Content design is a rapidly expanding field, and for good reason. Good websites and apps need smart, effective content, and companies everywhere are becoming more aware of how much they need content designers (often called UX writers).
Aspiring content designers can benefit from a high-quality content design course. Whether you’re just curious about content design or are looking to make a career transition, there’s a content design course for you.
Types of content design course
In choosing a content design course, it’s important to know what you’re looking for, because there are a lot of different options at a variety of price points and levels of commitment.
Short content design courses
If you’re completely new to the field and want to get an overview of the basics, a short, free course is a good place to begin. After taking it, you may find that content design really excites you and want to continue to some of the more in-depth courses. And if it’s not for you, you will have found that out without spending much time and money.
If you want to go deeper, but still have a limited amount of time, a short self-guided content design course or a one- or two-day workshop is likely the best choice. These courses generally cost a few hundred dollars, and offer a lot of information. If you prefer working alone or have a complicated schedule, a self-guided class might be the right fit.
If you can spare a day or two and prefer the motivation of real-time instruction, go for a live workshop. These can also be great for folks who are not interested in becoming a full-time content designer but could benefit from the skills and knowledge in their current jobs.
Bootcamp-style content design courses
For those who want to go deeper, learning and practicing the skills they need to land a job in the field, then a longer, bootcamp-style content design course is the best choice. These classes require much more commitment, but you often get personalized instruction, homework assignments, and projects that you can put in your portfolio, as well as a much deeper dive into the world of content design.
So, in no particular order, here are seven of the best content design courses out there right now. If you’d like to skip to one particular course, simply use the clickable menu. We’ll cover:
- UX Writing Academy with UX Writing Hub
- Microcopy and UX Writing: The Complete Course
- Foundations of UX Writing by the University of Washington
- UX Writing with the Australian Writers Centre
- Think Like an Editor (Content Strategy and UX Writing)
- UX Writing at Berghs School of Communication
- Content Design training with Content Design London
Our top seven content design courses to take
In this article, we’ll look at examples from all three categories of content design course to help you find the best fit for your needs.
1. UX Writing Academy with UX Writing Hub
Cost: USD $2,850
Length: 6 months (plus optional industry project)
Format: Online, with live sessions
The UX Writing Academy begins with a six-week bootcamp that teaches students the ins and outs of content design. Online course modules are supplemented by weekly live online sessions with instructors to allow students the opportunity to ask questions and participate in stimulating discussions. All sessions are recorded for any students who can’t attend.
After the boot camp portion, students begin work on their final project, going through all the steps of the content-first design process: preliminary research, creating the project using design tools, and conducting more research for further iterations. This project offers students a great portfolio piece, as well as a chance to practice the process of content design.
Personal attention is what really sets the UX Writing Academy apart. Each student has a mentor, a seasoned pro in the field, who offers feedback on homework and projects, and is available for in-person meetings throughout the course. The students also connect with each other through weekly meetings and an active Slack channel.
Finally, the UX Writing Academy offers real world professional experience for students who choose to participate. Students work on industry projects for real companies, gaining invaluable experience and portfolio pieces.
The UX Writing Hub has long been one of the best places on the web to learn about UX Writing. With the UX Writing Academy, new content designers can take a deep dive into the field with an intensive yet manageable course. Looking for a quick introduction? The UX Writing Hub also offers a free introductory class.
2. Microcopy and UX Writing: The Complete Course—Created by Kinneret Yifrah (available through Udemy)
Cost: USD $199
Length: 2 hours
Format: Self-guided video
If you’ve begun dipping your toes into the content design waters, you’ve likely heard of Kinneret Yifrah, a major thought leader in the field and author of the book “Microcopy: The Complete Guide“. Yifrah wrote and designed a two-hour UX writing course, presented by UX writer and content strategist Merav Levkowitz.
The course lists its requirements as “A love for writing, tech, and humans,” and emphasizes practical tools rather than abstract ideas. That gives you a good idea of what you’ll learn: real-world tips focused around user experience—which is, of course, human experience. The two-hour video course is packed with 11 chapters covering everything from brand voice to 404 messages (that chapter has sections entitled “Why 404 messages are overrated” and “Why 404 messages matter,” so you can tell you’re getting the honest opinions of its creators.)
