The Denver UX Designer Starter Kit
UPDATE #25, FEB 22 2021
When I started my design career 25 years ago, designers didn’t have it easy.
Computing was expensive. The sharing economy hadn’t hit. “File transfers” required driving your car with a disk in your hand. Design resources were few and far between. The internet was a baby. I mostly dug through tons of super-sketchy forums looking for any nuggets of wisdom. I bought and read books. Plus, I was stuck offline. There was no such thing as a “web app” that was powerful enough to do…much of anything, let alone build and store prototypes, design and edit photographs, or build a whole website in the next couple hours. And besides, the internet was so slow, you didn’t really want to do much there anyway. God, that was depressing.
All that to say this to you, aspiring UX Designer:
You have no excuses.
Everything is awesome. You don’t have to wait for the next software update to do something amazing. You don’t have to get that “perfect” job. You can do it. Today. And mostly with little or no money.
With that in mind, I’ve been curating a list of resources for the last few years. I said curating on purpose – this is not meant to be an endless list of anyone who will pay me. This is my list. My recommendations.
You’re going to love it. It kicks ass. And it keeps getting better all the time. Enjoy.
The best vintage click pen ever
Post-Its meeting tools & tactics
Adobe Fonts (formerly Typekit)
Photo Editor/Pixel Pusher
Forms & Business
Invoicing & Taxes
IxD / Code / Portfolio
Wireframing & Prototyping
Fifteen (15) UX Research templates
Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug
The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman
Grid Systems in Graphic Design by Josef Muller-Brockmann
Just Enough Research by Erika Hall
The User Experience Team of One: A Research and Design Survival Guide by Leah Buley
Microinteractions by Dan Saffer
Microcopy: The Complete Guide by Kinneret Yifrah
Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience by Jeff Gothelf & Josh Seiden
How to Make Sense of Any Mess: Information Architecture for Everybody by Abby Covert
User Story Mapping by Jeff Patton
Hacking Product Design by Austin Govella
Articulating Design Decisions by Tom Greever
UX Research: Practical Techniques for Designing Better Products by Brad Nunnally
Doorbells, Danger, and Dead Batteries: User Research War Stories by Steve Portigal
Remote Research: Real Users, Real Time, Real Research by Nate Bolt
Making and Breaking the Grid by Timothy Samara
Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon
Bottlenecks: Aligning UX Design with User Psychology by David C. Evans
Innovating for People: Handbook of Human-Centered Design Methods by LUMA Institute
Undercover User Experience Design by Cennydd Bowles & James Box
Seeing What Others Don’t: The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights by Gary Klein
Designing for Trust: The Data Transparency Playbook by Greater Than Experience
*NEW* Writing is Designing by Michael J. Metts and Andy Melfle
Denver UX Newbies (0-2 years experience)
Brews & Reviews (Portfolio Review)
User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA)
Interaction Design Association (IxDA)
Major Denver UX Events
Ethical Design Manifesto (video)
Ethics in User Experience Design
The UX of Ethics: Should Google Tell You If You Have Cancer?
Ethics and the User Experience
Stop Shaming Your Users for Micro Conversions
Design for Cognitive Bias (video)
Confronting the Ethics of Your Design Choices
The Future of Digital Product Design is About Human Empowerment
Bonus! Other random badass stuff
Principles of User Interface Design
How to Not Suck at Your First Design Job
Free 12-Session UX 101 Course (Currently in progress)
Think something is missing? Do you judge something is out of date or obsolete? Send me a quick message.