UX Design & Research Education


As an educator, I have practiced in universities, technical/career bootcamps, and the corporate environment.

I spend the bulk of my teaching time at the University of Colorado Denver. Since I started teaching in 2016, I’ve had more than 200 students attend my UX design and research classes who have subsequently graduated with a BFA or certificate in Digital Design. My students have gone on to start their UX careers at places like JP Morgan Chase, Hunter Douglas, Twilio, Spectrum, Ogilvy, Wayfair, Charles Schwab, Lowe’s, Workday, and Meow Wolf.

In the corporate world, I have created and executed training workshops to help bring UX design/research principles and techniques to product, business, and engineering teams.

My philosophy:

I believe that education is one of the best ways to catapult someone into financial success. My teaching goal at the university level is to ultimately prepare my students for competitive design roles by carefully balancing theory and practicum. I base my classroom assignments and discussions around what I see is needed in the professional UX workplace. Every assignment has a purpose: to get my students one step closer to landing a job. I take this so seriously that I have my students start building their design portfolio the very first week of class.

My role and responsibilities:

I’ve created a series of 3 classes that takes a UX design student from zero to hero. I have taught and adapted my instructional materials for in-person, hybrid, and remote formats.

Interactive I: UX design basics: digital product development, requirements gathering, low/mid/high fidelity prototyping, user research, and iterative design. View sample syllabus here.

Interactive II: Responsive UX design basics: project definition and simultaneously designing mobile, tablet, and desktop products. The themes of inclusivity and accessible design is covered towards the end of the semester. This course also includes a career preparation module since this is the last degree-required course in my UX program. View sample syllabus here.

Interactive III: Experimental design thinking. In previous years we’ve focused on Internet of Things/connected design, voice interfaces, chatbots, and explore topics related to futurism and ethics. This is an elective class and is the most fun since we get to explore interactive design beyond the pixel. View sample syllabus here.

My pre-recorded lectures are publicly available on YouTube. Here is a sample playlist. You can head over to my student-specific page for more details.

In the news:

Amazon designer brings industry experience to classroom
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This is definitely the droid you are looking for

Student feedback:

Students submit formal course evaluations. Here is some of the feedback they’ve provided on my courses:

  • I liked that the projects had specific aspects of interactive design that we were meant to learn, and I felt the order in which they were assigned flowed fairly well. I also thought you were appropriately flexible regarding resubmitting assignments and moving deadlines. I appreciated that you introduced us to software and resources regularly used in interactive design (or approximations of them).
  • I believe the assignments reflected a realistic environment of what would be required in this field of design.
  • The most effective aspects of this course were the projects and topics covered throughout the semester. The projects were very helpful in learning the material. I learned a lot from this course.
  • The assignment topics were interesting, challenging, and fun.
  • The way each project is planned out helps to understand each aspect well for future references.
  • I overall enjoyed this class. I like your structure and that your grading is reflective of real-world expectations.
  • The consistent format of this course and our course assignment was really helpful. After the first assignment, we were able to apply our learnings from the 1st to the 2nd which made me feel successful as a student in this course. Amara challenged us to think about design in new and realistic ways and always made an effort to help us understand how the work we did was relevant to real-life scenarios.
  • The lectures were short and straight to the point, which allowed time for studio sessions and consultation during class. Peer reviews and interaction was helpful in getting inspiration and gave the opportunity to compare each other’s work, which was helpful in revising projects/writing.
  • Amara gives projects and assignments based on real-world experience- but with the help from her and allowing you to learn from your mistakes. She is always keeping us on our feet just like you would be in a real design job. She knows plenty from her experience and I felt like her projects left a lasting impression on me for when I graduate the program.
  • I enjoyed the way the professor thought her classes, assignments, and exercises were very challenging and felt as if I was doing real-life work assignments. Very helpful.
  • Allowing students the chance to revise their work was helpful and taught me what I was doing wrong and what I could possibly do next time.
  • I would say that some of the most effective aspects of this course were the instruction on how to construct case studies and other formal design documents as well as learning how to create a prototype.
  • I have learned a lot from this class and Amara is always there to help students when they need it most. She has brought all of her knowledge she knows from her career at Amazon to this class. I am glad I am learning all the knowledge she knows to us.
  • It was nice to have the opportunity to revisit assignments. It was a bit overwhelming at first when there was so much being thrown at us so quickly, some of the projects needed additional direction and time to complete.


My courses are unfortunately not available for enrollment by the general public. Only CU-Denver students who have been accepted into the BFA/Digital Design major may enroll in my courses.

A peek at my involvement: