Design podcasts are simply on fire these days. Topics range from personal stories to practical tips on building a thriving career, giving you an inspiration boost, and helping you keep a finger on the pulse of the creative industry. And the best part is you could be having a morning coffee, riding the bus, or jogging in the park and still effortlessly listen to some of the world’s most talented and successful people in design.
The only frustrating thing is that you have to comb through thousands of shows to find the gems. To save you time, we've collected 11 of the most inspiring and binge-worthy podcasts that you’ll love as a designer and creative.
- 99% Invisible
- Design Matters
- User Defenders
- UI Breakfast
- Creative Pep Talk
- The Futur Podcast
- School of Motion Podcast
- Design Better
- The Crazy One
- The Honest Designers
1. 99% Invisible
Have you ever noticed that people sometimes use things in totally different ways than how it was designed to be used? 99% Invisible is about unnoticed designs and architecture that shape our world and experience. If you want to explore the origins of objects surrounding us and hear fascinating stories of people behind these designs, jump in right away. The podcast is enormously popular among listeners all over the world, including Antarctica! If you're not a podcast person, episodes are also available in print. 99% Invisible also has a book version that became a bestseller within the first week of being published.
Where to begin: Listen to the podcast’s highest-ranked episode about a crime that artist Richard Ankrom committed with his group of friends in the name of UX.
Speaking of origins, don’t forget to check out our short segment on the history of UX Design.
2. Design Matters
Meet the dinosaur of design podcasting — Design Matters with Debbie Millman. According to Graphic Design USA, the host is "one of the most influential designers working today,” being President Emeritus of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, Founder of the Masters in Branding Program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and author of 7 books about design. The show started in 2005 and grew into one of the most popular and longest-running podcasts about design. Each episode features an interview with creative icons — designers, writers, artists, and musicians, including Milton Glaser, Seth Godin, Dani Shapiro, and others.
Where to begin: Hop in on this conversation with Tosh Hall — the Global Chief Creative Officer of Jones Knowles Ritchie, who was named one of the 50 Most Creative People by Ad Age Magazine.
If you love listening to design legends dispense wisdom, check out our recommended list of 11 inspiring TED talks for designers.
3. User Defenders
The truth is you don't need superpowers to become a hero. The User Defenders show proves it by showcasing inspiring conversations with UX superheroes, i.e., experts in their fields. Every guest answers the question, "how do you fight for your users?" Listeners can then hear the stories of designers who have made a career defending users. With his friendly and outspoken personality, the host, Jason Ogle, makes the podcast a top-shelf source of wisdom for all design enthusiasts.
Where to begin: Check out this episode with VP of Accessibility and Inclusive Design of Salesforce Derek Featherstone and learn how designing for people with disabilities equals better design for everybody.
How can you use data to maintain a balance between user and business needs? Find out with our UX Research course. Even with the right data, you need to find the means to advocate effectively for your users. Learn how through our Articulating Design Decisions to Stakeholders lesson.
4. UI Breakfast
What do you like to eat for breakfast? How about a plate of hot UI/UX topics with a side of the latest design and marketing trends? Each episode of the UI Breakfast podcast is a meaningful interview with designers and other experts who share practical tips and insights about career growth, developing a personal design style, staying focused, and becoming a good leader.
Where to begin: Lend an ear to this conversation with Josh Garofalo, SaaS copywriter and consultant at Sway Copy, to learn about the power of copywriting and how to turn it into a pot of gold for your website.
Learn the nuances of writing for your users with our comprehensive UX Writing course.
5. Creative Pep Talk
If you're stuck in a creative dead end and need a nudge to move ahead in your career and productivity, Creative Pep Talk will help you out. It's not a podcast about design but has thousands of hacks and tactics to make a breakthrough in any field. Each week, the podcast provides freshly baked monologues and interviews with creative figures such as Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Abbi Jacobson, and Morgan Harper Nichols.
As if the brilliant content isn't enough, each episode is accompanied by captivating illustrations made by host Andy J. Pizza, a talented illustrator for the New York Times, Washington Post, Google, and Nickelodeon.
