In the article I wrote last week, I wrote about how to create a system for constant learning. I outlined an 8-step process to help you pick what to learn, how to choose resources, and how to master a concept/skill faster.
I mentioned there that a core part on how to learn fast and consistently is knowing what are the best resources to use.
And one of the best ways to know what resources to use is to ask people who have already learned those skills/concepts — to ask them which resources they would recommend the most.
I might not be an expert yet at UI/UX Design, but I have consumed a lot of resources on it. Whether it be podcasts, articles, or YouTube videos, I’ve consumed quite a lot, and a lot of resources have been recommended to me as well.
In this article, I’ll be listing the best resources I’ve found and loved, which you can use to learn about the wide-ranging field of UX design. I’ll be listing down resources I’ve consumed myself and recommend, and resources that others have recommended (even if I haven’t read/watched them).
Hopefully, this will be a good starting point for you to immerse yourselves in learning more about UX Design!
1. Podcasts to Listen To
Let’s start with an easy way to learn more about UI/UX Design — Podcasts.
Podcasts are a great place to start learning any topic, because you get to learn while doing other tasks, like doing chores or commuting/driving.
How to listen to these podcasts:
If you’re on Android, you can download the app called Podcast Addict, which lets you search and download hundreds of podcast episodes to your phone. It’s the app I use, and I haven’t heard of a better Android alternative.
You can just search for any of the podcasts below on it, click ‘subscribe’ to that podcast, then find and download the podcast episodes I’ll recommend below.
For iOS users, Apple has a standalone Podcasts app, where you can search and download/stream episodes from. All 3 podcasts below are available on Apple Podcasts!
Now to the recommendations:
I’ll recommend 3 podcasts I’ve listened to that let you learn more about UI/UX design and what’s it like to be a UI/UX designer:
Podcast #1: Roots — A Podcast on Filipino Designers
Roots is a podcast about the stories of Filipino designers, hosted and produced by Alexis Collado, one of the founders of UX Society, which I’m part of. Alexis also happens to be my good friend and mentor, but that’s not why I’m recommending this podcast.
I’m recommending it because it makes being a UI/UX designer more realistic and possible, because you get to listen to other Filipino designers who already are in the field. For a Filipino like me, it’s very inspiring and educational.
There are two episodes I’d recommend, the first being:
- The 1st episode with Andrew Aquino, a Filipino product designer at Facebook who recently graduated from Cornell in the U.S.
- The 6th episode, with Roxy Navarro, co-founder of the design studio Works for Heart, which provides design services for impact-driven organizations, such as NGOs and local communities.
Podcast #2: Inside Intercom
Inside Intercom is a podcast by Intercom.com, a fast-growing & successful startup that provides in-app customer messaging. In this podcast, they interview a variety of startup/tech professionals, including product designers and product leaders.
These conversations are a lot more serious and can be technical, but some of the learnings you’ll get here are valuable and rare. I listened to quite a few episodes here while I was interning as a Product Designer at Kalibrr. Here are a few I can recommend:
- Interview with Julie Zhuo, VP of Product Design at Facebook. Julie is one of the most respected in the design industry, so her insights here are great.
- Samuel Hulick on building better onboarding. Samuel is the founder of UserOnboard, a website that analyzes onboarding flows of multiple apps. Learn how to design better onboarding through listening to this.
Podcast #3: Masters of Scale
Masters of Scale is one of the most entertaining and well-produced podcasts I’ve listened to. It’s a podcast where Reid Hoffman, co-founder of Linkedin, interviews some of the most successful businessmen, including Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Brian Chesky of Airbnb.
Most of the episodes here are more about how to start and run a startup, but there are a few related to UI/UX design. Here is the one I love the most:
- Brian Chesky on Handcrafting the User Experience. Brian from Airbnb talks about the importance of handcrafting and closely designing the whole experience of using your platform, just like what he did in Airbnb’s early days.
The episode with Kevin Systrom, co-founder of Instagram, is pretty good too. But all the episodes are pretty good, so just listen to any that interests you.
2. Medium Publications, Writers, & Blogs To Follow
Another great place to read resources is on Medium.com, which is where I wrote and posted this article. Medium is one of the best places to write and publish blog posts, so a lot of people, especially UI/UX designers, use it to publish articles.
Medium also has a lot of “Publications”, which are like blogs/Facebook Pages within Medium. You can follow these publications to read great articles that are curated by the editors. You can even contribute an article and get your article published by them.
If you don’t have a Medium account yet, go create one now! Just click the “Get Started” button on the top right, then follow the publications and authors below. It’s a website I now visit every day. Just don’t be bothered by all the “Featured Stories”, which are only available to paying subscribers. There are a lot of good, free articles on Medium too.
