18 Must-Subscribe UX Design Podcasts

A selection of stream-worthy newcomers and longtime favorites.

Written by Stephen Gossett
Published on Nov. 03, 2021
18 Must-Subscribe UX Design Podcasts

There was a time that the landscape for UX design podcasts was fairly sparse. That’s far from the case today.

Professional development advice from the brightest luminaries in the field is just a “follow” or “subscribe” button away, and some of the most thoughtful design discussions are available to anyone with headphones and some time.

A few of our favorite selections are specialized (titles devoted to user research, UX writing and front-end design), while others chew over big, high-level concerns. In this roundup, we chose to spotlight ongoing, still-producing shows, which means some excellent limited-run and now-dormant titles are absent. But hopefully the list provides some useful direction.

Top UX Podcasts

  • Design Better
  • UI Narrative
  • User Defenders
  • Awkward Silences
  • Writers in Tech
  • UI Breakfast
  • What Is Wrong With UX
  • Design Review
  • UX Podcast
  • Wireframe
  • This Is HCD
  • Revision Path
  • Design Details
  • The NN/g UX Podcast
  • Shop Talk
  • Saving UX
  • The World of UX
  • Technically Speaking

 

Design Better

InVision’s flagship interview podcast has been welcoming UX and design notables since 2017. The guest list over the years reads like a who’s who of design leaders — John Maeda, Annie Jean-Baptiste, Nancy Douyon, among many more — but hosts Aarron Walter and Eli Woolery do an admirable job of not skating by on star wattage and zeroing in on practical takeaways. Worth noting: InVision’s library of Design Better books is also available for free in audio, if you’re hunting for more content.

Listen: Spotify, Apple

 

UI Narrative

Don’t let the title mislead you. UI Narrative casts a wide net, exploring issues in UX, graphic design and product management as well as UI. Every two weeks, host Tolu Garcia welcomes BIPOC designers to discuss topics ranging from interaction design to human-centered design to salary negotiations in UX design.

Listen: Spotify, Apple

 

User Defenders

Host Jason Ogle weaves a light superhero theme through this long-running interview podcast. In a twist on the Proust Questionnaire, he asks each guest to state their “design superpower,” “design kryptonite” and “UX superhero name.” But the preceding back-and-forth usually offers plenty of meaty tales from the trenches and useful pointers. Recent guests include Twitter product designer Jessica Gaddis, UX author Jared Spool and design veteran Bob Baxley. The archives, which stretch back to 2015, are worth exploring.

Listen: Spotify, Apple

 

Awkward Silences

An interview podcast about, well, interviewing. Awkward Silences, produced by user recruitment platform User Interviews, focuses squarely on user research topics. Standout episodes tackle self-care (with Vivienne Castillo of HmntyCntrd), accessible user experience research (with Zach Naylor of Aurelius) and debunk-worthy research myths (with Zach Schendel of DoorDash). (For more user research-specific audio, consider the UX Research Corner on Clubhouse — not technically a podcast, but in the ballpark.)

Listen: Spotify, Apple

 

Writers in Tech

Writers in Tech is another show that takes a commendably specialized look at UX subtopics: in this instance, UX writing, content strategy and content design. Befitting the subject matter, host and UX Writing Hub founder Yuval Keshtcher keeps things plainspoken and approachable, while guests offer tips of the trades and share stories of how they got into the business and how they approach key challenges and trends in the field, from developing style guides to understanding the growing impact of AI.

Listen: Spotify, Apple

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UI Breakfast

Since she began the show in 2014, Userlist co-founder Jane Portman has marshaled UI Breakfast into one of the most popular podcasts in the category, with over 2 million downloads. With thorough interviews that range from high level (the power of branding, the ROI of UX) to tactical (running jobs-to-be-done interviews, finding Adobe hacks), it’s clear why. A recent fave: Eleni Stathoulis, design director at Mad*Pow, on the (hotly debated) topic of service design. Userlist’s Better Done Than Perfect podcast, which focuses on SaaS founders, is also worth a listen.

Listen: Spotify, Apple

 

What Is Wrong With UX

This long-running show eschews the interview format common to UX podcasts while also providing approachable (and mildly profane) counterbalance to the self-serious tone that sometimes precedes design discourse. The co-hosts — Intelleto principal Kate Rutter and UX for Lean Startups author Laura Klein — play off one another with self-deprecating, lightly sarcastic rapport, as they pick apart UX shibboleths and unpack “how to make products suck slightly less,” as the tagline goes. Each episode plays like a productive gripe session: a bit of comically heightened exasperation, plus plenty of useful insight.

Listen: Spotify, Apple

RelatedMastering User Personas in UX Design Will Create Loyal Customers

 

Design Review

Another non-interview podcast that succeeds in part thanks to the easygoing chemistry between its two co-hosts — here, designers Chris Liu and Jonathan Shariat. Design Review is recommended listening for both newcomers and veterans, as it tackles a different must-know design principle each episode, with Liu and Shariat always mindful to connect them to real-world practice. New episodes are released every two weeks. Keep an eye out for multi-part series-within-the-series. Past entries include dives into cognitive psychology, business 101 for designers and usability heuristics.

