UX and UI industries, along with web design and web development, are among the fastest-changing fields these days. New tools, libraries, and software are continually emerging. Staying up-to-date with everything that’s going on in the industry isn’t always possible or, for that matter, necessary. What’s more important is making time to learn and filter the information, blog posts, online courses, and newsletters competing for the designer’s attention. Here are a few tips along with some useful resources to help you keep up with emerging trends and stay relevant as a UX/UI designer without getting overwhelmed.
Set up a smart learning routine
Develop a passion for learning (if not already)
There’s no way around it. Develop a love for learning and gaining new knowledge both within and outside the world of design. The ultimate question is whether you’re ready to commit to lifelong learning and thoroughly enjoy the process without getting burned out. The constant state of innovation in interaction design means being ready to re-think and re-consider things always. The next question is — how to do so in the most efficient way? Not all the latest technology and blog entries are worth your time — so as smart learners, we need to know how to automate the process of receiving information and filter through it.
Set aside some time to go through the recommended reading lists, blogs, and accounts to follow and consider how many of them are relevant. With the rise of blogs on Medium, personal blogs of the designers, and the stand-alone platforms, filtering through the noise is essential for staying up-to-date.
Now that you’ve carefully selected the sources of quality content, it’s essential to think about how to consume all that information.
Feedly or Reeder are among the most popular news aggregators to subscribe to blogs and media platforms. Instead of visiting every blog you’re interested in, these apps allow for a less distracting reading experience with an option to customize news feeds and organize content by categories.
The Pocket app is mostly known for saving the content “to read later.” Tags are especially useful if you want to organize lots of articles from different sources. One of Pocket’s most recent features, however, is a game-changer in consuming content. The app can now read the articles out loud to you. It’s a great way to give your eyes some rest and sit back in between running errands while still being able to get through some of the important stuff.
Email services like Gmail, Apple Mail, and Spark let you organize emails using labels. It is crucial if you subscribe to many newsletters. Assign names and create categories, so you don’t have to worry about sorting through your inbox later.
Listening to podcasts is another way of staying up-to-date. To enhance your experience, consider investing in decent wi-fi speakers or wireless earphones to listen to podcasts while driving, cleaning, or doing things around the house.
And now – on to the resources:
Get inspired daily
Along with Dribble, Behance, and Pinterest, consider being an avid visitor of the following websites.
Muzli – a professionally curated source of all things design. Set up your preferences and get inspiration delivered to you from around the web.
Brand New – an ever-growing collection of selected brand identity case studies. The website has an easy-to-browse archive with detailed reviews of design work.
Design is History – a series of studies about the history of graphic design. A great way to learn where the design came from, how it developed, and who stood behind its trends.
Neede.co – you can find Mobile & Web design trends, product inspirations, and more.
Panda – a chrome extension to help you keep up to date with your favorite design and tech news sources.
Awwwards – the awards for design, creativity, and innovation on the internet.
SiteSee – curated gallery of beautiful, modern websites.
CollectUi – daily inspiration collected from daily UI archives and beyond.
Check out top design agencies regularly
Revisiting this list of the top UX design agencies will help you stay on top of what’s new and exciting in the interactive design industry.
Exploring case studies of the leading agencies, for example, Clay.global – a San Francisco-based UI/UX design and development agency, is another way of staying up-to-date with current trends.
Watch videos of conferences and presentations with Notist
Notist is an excellent way of getting access to the latest talks and presentations on a wide variety of topics from the world of digital, including UX/UI design. Designed to build your public speaking portfolio and receive feedback, Notist is as valuable for learners as it is for speakers. Browse by tags to find out what’s hot in the design industry.
Explore UX resources lists put together by other designers.
One of these is Dan Maccarone’s Google spreadsheet of carefully curated and regularly updated resources about the UX industry. It includes conveniently organized folders with people to follow on Twitter, books to read, blogs to check out, articles to read, and podcasts to listen to.