Design SOS Course

Minimum viable UX design skills for product people.

Learn how to diagnose UX issues, UI fundamentals and improve interactions, so you can get instant product improvement this sprint.

  • 25+ course videos of foundational content, live clickable examples & explanations of the rationale
  • 9 checklists to quickly integrate into your workflow
  • 20+ product examples of theoretical ideals, heavy on visual examples to support principles
  • Figma file access to all course content


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Design-centred stepping stones to better product decisions

By understanding how the design mind works, your abilities are amplified. Whether that’s making micro-adjustments to your product’s behaviour, figuring out where you have a UX problem or polishing your UI to deliver a more cohesive experience, this course will give you the ability to see those opportunities in a way you haven’t before.

What does this mean? Ultimately better, more user-oriented product, you look better in your role and unlock a new side of your perspective.

In practical terms, after this course:

You’ll be able to understand and diagnose UX weirdness

You’ll rid yourself of these recurring annoying UX problems

You’ll get the design eyeball, to communicate visually, think about it like a design implant in your brain

You’ll get a good sense for what interaction should be, how to make it robust and proactively communicate with your users

Who it’s for

Anyone making UX/UI decisions, for example:

  • A startup founder ‘going it alone’
  • A product manager writing everything from user stories to wireframing and defining behaviour
  • Developers making decisions on the fly
  • UXers who need a refresh on UI and interaction

Difficulty Level

Beginner to intermediate


You need experience working within product


What this course includes

25+ course videos

Foundational content plus demo scenarios which show the concepts in action

9 Checklists

These one-pagers provide a synopsis of ‘how tos’ as well as UX/UI standards to integrate into your workflow

20+ product examples

See interactions, screens and flows which embody the problems and solutions found in this course


Design SOS in a nutshell

The course is broken down into bite-sized pieces and has lots of practical examples and patterns from which you to draw inspiration from. You’ll have lifetime access to the course, so jump back in whenever you need a refresher.

4 videos, 1 checklist

Diagnosis of UX, UI and interaction issues

🧠Learning objective: learn a process for stepping back from your problem how to get yourself unstuck when you’ve been working on a problem. Identify where your problem might lie and where you should focus.


Core content:

  • Diagnosis process (3 steps)
  • Review standards and prompts for IA & language, Navigation, UI and Visual hierarchy, interactions to spark your thoughts about where issues might lie
  • 🖥️ Demo scenario: we look at a fintech onboarding flow, specifically the ‘financial information’ section
  • ☑️Included checklist: standards for IA & language, Navigation, UI and Visual hierarchy, interactions 
12 videos, 4 checklists

UI Best Practices

🧠 Learning objectives overall: Get better at seeing and articulating what’s happening visually in a UI. Learn what’s required to make a UI look polished, starting with teh building blocks of visual communication, how alignment logic works, how to build a color palette and set of font styles using visual logic. 

Core content:

Visual hierarchy

🧠Learn to ‘see’ and the core ingredients of how to communicate in a visual way with the super basic building blocks

🖥️Demo scenario: Table view goes from 0 definition and visual hierarchy to a pleasing balanced UI using the building blocks we learned about

☑️included checklist: standards and prompts to identify UI issues and where to focus


🧠 Learn the basics of alignment and how to formulate rules and logic about alignment 

🖥️Demo scenario: a website page for a fintech product shows a variety of different alignment logic depending on the section of the page

☑️ included checklist: check your alignment logic, flag areas to work on


🧠 Learn the basics of a UI colour palette

🖥️Demo examples: see the basics expressed in a variety of colour palettes within the exact same UI

☑️included checklist: guide to prepare your colour palette


🧠Learn to build font styles and their typical relationship to one another in a set

🖥️Demo scenario: build your fonts from a UI foundational component: the text input – then expand outwards from there

☑️Included checklist: covers font selection recaps the process of building up the styles

9 videos, 4 checklists

Improving Interactions

🧠 Learning objectives overall:Learn how you should think about interactions in general – dig into requirements for Errors, Success, warnings and status indication in a product.

Understanding nuances between errors, success, warnings and status and how to make a robust interaction that’s proactive, rather than reactive or absent

Core content:


🧠 Learn the core standards for what makes a strong error interaction

🖥️Demo Scenario: Apply principles to build an error interaction in a settings form – take it from 0/3 stars to 3/3 stars

Bonus: see alternatives to errors overall

☑️Included checklist: standards for errors covering notifying, content and resolving errors


🧠  Learn the core components of a success interaction, including the relevant level of emphasis to apply, the timing and the level of detail that makes a good user experience

🖥️ Demo scenario: a successful success interaction happen in a file upload scenario, watch it morph from a 0/3 stars to a ⅓ star interaction 

☑️ Included checklist: standards for success feedback including notifying an contextualizing the UI


🧠 Learn about the crafting the timing of when a warning as well as the triggers for when a warning is relevant 

🖥️ Demo scenario: See the nuanced differences between the types of warnings as expressed in a project management software. See when to present a FYI message, a blocking confirmation or a serious multi-step warning

☑️ Included checklist: standards for timing, relevant triggers and the types of warnings


🧠 Learn to discern the types of status in a system, whether it’s initiated from a user or the system itself. 

🖥️ Demo scenario: examples show progress indicators, breadcrumbs, workflows, loading, confirmations, queue example

☑️ Included checklist: Standards for indicating user or system status

Free course excerpt

🚨Free access to the error lesson🚨

There’s a lot that goes into even the most deceptively simple interactions, like say: the error message.

This lesson from the ‘Improving Interactions’ section and takes you through applying the principles we discussed in the beginning of the section to take an error interaction from a 0/3 stars and build it up to a 3/3 star interaction. There’s also a surprise bonus twist at the end.

Access this lesson for free

Meet your Instructor

Ceara Crawshaw, CEO and enterprise UX nerd

Ceara (‘kira’) has a passion for complexity and interaction. She loves making complex concepts and subject matter simple for others. She has focused much of her career on tackling complex enterprise software including data visualizations, advanced interactions and in-depth subject matter.

She has a passion for collaboration helping others think by bringing them ‘into the fold’ of user experience.

"Since this course, our team is talking about the product with much more awareness of what UX details we should be paying attention to."


"...the course covers a lot of the reasons as to why certain decisions are made, and which choices are beneficial for the user. Can be used as a tool to make yourself actively think about these concepts while developing."


"[The course] was very informative and well thought out. It helps get an understanding of how designers think and why they want things to be a certain way."


Some teams taking Design SOS