Listen: Spotify, Apple

 

UX Podcast

Episodes of UX Podcast, another long-running favorite, tend to fall into one of three formats: new interviews, rebroadcasts of “classics” (there are many; the show began in 2011) and so-called link shows, in which co-hosts Per Axbom and James Royal-Lawson, chew over two recent UX-related articles. Both co-hosts are keenly interested in design ethics, and many of the standout episodes explore that intersection. Check out recent appearances by Eva PenzeyMoog, author of Design for Safety; David Dylan Thomas, author of Design for Cognitive Bias; and Tanya Snook, who coined the term “UX theatre.”

Listen: Spotify, Apple

 

Wireframe

This Adobe-produced entry was launched in partnership with Gimlet, the podcast production company behind hits like Crimetown and Reply All. Wireframe, like those shows, takes a highly produced and shaped narrative storytelling approach. That makes for a much more general-interest appeal than the deep-dive expert Q&As that predominate the UX podcast landscape. But the show’s wide range means that even design pros will likely regularly learn something new. Case in point: As of this writing, the most recent four episodes dove into Comic Sans, expressive data visualization, new trends in packaging design and racial justice in design.

Listen: Spotify, Apple

Related5 Key Features of Readable Typefaces

 

This Is HCD

As much a community as it is a podcast, This Is HCD’s network also spans training courses, a newsletter, a Slack channel and live events — all focused on the evergreen topic of human-centered design. But even if you stick solely to the audio, This Is HCD’s coverage is extensive in scope and prolific in production pace. The parent feed includes the eponymous flagship show, plus worthwhile satellite offerings like the social-issues-focused Bringing Design Closer, the sustainability-centered World Wide Waste and the professional-development-friendly Doing Design.

Listen: Spotify, Apple

 

Revision Path

In a 2015 SXSW talk, Maurice Cherry asked, Where are the Black designers? Every week, Cherry spotlights Black digital creatives on his long-running podcast, Revision Path, offering an insightful and entertaining corrective to the implicit critique of that sadly still-relevant question. The series “is showing that designers of color have been here all along, so if anything, it’s opening people’s eyes to designers that are already around them,” Cherry told TechRepublic in 2020. That includes everyone from Eric Bailey, the vice president of experience design at Zillow, to Brian A. Thompson, the currency designer behind the new $100 bill.

Listen: Spotify, Apple

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Design Details

Each week, co-hosts Brian Lovin, a product designer at GitHub, and Marshall Bock, a design systems lead at YouTube, tease out a UI/UX topic in appropriately user-friendly portions — episodes usually hover around the 30-minute mark. The focus tends toward granular, practical advice (versioning and handoff in Figma, writing effective reviews), with some higher-level musings as well (how the physical world influences UI design). The pair welcomes the occasional guest, but the vibe remains that of a chat between knowledgeable friends.

Listen: Spotify, Apple

 

The NN/g UX Podcast

The veteran UX firm launched its podcast last year with a conversation with Jakob Nielsen, one of the two design-legend Ns in Nielsen Norman Group. Since then, each monthly episode has welcomed an employee from the firm — a UX specialist, most often — to discuss real-world design issues. Past coverage includes design ethics, the false consensus effect, UX career paths and designing for complex applications.

Listen: Spotify, Apple

RelatedWhat Exactly Is Ethical Design?

 

Shop Talk

As the title might suggest, Shop Talk is unapologetically in the weeds. Co-hosts Dave Rupert, a lead developer at Paravel, and Chris Coyier, co-founder of CodePen and the mind behind the much-loved CSS-Tricks, dive into all things front-end web development in weekly episodes (and a recently launched video channel). Recent episodes tackle Cloudflare updates, CSS Module scripts, performance audits and animation versus transition.

Listen: Spotify, Apple

 

Saving UX

Jeremy Kriegel, a 25-year veteran of the field, debuted Saving UX this spring as a platform to explore why, as he sees it, the impact and influence of UX has waned in organizations in recent years. The related issues he and guests unpack — commoditization of UX, unchecked biases — are challenging, but Kriegel keeps focused on solutions, never letting concern tip over into fatalism. The early guest appearances have been full of thoughtful notable designers, including Eightshapes founder Dan Brown, Orange Jordan UI/UX manager Ahmad Alhuwwari and Mad*Pow founder Amy Heymans, among others.

Listen: Spotify, Apple

 

The World of UX

Host Darren Hood teaches user experience design at Lawrence Technological University and Kent State University, and he brings the kind of patience, good nature and enthusiasm that the best professors exhibit to this podcast as well. The World of UX is a mix of solo topic overviews and guest interviews, tackling topics like dark patterns, UX hiring patterns, and the pros and cons of bootcamps. Expect well-considered perspectives on key methods and trends, told with a winning affability.

Listen: Spotify, Apple

 

Technically Speaking

Technically Speaking, launched by host and LinkedIn design manager Harrison Wheeler in 2020, welcomes designers of color each week to discuss important UX trends, approaches and issues. Topics range from voice usability to the rise of DesignOps to the importance of intersectionality and community. Notable recent guests include Aastha Gaur, UX director at Google, and Dominique Ward, design operation leader at Atlassian.

Listen: Spotify, Apple

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