UX & Design Podcast Recommendations for 2021

At the Labs we are always seeking out new ideas, and at the moment listening to podcasts is one of the easiest and most accessible ways to do so.  As it has been some time since we have put out a blog post around industry related recommendations we wanted to kick off 2021 with a list of the team’s favourite podcasts.  The shows listed below are in no particular order and rest assured there is something for everyone, even if you don’t work in UX and design.

Image Credit: Design Matters

Image Credit: Design Matters

Design Matters – Debbie Millman

With almost 300 episodes to date, the show has come a long way from when it started in a modem office in the Empire State Building back in 2005, the podcast is now an anchor feature on the Design Observer’s Media channel which is no mean feat in podcast achievement standards.  The show now boasts being one of the most well known channels in the industry, and often features guests from a variety of creative backgrounds, from well known directors, to filmmakers and designers such as Stefan Sagmeister and the late Massimo Vignelli.  What we love is the wide variety of topics that Debbie manages to cover in every episode, ensuring that every time you tune in it provides an entirely different listening experience.

99% Invisible 

When I asked the team which design podcasts they listened to in their spare time, Andrew our Director of Design Research jumped in with this one.  In his words he described it as ‘very slicky produced, with a variety of interesting topics and touchpoints with the main focus being design and architecture.’  When you browse the equivalent of the ‘about me’ section on the website the first thing you see is ‘ever wondered how inflatable men came to be regular fixtures at car lots?’ and ‘ever wonder about the history of the fortune cookie?’ which is testament to the show’s lighthearted humour.  With over 40 million downloads and being one of the most popular podcasts on iTunes, this podcast had to make our recommendations list.

The Honest Designers Show

Aimed at both budding and existing designers this show offers practical advice on how to tackle challenges such as avoiding burnout, finding your own creative style, and how to work as a freelancer or in a team setting.  The show is hosted by creators and designers who have excelled in their respective fields, and can give anyone in the industry newfound confidence to grow in a field that can at times be difficult to navigate.  Rest assured, this doesn’t feel like you are listening to a self-help spiel, the hosts are honest and open about their experiences which makes for great listening.

The Design of Business -The Business of Design

If you are looking for some light background entertainment while you work, then this probably isn’t the podcast for you.  The topics take a deep dive into the depths of how design influences every level of complex organisations, and how the outcome is reflected in both their decisions and products.  Industries aren’t excluded from the line up – they interview people with a range of expertise, from music, to retail to journalism and technology.  Recorded at the Yale School of Management the interview panel often includes young visionaries, who have often gone on to shape the world around us. A must to tune into if you want to understand how design really is at the core of everything.

UI Breakfast 

With more of a nod toward the UX/UI side of design, this podcast also touches on a wide variety of topics such as marketing, product design and more. What we appreciate is that the episodes are each only 35 minutes long which makes them a little more digestible if you are short on time, but it does not mean that they are any less meaty in terms of industry expertise and valuable knowledge sharing. The episodes are always topical, relevant and give a window into the world of some of the greatest industry thinkers, and for that reason we keep going back to hit the play button.

We hope you enjoyed perusing our top podcast picks for 2021, keep an eye out for our future recommendations and in the meantime sign up to our newsletter to receive notification of our latest publications.

The Labs Team

Sutherland Labs