5 design podcasts you should listen to

Thanks to the current situation, we’ve all suddenly got a lot more time on our hands. So how do you fill those endless hours? Playing with the cat? Scrubbing your entire house from top to bottom? Googling the best home-exercise videos, and then not actually doing them?

All worthy endeavours. But once you get tired of those, check out the following design-related podcasts to keep you occupied. Allowing you to stay connected to the industry, learn tips and tricks from seasoned experts, and find inspiration during difficult times, they are a great way to while away your evenings. 

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99% Invisible

‘99% Invisible is about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about.’ Wow.

As a designer, you know that so much of your process goes unseen (and often underappreciated). So, this podcast takes a refreshing look at anything and everything – from the origin of the fortune cookie to the progression of ringtones over the years – discussing not only design, but how it interacts with the world around us.

For example, Episode 388 ‘Missing the Bus’ involves a discussion around how buses could hold the key to a more sustainable future, especially for the USA. The host mentions how reliable and smooth the London bus service is (the funniest thing we’ve heard all week!) and emphasises how the USA needs to step up the quality and design of its buses.

Creative Pep Talk

We all need a pep talk from time to time. Not only is imposter syndrome rife in the creative industries, but even designers with the thickest skin will sometimes suffer a mental setback after a bit of tough feedback.

Never fear. Download an episode of this podcast and you’ll feel right as rain within minutes! Choose from ‘How to find your artistic voice’, ‘What to do when the flow stops’, or even opt for ‘Crucial and inspiring insights that you need to hear today’. Listening to host Andy J. Miller’s upbeat cadence is guaranteed to brighten your day, while giving you tips and tricks you need to succeed in a competitive industry.

And after you’ve had a listen, head on over to the website and enjoy scrolling through all the gorgeous illustrations!

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What is Wrong with UX

Hosts Kate and Laura begin their podcast with a disclaimer. ‘This podcast contains swearing, drinking and bitching.’ And on their website, they also pair each podcast with a drink – from pink gin to hard cider – sort of like a design-related take on your favourite French restaurant. Except instead of a plate of delicious food, each course is a hit of delicious information.

Don’t let the raw humour and spicy language distract from the fact that they really know their stuff. They focus on the issues faced by UX designers today, how to combat them, and just general advice. During ‘Tips for new designers’, they offer sincere and actionable tips on how newbies can begin their UX design journey. Although, maybe ‘bring older designers alcoholic drinks’ should be taken with a pinch of salt!


Spotlighting a special guest every episode, Clever picks the brains of design professionals from across the globe. Covering everything from typography to architecture, they have warm and lively chats that are sure to make you feel inspired.

Designer Amy Devers and Design Milk‘s Jaime Derringer run the show, coming across as highly competent hosts who really care about what they do. Which in turn amps up your own enthusiasm. Plus, they bring everything back to the fact that design is universal, focussing on the humans responsible for the objects and environments we interact with every day. It’s always nice to feel appreciated, right?

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Design Matters

Design Matters was one of the world’s very first podcasts, founded back in 2005 when low-rise jeans were in fashion and The Black Eyed Peas were still good. Host Debbie Millman pulls out all the stops, interviewing high-calibre guests such as Google Creative Lab’s CCO Robert Wong and renowned author Malcolm Gladwell.

Debbie cuts deep; she goes further than design, asking thought-provoking questions about her guests’ life decisions. While being levelled with that kind of scrutiny sounds terrifying, Debbie’s personable manner shines through, giving the impression that everyone is truly having a great time. Plus, the show’s signature tagline feels very apt right now: ‘We can talk about making a difference, we can make a difference, or we can do both.’

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