Think of these lists as options to pick from, not required reading/listening/watching. Choose the ones that work for you.
Several article-based sites, all with interesting UX-related content. The sites are mainly US and UK based but the contributors are global.
- UXBeginner – getting started in UX
- Boxes and Arrows – good design/ux articles
- UX Booth – articles on interaction design, IA, etc.
- UX Movement – design tips, techniques, best practices
- Speckyboy – tips for web/app design and tools
- UX Matters – articles on business, code, and UX community
- UX Collective – curated stories on UX, visual, product design
- UX Magazine – slick articles on a broad range of UX topics
- A List Apart – one of the first UX-related sites, still going strong!
- Smashing Magazine – web dev and design
- Scott Berkun – design and project management
- Nielsen Norman Group – user research topics
Reference content and resources.
- UX Myths – 35 things people mistakenly think are true about UX
- UK government user research resources
- USA usability.gov – methods, guidelines, templates to download
- 18F.gov – US government site listing easy-to-follow UX methods
Read a book
The reading list got too long, so now it has its own page!
Listen to a podcast
- UI Breakfast hosts guest conversations about UX, UI, products, and marketing.
- Dollars to Donuts host Steve Portigal talks with the people who lead user research in their organizations.
- Design Matters talks to designers and other creative types.
- Design Better interviews influential thinkers in design.
Other podcasts about how people or things work.
- 99% Invisible is kind-of/sort-of a design podcast. It focuses on the important little things we don’t pay attention to in life.
- Hidden Brain is part psychology, part neuroscience, all interesting episodes that give context to core behavioral concepts through interesting stories from real life.
- Invisibilia. Unseeable forces control human behavior and shape our ideas, beliefs, and assumptions. Invisibilia—Latin for invisible things—fuses narrative storytelling with science that will make you see your own life differently.
- All In The Mind is an ABC (Australia’s public broadcaster) production exploring the mind, brain, and behavior.
Watch conference presentations
Like any conference, you can pick and choose which sessions interest you. Conference talks most often give real-world perspectives on making UX work.
- UX New Zealand 2019 and 2020 videos. A great conference series.
- UXDX brings UX and Agile together. Talks from people in key companies.
- Webstock has held conferences for several years.
- The UX Conference 2020, 2019, 2018 part 1 and part 2, 2017.
- IXDA has a Vimeo channel that’s stuffed so full of content it’s hard to find conference talks. Here are the Interaction 2018 talks.
- Design talks on UIdeo – 560 videos from 69 conferences!
Watch the TV and learn!
When you’re done bingeing on the latest drama, check out some design documentaries.
- Looking for something to watch on Netflix? Check out Abstract – the art of design (season 1 and 2)
- Four documentaries on design topics: Rahms, Urbanized, Objectified, Helvetica. These are sometimes also available on other streaming platforms.
Industry groups host conferences, have informative newsletters, and often have job listings too. Some have local chapters you can join as well.
- UXPA.org (User Experience Professionals Association)
- IXDA.org (Interaction Design Association)
- IAinstitute.org (Information Architecture Institute)
- AIGA.org (American Institute of Graphic Arts)
There are a couple of groups on LinkedIn that discuss UX. One big issue with these is that there are often more questions than (believable) answers, and the same topics tend to circulate again and again. You also have to avoid the spam postings. Still, they might be fun to dive into every now and again.
- UXPA International
- Agile Experience Design
- Web Design and Development
- User experience (UX) design, Design Thinking and Product Design
LinkedIn Learning Groups
These are groups that are theoretically dedicated to people using the LinkedIn Learning platform. The Design Thinking group has quite a high noise-to-signal ratio, but the UX group is OK.
Started as a short list, got long enough for its own page.
Mentors should be someone who is in the UX field already. Not a super-senior role, but someone who knows the job. Anyone with 2 or more years experience would be suitable.
It’s best to find someone who’s local to you, but that’s not essential. The commitment you look for should be no more than two one-hour sessions per month.
Know what you want and why you want it before you start. It’s up to YOU to drive the relationship. This post explains more.
When you find a mentor, get them to read this page before they commit.
Be careful of sites that charge for mentoring. You should not have to pay for mentoring, but you should expect to pay for coaching.
- UX Coffee Hours is a site that matches people with UX mentors. Make sure you have a clear question that can’t be answered with a Google search. Do NOT get a reputation as a time waster!
- Adplist offers to perform portfolio reviews and design mentoring. Again, these are busy professionals. Don’t waste their time. Get a portfolio together first, make it as good as you can, then seek feedback.
- Hexagon offers mentoring for women and non-binary people in UX.
- Designed.org has a network of mentors.
- UXPA mentorship program started in 2021.
- IAI mentorship program is being revamped (early 2021).
- If you’re currently in a job, does your company have a UX team, and would one of the people on that team be prepared to mentor you?
- Not all mentoring has to be formal. Check out meetups to find people who have knowledge in specific areas, use your LinkedIn connections for one-off focused questions.
Note: Every week each of the instructors in this syllabus get asked to mentor people. We can’t do that so please don’t ask.
The Catch-22 situation for entry-level UX jobs is that employers want experience, but you need a job in order to get experience. So you need to short-circuit that process.
- Chris, Cory, and Amanda discussed this in their stickynotes chat episode “Newbie.”
- The projects you undertake on this course will get you experience with the methods, but not necessarily with the work environment.
- If you’re currently in a job, does your company have a UX group that you can talk to, shadow, or even work with?
- Hackathons don’t always focus on the code. UXResult hosted a UX hackathon. UXHack lists “challenges” you can perform (for-profit: companies pay to list challenges). You can find lists of hackathons all over the place.
- http://www.joincolab.io/ – work with a full team on a project over 5 weeks.
Internship opportunities – if they are PAID positions – can be a great way to get experience. Typically unpaid positions are a bad deal. Your employer needs to value your time. Not necessarily at the going industry rate, but you should get paid OR be gaining *taught* skills.
- Check out interns.design, and obviously search on LinkedIn.
- Amazon’s UX Design and Research apprenticeship.
- Hubspot’s Associate UX rotational program.
- Lookback’s Junior Researcher Fellowship.
Not sure that UX is quite what you wanted?
- Degreeless Design – this site, but for visual design students.
- LearnUX – free videos to learn elements of visual design (not so much the research side)
- Self-taught designer roadmap – says what but not how to learn to be a designer.
- Point North – this site, but for ..? Product managers? Project managers? Design managers? Content ops? All of the above, really.
- Analytics Demystified – this site, but for data analytics students.
- Towards Data Science – this site, but for data scientists.
- Web developer roadmap – what but not how to learn full-stack development.
- Switchup – a (commercial, ads-on-site) list of bootcamps.
- Brave Achievers – tech bootcamps aimed specifically at underrepresented groups.
- Per Scholas – no-cost training, no-cost exams and certifications for entry-level IT careers sponsored by companies.
- Apprenti year-long paid apprenticeships and training in various tech jobs.