👉 UX design is a design process that involves the behavioral and visual design of digital products to meet the optimal reaction from users.
👉 Our list today covers free and paid options for courses, blogs, guidelines, YouTube channels/videos, books, podcasts, newsletters, and websites.
Design has been a part of my life for a long long time.
As a first grader and in college, I’ve been a student of design, whether it be a family drawing or a design project for uni classes.
But let me tell you upfront, learning design, and especially UX design is a long – mostly hard but always fulfilling – process that I am still going through as a designer.
And more often than not, the hardest part is finding the right resources to study.
To ease the long hours of searching for the right resources for you, I’ve put together a pretty comprehensive list of all the resources that might just be the turning point for a new UX design beginner.
I’m not gonna be humble; this just might be the only list you’ll ever need.
From free courses to premium books, and informative blogs to interactive video tutorials, we’ve got it all covered.
But let’s get some important info out of the way first:
What is UX Design?
UX design – or user experience design – is a design process that involves the behavioral and visual design of digital products to meet the optimal reaction from users. So basically, the goal of UX design is to create experiences that meet peak user satisfaction and usability.
What exactly is included in UX design, then?
Under the umbrella term of UX design, we find many design skills and principles like:
- User research,
- Testing, and
- User interface design (UI Design)
So, with all its design principles and methods, at its heart, UX design is all about making your experience with a product enjoyable and meaningful.
Do UX Designers Have to Code?
A very, very common question among beginners – including myself back in the day – is, “Do UX designers need to code?”
👉 And to put it briefly, the answer is “No.”
You don’t necessarily need to know much about coding to excel at UX design.
Sure, knowing code could turn out to be helpful, particularly if it’s about creating interactive prototypes or cooperating with developers.
And still, it is not essential.
Before all else, a UX designer’s most important skill is comprehending the user’s needs, creating an intuitive interface, and running usability tests.
Check out Guide to UX Design – Job Description, Salary to learn more!
UX/UI Design Resources for Beginners (2023)
Now, as promised, I’ve put together a wide range of UX/UI design resources that can be useful not only for complete beginners but also for experienced designers for some design inspiration.
Believe it or not, even design professionals might need some help in their design process 🤫
So, to keep it organized, I’ve listed the resources as free and paid and categorized into different types of media.
Let’s take a look ⬇️
- Google Design: Google Design is, as the website itself says, a home for inspiration and insights. And currently, it offers many courses for specific use cases.
- Coursera: Coursera, as we all know, has a good lot of free courses on UX/UI design, such as Introduction to User Experience Design and User Interface Design for the Web. There is even a Google UX Design course by Google, powered by Coursera.
- Udemy: Udemy is my number one choice for most courses and as you might know, there are several free as well as paid UX/UI design courses on the platform, top of the batch being “UI/ UX Design Fundamentals” and “UX Design for Beginners” if you are a design beginner.
- Interaction Design Association (IxDA): UX/UI design courses provided by the IxDA include “Introduction to UX Design” and “UX Design for Product Teams”, among others.
- General Assembly: There is a paid UX/UI design bootcamp, available at the General Assembly that will provide you with all the necessary training and skill needed for a career in this field. You can request the syllabus right away.
- Springboard: With Springboard, you can pay for a UX design career track that is aimed at equipping you with the requisite skills to land a UX designer job. They pay you back if you can’t land that dream job, so I am all for a hot here.
- Nielsen Norman Group (NN/g): NN/g is easily one of the most credible resources out there for anyone in the design scene. The NN/g reports especially tend to be insightful for UX researchers, so if you’re in for that kind of path into UX, check it out.
- UX Collective: UX Collective is a blog that publishes articles by UX/UI designers from around the world. It’s certainly one of the best UX resources that can be used to learn about various styles and ways in which UX/UI design practices are applied. If you’re afraid of being one-dimensional as a designer – I know I am – head in there.
- UX Planet: UX Planet is the BBC of UX – it brings us the latest news in the UX world and shares interesting articles on UX tools and terms. The best part is, they get these articles from other designers as submissions, making them extra interesting.
- Smashing Magazine: Smashing Magazine is a Web Developers’ Magazine dedicated to publishing articles on UX/UI Design. You gain access to exclusive articles and tutorials with their paid membership. They also offer workshops and with their wide range of topics on the blog, it is a good paid alternative.
- UX Booth: UX Booth offers exclusive comprehensive articles, tutorials, and cases on their blog and they have a paid option as well. While their main blog seems to be updated last year, the content they offer is still pretty good.
