Whether you’re just getting into design or you’re a seasoned veteran, finding new design resources is crucial to progression. I love peering into a designer’s toolkit and integrating new tools into my own workflow.
After reading an article like this recently, I decided to compile all of my must-have design resources to share and hopefully give value and inspiration to someone else. This isn’t to say that these are all of the best tools, but they’re what I use often to be the best UX designer possible.
Medium — Medium has an article on anything you could ever need to know. There are specific organizations on Medium that have particularly interesting and helpful insight like Muzli Magazine, UX Collective, UXPin, UX Planet, and more.
Dribbble — Dribble is a fun place to go and scroll through designs and get inspiration. Be aware, it may not be the pinnacle of UX and often most designs on Dribbble look really similar/trendy.
Behance — Behance is a great resource for case studies, articles, mood boards, and ESPECIALLY for their live design series where you can watch experts go through their design process.
UI Garage — Daily screenshots and inspiration from across the web.
Logopond — If you’re working on branding, this is a must for logo inspiration.
Really Good Emails — Designing an engaging email is more difficult that it looks and this is a great design resource for it.
The Noun Project — AWH has a pro license to this site and it’s where I source most of our icons.
Feather Icons — When I need icons to throw into a wireframe as a placeholder but that we aren’t going to use for our final mocks. They are open source and consistently great.
Unsplash — A designers go-to for free photos.
Envato Elements — We have a pro license for Envato and it’s a game changer. It’s great for high quality stock images and photos, but they also have graphics, templates, and more.
Google Fonts — I use Google products quite a bit. This one lets you search through typeface designs that are made for the web. You can also customize your own font.
Google Font Pairings — Fun and comprehensive visual list for google font pairing inspiration.
Go Full Page — CRUCIAL chrome extension that I use daily for getting fully scrolled long screenshots of sites.
What Font — Another extension I use religiously to know exact font information for any site. I use this to gain inspiration from sites as well as to check our test environment font information when I’m doing UX reviews with developers at work.
Raindrop — You probably know the pain that is a million bookmarks on your computer. Raindrop was a lifesaver and I use it for all of my bookmarks.
Similar Sites — You can add this extension to view sites similar to one that you’re on. Great for collecting UI inspiration and doing competitive analysis.
Nielson Normal Group — This is the bible for UX Designers in my opinion. It’s a collection of UX data that is incredibly valuable in creating informed designs.
Google Analytics — For analyzing your site/content and making better business decisions.
Material Design — When designing anything, having an overall knowledge of material design is essential.
Human Interface Guidelines — Similar to Material Design, when designing for anything that could be viewed on an Apple product, a knowledge of this guide is important.
Coolors — Fun color palette generator that comes in surprisingly handy.
Colour Contrast Checker — Great accessibility tool for checking contrast between colors.
Design Details Podcast — My top design podcast.
Erik Kennedy Newsletter & Courses — HIS NEWSLETTER IS GOLD. He sends emails regularly with super valuable UX info and musings. He also has a “Learn UI” course that I would recommend for any designer, no matter the skill level.
Figma dictionary — Extensive dictionary of UX terms.
Design Process Checklist — Fun check list that I used a bunch at the beginning of my design journey to better understand the UX Process.
Meetup.com — Great for finding a local community of designers. I regularly attend the Columbus Ohio IXdA group and have loved it.
I’m always looking for new and better tools so if you have one, feel free to get in touch with us and send it my way!
-Jess Esplin, UX/UI designer at AWH