Product Design topics

December 5, 2016
Tony Fadell

Course Format

Each ZURB University course provides pdfs to follow while you sit in on the live, virtual workshop. They provide helpful screenshots, lecture notes, links, and code samples, much of which the instructor will review during the workshop. ZURB University has a standard workflow for all courses, which makes the material more digestible. When the workshop ends, there is a short question and answer period.

Syntactically Awesome Stylesheets (Sass) is a preprocessor for CSS that makes it easier to write. It’s a valuable skill for any programmer to have, especially frontend developers. This course gives a thorough introduction to Sass in the context of Foundation, a responsive frontend framework created by ZURB.

ZURB University emailThe instructors did a great job of explaining core concepts in this course. Unfortunately, the pace was a bit too fast and the question and answer session at the end was not quite enough to compensate for material people may have missed. It also was not clear how much knowledge students needed to have before they took the course, which made it hard to digest in SkilledUp’s case. The mentors also were late at times, which caused more rushing and made it difficult to work in more real-life examples during their lectures.

ZURB University LessonsThis course showcases the best of what ZURB University has to offer. It will teach you how to design, compose, code and send responsive emails. The instructors do a great job proving that responsive email design is still a valuable skill despite the popularity of email tools such as MailChimp. You can see how ZURB practices what it preaches if you look at the excellent emails they send you once you subscribe, which of course are crafted from scratch rather than using MailChimp.

While the format was generally the same, this course was superior to the first one mentioned in this review because it had more instructor variety — three instead of two — more demonstrations of the skills, better segmentation of the material, and accessibility for both beginner and intermediate users. It also went beyond the basics by giving students tips on how to market and write effective emails. After all, simply coding the email isn’t enough. You need to use language that drives people to click.

ZURB Library

You can sign up for lessons and get them delivered regularly as emails or visit the web page and view current and past lessons in blog post format. Each one focuses on specific tasks in product design such as “Make Stylish buttons in a Snap.” Every one SkilledUp tried was a helpful tutorial and became one of the best and most unique parts of the ZURB University experience.

The Library was unique and packed with helpful resources, but it was also hard to define its purpose. There are eight sections and each one offers something completely different:

  • Responsive – showcases examples of ZURB’s responsive design and Foundation being put to use in real life such as websites for Marriott, Fandango, Barclays, and other big brands
  • Playground – a “repository for technical experiments, ” which basically means you can tap into and play around with work-in-progress or abandoned projects from ZURB designers
New Product Design Focus Group: Beer
New Product Design Focus Group: Beer
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Product Design Suite 2013 - Suite Enhancements
Sample of D&T - Product Design & Flat-pack Furniture Ages
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