Students will have lifetime access to the materials, which include the videos as well as additional downloadable resources. The course includes assignments and students who complete it will receive a certificate of completion.
3. Foundations of UX Writing by the University of Washington
Cost: USD $999
Length: 9 weeks
Format: Live online, evening classes
As part of a certificate in writing, the University of Washington offers a UX writing course. (You can take the class without enrolling in the certificate program.) Designed for copywriters, product managers, designers, and other professionals who work or aspire to work in the UX field, the nine-week course covers all the basics of UX Writing.
The focus of the course is on creating human-centered content, and students will learn about voice and tone, how to create inclusive and accessible content, and more. They will also learn how to measure the performance of the content they create. Students will come out of the course with several pieces for their portfolios, which is valuable for those wishing to transition into a UX Writing career.
The course is offered online in real-time sessions that meet in the evenings. This allows students to get to know the instructor and one another through live sessions. Students who successfully complete the course will earn a badge that they can display on their LinkedIn profile and elsewhere online.
4. UX Writing with the Australian Writers Centre
Cost: USD $345
Length: 2 consecutive morning workshops
Format: Live online
The Australian Writers Centre (AWC) offers courses in everything from fiction to business writing, and that includes UX Writing. Periodically, the AWC offers a two-morning workshop presenting the fundamentals of the field.
Taught by Carli Ratcliff, a UX writer and digital content specialist who led Qantas’s UX writing team and now works as a consultant. The course is a great option for those who want a live experience, but aren’t able to spend the time or money on a longer course.
While the course is in introduction, designed for writing professionals or tech professionals who want to learn about UX writing, it packs a lot of critical information into the two sessions. Students will learn about voice and tone, SEO strategies, button copy, user flows, and more. The course is focused on current best practices in UX writing.
5. Think Like an Editor (Content Strategy and UX Writing) with Anne Ditmeyer (offered through Open Classroom)
Length: 10 hours
Format: Self-guided video
This course is self-guided, so you won’t receive personal instruction or feedback (or the motivating power of deadline pressure), but 10 hours of free instruction is nothing to sneeze at. If you’re new to UX writing and wondering if the field is for you, this is a great opportunity to learn a lot without spending any money.
You’ll learn about user-centered content, content-first design, microcopy, style guides, voice and tone, and much more. The platform is easy to navigate, and the lessons are thorough yet digestible. Quizzes at the end of each chapter allow you to test your knowledge, and you will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the course.
6. UX Writing at Berghs School of Communication
Cost: 35,625 SEK (USD $3,924)
Length: 12 weeks
Format: Online, live sessions
If you’re already an experienced copywriter, designer, or other professional who would like to expand their skill set to include UX writing, this 12-week in-depth course from the Berghs School of Communication may be for you.
Although the cost is higher than some of the other offerings on this list, the program goes deep into the field. Students will learn the principles of UX writing, as well as important professional issues like working on a team and giving feedback. The course culminates in a portfolio project.
Students should expect to spend 10 hours a week on coursework and will attend weekly live sessions. The course is directed by Jane Ruffino, a UX writer and content strategist based in Stockholm, Sweden.
7. Content Design training with Content Design London
Cost: Varies depending on training, Foundations in Content Design is £695 + VAT
Length: 2 days (some 1 day workshops available)
Format: Live online
Content Design London, a well-established consultancy, frequently offers trainings. These are typically two-day workshops hosted over Zoom. Their Foundation in content design training is based on founder Sarah Winter’s book (“Content Design”), and guides students through the process of creating a single piece of content over the two-day course. Classes are capped at 16 people, so students work closely with a small group and are able to receive plenty of individual attention.
Content Design London also offers a 2-day advanced workshop, as well as a one-day web writing class. In the past, they have offered in-person trainings as well, but these are on hold due to the pandemic.
These are the best courses for people looking to get into content design in 2023. But there are a lot of other useful resources to help you learn more and build your career. For example, it’s helpful for content designers to understand UX design more broadly.
Fortunately, CareerFoundry provides a free short course in UX design that will help you pick up some skills and work more effectively with designers. Speaking of design, Figma is an essential tool for content designers, and there are many online courses and tutorials to help you learn it. There is always more to learn in the UX field, and the content design courses and other resources in this article are a great place to start.