Course Category: Cloud and UXInformation Controls & Security
Course Duration: 3 Days
Hours: 21 Contact Hours

Course Introduction

This foundation certificate addresses user experience practice in projects, product and software development. The foundation certificate is the first level of user experience certification provide by the BCS.

Course Objectives

This course provides candidates with an understanding of the principles of, and practical experience of using, industry best practice involved in operating, monitoring, reporting, implementing, planning and improving User Experience, leading to a Foundation qualification in User Experience (UX).


Specific Learning Objectives


Holders of the BCS Foundation Certificate in User Experience should be able to:

  • Ensure systems have an early and continual focus on users and their tasks
  • Plan and carry out empirical measurements of user behaviour
  • Practice validated learning through prototyping and iterative design

Target Audience

Anyone involved in the design and evaluation of user interfaces (interface designers, usability engineers, requirement engineers, product managers).


There are no specific pre-requisites for entry to the examination; however candidates should possess the appropriate level of knowledge to fulfil the objectives shown above. In addition, candidates should be familiar with simple multiple-choice exams.

Course Outline

1. Guiding principles

1.1. Articulate the importance of taking the users’ perspective

1.2. Paraphrase the key principles of user centred design

1.3. Recall ISO9241 as an important standard in the field of usability

1.4. Have an understanding of different user perspectives and goals for using a system

1.5. Recall the difference between usability and user experience

1.6. Recall the difference between usability and user acceptance testing

1.7. Summarise the benefits of inclusive design

2. User research

2.1. State the components of the context of use

2.2. Identify the potential users of the system

2.3. Plan site visits to end users to understand the context of use

2.4. Recognise good and poor questions to ask in user interviews

2.5. Describe the kinds of data that should be collected during a site visit to users

2.6. Interpret the data from a site visit in ways that can be used to develop a shared knowledge of the context of use.

2.7. State the difference between observation and interpretation

2.8. List discount usability research techniques that can be used to understand the context of use, such as diary studies

2.9. State the key principles of contextual inquiry

2.10. Define affinity programming

2.11. Choose the appropriate research method to understand the context of use

2.12. Demonstrate the difference between opinion-based and behaviour based research methods

2.13. Recognise that requirements gathering and conceptual design should be truly inclusive

3. Illustrating the context of use

3.1. Illustrate the specific users of the system

3.2. Write descriptions of users that can be used for design

3.3. Explain the rationale for focussing on user needs

3.4. Interpret key user needs

3.5. Explain that including too many choices in a user interface increases the cognitive load on users

3.6. State the elements of a user story

4. Measuring usability

4.1. Define usability

4.2. Illustrate how the definition of usability can be used to construct measures of usability

4.3. Demonstrate how to choose between good and poor design ideas by using behavioural data

4.4. Illustrate the role design experiments play in validated learning

4.5. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of multivariate testing as a method for choosing between design alternatives

4.6. Explain the value of iterative design

4.7. Recall that good and bad user experiences have an emotional reaction on users.

5. Information architecture

5.1 Recognise the way information flows between a person and a product or service.

5.2 Choose appropriate schemes for classifying and organising information.

5.3 Organise, structure and label content, functions and features.

5.4 Describe the steps in carrying out an open and a closed card sort.

5.5 Compare and contrast an implementation model, a mental model and a conceptual model.

5.6 State the concept of affordance.

6. Interaction design

6.1. Describe different user interface design patterns.

6.2. Choose the correct interactive control in a user interface design.

6.3. Describe how the choice of user interface control has an impact on the time it takes users to achieve their goals.

6.4. Define the concept of progressive disclosure.

6.5. State the difference between interaction design and information architecture.

6.6. Explain why user interface consistency is an important design principle

6.7. State the importance of focussing on the user’s tasks when designing the flow of a user interface.

7. Visual design

7.1 List fundamental principles of visual design.

7.2 Identify good and poor page layouts.

7.3 Define eye tracking as a research methodology and recall key insights from eye tracking research.

7.4 Describe the advantages and disadvantages of using metaphorical representations in visual design.

8. User interface prototyping

8.1 Choose between different types of prototype, for example paper and electronic, and recall the merits of each.

8.2 Recognise the appropriate type of prototype for the phase of design.

8.3 Describe the differences between prototypes and sketches.

8.4 Recognise the importance of identifying multiple different design solutions before deciding on a specific design solution.

8.5 Sketch paper prototypes.

9. Usability evaluation

9.1 Recall Nielsen’s Usability Heuristics and have an awareness of other usability principles.

9.2 State the different kinds of usability evaluation.

9.3 Plan usability evaluations to test design hypotheses.

9.4 Record the data from usability evaluations.

9.5 Interpret the data from usability tests to distinguish high and low severity usability problems.

9.6 Moderate a usability test.

9.7 State the difference between a usability inspection and a usability test.

9.8 Choose between good and poor tasks for a usability test.

9.9 State the difference between observation and interpretation.

9.10 Identify W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines as an important standard in the field of web accessibility.

Training and Exam Duration

Training: 3 days

Exam: 60 minutes (1 hour) duration

Exam Pattern

BCS Foundation Certificate in User Experience exam is comprised of 40 multiple-choice questions, with a pass mark grade of 65% (26/40) to be completed within 60 minutes.