Katherine Peterson
Katherine Peterson

Katherine Peterson

Resources to Get Better at Design

Resources to Get Better at Design

I have never considered myself great at design. I could always recognize good design vs bad, but I couldn't put into words what made a good design good. Creating a good design from scratch was even harder.

So I posted a Twitter thread asking for recommendations for resources to get better at design. I got a ton of responses with awesome recommendations. To save you the time of going through the replies, I compiled a list here of the best/most popular recommendations.

Refactoring UI by Adam Wathan and Steve Schoger

Price:

$79 - Essentials: Book PDF, 3 Video Tutorials

$149 - Complete Package: Essentials + Component Inspiration Gallery, Color Palettes, Curated Font Showcase, Exclusive Icon Library

Description:

This was the book that inspired me to make this Twitter thread because it changed the way I related to design. I highly recommend this book for developers who don't consider themselves naturally great at design and want to learn some concrete tactics to improve the look and feel of their designs. I personally read the whole thing in one day, and the concepts still stick with me months later.

Also, it is written by the creator of TailwindCSS. This book will help you understand the reason they designed Tailwind the way they did and why it is such an awesome system for creating good designs.

Design for Developers by Sarah Drasner

Price:

$39 monthly Frontend Masters subscription

Description:

Learn how to become self-sufficient for the entire process of execution from concept to design to implementation. Also, understand the rules for designing to become a better collaborator to design team members and better able to execute the creation of complex and beautiful front-end experiences!

Sarah is awesome and this one got a lot of +1's in the replies. I'll definitely be checking it out soon!

Don't Make Me Think by Steve Krug

Price:

$40 Paperback

Description:

Five years and more than 100,000 copies after it was first published, it's hard to imagine anyone working in Web design who hasn't read Steve Krug's "instant classic" on Web usability, but people are still discovering it every day. In this second edition, Steve adds three new chapters in the same style as the original: wry and entertaining, yet loaded with insights and practical advice for novice and veteran alike. Don't be surprised if it completely changes the way you think about Web design.

This was another that was recommended multiple times.

UI Design for Developers by Meng To

Price:

$19 per month subscription

Description:

In this course we'll learn how to use design systems, set up break points, typography, spacing, navigation, size rules for adapting to the iPad, mobile and web versions, and different techniques that translate well from design to code.

The UI Design Bootcamp by Gary Simon

Price:

$132 annual subscription to Scrimba

$19 monthly subscription to Scrimba

Description:

This massive UI design course teaches you to build beautiful and well-functioning user interfaces using HTML and CSS. It's filled with interactive tutorials to ensure that the knowledge sticks with you. Created by Gary Simon, the most popular online instructor on this subject.

shiftnudge.com

Price:

$199 - Core

$299 - Pro

Description:

The all–new online learning experience for designing beautiful and functional interfaces.

Unfortunately, enrollment is closed until mid to late 2021. You can sign up to get notified by email when it's open.

Uxcel.com

Price:

Free - Basics: First level of all courses, Weekly challenges, Arcade games, Basic search, Save favorites, Uxcel icon set, Professional Profile

$120 annual subscription - Basic + Access all courses, Weekly challenge archive, Advanced search, Certificates of completion, Arcade hard training, Complete Uxcel UI Kit, Community Slack Group

Description:

The world’s best professional platform to assess, learn, and showcase your UX/UI design skills.

The Ultimate Three.js Course by Bruno Simon

Price:

$95

Description:

Have you ever wanted to create stunning 3D websites? Whether you are a beginner or a more advanced developer, Three.js Journey is the only course you need to learn WebGL with Three.js.

This is the course for you if you want to design in 3D. Plus, if you've seen Bruno's porfolio site, you know he's the guy to teach it.

Design for Hackers by David Kadavy

Price:

$33 Paperback

$24 Kindle

Description:

If you want to learn to create great design yourself...there simply is no way to do so with lists of rules. Instead, I want to provide you with a new set of eyes through which you can see the world anew.---DAVID KADAVY WHY DID MONET NEVER USE THE COLOR BLACK IN HIS PAINTINGS? WHY IS THE GOLDEN RATIO NOT ALL IT'S CRACKED UP TO BE? WHY IS COMIC SANS SUCH A HATED FONT? It's amazing what you can learn about great web design by asking questions like these. Award-winning designer David Kadavy uses this reverse-engineering process in Design for Hackers to deconstruct classical design principles and techniques from web designers. Using an eclectic array of reverse-engineered examples, ranging from Twitter's latest redesign, to Target's red shopping carts, and ancient graffiti from the walls of Pompeii, he explains:

The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman

Price:

$14 Paperback

$13 Kindle

Description:

The Design of Everyday Things shows that good, usable design is possible. The rules are simple: make things visible, exploit natural relationships that couple function and control, and make intelligent use of constraints. The goal: guide the user effortlessly to the right action on the right control at the right time.

Mismatch by Kat Holmes

Price:

$22 Hardcover

$15 Paperback

$15 Kindle

Description:

Sometimes designed objects reject their users: a computer mouse that doesn't work for left-handed people, for example, or a touchscreen payment system that only works for people who read English phrases, have 20/20 vision, and use a credit card. Something as simple as color choices can render a product unusable for millions. These mismatches are the building blocks of exclusion. In Mismatch, Kat Holmes describes how design can lead to exclusion, and how design can also remedy exclusion.

HackDesign

Price:

Free

Description:

An easy to follow design course for people who do amazing things.

How to Visualize Value

Price:

$297

Description:

The playbook to creating meaningful visual communication, teaching you how to make your point in a concise, creative and compelling way.

DesignAcademy.io - Design Fundamentals

Price:

$299 - Starter: 28 videos, lifetime access, unlimited updates, private Slack community, worksheets and cheatsheets, 6 week accountability

$499 - Starter + UI Component LIbrary, 2 full icon sets, Illustration library

Description:

The goal of this course is to give you a solid design foundation to start building upon. It’s not going to teach you everything under the sun about design but it’ll teach you the most important things you can do to improve your designs today -- no matter how “artistic” you are (or, more likely, aren’t!)

Build Better UX

Price:

$39

Description:

To show you the power of user experience design and how it can take your app from being just an interface to being a living, breathing experience that your users will love. Using words, diagrams and narratives, I want to get you thinking more like a designer without overloading you with complex jargon.

The Non-Designer's Design Book by Robin Williams

Price:

$16 eTextbook

$22 Paperback

Description:

THIS ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO DESIGN WILL TEACH YOU The four principles of design that underlie every design project How to design with color How to design with type How to combine typefaces for maximum effect How to see and think like a professional designer Specific tips on designing newsletters, brochures, flyers, and other projects

About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design

Price:

$30 - Kindle

$26 - Paperback

Description:

This comprehensive guide takes the worldwide shift to smartphones and tablets into account. New information includes discussions on mobile apps, touch interfaces, screen size considerations, and more. The new full-color interior and unique layout better illustrate modern design concepts.

 
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