An incomplete list of UX design resources
Last updated 17 February 2019
I’m a UX designer. I’m also a design educator, and care deeply about supporting folks who are learning UX design.
As a mentor in DesignLab’s UX Research and Strategy and Interaction Design courses, I find that students are often looking for additional tools and resources to amp up their learning. Over the last few months, I’ve compiled this list of UX resources — including articles, videos, online courses, and communities — in an effort to point students towards some solid, tried-and-true content.
This list is also available here as a Google Doc. Feel free to share, and let me know what you think. This list is ever-evolving and incomplete, and feedback is totally welcome.
For reading, listening, consuming, and learning
- UX Pin — UX Pin is a product first and foremost, but they also put out some good UX articles.
- UX Collective — solid articles from a variety of UX designers
- Muz.li — design inspiration
- uxdesign.cc — UX Methods, Tools, Books and more
- 99 Percent Invisible — focuses on design and architecture, with some social commentary. Not explicitly focused on digital UX design but definitely touches on aspects on UX design.
- Design + Diversity — tackling the relevant and forgotten issues of diversity and inclusion in the design industry.
- User Defenders — I’ve heard some positive reviews about this but haven’t listened yet.
- Mixed Methods — podcast focused on user research.
- Here’s an article from UX Collective of 5 recommended podcasts
- Another article with UX podcast recommendations
Tools and tricks
- evernote.design — repository of design links
- UI Goodies — super awesome repository, not just for UI design
- $0 Design Tools to Help You Create Your Next Project
- Top Design Tools — Hack Design Toolkit
- UX Glossary — UX Mastery
- Generally cool UX project checklist tool that encompasses whole UX design process
- General Assembly has a set of free resources on coding, data, design, digital marketing, and product management
- Unsplash — hi-res, open source photo library
- Pixabay — free images
- Boxist — free stock photography
- Moose — stock photos designed to work together
- Fontface Ninja — lets you hover over text on pages to find out what font info (font name and size, line spacing)
- Awesome Screenshot — for screenshots and recording screens. especially useful when taking screenshots of long pages that require scrolling
- ColorPick Eyedropper — lets you find rgb/hex values of colors on pages you’re viewing.
- Screencastify — for recording video of screens
- CSSPeeper — Smart CSS viewer tailored for Designers
- SketchAppSources — free and premium design resources for Sketch users, by Sketch users
Tutorials + tips
- Sketch Together is a solid Sketch tutorial series run by Pablo Stanley.
- LevelUpTuts is also a pretty good beginner’s tutorial. Some tutorials are paid but most are free. Also available on YouTube.
- Essential Sketch Plugins for Designers and Developers from Design + Code
- 10 Tips & Best Practices for SketchApp from UX Pin
- LEARN SKETCH™ from Freebies — a collection of entirely free design resources for Sketch such as UI Kits, Icons, Vector Mockups, and Tutorial Resources
- Sketch Resources from Creative Market
- Typography in Sketch 3: Linked Text Styles
- 7 Tips for Sketch Users — Nick Woodman — Medium
Conducting user research
- Better User Research Through Surveys — video on YouTube
- Most useful survey questions for user research? — a thread from Stack Exchange
Likert Scale Questions
- When and how to use Likert scale survey questions — from SurveyMonkey
- When is it okay not to use “middle” or “neutral” option for Likert scale? — a discussion thread
- Likert Scale — Definition, Examples & 53 Sample Questions You Can Use
- Contextual Interviews and How to Handle Them
- Tips on conducting contextual inquiry — from Teena Singh
- Why Are Contextual Inquiries So Difficult? — from UX Matters
- Introduction to UX Research: Fundamentals of Contextual Inquiry
- The Dos And Don’ts Of Diary Studies by Erietta Sapounakis
- Optimal Workshop — for conducting and analyzing research (+ usability testing)
- Wonder — I’ve never used this but it came recommended
Synthesizing research findings
- Article on designing for the multifaceted user — I’ve created/used the “dimension” spectra (shown in the middle of the article) and like them a lot as complements to personas/empathy maps
- Prioritization matrices — can customize for factors like types of target audiences
- Weighting product features by personas — I haven’t tried this approach, but think it’s worth exploring
- Another article on prioritizing personas — Prioritizing personas like this is a controversial practice in my opinion, because it relies too heavily on single factors like the total population of a particular persona, or the power and influence of a particular persona. this can result in patterns like designing for the wealthiest or most connected users, which has social ramifications…it depends on the scenario, as with anything.
Heuristic Evaluation / Usability
- Introduction to Usability — article that covers some attributes that help define the usability of a product/service
- “The Beginner’s Guide to Capturing UX Requirements” — article by Jerry Cao
- “How to Write a Painless Product Requirements Document” — another article by Jerry Cao
General intros to interaction design
- What is Interaction Design? — an article from the Interaction Design Foundation
- The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Interaction Design
What is information architecture (IA?)
