Absolutely Y.E.S !
Reason for ‘Y.E.S’ lies in my experience and I would like to share one with you. Prior to moving into UX I was working as UI designer/developer. I was exposed to the word UX for the first time during a job interview and with all honesty I admitted that this word is new to me. Interviewer was kind enough to give me overview of UX for 10 min. I could make a decent sense of what he meant but I was caught by the curiosity bug. Here, I assumed that UX is a kind of prequel to UI design and after reaching home started to google about UX. By the way, I cleared the interview and joined them as UI/UX designer.
In next few days, I came across various books, online courses, forums, blogs etc. Resources for learning UX were available in plenty. I learnt UI / visual / print design from free tutorial available on blog, youtube etc and equated UX design on same parameters. Found forums where UXer’s were critical of worthiness of online UX courses. I found those arguments a persuasive one and discarded the idea of going for online courses completely.
I started diving deep into UX by following popular blogs, UX thought leaders, reading Q/A on various forums. Was consuming lot of contents daily. I guess 12-15 articles daily. My calculation was that reading some 1000 articles in 3-4 months is good enough to add great value to my understanding of UX fundamentals and skills will improve as I apply them at workplace. I was confident of this approach because I learnt frontend, animation, computer graphics etc same way and was able to produce some good quality works.
But above strategy didn’t work for UX. These 1000 articles didn’t work as per my expectation but bought a realisation that UX is a science rather than an art. Basic attributes of other designs surrounds around shape, patterns, colours, motions principles, drawing, sketching, expressing self, being imaginary etc but in case of UX design of world seem to matter more than world of design. How we respond to unanswered problems, unmet needs, unfulfilled wants, constraints, contradictions, probing reality etc is the core of UX design. Guiding principles for these responses comes from design, cognitive science, information science, computer science.
By now, bigger picture became clear. Realised that only organised learning can help me head in the right direction. Than I began to hunt for paid tutorials/programs online as well as offline. Picked up several courses which fitted well in my budget.
As I was continuously taking good things from various platforms, it was changing a lot of things. Like the way I communicate design, ability to defend design decision based on usability and cognitive parameters, better at usage inquiries and need finding etc. I believe, a change of this degree is possible with organised learning and not by simply reading tonnes of stuffs randomly.
You can perceive online courses as a mentor telling you “Where to see” and “What to see” is definitely your choice. These courses will show you 2 ‘C’ ie ‘Content’ and ‘Certification’. Certificates will merely make your profile findable but after getting into the interview room only content will matter. Chase the content and thou shalt see the light…