I love podcasts.
I love What is UX? UX is the abbreviation of User Experience and refers to an individual’s thoughts and feelings when using a specific product or a service. It aims to heal… design.
So you wouldn’t be surprised if I said that I LOVE a podcast about UX design.
Just like UX design, design podcasts started to get popular by the start of the 2010s, and today we listen to podcasts more than ever. According to Oberlo’s research, if you’re over the age of 12 in the US, the chances are that you are probably a podcast listener.
We like podcasts because we get to learn new things while doing the simplest activities like washing the dishes, commuting, or even chilling on the sofa. It is a good quality pass time for our human brains that’s been pushing us to multitask in our free time ever since the whole industrial revolution and working 9 to 5 became a thing.
Although the digital design was a part of most design podcasts, podcasts specifically on UX design either weren’t a thing or didn’t get attention – at all. Luckily, our favorite design people all over the world decided to make podcasts about the art of UX where they talk, practice, teach and learn UX.
Whether you are one of the best UX designers, a beginner who is ready to venture into the world of design, or someone who hardly even knows what UX is; there is a podcast for you. Let’s take a look at the best of the best:
1- UX Podcast
The first podcast on our list – as the name suggests – UX Podcast, a podcast hosted by James Royal-Lawson and Per Axbom, where they share their insights on business, technology, and of course, UX design.
Being a podcast series that aired its first episode in 2011, UX podcast’s driving aim is to discuss the controversial topics of digital design while mending the lack of communication among designers and businesses.
Twice a month, (every other Friday) UX Podcast airs either a topic show where the spotlight is on one specific subject, an event show where the conferences or conventions on design are discussed, a guest show where an outstanding member of the design community pays a visit or a link showing where an article is discussed.
Check out these three episodes that might get you listening:
- #256 Touching Screens – the latest episode where James and Per discuss two articles about shared touch screens in a link show.
- #239 Storytelling in Design with Anna Dahlström – Anna Dahlström discusses that product designs are each a story and talks about how we can manage our designs in that light.
- #232 Design Psychology with Amy Bucher – Amy Bucher talks about the impact of psychology on digital design.
2- UI Breakfast
Although it has started to air in 2013, What is UI? A User Interface (UI) is the medium through which a user connects with the hardware or the software. When a user interacts with a hardware or a… Breakfast is one of those shows that stay a hit.
Every episode, the host Jane Portman interviews an expert on design, marketing, and many other areas intertwined with UX, in episodes no more than 50 minutes.
Jane Portman proudly states in the podcast description that what the podcast has to offer is “actionable knowledge that can be applied to business” and there is the truth behind these words, as UI Breakfast takes top ranks in design podcast charts.
Check out these episodes that we found interesting:
- Episode 204: Cross-Device Experiences with Cheryl Platz – Cheryl Platz discusses how important it is to consider multiple device formats for the sake of accessibility.
- Episode 195: Minimalist Design with Brian Gardner – Brian Gardner discusses how minimalism is way more than a stylistic choice and impacts important decisions.
- UI Breakfast Podcast. Episode 187: Emotional Design with Adi Mazor Kario – Mazor Kario talks about emotion-based innovation and why and how it affects UX.
3- Ramblings of a Designer
Hosted by Terri Rodriguez-Hong and Laszlo Lazuer, Ramblings of a Designer is a podcast founded in 2018.
Although it is a relatively newer podcast, it lacks nothing in terms of content.
With over a hundred episodes of around 30 minutes runtime, this podcast may be just for you if you have little time but much interest in what is going on in the design world. That is because Ramblings of a Designer discusses design news and innovations and what’s more, they have special episodes where designers and recruiters review designer portfolios.
If you would like to know what the fate of your portfolio will be the next time you send it to a recruiter, Ramblings of a Designer is just the right channel to turn on.
Check out some of the most interesting episodes:
- Ramblings of a Designer ep. 117 – Marlon McKinney – Having worked with top companies like Apple, Sony and Suzuki, Marlon McKinney shares moments from his years of experience.
- Ramblings of a Designer ep. 115 – Xavier Vazquez – Stanford University sophomore Xavier Vazquez talks about being the president of Design for America Stanford Chapter.
- Ramblings of a Designer – ep. 105 – Portfolio Review: Scott Wong – Our hosts review Scott Wong’s portfolio with the help of James Donnelly.
4- User Defenders Podcast
“Being a great UX designer begins and ends with being a great human.”Jason Ogle
Having been born from the host Jason Ogle’s love for design, User Defenders take its name from Jason’s other passion – superheroes.
Jason was inspired by both design and superheroes because of a certain connection he discovered between the two: that both designers and heroes try their very best to make people’s life easier and better. In the approximately 1-hour long episodes, Jason Ogle has professional UX designers as his guests to share their experiences with the audience, as well as beginner designers to share the problems they are facing as rookies.
Rising in the American design charts, this self-growth-centered podcast might end up being your kryptonite.
Here are some marvelous episodes for you:
- 075: You Belong Here with Jessica Gaddis – Jessica Gaddis reminds us that we belong, as designers and as human beings.
- 074: Designers, Mind Your Business with Pek Pongpaet – Pek Pongpaet shows us the ways of being a business-minded designer.
- 066: Is Web Design Dead? With Jeffrey Zeldman – Jeffrey Zelman discusses the past the present and the potential future of web design.
5- 99% Invisible
Having been number one on Apple Podcasts charts for a long time, 99% Invisible is currently climbing to the top on Spotify charts as well.
The host of the 2010-founded podcast Roman Mars discovers the invisible design in places we rarely realize it is present; in architecture, sound, objects, and technology likewise.
