 5 exam courses to earn the certification. The most important thing here is that it is not mandatory to take the exams. NNgroup did a great job pushing the experience doing courses instead of increasing the importance of the certification. In my case, I wanted to earn the certification, and I went to London to earn it, but I discovered that the courses were really valuable, and it gave me lot of motivation to both do the exam and start the implementation in my job.

Returning to the topic of the format, the UX Conference is a entire week with courses you can do, only one per day (courses of 8 hour duration, with breaks and lunch). In my case, I went to London to Plaza Victoria Hotel, a very good place, perfect to celebrate events and meetings.

You can go to 7 courses. Every course is from 1 topic, here is a list fo all topics:

  • Interaction Design
  • Mobile Design
  • UX Management
  • UX Research
  • Web Design

If you need more information, this link will help you.

As I said, if you pass 5 exams you earn the certification. Also you can earn the specialty of every topic above if you pass 5 exams of this topic.. I did and passed 5 courses of UX Research Specialty, and earn both the certification and the specialty. Very recommended.

The courses

Every course is focused in one topic, and the instructor is a specialist in this topic. I did this five courses:

  • Personas: Turn User Data Into User-Centered Design
  • Measuring User Experience
  • Journey Mapping to Understand Customer Needs
  • Usability Testing
  • Analytics and User Experience

All of the courses were great and very focused on case studies and real experiences. Nothing about theory or history or "What is UX?".

I asked lot of question of every instructor I had. Fortunately they were very kind and help me a lot.

On hour after the course, you will receive the exam. you are going to do it online, and you have 35 days to pass it. You have 3 attempts, I recommend to read again the material and take lot of notes, because the exam is not easy but not very difficult. If you are motivated, you will pass.

The recommendation

My recommendation is to go to this conference and pass the courses. In my case, I really appreciate to earn a certification of the best UX company of the world.

I understand people who say that it has no value to earn certifications because recruiters tend to see your work, not your degrees. If you work in a company, certifications like NNgroup tend to be a differential value when you are competing with other for a client.

I decided to come back in November to earn the Master Certification next year: pass 15 exams. Of course I want to earn 2 specialties.

I hope this post help you to meet NNgroup and go to a Conference.