In this post, we’re going to look at some of the more useful online course resources, YouTube channels, blogs, and podcasts for web designers and developers.
Kids aren’t the only ones who go to school year after year to learn new skills and hone the ones they acquired in years past. As professionals, we have to do regular maintenance to keep up our own body of knowledge and skill sets.
While our day-to-day work can help reinforce those skills, that’s not always enough to stay on top of new and evolving techniques, tools, and trends. That’s why it’s valuable to have a set of educational resources you trust.
Online Course Sites for Web Designers
Whether you’re looking to gain new skills, refine existing ones, or get certified, online courses are great.
Many times, online courses allow for a relaxed, self-paced schedule so you can fit in lessons and practice when it’s convenient for you. Another advantage to taking courses is that they can help you break into other areas and scale up your earnings.
Here are some of the best online course sites for web designers. In addition to learning concepts and techniques related to design, you can also enroll in courses related to coding, marketing, business management, and more.
Education is at the heart of what we do here at Tuts+. We have thousands of video courses on topics right across all creative fields, each one recently restructured with lesson navigation and details:
Coursera offers free courses, degree programs, as well as certificate courses in a wide variety of subjects. If you want to focus on web design-only subjects, you’ll find more than 1,000 courses. What’s unique about the Coursera platform is that many of their courses are taught by top-tier organizations like Johns Hopkins University, Google, and the California Institute of the Arts.
edX is a good option if you’re looking to get a better mastery over technology. This includes the technology you use to design and code as well as the various technologies you use to work. For instance, there are classes on data visualization, digital marketing analytics, and artificial intelligence.
Skillcrush is an interesting site as it offers a small handful of courses in coding as well as ones for user experience and visual design. However, that’s because the goal of each course is to equip the student with all the knowledge and skills needed to specialize in one of these fields. If you’re looking to pivot in your design career, start here.
Udemy is an awesome resource to learn about all things design. You’ll find courses that cover the full gamut of subjects, including design concepts, techniques, and tools. Whether you want to master a specific Adobe application or want to get better at design thinking, you’ll find top-rated courses to help you.
YouTube Channels for Web Designers
If you’re looking for an educational video format that doesn’t require such a hefty time and monetary commitment, YouTube channels are a good way to go.
You’ll find pretty much anything on YouTube. Say you want to learn how to edit a theme you just bought from ThemeForest. Your search will probably yield hundreds of videos filmed not just by the maker of the theme but by designers who’ve mastered how to use it. And most videos will be under 15 minutes.
The one thing to be careful of is falling down the YouTube rabbit hole. To keep it a useful resource and not a distraction, subscribe to channels you trust — ones that publish high-quality video content regularly. Here are some to check out:
If you enjoy the content you read here on Envato Tuts+ but want to mix it up with guided video, head over to the Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel. You’ll find videos to help you master different design tools, create advanced designs, and be more productive. What’s more, switch to the “Popular” tab and you’ll find a bunch of free courses that are popular with other subscribers.
The Flux Academy YouTube channel produces two types of content. The first is content that helps you get better at web design. You’ll learn about Figma, Webflow, Framer, AI, and more. The second kind of content is aimed at helping you make more money as a designer. You’ll learn better project and time management, price setting, client wrangling, and more.
The YouTube channel of Malewicz isn’t like the other ones on this list. While you’ll find helpful content related to UI design, there are also videos that ask important questions about the state of web design today and where it’s going. Malewicz isn’t afraid to tackle topics that other YouTubers are reluctant to go near, which is why it would be beneficial to tune into this channel.
There’s a lot you can learn about web design principles and practices from the NNgroup YouTube channel. The videos are all super short too — usually five minutes or less. This YouTube channel will be especially useful for UX researchers and designers since there’s a strong emphasis on topics like user testing, prototyping, personas, and so on.
