Product Design Bootcamp

Course Details

Topics covered:
design thinking process, user experience process, user research,
problem definition, sketching, prototyping, app flow,
user testing, interviewing

A part-time design bootcamp for beginners.

Led by an experienced instructor and a recent graduate of a UX masters program, you can join a team of 4-8 design students in working through a full design process. You’ll be able to get hands-on experience in each aspect of the process in a supportive and stress-free environment – something you don’t often find! Starting from a real-world concept or product from a business sponsor, you will conduct research, define the problem, exercise creativity in creating multiple solutions, and prototype and test one or more solutions. With a focus on producing UI & UX design artifacts and deliverables, you will have a full project you can add to your design portfolio to show future employers!



3 months, starting 9/12.
12 in-person design sessions.
Online interaction with instructors and mentors.
Team of 4-8 creators.
All skill levels welcome.


Learn through doing.
Real-world business sponsor.
Supportive, stress-free environment.
Multi-process approach.
Gain practical knowledge.
Build creative confidence.

Register today for $499 to reserve your spot in class!
Payment is via PayPal.

dSpace taught me a lot about design thinking and working on a team in relation to digital products. Seeing a project through from picking the assignment all the way to testing was a really satisfying experience.
26, Masters student
I came into dSpace thinking that we would spend time just creating and building UX designs, but I came away with the understanding that it's not just cool designs... it's really about understanding the user, and fulfilling their needs.
25, aspiring developer
I learned all stages of a live UX Design project, while being a part of a diverse team of great, talented people. The instructor is very knowledgable, supportive and encouraging. No question was too small, and he alerts you to many additional opportunities to help you further expand your knowledge, skills and gain UX experience. You'll get to taste each stage of UX Design at dSpace, and walk away with a new way of seeing the world around you.
52, Graphic Designer

Answers to your questions.


What exactly is dSpace?

dSpace is a project-based learning experience – not quite a course, not quite a training, and definitely not your typical bootcamp! It’s definitely more involved than a monthly meetup, but your exact level of participation is up to you!

Why is it 3 months long?

Rather than compressing everything into 1 day or 1 week, spacing out the project in 1 week increments gives everyone time to learn and participate at their own pace, while not feeling the pressure of a deadline or schedule. Although design sprints are executed more quickly, in the real world 1-3 month UX engagements are common, and the part-time nature of this bootcamp will allow the learning environment and team to grow and thrive.

What will I get out of it?

If you are a total beginner, you’ll be introduced to the world of design, design process, and design techniques. If you already have some design knowledge, or even practice, you’ll get to meet other designers, build a community, and also have a project worthy of adding to your portfolio by the end! If you’re a full-time or experienced designer, you’ll get the joy of sharing your knowledge with other learners and seeing things fresh from a “beginner’s mind” perspective! This can get you out of a rut of repetitive corporate projects, as an example.

What will our project be?

Each iteration of the bootcamp connects a different real-world business that has a product or UX need with our team. In our first bootcamp, we worked with a pre-startup founder out of Princeton, NJ who was developing a concept for a political engagement application. For the Fall 2017 bootcamp, we’ll be working with OurSociety, another local political startup!

What is the schedule for in-person meetings?

2017 September Team
Tuesdays – 9/12, 9/19, 9/26, 10/3, 10/10, 10/17, 10/24, 10/31, 11/7, 11/14, 11/21, 11/28
~6pm-8:30pm, exact meeting times TBD

Do I have to attend all meetings?

Absolutely not. If you miss a meeting or two due to an obligation, that’s pretty much a mirror of the real world design process! And of course we’ll have the online Slack platform to keep you plugged in. Ideally, you are motivated to attend because it’s fun, interesting, and you are learning.

Do I have to participate daily?

Absolutely not! The virtual portion of the project will be run on Slack, so technically it’s available 24×7. But this will be an asynchronous type of communication. You might be very active one day, and then not check in the next day. Internal targets and goals will be agreed upon by the team at in-person meetings.

I think I’m interested, but can I decide later?

Sure! Please fill out an application to express your interest and as we approach September we will reach out to all applicants.

Ben Bakelaar is the founder of Human Experience Systems and dSpace Design Bootcamp (formerly NJ UX Web Design Bootcamp). He has 9 years of academic experience in the field of information science, usability, and user experience, including a Master of Library and Information Science and a Mini-Masters in User Experience Design from Rutgers. He has been an adjunct professor in the Information Technology & Informatics program for the past several years, teaching web design, prototyping, and human-computer interaction. He built his first website in 1995!

Victoria Kulikowski is a graduate of the University of Baltimore Master’s in Interaction Design & Information Architecture program. After a ten-year career in librarianship, she found her true passion in interface design and user experience, and is enjoying freelancing for projects ranging from website redesign to prototyping and user testing. Victoria is excited to bring her knowledge of academic theory and real world practice to a new group of beginners in the world of UX!

Affinity diagramming and conceptual design, May 2017

Team photo, June 2017