Where to begin: Start out by listening to this conversation with author and public speaker Michelle Poller about building your own brand, expanding your comfort zone, and finding and defining your core values.
In the mood for more productivity hacks? We’ve got you covered with a list of actionable tips in our 10 Productivity Tips for Remote Designers blog post.
6. The Futur Podcast
The Futur Podcast is a powerful mix of design, business, and marketing topics that all industry professionals can relate to. Led by CEO and Founder Chris Do, the Futur team produces content that inspires new designers and design veterans to break through creative blocks. It also shares professional insights on graphic design and allows listeners to look under the hood of the industry's business side.
Where to begin: Sometimes, a Dribbble account and portfolio website are not enough for clients to find you and, more importantly, to make them want to work with you. Give this conversation with Ryan Robinson, Content Marketing Consultant and Head of Content of Close, a listen to learn the tricks of attracting clients.
Improve your skills and put yourself on the job radar by upskilling and testing yourself with Uxcel.
The Clever podcast is a go-to show for those looking for more candid and in-depth conversations with people that stand behind the design of objects and environments that shape our lives. Each episode is a revealing chat with design leaders about their childhood dreams and goals, their career journeys and obstacles they met, their failures, successes, and future plans.
Where to begin: Check out the episode about a bright girl who wanted to build a career as a lawyer but had her passion for design sweep her off her feet. Today, she is known as Kristy Tillman, Director Of Product Design, Creative Production, and Promotion at Netflix.
8. School of Motion Podcast
Cheer up, motion designers — we’ve also got a nice podcast for you, eponymously called the School of Motion Podcast. It delivers highly professional, informative, and candid content. The in-depth conversations featured on the podcast will motivate you and spark an interest in motion design if you're new to the field. You're unlikely to learn how to create this or that effect from the podcast, but if you're just starting your career in motion design, jump in and learn the basics of how to freelance, build a portfolio, and harness creativity.
Where to begin: Start with this episode about being a better freelancer and put its recommendations in motion right away.
9. Design Better
The best way to learn how to achieve a goal is to get insights from people who have already done it. The Design Better podcast shares deep conversations with design leaders and reveals their secrets to success. Each episode contains practical insights about team cooperation, developing empathy for users, and injecting design thinking into the DNA of every product. The show is presented by InVision and hosted by Eli Woolery, Senior Director of Design Education of InVision, and Aarron Walter, author of Designing for Emotion and former Vice President of Design Education of InVision.
Where to begin: We recommend starting with this episode, where Head of Product Inclusion of PayPal Benjamin Evans expounds on the power of inclusive design and learning how to tackle issues like racism, sexism, and bias at scale.
10. The Crazy One
Pursuing a design career is a long, challenging journey filled with moments of discouragement and frustration. When things get tough, we all need to hear an inner voice that supports and encourages us to carry on. Or you could listen to the voice of Stephen Gates on his podcast, The Crazy One. Stephen is a global design leader and Founder of CRZY strategy. During his career, he's worked with InVision, Amazon, Google, Verizon, Apple, Nike, Bank of America, Rolls Royce, and other Fortune 100 brands. The podcast is a fountain of knowledge to help anyone who is stuck in a rut and is in need of a nudge.
Where to begin: Many designers suffer from a lack of confidence and imposter syndrome. This episode might be the light at the end of your tunnel and provide new ways to alleviate your fears and restore your belief in yourself.
11. The Honest Designers
The Honest Designers podcast is like sitting among your favorite design folks, bantering about work, and sharing actionable tips and insights. Each of the 4 hosts — Tom Ross, Ian Barnard, Dustin Lee, and Lisa Glanz — is an expert in their own creative field and eager to fill up your tank of knowledge and practical skills. How do you find the balance between work and life? How do you get users' attention and make your work stand out? How can you cope with creative burnout? This podcast answers it all!
Where to begin: If your future career looks foggy and you're paralyzed with fear, this episode might get the ball rolling and help you find the right direction.