The Best Design, Tech & UX Podcasts

How to get inspired on the run

In the hope you’ll find some joy and inspiration as I have, I would like to share my favourite podcasts in design, UX, tech and general interest.

Why Audio Podcasts?

I have recently rediscovered a media format I had totally lost out of sight, and some might even consider old-fashioned: Audio Podcasts.

While inspirational and educational video or written content has gained popularity i.e. here on medium.com, I have found it increasingly difficult to absorb the constant flow of news and information.

At the same time, and although I love good reads and videos, I do not always find the time or I am not always in the mood to dedicate my full attention to consuming them.

Pulling out a book on the bike in rush hour traffic or holding your phone against your face while trying not to lose balance squeezed into an overcrowded train are just not ideal scenarios and use cases for these formats.

Good luck reading you book or watching your youtube tutorial in there! Img source: http://www.wikihow.com/Avoid-Crowds-in-Mass-Transit

Thus, I am glad I have gotten back into audio podcasts. They are a useful and non-obstrusive companion for everyday activities from doing sports, to commuting to work, washing the dishes, taking a bath or going to sleep.

Podcasts: a useful and non-obstrusive companion for everyday activities.

As I appreciate people’s personal recommendations I would like to share mine in the hope that you discover or rediscover something you like.

So, here is a list of podcasts in the fields of design, UX, tech and general interest I enjoy and regularly listen to.

Design

Design Matters — Debbie Millman — Design Observer

Apparently, this is the longest running design podcast. In her weekly episodes, Debbie Millman talks to designers from various fields. It is amazing what she diggs about about them, their background stories and what drives them. The way she manages to engage with people on a pesonal level is facinating and it is inspiring to listen to it. Debbie showcases what it means to deeply emphasis with people.

O’Reilly Design Podcast

The O’Reilly Design Podcast is an interesting weekly show hosted by Mary Treseler. She talks to designers and design authors about and their work and their background and sometimes relates to O’Reilly publications these people are involved with. This podcast can give you a good idea about some O’Reilly’s books and the people and motivation behind them. A incredably valuable piece of audio no matter if you are familiar with O’Reilly’s books.

UX

UX Podcast

Hosted by Per Axbom and James Royal-Lawson and published roughly twice a month, UX Podcast features different formats such as link shows, guest shows, topic shows or event shows. In this podcast you may obtain news and first hand insights from established UX industry experts in a casual and enjoyable way. I first came across their interview with Don Norman that is worth while listening to. The range of different formats they use always makes the podcast a joy to listen and keeps it vivid.

Tech

The Vergecast

Hosted by nilay patel and Dieter Bohn and featuring guests, the flagship podcast of The Verge in the format of a round table talk is ridcoulously entertaining and the ideal weekly update on everything tech. Their show is not only informative and fact based — no fake news there! — but they also and often leave me burst out laughing, which might be awkward or funny when on public transport and people shake their heads in wonder and disbelief.

Ctrl-Walt-Delete

Also published by The Verge, Ctrl-Walt-Delete is a weekly talk between well-known tech journalist Walt Mossberg and Verge editor-in-chief nilay patel. Unlike The Vergecast, Ctrl-Walt-Delete usually focuses an episode on one particular topic in tech. Similar to The Vergecast, listening to Ctrl-Walt-Delete feels like being among a bunch of good friends, having some drinks, sharing some laughs and chatting about tech stuff. They know their shit, express their opinion, and it is a pleasure to listen whether you agree with them or not.

General interest

NPR / TED Radio Hour

The NPR TED Radio features various topics covered in TED talks from around the world. It serves as a convenient source to discover talks you might be interested in but you might have missed. The way they refer to these talks and mix them makes it a valuable source to get different and sometimes contrasting viewopoints on one particular topic.

99% invisible

99% Invisible is a great source for “all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about — the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world”. No matter how interested you are in a topic, this show always provides you with some fun facts to show off at a party. Ever wondered why there are Small, Medium or Large measurements for cloths? Did you know that there are designers that get paid to deliberatly come up with “unpleasant design”? Could you explain why the city of Circleville is actually layed out in a square grid? Listen to 99% invisible and find out!

Some other podcasts

This list is by no means comprehensive and only a personal reflection of my preferences based on the podcasts I know and currently listen to.

There are obviously tons of others including some I have started listening to or wanna listen to more often such as:

UIE Brain Sparks

The Engadget Podcast

TCBC Podcast

What’s wrong with UX

UI Breakfast Podcast

The UX Blog Podcast

At Your Service (special mention)

At Your Service is a podcast my former fellow student at Hyper Islandkatie shelly published as part of her master thesis. This podcast consisting of six episodes covers service design as a dicipline. To illustrate the subject Katie documents her process of tackling the issue of financial inclusion in cooperation with London based agency Plot and shares her learnings. It is not only inspiring to follow her process and hear her talk about how she approaches this challenge but she also provides great insights of the field and debates terminologies. Check it out! The podcast is entertaining and educative no matter how involved you are in this area. As a revealing extra Katie has also just recently published her background story about why and how she came up with her podcast.

This article was originally published on Dan’s Medium page.

After finishing a Digital Experience Design Master’s programme at Hyper Island, Dan is joining Swiss agency, Hinderling Volkart, as Experience Director UX. He teaches as a part-time lecturer and for almost ten years, has held positions in the digital field at agencies such as Jung von Matt/Limmat, Publicis and Scholz & Friends.

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