Visual Design and User Experience

A review of the VDUX course from IIT Hyderabad

Course Curriculum

The course content is divided into five modules, followed by an Industry Capstone project which is the culmination of everything you’ve learnt during the course. The curriculum is set in the format of a Tasting Menu where you get to sample key concepts from each topic and get a basic understanding of how it ties to the overall process. Most of these topics may require months or even years to master but what you do get in this course is a basic understanding of the core concepts which can help you dig deeper into the topics you are interested in.

Here’s a quick overview of what’s covered in these modules:

  1. Design Essentials & Design Thinking: Overview of Design Process with basics of Design Methods, Gestalt Principles, Color Theories

  2. Design Culture: Impact of Culture on Design Thinking. This was a dark horse for me and I enjoyed this module the most.

  3. User Experience and User Interface: Overview of User Interfaces, User Experience Research, Design Thinking Process

  4. Graphic Design and Visual Branding: Typography, Publication Design, Identity Design, Data Visualization

  5. Digital Storytelling: Photography, Filmmaking, Animation

It's equally important to understand what's not covered in the course:

  • Software Trainings: The faculty clearly mentions right from the orientation session that this course does not focus on specific software or train you on Figma/Adobe Suite etc. In fact, they strongly encourage you to think beyond the tools to avoid being boxed in by technical limitations. Hand drawn stuff is acceptable (a couple of assignments were using non-digital media) and you are not expected to work with specific tools. For modules that do require digital tools, they give you a wide range of tools (paid and free) you can pick from and encourage you to look for tutorials on YouTube for your selected tool. For eg. for our Animation assignment included the following instruction "You can use any of the following software: Adobe Animate, Adobe After Effects, Harmony, TV Paint, Procreate, Adobe Photoshop, Blender, Maya, 3D Max or do this by hand or any software of your choice."

    I preferred this path too and was able to use the Office Hours to understand the basic concepts and expectations rather than focus on tools troubleshooting. For most of my assignments, if I used an unfamiliar tool, I would set aside a couple of hours to a couple of days (depending on the deadline) to explore the tools I was using. During this course, I was able to learn Figma, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe Animate, and Blender. I also used this opportunity to try coding an AR experience in 8th Wall which I enjoyed a lot! I've included playlists for the tutorials I used in the Resources section.

  • Placement/Job Readiness/Interview Prep: While Talentsprint mentions Placement Support in their initial sales calls, this isn't included in the course (again, this is mentioned by the faculty during the Orientation and initial sessions). Talentsprint did conduct a LinkedIn session for our group and we were supposed to get access to a placement Portal but I haven't seen anything after that. I wasn't interested in the placement support so this didn't impact me.