When I think about cool tech and design resources, so many options pop into my head. As a user experience designer always looking to learn something new, I have to say that there is an ocean of books, blogs, design tools, and inspirational sites out there that can help you grow personally and professionally. If you are curious, passionate about design, and eager to learn, we have already something in common.
Productivity, design thinking, behavioral change, and innovation, are a few areas of focus that have shaped the person and designer I am today. Below is a selection of tools and resources to help people like you and me:
- Design of Everyday Things – A good read on how objects communicate to users.
- The power of habit – Learn how habits operate and how to change them.
- Change by Design – An introduction to design thinking and how to drive innovation in organizations.
- Laws of Simplicity – Set of rules to design simple products and systems.
- Don’t Make Me Think – Usability guru, explains the importance of intuitive interactions.
- 101 design methods – Methods and tools for design thinking.
- MicroInteractions – A small read about designing small interactions.
- Field Guide Human Centered Design – A set of tools and methods that will help you put users at the heart of design.
- Designing for the digital age – Awesome book but long about the process of designing products and interactions.
A little bit of everything:
- Einstein window – Identify which is your most productive time in the day and get the most out of it.
- Bullet Journal – A straightforward and productive way to design your to-do list.
- Toastmasters – Improve public speaking and leadership skills while meeting new people.
- Leadercast – Leadership event to get inspired and learn from top leaders in the world.
- Pomodoro technique – The best productivity tool that helps you prioritize and time yourself.
- AIGA (The American Institute of Graphic Arts) – Excellent professional organization for design, especially around graphic design.
- IXDA – Interaction Design Association
- Code for America – If you are interested in civic projects, open data and, helping your community, I highly recommend finding the Brigade chapter in your state.
Trend, news and, inspiration:
- Website Awards – Recognized web designers and agencies in the world.
Webinars, blogs, and podcasts:
- Mural.com blog – Mural is an awesome tool for remote collaboration and documentation. They also have really good webinars.
- UserTesting.com – Test your designs and sites with this tool. They also provide webinars with top leaders.
- Balsamiq – Create quick mock ups, and wireframes
- Invision – Build web and mobile prototypes to share and to gather user feedback.
- Axure – Create highly interactive prototypes.
- Sketch App – Design user interfaces.
- Codepen – Front-end inspiration
- Usability Hub – Use this free service to get quick user feedback
I hope you find these tools useful, regardless of whether or not you are growing a design career or a career in another field. Do you have other exciting tools and resources? I am always looking for new things to try.
Erika B. is a multidisciplinary designer, thinker, researcher and strategist from Caracas, Venezuela. She is an alumni of Savannah College of Art and Design where she studied Industrial Design and Service Design. She works at Daxko as an Interaction Designer and during her free time, works as a community organizer at Code for Birmingham.