Blogs for Web Designers
There are tons of web design blogs. That’s a good and bad thing. While it’s awesome to have so many informative and instructional resources to choose from, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by it all. It’s also easy to get frustrated by how many of these blogs regurgitate the same kind of content as everyone else.
To ensure that blogs remain a valuable resource, first find ones that produce original content regularly and in the format you prefer (e.g. tutorials, listicles, interviews, etc.). Then subscribe to three or four of your favorites. That way, you won’t feel like you’re drowning in web design newsletters every time you open your email.
Here are some good ones to start with:
Creative Bloq “Inspiration”
Creative Bloq publishes interesting content related to tech and news. However, the content that would be of most value to web designers is found under “Inspiration”. Whether you’re struggling to choose a font, create a logo, or find colors for a new site, this is the perfect resource for that. It’s also a good way to keep the creative juices flowing even when you’re not seeking out a specific type of inspiration.
HubSpot is another one of those blogs that has an overwhelming amount of content on it. What I’d suggest is spending time looking through its six blog hubs:
- The Hustle
Find the content that resonates best with you and subscribe to that channel. While Website might seem the most obvious, there’s lots of valuable information on digital marketing, sales tactics, and business management here as well.
Smashing Magazine is a long-running publication in the web design space. It’s known for its long-form and carefully detailed content related to specific aspects of design. If you’re looking to refine your processes, this is an excellent resource. You’ll learn how to do things like run page speed tests, improve accessibility with CSS, and perfect your design process.
Envato Tuts+ Tutorials
Envato Tuts+ is another blog that’s jam-packed with content to help you become a better designer, coder, and overall professional. The site has categories for:
- Web Design
Each area is then broken up into Courses as well as Articles & Tutorials. If you’re looking for intuitive and visually descriptive guidance in different aspects of your work and business, you’ll find it here.
Podcasts for Web Designers
I was going to include books on this list, but the “best” books to read are ones that were written more than a decade ago. If your goal is to keep your web design skills fresh and to design for the modern user, you should have material written within the last few years at the very least.
So, instead of doing that, let’s talk about podcasts. Podcasts are a unique kind of educational resource for web designers. Since there usually isn’t a visual component that goes along with each show, the value comes from what the hosts and guests are telling you. So podcasts tend to be more informative and inspirational than educational.
Here are some interesting podcasts to consider if you like this format:
While I could’ve recommended one of the web design-specific shows associated with Spec, I think Developer Tea’s unique format and topic roster is worth examining before the others. The show was made to fit within a tea break, so most episodes are under 15 minutes. Also unique to the show is that the hosts often discuss process optimization topics, so it’s not all about code and design.
The GaryVee Audio Experience
Gary Vaynerchuk’s podcast is a must listen if you are looking to get better in your business. Whether you’re a freelance designer, an agency owner, or looking for a better job opportunity, you’ll gain helpful tips in these hour-long episodes. You’ll learn about things like how to monetize your creativity, the value of storytelling, and the future of Web 3.0.
How I Built This
How I Built This isn’t the conventional web design podcast recommendation either. In each episode, we hear from founders of wildly successful companies. Many of them came from rough beginnings, experienced major failures in their work, or created never-before-seen products in order to deal with problems no one had tried to fix before. If you’re looking for a regular dose of inspiration from the world’s top innovators, this is the perfect podcast to bookmark.
HTML All the Things
HTML All the Things might be geared towards web developers, but the show covers a broad range of topics that will interest anyone working with websites for a living. In addition to talking code, the hosts dig into things like burnout, project planning, job security in the age of AI, page speed, and more.
If you’ve been looking for a more effective way to stay on top of industry trends, design and development techniques, and technological innovations, you don’t need to find it on your own. There’s too much information circulating out there and you’ll go crazy trying to stay on top of it all.
Your best bet is to bookmark a handful of resources that you know and trust. You can mix and match from the content types and recommendations above or add your own favorites. Compile a list of your most trusted resources, subscribe, and never worry about missing out on the latest news or developments in web design and development again.