- Information Architecture Basics for Designers — from UX Planet
- A Beginner’s Guide to Information Architecture for UX Designers — from Adobe
- Complete Beginner’s Guide to Information Architecture
- Building the Future: The History of Information Architecture
- UX Glossary: Task Flows, User Flows, Flowcharts and some new-ish stuff — super popular article about the differences between task flows and user flows
- User Journey Maps or User Flows, what to do first?
- User Flow Diagram Template Sketch freebie — from Sketch App Sources
- Timblee — for site maps and user flows
- Whimsical — for user flows. I LOVE WHIMSICAL. (more on that in a future article.)
- RealTimeBoard — for card sorting
- Mural.co — for remote collaboration, card sorting, ideation, designing flows, etc.
- Framer — popular interaction design tool
- GlooMaps — visual sitemap tool
Point of View (POV) Statements and How Might We (HMW) Questions
- Worksheet: generating Point of View statements
- Worksheet: generating How Might We questions
- Sample HMW questions from the Stanford d.School
- Additional levers for generating HMW questions from Stanford
Wireframing + prototyping
- Invision — powerful tool to make wireframes into prototypes
- Marvel — another prototyping tool
- Figma — wireframing + prototyping tool
- Flinto for Mac — prototyping tool
- Google’s Material Design Guidelines for designing for Android/Google products
- Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines for designing for Mac/iOS products
- Responsive Design bookmarklet — cool tool from Benjamin Keen to check for design responsiveness
- Am I Responsive? — another tool to check the responsiveness of websites
- Responsive Web Design Patterns from Brad Frost
- A Quick Look at Types of Grids for Creating Professional Designs
- Google’s Material Design guidelines on responsive design + grid layout — the whole doc is pretty useful for understanding some common industry guidelines
UI Pattern Libraries
- UI Garage
- Useful Sources for Design Patterns and Wireframes Guides
- The Design Pattern & Wireframe Libraries Guide
- UX Archive
- UI Movement — library specifically for UI motion and animation
- Design Patterns for Mental Health — pattern library for digital mental health services.
Form fields — UI best practices:
- Designing More Efficient Forms: Structure, Inputs, Labels and Actions — by Nick Babich
- Designing more efficient forms — from Salesforce
- The 18 must do principles in form design
- Designing UX: Forms
Usability testing 101
- Brief Guide to Testing Mobile Interfaces
- Beginner’s Guide to Usability Testing
- Novice Designer’s Guide to Usability Testing
Visual + UI design
- COLOURLovers — Color Trends + Palettes
- ColorSchemer — Instant Color Schemes
- Color Wheel Pro: Classic Color Schemes
- 10 Super Useful Tools for Choosing the Right Color Palette — Web Design Ledger
- Cymbolism — “a tool that attempts to quantify the association between colors and words, making it simple for designers to choose the best colors for the desired emotional effect.”
- Coolors.co — color palette generator
- Adobe Color CC — solid tool for generating five-color palettes
- The Ultimate Collection of Google Font Pairings
- Fontjoy — font pairing generator
- Fontbase — a font management tool
Social implications of design
UX Design, Accessibility, and Inclusion
- 28 Days of Black Designers — The 28 Days of Black Designers project is a design project that focuses on the stories and work of African American / Black designers.
- Latinxs Who Design — Latinxs Who Design is a living directory of thriving Latinxs in the design industry.
- Tatiana Mac has a great introductory class on making design more accessible, with a specific focus on style guides.
- Kat Holmes, Director of User Experience Design at Google, has some interesting work on designing for inclusivity. This is a brief talk she gave a few years ago on inclusive/universal design.
- Microsoft’s Inclusive Design Toolkit (PDF) — various resources on how to think about and practice inclusive design.
- Stark (for Sketch users) — plugin to check contrast and visual accessibility
- Sim Daltonism (for Mac users) — app to check contrast and visual accessibility
- WebAim Color Contrast Checker
Design + Social Impact; Design + Equity
- Greater Good Studio in Chicago has this great Pinterest board of people and groups doing work at the intersections of design and social impact.
- Creative Reaction Lab’s Equity-Centered Community Design Field Guide — pocket sized field guide for how to design with, not for, people, with a specific focus on deconstructing power and designing for racial equity (free downloadable PDF + print copies available for purchase)
- An Incomplete List of Resources for the Equity-Centered Designer by Isabelle Yisak
- The Designer’s Guide to Accessibility Research is a resource itself, but also includes links to a number of great resources.
Practicing design challenges/briefs
Designing case studies and portfolios
See a resource on this list you really like? See a list we should get rid of? Think of something we should add? Reach out with a comment below!