- UX Magazine: UX Magazine is not just a blog but a community of over 740,000 people. With a paid subscription, you get access to some great articles, tutorials, and interviews with industry leaders. If you wanna see just how good, go check out their latest article title. They always make me smile!
Also, don’t forget to check out the Top 23 UX Blogs Every Designer Should Follow in 2023!
- Apple Human Interface Guidelines: Apple has developed guidelines for designing UI in its products. They provide a wonderful source of information on the principles of good UX/UI design. So if you wanna be working with an Apple platform, definitely check it out.
- Google Material Design: User Interfaces Design Guideline for Android Products by Google is another important reference for understanding the key concepts of UX/UI design. It is also an open-source design system which makes it even better for some.
- Microsoft Fluent Design System: The Microsoft Design Guidelines are yet another helpful set of principles for learning about good UX/UI design. The Fluent 2 Design System also offers a toolkit for Figma, which I would say is the best design program in 2023.
- Nielsen Norman Group (NN/g) Guidelines: The company has paid guidelines on UX/UI design, such as UX Design Guidelines for Mobile Devices and UX Design Guidelines for Websites. As NN/g is a pretty credible organization, their guidelines are automatically noteworthy for all beginners and experts.
- UXPin Merge: UXPin Merge is a paid UX/UI design system containing guidelines for interface creation. And if your focus os on UI design, you don’t wanna miss out in this one.
- InVision Design System Manager: The Design System Manager in InVision is a premium tool that comes with a collection of interface design best practices. The best part is, that most of the content is available for free as well.
- The Futur: Futur is a YouTube channel that contains video content about UX/UI design of products, business, and management. Though it took a sharp turn for more business and entrepreneurship content, there is still good videos coming for the full-faceted designers.
- DesignCourse: DesignCourse is a channel dedicated to video tutorials about UX/UI design, graphic design, and web development. The main goal of the channel is to teach UX and CSS with interactive courses. The content is really engaging and interesting if you ask me.
- InVision: InVision is the YouTube channel of the collaboration tool InVision. Though it is a company channel, their educational content on UX/UI design, product design, and collaboration are so good that it works.
- SkillShare: The online learning platform, Skillshare, provides numerous paid UX/UI design courses and tutorials. The free videos are just as good, but the paid membership of the SkillShare platform offers a great deal of exclusive content as well.
- CreativeLive: There are a number of paid workshops available on UX/UI design at Creative Live, which is an Online Learning Platform. Their YouTube videos can help give you an idea on how much you need it.
- LinkedIn Learning: LinkedIn Learning, as we are all familiar with, comprises a rich set of paid-for UX-UI design courses’ lectures and tutorials. If you’re looking for a basic but credible option, LinkedIn Learning is for you.
- UX Design for Startups, By Marcin Treder:Though it was published in 2013, UX Design for Startups is a practical book that covers some of the most important things you need to know in order to build a UX that your users will love, while also running the skill as a business.
- Designing for the Web, By Mark Boulton: While Designing for the Web is essentially about – yup, you guessed it – designing for the web and graphic design strategies for the optimal final product, it also is a great guideline for UI design and at times UX design as well.
- The Guide To Wireframing. For Designers, PMs, Engineers, and Anyone Who Touches Product, By Chris Bank: This one is essentially all about wireframing, but since wireframing is a huge part of UX design, its extensive list of examples and design tools most suitable for different scenarios makes it an excellent guidebook for everyone in the design field.
- This Is Service Design Thinking: This textbook on service design thinking was edited by Marcus Stickdorn and Jakob Schneider, and both are co-founders of their own companies, so you just know the deets are business-worthy. But even without all that, it is an excellent tool that can help you create user-centered design.
- Design for the Real World: Introduction to Human-Centered Design – A Book by Victor Papanek: Now, this one is not necessarily a guidebook for UX or UI, in fact, it is more on industrial design. But I can say that it is an excellent introduction to all things design, and a great reference point for when you need inspiration.
- The Design of Everyday Things, By Don Norman: And of course, THE design book. The Design of Everyday Things by the legendary Don Norman is a classic introductory book on design, and, if you can read between the lines, on UX design as well. It’s an excellent guide to the basics of UX but more so the first step into an everlasting learning experience, that is design.
👉 Oh, and, if you want to know more about UX books, you can check out our article titled 12 Best UX Design Books Every Designer Should Read in 2023
- UX Podcast: Hosted by James Royal-Lawson and Per Axbom, UX Podcast is packed with insights on business, technology, and of course, UX design. The podcast airs every other Friday and James and Pex keep it interesting with different formats for each episode, like guest shows and event shows.
