In this class we focused on the user rather than than the project. The subjects were organized into 4 modules: Understanding Users, Preparing Prototypes, Data-Driven Decision Making, and tying it all together for Testing.
I particularly enjoyed the books that we read and discussed in class. The Design of Everyday Things, by Don Norman, was a great into the psychopathology and psychology of product design. I have encountered several “Norman” doors since finishing the book. I also loved the sections on knowledge, memory, and design thinking. 
Since I work in communications and marketing, Sarah Richard’s book, Content Design, was both a pleasure and a pain to read. She makes her points clearly and succinctly, and I shared my notes with colleagues, since my division doesn’t seem to follow them very well.  
Class lectures and discussions gave us a chance to dig into some of the meatier UX design issues, like dark patterns, laws of UX (psychological design principles), and accessible and inclusive design. 
Prototyping and design systems were fun, especially since I already use them in my job, but I realized just how much harder it can be to build everything from scratch on your own. The Figma and Google Analytics certifications were not only great learning experiences, but also valuable additions for resumes and portfolios. 
The final project was a User Experience Research Plan for testing our products next semester, and tied every lesson together in the end for a comprehensive presentation and document.