It differs from programming very much in that it isn't a technical problem solving exercise. Designers are more artistic in nature and a lot of this class is about designing web pages based on certain feelings about how it should look and how a user will perceive it. You'll focus more on who a site appeals to aesthetically and how easy it is to use, etc.
My final project in user centered design prompted me to buy the domain for www.audiodeck.net. If you go there you can still see my design exactly as it was when I finished the class. The site has no functionality for the time being, but after doing this web programming class I'll probably think about implementing something.
I'm currently enrolled in the user centered design course. It is very similar to 1059 in terms of how it is structured (1 hw a week, midterm, final project, etc.).
Therefore, i thought it was relatively the same amount of work. However, it is a different type of work. I did not find myself getting stuck because I did not know how to do something like I would in 1059, but it took more time because I was not happy with the design of my website, or maybe I could not come up with an idea of what to make my website about.
The two courses come in handy if you take them both I think because Web programming gives your website functionality and user centered design mainly focuses on the interface. Also, you will learn a little bit of Jquery and AJAX which helped me a little with my final project for 1059. I recommend taking 1052, I loved the class and it opened my mind in terms of website design. Good thing you are taking them separately though, because taking them together was a huge workload.