- Design Matters: Design Matters is the very first podcast about design started in 2005, and with their episodes of interviews with designers from different disciplines, it is a game-changer for inspiration and widening your perspective.
- ShopTalk Show: Hosted by Dave Rupert and Chris Coyier, ShopTalk is everything about websites and UX, literally. The show airs once a week with mostly hour-long episodes, but since the show knows how to keep it fun and conversational, it’s a breeze to listen.
- The UX Cake Podcast: The UX Cake Podcast is a monthly interview show where they speak with designers, authors, and researchers in UX and UI. You get a chance to watch special episodes and bonus content if it is their paid membership, but take it from me; the free episodes are pretty good too.
- Design Details: The monthly podcast, Design Details, is the good old designer interview style. Plus, you get exclusive episodes and bonus content by subscribing to their paid membership.
- User Weekly: User Weekly is a weekly newsletter delivering a hand-picked collection of articles, videos, and tips on UX/UI design. They also launched a podcast this year, so if you’re more of a listener, check that out!
- A List Apart: Sent twice every month as a monthly digest, A List Apart sends over its newest articles about design, development, and web content – the holy trinity of UX.
- UX Design Weekly: A weekly email-based publication with links to articles, videos, and information about UX/UI design. It’s also sent every Monday, so if you want a more frequent digest, this one is more specific and more frequent for sure.
- The UX Collective Weekly: The UX Collective Weekly is a premium weekly publication with unique articles, handy tutorials, and case studies on UX/UI design. Their main deal is respect – respectful of your inbox, time, and intelligence – which puts it before many newsletters out there and makes it worth your time and money.
- UXPin Merge Weekly: UXPin Merge Weekly is a commercial newsletter with original articles, tutorials, and cases about UX/UI design. They also offer free ebooks and UI kits; who doesn’t like freebies?
- Invision Inside Design Weekly Digest: Inside Design Weekly Digest is a subscriber-only email featuring original articles, tutorials, and case studies on UX/UI design. And though it is a corporate-run newsletter, it’s gained quite a lot of praise. Plus, it is not only for designers but for everyone who would like to think like a designer. Might e your cue to check it out.
- UX Stack: You might not believe me after seeing the UX of the website, but the UX Stack website connects more than 200,000 professionals in UX/UI in one place that shares articles, tutorials, and resources. In a forum setting, no less. Reddit out, UX Stack in.
- Dribbble: Dribbble is an excellent source of new ideas and inspiration that explores many design movements. It basically is the Pinterest of designers, and you can tell just how cool it is by the logo. That should be enough said, no?
- Behance: Behance is where designers share their projects, which is also like Pinterest if it was powered by Adobe. In addition, it is an amazing tool for getting inspired and discovering new designs.
- UXPin: UXPin is a user experience platform where various features are provided to design and prototype UIs. You can also get one of the paid plans, which will enable you to use more features, including collaboration tools and design systems management.
- InVision: Another UX/UI design platform with numerous features for designing and prototyping user interfaces is InVision. Plus, just like UXPin, if you go for their paid plans, you get additional features like collaboration tools that also include design system management. Did I say just like UXPin?
- Sketch: UX/UI designers often use Sketch the infamous vector graphics editor. With their paid packages, you can get access to other benefits, including tools for communication, cloud storage, etc. In any case, it offers a great start to design, and its blog and Sketch courses are pretty good as well.
UX is one big word, with a wide variety of resources if you’re in it to learn.
I tried to cultivate a list with the best online tools and resources out there but the beauty of it is there are new UX resources put on the internet every single day.
Whether you choose to pick up a course, watch some videos, read some books, or get your hands dirty on Sketch and the like, it is up to you to shape your learning experience.
If you set your mind to it, you’ll be designing in no time. Good luck!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get into UX design with no experience?
Getting into UX design with no prior experience is possible. Start by learning the basics through online courses, reading books, and following UX blogs and podcasts. Gain practical experience by working on personal projects and seeking internships or entry-level positions in UX design.
Can I learn UX in 3 months?
You may actually learn the basics of UX design in just three months but it takes longer to be good at. It is a field of constant change that requires continuous learning and practical skills development to yield results in the long run.
Is 30 too late to become a UX designer?
No, 30 is not too late to become a UX designer. UX design is an inclusive field that welcomes individuals from various backgrounds and age groups. Your life experiences can even be an asset in understanding user needs and preferences. With dedication and the right UX resources, you can pursue a career in UX design at any age.