What are the best UX podcasts?
A friend asked me this question recently, and I wanted to put together a list of my favorites.
I personally love podcasts because they turn my commutes, workouts, and mindless chores (like washing the dishes or doing the laundry) into educational moments where I can listen to industry experts and thought leaders discuss topics I care about.
But there are a lot of podcasts out there, and it can be difficult to figure out which ones are worth your time. So here are the 13 best UX podcasts I recommend you listen to. Hopefully this list will help make your decision easier!
Brain Sparks is hosted by Jared Spool, the founder of User Interface Engineering. In each episode, Jared interviews a seasoned UX practitioner about a specific topic. Although that’s a fairly common format for UX podcasts, there are two things that make the Brain Sparks interviews exceptional:
- Jared has a ton of experience which allows him to ask really good questions.
- He’s either worked with or has a professional history with most of the people he interviews, so he tends to have a really good rapport with his guests.
Not only does this make the conversation fun to listen to, but the guests tend to share more information with than they normally would with a different host. Episodes can range from 20 minutes to an hour, but most are about 40 minutes long.
Recommended episode: Building scalable design systems and style guides with Nathan Curtis
This podcast is published by the Boxes and Arrows magazine. It’s one of the first UX podcasts ever published, and it has been around since 2007. Episodes come in two flavors. In some of them, the host, Jeff Parks, interviews professionals from the field of information architecture, interaction design, and user experience. Others take the form of presentations or panel discussions on specific UX-related topics. Most episodes are around 30-40 minutes.
Recommended episode: Designing with constraints with Debra Levin Gelman
What is Wrong with UX is a hilariously entertaining and insightful podcast. Just to be clear, there’s some colorful language, so it’s definitely NSFW! It’s hosted by Laura Klein, author of UX for Lean Startups and founder of Users Know, and Kate Rutter, Co-founder of LUXr and Ex-Senior Experience Designer at Adaptive Path.
Each episode basically consists of them drinking wine and talking about how to build great products, while sharing funny stories from their careers. Both Laura and Kate taught the UX track at Tradecraft, and are excellent educators with years of experience. And each episode is full of actionable advice that will make you a better designer.
Recommended episode: 4 things that will make you a better UX designer
UX Pod is run by host Gerry Gaffney, UX consultant and Director of Publications at UXPA. In each episode, Gerry interviews UX professionals on topics such as UX design, web design, usability, and user research. These interviews are shorter and have a more serious tone than some of the others on this list. But they’re still thought-provoking and packed with insights.
Recommended episode: Designing good five-second tests with Paul Doncaster
In Conversation with UX Magazine is the newest podcast on this list. It started in May 2015 and is hosted by UX Mag editor Josh Tyson. Each episode includes an hour-long, in-depth interview with the world’s leading experience design practitioners. There are only a few episodes out so far, so you can get caught up quickly. I’m looking forward to seeing how this show grows and evolves.
Recommended episode: In conversation with Alan Cooper
The UX Intern is hosted by Wesley Noble, who interviews seasoned UX designers that share their wisdom and experience. This podcast is great for UX students, interns, and anyone who’s new to the field or looking to get started in it. One iTunes review put it well: “Each casual conversation offers incredible insights into the minds of experienced, devoted practitioners shaping the way the world thinks about UX and design.” Each episode is about an hour long.
Recommended episode: Kate Dill of Airbnb & Joe Rinaldi of Happy Cog
The Dirt is a podcast hosted by the team at UX design agency Fresh Tilled Soil. They have great camaraderie which makes it fun to listen to. In some episodes they interview guests from the UX field, and in other episodes their team just sits down to discuss a specific topic. Most episodes are about 30 minutes.
One thing I like about The Dirt is that they have a few different multi-part series. For example, they have a 3 part series on designing your career, and a 4 part series on creating a successful product.
Recommended episode: Successful product design, pt. 4: atomic design with Brad Frost
The Design Review is hosted by Chris Liu and Jonathan Shariat. In each episode, they go through a product and break down the design and experience. One iTunes review put it well: “Jonathan and Chris’ insights on design and UX are on point and they carry an entertaining dynamic throughout each episode. Their discussions get you thinking about how to design friendly and intuitive software products.” Most episodes are between 30 and 50 minutes.
Recommended episode: Designing with empathy
Iterate brings together the best mobile designers and app producers in the business to talk user interface and user experience, from concept to implementation. It’s hosted by Marc Edwards, Seth Clifford, and Rene Ritchie, and each hour-long episode focuses exclusively on mobile design.
The format is different from episode to episode. Sometimes they bring on a guest, and other times the hosts discuss a topic amongst themselves. I recommend Iterate for anyone interested in building mobile apps.
Recommended episode: Richard Fulcher and Nicholas Jitkoff of Google on Material Design
The Design Details podcast is hosted by Bryn Jackson and Brian Lovin. The format of the show is less structured than most of the others on this list. It’s a casual conversation between the hosts and leading designers in UX, visual design, product design, and game design. And each episode is about an hour long.
If you’re looking for technical design advice in a highly structured format, this show probably isn’t a good fit for you. But if you think you might like listening to designers have a casual chat with lots of banter, then you’ll enjoy Design Details.
Recommended episode: No… nope… not at all (feat. Morgan Knutson, ex-Dropbox & Google designer)
The award-winning Big Web Show features interviews with web design industry leaders on topics like web publishing, art direction, content strategy, typography, technology, and more. It’s hosted by Jeffrey Zeldman, founder of A List Apart and Happy Cog design studios.
He also published the front-end bible Designing With Web Standards and teaches in the MFA Interaction Design program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. An iTunes review summed it up well: “The most intelligent, well-crafted web design podcast I’ve ever listened to. Informative, hour-long question-answer sessions with industry experts.”
Shop Talk is a podcast about front-end web design, development, and UX. In each episode, the hosts Chris Coyier and Dave Rupert bring on a guest to talk shop and answer listener submitted questions. This show is funny and down-to-earth. It will help keep you in the loop on what’s going on in the industry, as well as teach you some new things. Each episode is about an hour long.
Recommended episode: Rapidfire 53
99% Invisible is an exploration of the process and power of design and architecture. Award winning producer Roman Marsdives into the 99% of the design work that goes into making things you never even notice.
This show isn’t specifically about UX, but it’ll open your eyes to everyday design elements that you never knew existed. At best, it will expand your mind and inspire you to think in new and different ways. And at worst, it will help you cultivate your taste in design.
Recommended episode: Structural Integrity
This podcast was recommended to me by my colleague Josh Kunz, who’s a UX researcher at UserTesting. It’s not a UX podcast, but the topics discussed are relevant to UX designers, user researchers, and anyone else who does creative work.
In each episode of Accidental Creative, the host, Todd Henry, shares advice about how to build practical, every day practices that help you stay prolific, creative, and healthy in life and work. Some episodes are a monologue, and in others he interviews artists, authors, and business leaders about the habits and practices that help them thrive. Each episode is about 10-30 minutes; they’re bite-sized episodes that will make you think.
Recommended episode: Make your ideas resonate with others