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5 Podcasts Every Designer Should Listen To

Date: 18 July 2013

5 Podcasts Every Designer Should Listen To

I listen to a lot of podcasts. Probably more than most actually – at the moment I’m fortunate enough to be able to walk 35 minutes to and from the office each day, along the quiet River Irwell, where I take advantage of not being interrupted by catching up with folks in the industry that I respect and look up to.

I wanted to write this post to share which podcasts I enjoy listening to most. Not just because I like listening to them (although I do), but because I get so much out of them, and maybe you’ll find something in them as well. So here goes.

Unfinished Business, with Andy Clarke and Anna Debenham

This is the first podcast that I ever listened to, and it’s great! On the site Andy and Anna describe it as “A weekly discussion show about the business end, the sharp end of the web, design and creative industries”. It’s more focussed that some other podcasts (though there is usually some amusing banter at the start), and each week you can be sure to pick up something new. As the description suggests, the show covers pretty much everything about the web industry, mainly on working as a freelancer, with tips and tricks to improve your workflow.

Let’s Make Mistakes, with Jessie Char and Mike Monteiro

Mike’s the author of one of my favourite design books, Design is a Job. In the book he’s straight and to the point, and his and Jeesie’s podcast, Let’s Make Mistakes is no different. Often straying into more cerebral territory (“why did they do it like that?”, “wouldn’t it be better if…”), the podcasts cover a wide variation of topics from respecting yourself as a designer and only producing work that is as good as it can be, to how to get a raise in the current economic climate. The show is very down to earth, and I love how it encourages me to think about things differently. Mike has had a few co-hosts in the past, and the on air chemistry is always entertaining…

Shop Talk Show, with Chris Coyier and Dave Rupert

Chris and Dave’s lively podcast is described as a “sound effects podcast, all about web design and development” – you’ll have to have a listen to see what the sound effects are all about! Shop Talk Show covers more technical ground such as how to actually do stuff in code (usually HTML, CSS and Javascript, as well as SASS and other new technologies), rather than running a business. Every now and then the show features a “Rapidfire” episode, which is all about answering listeners’ questions in 3 minute chunks.

The Freelance Web, with Sean Johnson and Liz Elcoate

I’ve only just started listening to this one, but it’s fantastically useful. Sean and Liz have only been producing The Freelance Web since May 2013, and I’ve already listened to all of their shows! The episodes are usually under half an hour, so are perfect for coffee breaks or journeys to work. As the title suggests, the podcast covers everything about working as a freelance designer – it’s so refreshing because it’s down to earth, and they talk about everything from finding work, deciding on rates, creating a contract and so much more.

Happy Monday, with Sarah Parmenter and Josh Long

This is another podcast that’s around half an hour in length, so great for commutes and lunch breaks. On Happy Monday Sarah and Josh talk to influential people from within the industry, and it’s great to hear the thoughts on design process and running a business from people I look up to.