Designing and appreciating user experience is about continuous learning? Recruiters often pose this question to various applicants during UX interviews about making time for continuous development? One of the answers to this question is by following a few unique design podcasts to update themselves.
Design podcasts are the most reliable way to keep oneself updated with what’s going on globally. As UX designers, we glue ourselves to our screens. So its high time we give our eyes a little rest and tune into design podcasts instead. Design podcasts are a great way to be inspired, gain insights and come across those eureka moments. And compared to reading or viewing content, one can listen to design podcasts as they move about and perform their daily tasks, virtually accessing these design podcasts anywhere, anytime, on their schedule.
One can start in the middle, pause to let that thought sink in for a moment, or rewind to the beginning whilst listening to experts and share their personal experiences and best ideas. One can be an aspirant or a professional in the game looking out for motivation; there are always various design podcasts for everyone. And due to the sheer numbers, design podcasts can be a bit overpowering. There are many great design podcasts out there, and it becomes a challenging task to figure out which ones are worth the time. Fortunate for you readers, I am here to help you out of that predicament. Let us discuss, shall we?
UX design podcasts
While researching a different blog, I came across a few design podcasts online; UX design podcasts to be specific. That led me to the idea to share a few design podcasts with you. Well, here are my top five choices for UX design podcasts –
UXPodcast is hosted by UX professionals James Royal-Lawson and Per Axbom. It is one of those design podcasts for folks who are enthusiastic about technology, balancing business, and in the digital media domain. The show’s format follows the hosts bringing on industry expert(s) to discuss topics such as information architecture, UX strategy, story mapping, and more.
The conversation at times moves beyond the conventional sphere of User Experience. Episodes go up to 40-minutes at a time, but depending on the conversation, some might last up to 60-minutes.
Design Matters is the longest-running design podcast. The show’s most appealing factor is its host, Debbie Millman, who is a gifted designer, an experienced researcher, educator, brand strategist and an exceptional interviewer.
The conversations on the show cover a variety of topics. The guestlist often shares personal and inspirational stories, revealing their struggles and triumph over adversity. Each episode of Design matters is fascinating and goes up to 60-minutes. I found a list of creative professionals Debbie has interviewed so far:
- Lynda Barry (cartoonist)
- Gabrielle Hamilton (chef)
- Brian Rea (illustrator)
- Elizabeth Gilbert (author)
- Malcolm Gladwell (author)
- Brené Brown (author)
- Tosh Hall (designer)
- Robert Wong (designer)
- Lawrence Azzerad (designer)
- Shirley Manson (singer-songwriter)
- Lucy Wainwright Roche (singer-songwriter)
UI Breakfast: UI/UX design and product strategy
UI Breakfast initially aired in the year 2013. This show is among those design podcasts that follow weekly interview-style, providing some thought-provoking content, models, and instruments that can help UX/UI designers further enhance their skillset. Each interview lasts for up to 45-minutes. The host fo the show, Jane Portman is an independent UX consultant from Russia, specialising in SaaS design. One of her qualities is that she likes to resolve real-life industry problems via smart UI design apart from writing books and speaking at events.
She interviews various designers from around the world on the show. Her guests share experiences, challenges and how they overcame those challenges, along with tips and techniques for the audience to incorporate in their work. The conversations on UI Breakfast: UI/UX design and product strategy are exciting and mostly revolve around particular aspects of UX design, marketing, products and more.
User Defenders Podcast
The User Defenders podcast is hosted by Jason Ogle, who is UX Designer and user advocate. As one of those inspiring design podcasts, the show often features gifted and motivating guests like Seth Godin and Sarah Doody covering a wide range of subjects such as information architecture or emotional design in the ever-changing field of UX.
The show has already concluded Five seasons as off 2019 where each episode is about 60-minutes of engaging, informative, and insightful discussions. Season 6 is currently an ongoing endeavour, so if you have time, might as well go check it out.
Writers in Tech
Writers in Tech is one of those design podcasts that delve in UX writing. This show allows various UX writers, content designers and content strategists to share tips and techniques widely used in the ever-changing industry of UX. The show features multiple UX writers and authors from prominent organisations globally such as Google, Waze, Kickstarter and more.
The show’s episodes go up to 60-minutes, and the conversations can motivate writers who are looking for new sources to freshen up their work or designers who want to improve their UX writing skills can benefit equally. Writers in Tech is not just one of those simple design podcasts, per se; it also offers a weekly newsletter with helpful updates and insights.
Best product design podcasts
Apart from Design Matters and UI Breakfast, there are many other design podcasts that product managers can listen to. These are some of the best product design podcats out there –
99% Invisible is listed in one of the best product design podcasts that explore design and architecture’s influence and process. The host Roman Mars is an award-winning producer who loves to narrates the origin stories that makes a product or service. Each episode is between 30 to 40-minutes long as the host weaves history, trivial facts and news seemingly to disparate dots, reflecting 99% of the design effort.
Let me clarify; this show isn’t UX-specific; instead, it reflects on everyday design elements. It is one of those design podcats to enlighten its listeners to think in new ways.
Design Better – Invision
Design better by Invision is one of those theme-specific design podcasts for product designers. Each season is dedicated to a specific theme. The hosts Aarron Walter and Elijah Woolery interview many industry experts on the show. These guests recall various moments when their team operated to build various products. The conversation may vary widely depending upon the guest, ranging from 30 to 60-minutes.
Here is a list of industry experts who were featured in the podcast:
- Naveen Gavini (Pinterest)
- Lori Kaplan (Atlassian)
- Margaret Gould Stewart (Facebook)
- Jake Knapp (Sprint)
Design Details is one of those free-flowing design podcasts in the entire list. Compared to others with a rigid format, the show prefers casual conversation with designers mainly from product design, UX, and visual design backgrounds.
The show hosts, Marshall Bock and Brian Lovin, discuss essential issues relatable to many designers as they share their views on happening news in the industry. With 60-minutes per episode, this podcast has been around for five years.
Graphic design podcasts
This list below is my top three feature for graphic design podcasts. These three represent some of those design podcasts that involves new learning that made me intrigued enough to include them in the list –
North V South
North V South is one of those graphic design podcasts hosted by two Brits: Rob Turpin, from up North and Jonathan Elliman, from down South. This podcast does not have guests that often, compared to the others on the list. But the hosts love to talk about –
Adventures in Design
Adventures in design is one of those graphic design podcasts for creatives folks to explore as it teaches how to design delightfully. The host Mark Brickey is a graphic designer who brings his youthful exuberance. He and his guests indulge in playful banter about the illustration and design universe. Their conversations are highly entertaining, educational and inspiring for an aspirant to do better at their work and be happy.
If the listener is looking for a one of those light-hearted, yet professional graphic design podcasts, Greyscale Gorilla is the answer he/she is looking for. It is one of many design podcasts that focus on interaction with live listeners rather than interviews.
The host Nick Campbell shares valuable insight into the world of motion graphics and gives excellent advice on topics including –
- Work ethic
- Design inspiration
- landing a job in the industry and much more.
He does all of the above as to answer the questions posed by the listeners. Greyscale Gorilla is an excellent podcast for anyone from student to veterans to expert in graphic design/motion graphic looking for industry advice from an experienced person.
Remember, design podcasts are one of the best sources for designers to be informed and inspired. Design podcasts broaden the outlook and often provide practical solutions to incorporate into design projects.
Most of these design podcasts are available on platforms like Spotify or Apple podcasts. These platforms also make it easy to look for different shows by categorising these design podcasts based on themes. I know that I have listed many shows, but if there’s a design podcast that is worthy and not on this list, please feel free to comment.