Although 99% Invisible is not directly about UX design and digital workflows of production in all its 400+ episodes, the witty manner and the careful eye of Roman Mars will broaden your horizons in a broader sense and make you realize that design is everywhere.
Here are some episodes that are digital design-related, at least 99% fascinating.
- 421- You’ve Got Enron Mail! – Roman Mars talks about the long-collapsed Enron’s emails that help shape new technologies and more.
- 420- The Lost Cities of Geo – the forgotten Geocities, once popular but later dropped, are discussed thanks to a couple of archivists who managed to archive some of the proto websites.
- 402 – Instant Gramification – Roman Mars looks at the bizarre case of Yardhouse, a building that instantly matched Instagram’s design criteria.
6- High Resolution
Hosted by Bobby Ghoshal and Jared Erondu, High Resolution is actually a limited video series filmed over 6 months, however, since you can find all 1000 hours of it in podcast format, I say we count it in.
This specialized series that was first posted on YouTube aimed to bring together 25 top-notch design and product professionals and the audience, in episodes of about 1 hour.
On top of this neatly organized, audiobook-like experience, with High Resolution, we get to take a look into the minds of the very best of the game from companies like Facebook, Instagram, Uber, Spotify, and Airbnb. As they share their views on good and bad design, design culture, and the design process, we as the audience start to understand our own understanding of the design and appreciate it more.
Take a look at these episodes:
- #22: Pinterest Head of Design August de los Reyes, on ending disability through better design – August de los Reyes discuss the importance of a diverse design team and touches upon how the design changed his outlook on life.
- #10: Facebook Head of Design, Luke Woods, on design’s true impact and creating for 2 billion people – in this episode Luke Woods delves into his story of becoming head of design and discusses designing for 2 billion people in this political climate.
- #17: Instagram Head of Design, Ian Spalter, on launching Stories and what’s next for their product – Ian Spalter discusses how it is to work with agencies and startups and how a big company like Instagram can be so flexible as to reiterate with every failure.
7- Writers in Tech
Hosted by Yuval Keshtcher, writers in tech, as the name gives it away, is all about writers in tech.
From episodes of interviews with content designers and UX writers, live community sessions, and to episodes on events about UX writing, this fresh podcast will be a great guide for you, whether you are a beginner UX writer looking to pick up strategies to level up your game or an experienced UX writer who’s interested in how to optimize how you work.
With episodes ranging from 20 minutes to an hour, listening to Writers in Tech may become your call to switch careers. Furthermore, Writers in Tech offers a free UX writing and content design course and a weekly newsletter that may inspire you in your next work.
See if any of the fresh episodes from Writers in Tech interests you:
- A Step by Step Guide to Content Strategy in 2021 – the host of the Content Strategy Insight Podcast Larry Swanson offers a guide to content strategy in 2021.
- A practical guide to ethical design: interview with best selling author Nir Eyal – the writer of the very famous Hooked, Nir Eyal discusses ethical design.
- 10K to 140K monthly visitors with content alone | Interview with content strategy expert Greg Digneo – a successful entrepreneur Greg Digneo discusses defining the audience and writing for them, and more.
Powered by Adobe and hosted by Khoi Vinh, Wireframe is one of my personal favorites.
Ever since it started in late 2018, Wireframe had one main topic: good design.
The host Khoi Vinh discovers good design with its many aspects with guests in the studio in episodes of 20 to 30 minutes, aired 3 times a month. Although the podcast series had a season finale in late 2020, it’s still a good listen in 2021 as it mostly touches upon the non-technical and entertaining parts of UX design that anyone interested in UX or product design can enjoy.
I insist that you give these episodes a listen:
- How Streaming Services Design Interfaces to Keep Us Watching – Khoi Vinh delves into the popularity of streaming websites in the middle of a pandemic and how good UI has an impact
- Why Can’t Dad Unmute Himself on Zoom? – In this episode, Khoi Vinh talks about how sometimes new technology and old age are not a good combo, and why complex UX is doomed to fail.
- Falling in Love with Good Design – Khoi Vinh and Laura Morris look into dating app interfaces as they listen to the outcries of the users and the defenses of the designers.
If you ever feel like listening to a fun podcast that will still inform you well enough, let me present to you, ShopTalk.
Hosted by Dave Rupert and Chris Coyier, ShopTalk is, in its very literal meaning, everything about websites and UX.
It should be obvious from the show’s once a week airing 1-hour long episodes, but Dave and Chris talk about the process, the tools, the people of UX and they do it in a very fun way. If super professional big company guest advice is not your cup of tea, give ShopTalk a listen for some shop talk.
Check out the latest episodes which don’t need a description:
- 427: Browsers Built for Designers, Firefox Farewell, Spinning up a Quick Website, and Gutenberg Experiences
- 423: Sleep Issues, Zoom Masters, Discord as the New Chat, Chris Goes Ruby, and Dave Folds Windows
As podcast culture starts to find a place in society, shows and series on so many different topics find a place on our phones, computers, and all other devices.
With such a variety of podcasts, UX design as a specific topic is no exception. Furthermore, although the shows specifically about UX all started around 2018 or so, digital design topics were always a part of design podcasts we still listen to ever since they started in the early 2010s.
Still, as we saw the rise of communicative technologies and the demand for pass-time activities like podcasts during the pandemic, 2020 was a great year for UX design podcasts, and it seems the charm will continue in 2021 thanks to our newly formed habits. Don’t forget to subscribe to the shows on the list, you never know where the inspiration for a good design will come from.