Like any business owner, I’ve been trying to figure out the right approach to pricing classes like these. On the one hand, immersive UX programs like those offered by Adaptive Path, Nielsen Norman Group, or UIE charge beaucoup bucks for their offerings, many of which are of very high quality. For organizations, quality UX investments have a quantifiable ROI somewhere around 20:1.
On the other hand, the model I see above is limited in its accessibility, and I want to change this. Some of those events don’t have a code of conduct. Even for those who can pay full freight, there’s also the added expense of travel and time away from work/family/community. I’ve been pretty loudmouthed about care lately, and I figure I have to walk my talk. I value others who value community. I think we can do this differently.
In addition to just starting out as a business and trying to be competitive, I often think about how I am the product of affordable public schooling. As a design researcher, I sincerely want to learn from as diverse of a group of learners and thinkers as possible. I believe that it is possible to use technology to make us more human, more caring, more peaceful, but first we have to equip the greatest range of people with the tools to do it. As bell hooks says, teaching is transgression.
As I was leafing through the PCC catalog and daydreaming about motorcycle license classes and piano lessons, I thought of an idea to test out. UX Night School is pricing Spring 2017 workshops at the price of one resident student credit hour at Portland Community College. To encourage a better cohort-level engagement, I’m offering an additional discount for folks who sign up for the series at $297.
I have no idea how sustainable this all is. After all, public institutions like community colleges are subsidized by public funds, whereas my work on UX Night School is not. But maybe I can find a way to do this that allows me to draw support from the PDX community in other ways, and allows me to give back. Maybe we can figure out sponsorships and scholarships for folks who want to learn but can't afford classes even at this price point.
So let's do this. It's gonna be fun.
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