Looking to spend your professional development budget? I’ve got some recommendations, along with plenty of free or low-cost resources too.
- Advancing Research – annual conference hosted by Rosenfeld Media on design research with high-quality speakers, workshops, an active Slack community and networking opportunities. March. Cost: $1000+
- Axe-con, annual conference on building accessible digital experiences. March. Cost: Free.
- Enterprise UX – annual conference hosted by Rosenfeld Media on enterprise design with high-quality speakers, workshops, an active Slack community and networking opportunities. June. Cost: $1000+
- Config – Figma’s annual design conference, held in person and virtually. June. Cost: Free to attend virtually.
- Quant UX Conference – summit of talks, activities and workshops for quantitative UX researchers and data scientists. June. Cost: Free.
- LavaCon – annual content strategy conference, in person & virtual registration options. October. Cost: about $1,000 for virtual registration.
- Button – annual content design and UX writing conference, in person & virtual registration options. October. Cost: about $1,000 for virtual registration.
- Information Architecture conference – annual, in-person conference, Peter Morville, Mags Hanley and Jorge Arango on their advisory board. March. Cost: about $1000 for registration.
- DesignOps summit – annual, virtual conference hosted by Rosenfeld Media with high-quality speakers, workshops, an active Slack community and networking opportunities . October. Cost: $895 (early bird), $795 workshop.
- Nielsen Norman Group – UX training on all the topics – content, design, research, leadership – offered throughout the year in multiple time zones and formats. Optional certification program. Ongoing dates. Cost: about $900 per course.
- IDEO U – cohort and self-paced online courses and certificate programs in design thinking, storytelling and strategy. Ongoing dates. Cost: $200-$800 per course.
- Rosenfeld media – multi-day workshops covering a variety of design, content and research topics. Ongoing dates (usually coinciding with their conference on the same topic). Cost: $1000+
- Interaction Design Foundation – offers a large catalog of self-paced online UX courses, pay by course or get access to all with an annual subscription. Cost: $50 per course or $200 annual subscription.
- Second Wave Dive – six-week online course covering business fundamentals for designers, includes access to an active community after program completion. Ongoing dates. Cost: $2000+
- Design Dept. – Mia Blume’s workshops for design ICs and managers on time management and emotional intelligence. Cost: $500+ per workshop.
- Training by Indi Young – self-paced online courses covering user interview and synthesis techniques. Cost: $500+ per course.
Communities and meet-ups
- UX Research & Strategy – monthly virtual meet-ups with speakers on a variety of topics related to user research, and a Slack workspace for ongoing discussion. Free (donations appreciated).
- Advancing Research community – monthly video conference and Slack community hosted by Rosenfeld Media. Cost: Free.
- Enterprise Experience community – monthly video conference and Slack community hosted by Rosenfeld Media. Cost: Free.
- Leaders of Awesomeness – Jared Spool’s online UX community includes weekly events and discussions on design leadership and strategy. Cost: Free.
- Designer Fund Collective – provides an online community, events, and other resources for designers at start-ups. Cost: Free.
Books & Publishers
- Rosenfeld Media – publishes books on UX topics – research, content, IA – and the intersection of UX with business and product management.
- A Book Apart – short books on a variety of topics including design, research & content.
- Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson – one of the best books on effective communication and handling conflict.
- Thinking in Systems by Donella Meadows – the best overview of systems thinking.
- Just Enough Research by Erika Hall – short guide on getting started with user research.
- Everyday Information Architecture by Lisa Maria Marquis – short guide on IA basics.
- Mapping Experiences by Jim Kalbach – dry, but comprehensive text on using visual diagrams to gain stakeholder alignment and shared understanding of a problem.
- Top Tasks: A How-to Guide by Gerry McGovern – useful method for developing IA for navigation.
- Mixed Methods by Sam Ladner – argument for and guide to using both quantitative and qualitative research methods in our work.
- Presenting Design Work by Donna Spencer – practical advice for getting useful, focused feedback from your stakeholders.