Designation: Take a Design Class in Chicago This Fall

August 13, 2013

11:00 am

Chicago-based Designation is now accepting applications for its 10-week course this fall to teach the design skills that are in demand at startups.

Starting with little to no experience, students will learn the basics of design, user experience, user interaction, and front-end coding from teachers including Zeke Franco, interaction designer at GrubHub.

Ten weeks may seem short, but a big time commitment is required: in addition to Monday and Thursday night classes (6-9 pm) and a Saturday lab, Designation expects students to spend 30 hours a week learning on sites like Code Academy. And the schedule is ambitious:

Designation topics

By teaching all those skills, Designation is putting students on the path to become the coveted “unicorn designers”: that rare breed of professional who can handle everything from design to UX/UI to front-end development.

But Kevin Yun, who taught development during Designation’s first summer session, admits that students will probably branch off toward one specialty or another.

“What we try to do is give our students that whole curriculum . . . so they have the opportunity to pursue the things that they feel like they have a passion for,” he says.

Design skills are increasingly in demand, as competition for eyeballs rises and startups like Pinterest and Path prove how good design can make or break you.

At $4,200, the cost of Designation is comparable to that of programming schools. But Designation doesn’t offer any job placement services yet, as many of the new hacker schools do.

Apply for the fall program here by September 16.

Chicago design class

Chicago design class

Chicago design class

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact

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