Sometimes you get to a point in your industry, where there is no resource to learn or get inspired from any further. It happens to product designers too, maybe much more often.
Only if there were a way to listen to experts on product design as they share their experiences and provide insights…
How about podcasts?
The number of podcasts is growing increasingly since the early 2010s, and as we proceed further into the 2020s, they don’t have any intention to leave our daily lives. In this blog, I’ve gathered 6 of my favorite podcasts on product design that I enjoy to listen:
1- Design Better Podcast
Design Better Podcast is a podcast produced by designbetter.co, which is owned by InVision.
The podcast is quite old with its 5 years history. It aims to bring a real-world look to the design industry and help the designers and organizations build better teams and products.
On the Design Better podcast, each season has different topics and the guests are perfectly selected related to the topic of each season. In the initial episodes of the podcast, they discuss what being a product-driven company using human-centered design means.
The first season hosts design team leaders from the companies with the most noticeable products: Dan Winger, Design Manager from Lego, Alex Schleifer, former Chief Design Officer of Airbnb, Michael Leon, former Design Director of Nike, Levi Strauss, and Patagonia. Laura Martini, Senior Interaction Designer from Google, and many more.
In the second season, Aarron and Eli focus on secrets of design at scale talking about operationalizing the design process.
The season and guests highlight how the design systems and design thinking help companies align teams and build better products faster, hosting design leaders Lynsey Thornton, former VP of User Experience and Core Product of Shopify, Meredith Black, former Head of Design Operations of Pinterest, Diana Mounter, Director of Design Infrastructure from GitHub.
Starting the third season, the topics focus on individual-level instead of organization-level, which was followed in the previous seasons. In Season 3, they highlight the impacts and challenges of connected workflows and being more efficient as a designer or a manager.
Some of the noticing guests from this season are Abigail Hart Gray, Director of User Experience of Google, Julie Zhuo, former Vice President of Product Design of Google, Benjamin Evans, former Product Inclusion Lead of Airbnb, Josh Ulm, former VP of Design of Oracle, and Experience Design Leader of Adobe and Vodafone.
In the following season, they dig deeper into what great organizations thrive in and how people work better together. Within the influence of the global pandemic, Season 4 also focuses on how design teams can work together efficiently while working remotely.
The podcast talks not only about how to build better products but also how to navigate challenges in your career and discover opportunities in the face of adversity, with Seth Godin, author, entrepreneur, former VP of Direct Marketing at Yahoo!, Bill Burnett, Executive Director of Design Program at Stanford University.
2- Design Matters Podcast
Design Matters Podcast is the first podcast series in the design genre.
The podcast series is hosted by Debbie Millman, who is a designer, illustrator, brand consultant, educator, and writer. Debbie has hosted this creative podcast for 15 years, since 2005, independently once a week and she has had more than 500 people on her show.
The podcast series has been honored by various design authorities like Prototypr, UX Collective, IXDMA, UXcellence, InVision, National Digest Museum, Architectural Digest, and countless others.
This podcast series of Debbie Millman is more like an art show and it is suitable for anyone who has an interest in any art genre. Throughout the beginning of the Design Matters Podcast, Debbie has mind-opening conversations with various artists and designers who are from different disciplines and backgrounds. She talks about industrial design, product design, modern art, and numerous diverse creative topics with graphic designers, industrial designers, brand designers and managers, fashion illustrators, artists, writers, typographers, musicians, marketers, consultants, strategists, journalists, muralists, and other people of creative types.
It is a must-listen podcast show for designers from any discipline to follow to learn and think about creative processes and focus on their creative minds.
3- The Honest Designers Show
Do you suffer from the lack of designer colleagues to discuss your product design ideas and help guide you through your projects, help you identify and fix your problems, and sometimes just to discuss what is happening in the design industry?
Then, there is no doubt that the Honest Designers Show will be your next favorite podcast series.
