UX Resources and Productivity Tools
Here’s a list of products, services and other tools that help me run a profitable UX consulting business. I update this page periodically and hope it will be a valuable resource for you.
Erik Kennedy’s Learn UI Design opens only twice a year in the Spring and Fall, but it’s worth the wait. It’s honestly the best self-paced online UI course I’ve taken. Besides getting super good at Sketch, you’ll also learn how to think like a UI designer, which will make you more valuable to colleagues and clients. Challenging homework assignments reinforce the lessons, and Erik provides excellent feedback through the course Slack channel. Check out my YouTube demo of the course here.
If you’re brand new to Sketch, Joseph Angelo Todaro’s recently updated Sketch From A to Z course is a comprehensive guide to using Sketch for designing mobile applications.
I went through several of Axure’s online tutorials before finding Learning Axure RP 8 – UX Design Fundamentals by Radu Fotolescu on Udemy. Radu is a freelance UX/UI designer based in London. If you need to get up to speed quickly on Axure, this course will help you do just that.
If you’re just getting started in UX design, Joe Natoli’s User Experience Fundamentals course is a great introduction. While it draws heavily from the book The Elements of User Experience by Jesse James Garrett, Joe has done a masterful job of presenting the content in an easily digestible, visual format.
I use Acuity Scheduling to schedule meetings and user interviews. It saves so much time by eliminating multiple back and forth emails to schedule appointments. I chose it over free services like Calendly because it integrates with Apple iCal. Sign up for their free plan here.
Freshbooks is my go-to accounting software for sending and tracking client invoices. I’ve been using Freshbooks for over 10 years to track time, create and send invoices and build a successful freelance business.
Teamwork Projects has all the same features as Basecamp in a more streamlined interface. But the thing that sold me was their Gantt charts, which are hard to find in other online project management tools. Sign up for a free 30-day trial here.
ConvertKit is my go-to email marketing software, and they absolutely rock. They’ve made it much easier for me to grow my email list, plus their customer service is awesome. I highly recommend them.
Sanebox saves me several hours each week by automatically filtering unimportant emails from my inbox. It’s the best $60 I’ve spent this year. If you signup be sure to check out their free email course called Inbox Zero Academy.
Inspectlet records videos of your visitors as they use your site, allowing you to see everything they do. You can see every mouse movement, scroll, click, and keypress on your site. It’s an amazing user research tool. You never need to wonder how visitors are using your site again. Sign up for a free account here.
I moved this site to WP Engine after one of my other websites was hacked. The migration process went very smoothly and I am very pleased with the company’s customer support. I sleep much better now knowing my site is much faster, automatically backed up and practically hacker proof.
As a self-taught UXer, my bookshelf is chock full of useful titles by awesome UX professionals. Here are my top 5 picks to add to your UX bookshelf:
The User Experience Team Of One by Leah Buley – This is one of my very favorite UX books. I refer back to it constantly. Leah Buley offers dozens of actionable tips and strategies to help you help your colleagues deliver well-informed design solutions.
Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug – Now in its third edition, this is THE book to read for any aspiring UX professional.
How To Make Sense Of Any Mess by Abby Covert – A wonderful, short read to help you get your head around information architecture.
100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People by Susan Weinschenk – We design websites and apps to get people to do something. This book will help you understand why users behave the way they do.
Mapping Experiences by Jim Kalbach – This excellent guide helps you identify existing pain points in a digital experience so you can envision and design more effective future solutions.
I love this thing. I really do. Since I got it I use it almost every day for brainstorming and other activities. To see it in action, check out my post about UX Sketching: Whiteboard 101.
I use the Behance Dot Grid Book exclusively for personal brainstorming and taking notes at client meetings. The Behance Dot Grid Book has plenty of space to do extensive design explorations and the dot patterns make it easy to draw straight lines. Yeah, it’s pricey for a notebook, but worth it.