(Online Course Review) Treehouse Web Design, 2017 Version


Overview

Review Published: June 26th, 2016.

Note: After I completed this online course, it was updated to include significantly different content. This review is based upon the updated version for a more up-to-date perspective (the "Where to Get It" link will lead to the newer version), but I do compare it to the previous version in my summary so readers can get a better idea if the current course is for them.

From the Treehouse online learning platform, this course introduces newcomers to the basics of web design.

From basic coding skills in HTML and CSS, to visual design principles, SEO and UX design, this course provides a comprehensive survey of the skills needed to create outstanding websites.


Rating:

Two and a half out of five.Updated ScoreWhat does this mean?

(Updated Content is Poor, Presentation is Clear)


Difficulty:

Easy to Moderate (Well presented, lots of technical content).


Length:

10-12 hours (approx.).


Where to Get It:


The Good

  • A good high-level survey of web design; the previous version of the course gave a bird's eye view of several design-related disciplines (i.e. UX design, SEO basics, visual design basics, and basic HTML/CSS coding).
  • Older version introduced various aspects of web design and its supporting elements; from basic coding (in HTML and CSS), to SEO, UX, and aesthetic visual design principles, this course was a great gateway into the design of web-based projects and what it took to see them succeed.
  • Easy-to-follow presentation; while the material could be challenging at times, it was never too difficult to be understood thanks to the clear and approachable presentation of the curriculum.

The Bad

  • Updated curriculum moves away from design towards coding; this means that courses on visual design aesthetics, basic SEO, and introductory UX design practices have been completely removed.
  • Updates leave major gaps in design knowledge that were completely unnecessary; with other course tracks on offer that cover web development (both front and back end), this change essentially takes away the key components of the only design-focused track they had.

The Bottom Line

  • Still struggling to find a balance; with the removal of many of the actual design-based courses in this learning track, Treehouse seems to have taken a large step backwards in attracting an audience looking to learn more about web-based UX/UI design.
  • A good start, but has serious gaps since updating; focusing on the nuts-and-bolts of coding a lot more than the previous version I used, I can't help but notice that it echoes the "Front End Web Development" track almost to the point of being unnecessary.
  • Worthwhile for the technical knowledge, but not for students looking for UX or Product Design; while Treehouse's course offerings for developers is strong, it has spent the last year moving away from design and business-based courses (which is a real shame since they had some good ones) so potential UX designers should check out my "Springboard UX Design" review.
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