About a year ago we looked at 15 of our favorite web design podcasts, including excellent shows such as Jen Simmons’ The Web Ahead, which won Podcast of the Year at the net awards last year, Businessology, and CodePen Radio. Web design and development, however, is one of the most hotly-contested podcast categories, and new shows spring up all the time.
Whether you’re looking for a quick shot of the latest front-end news, a very practical show with plenty of takeaways, or something a little more entertaining that you can listen to on your morning commute, there’s something for you in the list below. Happy listening!
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1. Motion and Meaning
Web animation designer Val Head (who also curates the UI Animation Newsletter) and digital product designer Cennydd Bowles have teamed up for this podcast that’s all about motion. Season one, which recently came to an end, featured 10 episodes, each around 30 minutes long, that covered everything from why motion is an important tool for designers, to common design flows or situations where animation can be a helpful solution. This really is the year of web animation, and ‘Motion and Meaning’ is an excellent way to get started.
2. The Creative Coding Podcast
Frontend developers Una Kravets and Chris Dhanaraj record a 20-ish-minute podcast about the latest in tech tools, tips, and tricks (almost) every Tuesday at 2PM CDT/CST. Toolsday (see what they’ve done there) covers everything that’s exciting in front-end development right now, including topics like CSS layouts, static site generators, offline-first, React, task runners, and tons more. Tune in, even if it’s just to hear Una sing, yes, sing about Service Workers. Who needs a theme tune if you can have Una?
4. Let’s Make Mistakes
Mule Design is an excellent little studio in San Francisco. Its long-running podcast, hosted by co-founder Mike Monteiro and developers Liam Danger and Steph Monette, covers every aspect of design and well, life. If you’ve read Monteiro’s highly recommended books, ‘Design Is A Job’ and ‘You're My Favourite Client’, you know what you’re in for. Let’s Make Mistakes, which is nearing 200 episodes, is full of tangents and recent episodes are called ‘Hamwarmer’ and ‘Donuts: already in a moderated shape.’
5. Front-end Five
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There aren’t many people in the web design industry with a more impressive CV than Jeff Veen: part of the founding web team at Wired Magazine, co-founder of pioneering user experience design firm Adaptive Path, co-founder and CEO of Typekit, responsible for Google Analytics redesign, and now design partner at True Ventures (where Veen spends his time helping companies create better products). Well, this guy has just launched his own podcast. ‘Presentable’ focuses on how we design and build the products that are shaping our digital future, and in the inaugural episode Veen and special guest Chris Messina discuss both the hype and beauty of conversational UIs, messaging apps, and chatbots. Long may it run.
7. The Bureau Briefing
The Bureau of Digital runs some great events for digital project managers, creative directors, and digital studio owners. Partner and industry veteran, Carl Smith, also hosts an excellent podcast with inspirational guests from the community who talk about a whole range of topics, including reputation marketing, KPIs, distributed teams, diversity and inclusion, and a lot more. Also highly recommended isSmith’s other show about the business side of web design, BizCraft, co-hosted by Gene Crawford of Unmatched Style.
8. Design Life
There are a fair few podcasts in the web design space hosted by a man/woman duo, but there aren’t many presented by two creative women who work in tech. ‘Design Life’, a new conversational show about design and side projects for motivated creators, is hosted by young designers and serial side project addicts Charli Marie and Femke van Schoonhoven. It’s released every Monday, and recent episodes have covered design processes, overcoming lack of motivation, imposter syndrome, and participating in design communities. It also features one of the best produced video trailers for a podcast.
9. Non Breaking Space Show
Christopher Schmitt, who organises the Environments for Humans conferences, has been running the ‘Non Breaking Space Show’ since 2012, and consistently seeks out the best, brightest, and smartest creative people in digital art, design, and development. Over the years many big names including Jeffrey Zeldman, Karen McGrane, and Dan Mall have appeared on the show, but Schmitt has a real knack for discovering new talent. Most notably recent episodes featured frontend architect Micah Godbolt, writer and freelance web designer developer Zell Liew, and video game designer Sean Vanaman.
11. CTRL+CLICK CAST
Another long-running show with more than 60 episodes under its belt, ‘CTRL+CLICK CAST’ is released (almost) every other Thursday at 11:00 AM MT and is presented by Emily Lewis and Lea Alcantara, owner/lead developer and lead designer respectively of tiny web studio Bright Umbrella. Formerly the ‘EE Podcast’ (all about Expression Engine), the show now features diverse voices from the industry’s leaders and innovators, who tackle everything from design, code, and content management systems, to culture and business challenges. CTRL+CLICK CAST regularly receives a nomination in the net magazine awards, and deservedly so.
13. Full Stack Radio
Full Stack Radio is a podcast, hosted by Canadian developer, powerlifter, and Slayer fan Adam Wathan, for developers interested in building great software products. In every episode, and there are more than 40 already, Wathan is joined by a guest to talk about everything from product design and user experience, to unit testing and system administration — but the focus is heavily on the development side of things. Recent episodes have covered marketing for developers, Git, Postgres, error handling, and fixing common API design mistakes.
14. Design Review
If you’re involved in product design, you should definitely tune into the ‘Design Review’ podcast. The show, hosted by designers Chris Liu and Jonathan Shariat, is all about about products and their UX. It started off as Chris and Jonathan simply reviewed products such as Affinity Designer, Webflow, and Spotify, analyzing their user experience design. In recent episodes Chris and Jonathan have talked about all kinds of aspects of design, including designing product launches, landing your first design job, and how designers become jaded in their careers.
15. Front End Happy Hour
The concept of Front End Happy hour is simple: give a few panelists of engineers from companies such as Netflix, Evernote, and LinkedIn a few drinks and let them talk about all things front end development. The show started with a discussion on the current state of web development, and has since covered technical topics like RxJS and ES6, as well as interview processes, and even the panelists’ experiences living and working in Silicon Valley.
Bonus: The Back to Front Show
Incidentally hosted by Shopify’s partner growth manager Keir Whitaker and film business technologist Kieran Masterton, the ‘Back to Front Show’ labels itself as “the web industry podcast” and covers everything from – you guessed it – back-end technology, via hipsters and fixed gear bikes, to front-end development. Just like ‘Let’s Make Mistakes’, the show takes a refreshingly tongue-in-cheek, deadpan approach to the industry but from a more UK perspective (it’s recorded in the beautiful southwest of England). Incidentally, the author of this very article recently had an episode dedicated to himself.
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