5 Podcasts to Inspire UX Designers
I recently had an interesting lunchtime conversation with our VP of UX, Yvonne Shek, about how and where we find inspiration. While it seems like a cliché answer, I find inspiration everywhere and actively seek it out on a daily basis. I love to learn and try to cram as much learning time into my day as possible. One of my tactics is listening to podcasts during rather uninspiring moments like taking public transit, weeding my garden or folding laundry. Listening to my favourite podcasts during these moments transforms them into moments that stimulate my imagination and provide opportunities to learn and be inspired even if just for 30 mins.
Here 5 are of my current favourite podcasts
Hands down, one of my all-time favourites, 99% Invisible is every ‘beautiful nerds’ dream come true. If your inner childhood curiosity is alive and well, you’ll love this podcast. Each episode offers a different story about the thinking behind the design of everyday objects, systems and architecture that shape our world. You’ll hear fascinating stories and gain greater appreciation for everything from public water fountains to the design of your city’s flag. I also love how creator and host Roman Mars mixes and produces the show. The clever things he does often make me smile while I’m listening and have me anxiously awaiting the next episode week after week. Bonus- this podcast will give you tons of great conversation starter material.
- The Mind of an Architect
- The Colour of Money
Invisibilia explores “the invisible forces that shape human behaviour – things like ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emptions.” I’ve always been interested in psychology so I was excited to come across this podcast. Hosts Lulu Miller, Hanna Rosin and Alix Spiegel give deep insight into the inner workings of human minds and behaviours, intertwining these insights with beautiful storytelling of real life examples. The high energy narration and real talk approach to the subject matter is refreshing, adventurous and keeps me coming back for more each week.
- Frame of Reference
- The Problem with the Solution
- The Personality Myth
This has got to be the weirdest podcast I’ve ever listened to, but it’s quickly becoming one of my favourites. Each episode begins by telling a story of a future scenario where an emerging tech from today is flourishing and fundamentally changing the way humans work, live and play. The stories are imaginative with excellent writing, narration and sound design. They’ll have your imagination running wild, questioning what our future will look like and the amazing things we might see in this lifetime. After each scenario, producer and host Rose Eveleth of Gizmodo comes back to present day and interviews real scientists, innovators and experts who weigh in on and debate the possibility of these futures and discuss the technology that will empower them.
- Bot for a Teacher
- Micro but Mighty
- Face to Face
DRT is an inspirational podcast that interviews some of the world’s best designers, innovators and leaders in tech and business. In each episode, William Channer covers a different topic and interviews a guest who offers tons of great advice, experience and inspiration. I like this podcast for making me feel like I’m having a one on one conversation with some of the industry’s movers and shakers. I like hearing new points of view, different ways of working, design processes, career advice and more.
- Understanding Good Product Design by Don Norman
- Finding your Design Path by Tobias Van Schneider, Design Lead at Spotify
- How to Design for Impact by Julie Zhuo, Design Director at Facebook
This podcast explores the creative process behind some of your favourite musicians and music. Host Hrishikesh Hirway brings musicians into his studio to describe their creative process step by step and “explode” the different layers of a particular song. I’ve always been interested in the creative process and how creators from different disciplines create intentional experiences. I love hearing the stories and inspiration behind my favourite songs and the way they expose and isolate different layers of sound. It gives me a new appreciation for the music I know and love. I also frequently discover new music through this podcast which adds another layer of interest for me.
- Episode 75: Odesza
- Episode 61: Courtney Barnett, Depreston
- Episode 38: Tuneyards
What’s your favourite podcast? Have suggestions? Leave them in the comments below. We’ll be sure to see them and your suggestion may be included in our next podcast post…