The origin of this podcast series comes from carrying real-life designer talks into podcast episodes. Tom Ross, who is a designer and the founder of the designer resources platform Design Cuts, has found the idea of this podcast when he regularly calls his designer friends to make their designer talk happen every week. The Honest Designer Show also includes Ian Barnard, hand-lettering artist, Lisa Glanz, illustrator, and Dustin Lee, owner of RetroSupply, the historically inspired graphic design supply company.
Listening to the Honest Designers Show can give you a total understanding of design and style. These four designers are having chit-chat conversations about everything that comes into a designer’s mind once or more: how to develop your unique style, how to overcome self-doubt, how to deal with burnout, how to price your work to a client, how to manage relationships with your clients, pros and cons of freelancing, being a formal educated designer or a self-taught designer and more.
The show taught its audience how to think and act as a designer rather than just explaining which design tool you should use or how to educate yourself from the technical side. Especially for self-taught designers, it is a gem to get tips and tricks from designers inside the industry and indirectly being involved in the designers’ community and learn the culture.
4- This is Product Management
Since we’ve went through many great podcasts about design, we can now go deep into product design.
This is Product Management podcast series is created solely for product managers.
It aims to gather brightest minded product designers and managers across numerous disciplines and talk about user experience, innovation, design, development, metrics, and more.
The podcast series is produced by the agile research platform Feedback Loop, formerly Alpha, and hosted by a former Product Manager and current VP of Customer Development of Feedback Loop, Anuraag Verma.
This is Product Management podcast has started broadcasting in 2015 with a different host, Mike Fishbein. Since its beginning, it touched important topics on product management: the future of MVPs, user engagement in Product Management, hiring for Product teams, career advancement in product management, monetizing a product, including customers in product design and management processes, data-driven decision-making, user onboarding, empowering product teams, incubation, ideation and go-to-market strategy for initial product, ethic, transformation, and feedback culture focusing on realities of the product management industry.
5- Product Podcast
The Product Podcast is a podcast series looking at the product design at a corporate-level. The show is produced by Product School, which is an education platform for people who wants to be a product manager and hosted by Carlos Gonzalez de Villaumbrosa, the CEO of Product School.
The show is currently in its fifth season. It features various Product Managers from top industry companies and discusses their daily routines, responsibilities, and tasks as product leaders, analyzing trends in product design.
In the first season, Product Podcast aims to reveal customers’ needs from a product, the ethics of AI for product management, the transition between B2B and B2Cs hosting leaders from Twitch, Google, Expedia, N26.
In the following season, they continue to introducing leaders from different industries and organizations like Spotify, Forbes, Microfost, Transferwise, and Zillow to get an inside look at their product teams.
In season 3, they focus on tech companies, Drift, Miro, Heap, Chartio, Tray.io, UserZoom, and Mural, and get insight into how they advanced their products.
In the 5th season of the podcast, they focus on female product leaders from PayPal, Shopify, Hotjat, Nike, Uber, and some others and voicing up their empowerment stories. And in the current season, we’re hearing stories of the companies that have game-changer products: Netflix, Waymo, Hubspot, Atlassian, and some more.
6- UI Breakfast: UI/UX Design and Product Strategy
So far, the list was about the generic design industry and product design. An additional podcast on UI and UX design was well overdue.
The UI Breakfast podcast is hosted by Jane Portman, the UI/UX consultant specialized in web application design and co-founder of Userlist.
Since 2014, Jane has hosted more than 200 episodes on the show and taken an insider look at the awesome SaaS companies.
She talks about industry leaders about highly specific topics about SaaS products, pros and cons of going freemium, designing a live event experience, digital security, top risks, TLS/SSL, encryption, bug bounties, building mobile apps, product integrations, Adobe Document Cloud, multi-product portfolio models and probably many things that come to your mind when you think about your SaaS business.
As a product designer, you need to be constantly exposed to design trends and the latest news in the industry.
A number of daily and weekly podcasts that you regularly listen to can deal with this need for you. Hope you found a few of these podcasts helpful.