Top Ten Resources for UX Careers

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UX Careers

For those seeking to break into the world of UX and UI, the prospect of integrating into such a permanently shifting landscape can feel daunting. Understanding the ins and outs of the variety of UX careers takes research– and lots of it.

Fortunately, there is a wealth of resources at budding UX professionals’ disposal. Whether you like to throw on a podcast while you work, deep-dive with long-form articles, or sit back and watch videos to absorb information, there’s certain to be a variety of learning avenues that suit your preferences.

Articles and Posts


Elliot Dahl’s Letter to a Junior Designer

San Francisco based artist and designer Elliot Dahl offers prospective UX professionals a wealth of personal, expert advice on breaking into the industry. After moving to the city in 2013 with minimal design experience, he decided to take the plunge and join the big leagues.

Dahl offers those new to the world of UX careers several actionable tips for creating a path to success. He makes a case for socializing within the sector to find mentors, make connections, and learn about innovations and advancements within the UX sphere. He’s also a big proponent of leveraging social media (Twitter in particular) to reach out to clients and other professionals.

If you’re worried about the people aspect of UX (mentors, connections, clients, and colleagues), Letter to a Junior Designer is certainly worth the read. Dahl offers valuable insight into breaking through social roadblocks on your way to success.

Sarah Doody and Don Maccarone’s The UX of Getting Started in UX

Doody and Maccarone don’t hold back the honest truth when it comes to forging a career in UX. This piece explicitly states that “not everyone is cut out to work in User Experience” within two sentences of beginning. If you’re open to the reality of what a UX career involves, this might be the piece for you; and if you have any false notions about how scoring a position in the field will work, Doody and Maccarone’s article will set you straight.

Things aren’t all tough love, though. Once the authors establish that you’re looking into a volatile, ever-shifting career path, they offer some great insights and tips into how to elevate your UX skills and make a name for yourself in the industry. The piece is incredibly thorough– Doody and Maccarone cover everything from the complexity of the UX hiring process to the UX education experience to the search for mentorship and beyond.


Wesley Noble’s The UX Intern Podcast


Wesley Noble refers to himself as a UX intern on a mission– and he’s correct in doing so! Noble has taken the initiative to create an in-depth podcast centered around interviewing seasoned UX professionals. He’s passionate about helping people in meaningful and tangible ways.

While the podcast has actually been out of commission for quite some time, there’s a healthy backlog of content for professionals looking to begin their UX careers. Guests include Katie Dill of Airbnb and Whitney Quesenbery, co-director for the Center of Civic Design. Noble broaches topics like accessibility, writing and speaking skills, mentors, conferences, and how they relate to the bigger picture for UX professionals.

Jason Ogle’s User Defenders Podcast

Those on the hunt for more a more current podcast will benefit from listening to the User Defenders Podcast. Hosted by Jason Ogle, this industry-leading podcast was created with the goal of sharing inspirational UX designers’ stories. Ogle recognized that those new to the industry often struggle to keep up and gain experience in a rapidly evolving sector. He therefore took the leap and created a podcast designed to offer valuable insight into the industry.


InVision’s DesignTalk

DesignTalk is a series of webinars dedicated to helping UX professionals stay abreast of current industry happenings and understand how to leverage their skills to create quality user experiences. There are a variety of hour-long videos to select from depending on your interests and areas of expertise.

Some video segments focus on the minutiae of UX as it relates to one specific sector. One example is Stephen Gates and Lotta Lovén’s webinar on mobile banking and design. Other segments offer insight into scaling successfully, designing for inclusion, and UX as it relates to agencies.

Jared Spool’s It’s a Great Time to Be a UX Designer

Looking for inspiration and hope when it comes to the future of UX careers? Then listen to Jared Spool’s hour-long talk on UX design. Spool dives deeply into the benefits and opportunities that a UX career can offer both you and the users you’re optimizing for. Real world examples of superb UX and how it shapes success make for a compelling, invigorating watch.


The UX Careers Handbook by Cory Lebson

Cory Lebson has nearly twenty years’ experience as a UX consultant. His passion for teaching others about user experience and technology lead him to create his website The UX Careers Handbook. Lebson utilizes his site as a platform to lay out nearly every detail of working towards and achieving a career in UX. He addresses every step in detail ranging from establishing a foundation to career pathways and success.


Springboard is a list of resources, courses, mentors to help you reach success in a UX career. The website offers a number of courses in data science, marketing, design, cyber security, and analytics. You can also link up with mentors for technical expertise all while learning on your own schedule.


Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug

Krug’s book has long been viewed as an indispensable beginner’s tool to UX and UX careers. Critics and UX professionals lauded it has an “instant classic” when it comes to web usability and user experience. Krug took the time to distill year’s worth of experience, insight, and observation into this compact book centered around common sense. If you need a refresher on just what makes a great user experience or the foundations of your future career, this book is worth reading.

Get Started in UX by Matthew Magain and Luke Chambers

This ebook delves deep into the nitty-gritty details of launching a successful UX career. No matter what advice you’re looking for, you’re likely to find it here. Magain and Chambers offer practical advise and insider secrets to give you a leg up and you begin your career search. The book also features a self-assessment kit to help you chart your future career and a portfolio and resume pack.

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