12 Best Podcasts About UX Design in 2017
Podcasts are perhaps the best way to keep yourself updated with what’s going on out there in the world (not only for design-related matters) without actually having to sit still and consume the content actively.
In other words, podcasts are your ultimate, on-the-go information vehicle. And it just so happens that UX design is no vacuum in the podcasting world. There are some really great shows out there, and not only for news, but genuinely thought-provoking and inspiring design content.
Here’s our list of the 12 best podcasts about UX design.
(Note: Although we do provide direct links leading to each podcast on this list, the best way to find and subscribe to them is to actually use a podcasting tool. Apple’s Podcasts or iTunes will work great, or Overcast if you prefer something more independent.)
1. 99% Invisible
Calling this one simply a podcast is an understatement. 99% Invisible is a full-fledged, professionally crafted design show in audio form.
Narrated by Roman Mars, 99% Invisible is the place to go for inspirational and thought-provoking stories from the design world as a whole, while also touching upon a number of UX-related issues in the process.
My personal favorite recent episode is #281- “La Sagrada Família” – the story of Antoni Gaudí and his approach to designing Spain’s No.1 tourist attraction.
2. UX Podcast
If you’re after some UX design podcasts, then you should indeed start with the one that’s simply titled UX Podcast.
This is a long-running show, with more than 170 episodes released so far (at the time of writing). Hosted by James Royal-Lawson and Per Axbom, UX Podcast is a twice-monthly conversation with a different expert each time.
These conversations touch upon a number of different topics, from raw UX design, to business implications of design, to technology, and everything in between. This podcast is an overall great listen if you want to learn new perspectives coming from two hosts representing the European school of design (the podcast is recorded in Stockholm).
3. Design Matters with Debbie Millman
One of the longest running podcasts about design — if not the longest running — currently at the 282-episode mark.
Debbie Millman is master when it comes to talking with people she has on the show in a way that tackles various fields of design. The guests come from different design backgrounds, but not only design. There are also authors, writers, art directors, design consultants, filmmakers, and more — overall, people you would have not otherwise heard from on different podcasts.
But, there’s an occasional celebrity as well. For instance, listen to the recent talk with Seth Godin — a marketing guru with a great feel for design and how it impacts our experience with products.
4. Users Know
This might not be your classic, squeaky-clean podcast in terms of language, but it’s a great UX listen nonetheless.
Hosted by Laura Klein and Kate Rutter, this podcast is a series of lively talks about various UX-related topics. Or, as the authors like to say themselves, the podcast is where they “drink and fight about what is wrong with user experience design.”
The most recent episodes focus on topics such as starting your own freelancing or consulting business in design, how certain statistics are lies, working with non-designers, and similar, on-the-edge conversations.
5. O’Reilly Design Podcast
This is a weekly podcast hosted by O’Reilly’s director of Strategic Content, Mary Treseler. You’ll find a lot of experience design insights and analysis here, focusing on how UX design shapes not only the internet as we know it today, but also other fields in tech.
Each episode features a different design expert, often coming from very notable companies that have proven themselves quite skilled in the UX design space.
For instance, you can start with a recent episode featuring Cynthia Savard Saucier, director of design at Shopify.
6. The UX Intern
In all honesty, this was a very cool concept for a podcast. The UX Intern was all about interviewing seasoned UX designers to get their perspectives as shared with a UX intern — Wesley Noble, the host.
You probably noticed me referring to it in past tense. Well, the podcast ended in 2014 after just 13 episodes.
Still, most of them are really interesting and surely make you rethink some of your assumptions regarding UX — exploring the “expert vs intern” points of view.
The podcast is still fully available if you want to go through the backlog of episodes.
7. Style Guide Podcast
This podcast — as the title suggests — is all about designing proper style guides and explaining the ins and outs of the process.
Although it might sound like a niche topic, style guides play a huge role in UX design and can have a real impact on the final result of your work. Getting some insights from the StyleGuides.io team — the guys behind the podcast — can benefit you a lot in this regard. Each episode features a different design expert.
8. The UX Blog Podcast
The UX Blog Podcast is an integral part of the UX Blog, which you can probably tell, judging by the name. The podcast is hosted by Nicholas Tenhue, and it’s an interview show where various UX design professionals come to talk about trends, hot topics, and also their careers and experiences in the design business.
The podcast started as a weekly show, but right now new episodes come out very infrequently — the last one being from more than six months ago.
Still, a great place to learn from if you want to find out not only about UX design itself but also about the impact that the market has on the people working in it.
9. UI Breakfast Podcast
UI Breakfast Podcast, hosted by Jane Portman, is yet another interview show (probably the most popular form of podcast, overall). It explores the topics of UI and UX design, marketing, and even product strategies.
The guests on the show come from many different backgrounds, including UX design, SaaS products, marketing, and other fields.
New episodes come out every week or so, and more than 80 have aired so far. This is surely one of the more regular podcasts on this list.
UXpod — although its name suggests a strict UX focus — actually tackles a number of related topics, going even as far as discussing connected bikes, SEO, metadata, and other matters. However, at some point, the talks all come down to user experience and how everything surrounding us has been crafted with UX design in mind.
Each episode features a different expert chiming in, and although we haven’t seen a new episode in a couple of months, let’s hope that UXpod will soon be back with even more great insights.
11. Let’s Make Mistakes
Let’s Make Mistakes is a design show hosted by Mike Monteiro, Liam Campbell, and Steph Monette. Each episode features a guest from the design world who shares their perspective on various related matters.
Even though there have been more than 170 episodes already, new ones don’t come out too frequently — usually forcing us to wait between one and six months.
12. Design Life
Design Life is a regular weekly show for designers, hosted by Charli Marie (marketing designer at ConvertKit) and Femke (designer at Uber). These two somehow manage to run a successful podcast on top of each having a full-time job.
The conversational tone of the show makes it very pleasing to listen to, and an overall great way to learn about design as it relates to the challenges that young creatives face.
The topics covered are not only strict, hands-on design talks, but also get into things like mastermind groups, side projects, tech and gadgets for designers, job hunting, and more.
New episodes come out very regularly, with over 100 of them aired already.
What’s your favorite?
These 12 podcasts will surely keep you occupied for a while. Of course, we don’t expect you to subscribe to all of them at once, but you should find at least a handful of gems among them. My personal favorite — 99% Invisible. What’s yours?
BONUS UPDATE: We’d also like to make a shout-out to another one of our favorite UX podcasts, User Defenders. Tune in to hear inspiring interviews with UX superheroes with host Jason Ogle.