Here are 2 of the best publications that post about UI/UX Design:
#1: UX Collective — UXDesign.CC
The UX Collective publication is the largest Medium publication on UX Design, with 154,000 followers. They post new articles almost every day, and I’ve read quite a few good articles on it. Here are a few I can recommend:
- How to design better forms — This is a simple article that has great tips for designing better forms.
- The State of UX in 2018 —This article by UX Collective’s editors outline some of the key trends of UX Design happening this year. For example, how “Product Design” is becoming a more popular term than “UX Design”. They also have the state of UX in 2017 and 2016, so you can compare what’s been happening in this industry.
#2: UX Planet (UXPlanet.org) by Nick Babich
UX Planet is also one of the top publications on Medium, and it’s mainly managed by Nick Babich, its Editor-in-Chief. Nick is a software developer who’s deeply passionate about UI/UX design. He writes a lot of good articles, and he posts most of these on UX Planet. Here are a few good ones:
- 7 Basic Rules for Button Design — This is an article on simple tips for designing buttons. It’s short and great.
- 12 Mobile UX Design Trends For 2018 — This is a good article to know some trends happening in Mobile UX Design, so you can improve your designs for mobile apps. It’s also just a cool thing to read to see what innovations designers are doing to make apps more usable and delightful.
Other Interesting Medium Writers to Follow:
- Julie Zhuo from Facebook (again) — Julie is best known for her writing, such as her articles on Medium and her email list. She also wrote this great article on her Dream Design Curriculum (definitely worth a read!)
- Michael Margolis, UX Research Partner at Google Ventures. Michael is one of the most renowned experts in UX Research, and he advises hundreds of startups on how to do user research. Google Ventures is Google’s venture capital arm, which invests in hundreds of exciting startups. Here’s a great article he wrote that teaches you how to do user research for a startup/product.
3. YouTube Channels to Follow/Watch
Another great place to learn UI/UX Design is YouTube. YouTube has a lot of talks and tutorials on UI/UX Design. Here are a few I can recommend:
- Sketch Together by Pablo Stanley. Pablo is one of the most popular UI/UX designers thanks to his informative and funny YouTube videos. You can watch this tutorial on how to use the Auto Layout Plugin (for Mac Users that want to get better at using Sketch, the app design software). He also writes some great articles and makes great and funny illustrations. You can follow him on Medium too!
- Sarah Doody. Sarah is a UX Designer and Entrepreneur. I’ve only watched one video of hers so far (10 minutes of it only too), but it was quite an insightful video! It was this video on UX Portfolio Reviews. Portfolios are the main way you can impress employers and get hired, and her video gave me insights on how to improve my own portfolio.
Other Notable Design-Related Channels to Subscribe to:
- The Futur — This is more for graphic design, but there are videos here valuable for UI/UX designers too.
- DevTips —This is more for coders, but I used this tutorial of Sketch to learn how to use it! Travis also has a video series on designing and coding a website from scratch that I used to learn Web Dev’t and Design.
- RETHINK — This has videos of talks by designers (haven’t watched much here yet though, but will try to sometime!)
Some Tips On Consuming These Resources:
You’ve probably seen a lot of links on this article, and you might feel overwhelmed. So here’s some advice:
- I’d suggest you start with listening to the podcasts first, since you can do this without having to make a lot of time. You can listen to a podcast while eating, commuting, or doing chores. You can start with the Masters of Scale episode with Brian Chesky of Airbnb! It’s probably the most entertaining out of those I recommended above.
- After podcasts, the next easiest to consume are YouTube videos. So go ahead and subscribe to those channels above.
- After that, go follow and subscribe to those Medium publications above. Download the Medium app too, and make it a habit to read 1 design article a day.
- Of course, the best way to learn things is to apply them. So go and find yourself a UI/UX design project to work on, whether it’s an internship / freelance work, an app/website you want to redesign, or a startup idea you wanna make mockups of. Then go Google away and find resources that will help you in your project! You don’t need to limit yourself to these.
Anyway, that’s all! If you have a resource you love or want to recommend, feel free to comment them below. I know there’s a lot of other great resources out there, (such as books like The Design of Everyday Things, and sidebar.io), but this article would be too long if I tried listing them all.
There are so many great resources on UI/UX design, and we just have to find and use them. I hope you find some of the resources above valuable!
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Brian Tan is a 21-year-old UI/UX designer and writer from Manila. He’s also the Vice President for Human Resources at User Experience Society, the first student organization for UX Design enthusiasts in the Philippines. Get in touch with him at email@example.com.