Improve User Experience with these 7 Design Resources

February, 24 2017
All Articles

Improve User Experience with these 7 Design Resources 

Beautifully-designed websites stand out. Even people with little to no design experience can usually tell the difference between an A+ site and something that looks like it’s from the nineties. While top web designers often have an intuitive feel for what looks good and what doesn’t as well as years of experience, there are a variety of resources to help anyone interested in design improve their abilities. If you’re just getting started or want to beef up your design skills, check out these 8 design resources for the newbie.

The book is a great first step to get started. Originally published in 1994, it outlines the general principles behind digital design and helps people with no formal training get a grasp of how to design using different colors and typefaces. Worried it’s outdated? The most current edition was published as recently as 2014 to provide an up-to-date look at web design practices applicable today.


Hack Design is one of the many outfits that offers free, online design classes. Get weekly lessons delivered straight to your inbox and learn from real life design pros on the best ways to construct content and how small changes can make a big difference. They also offer interactive puzzles and games to help true newbies learn as you go.


Canva is a free online tool which allows people of all design capabilities to make presentations, social media graphics, and other digital designs. From business cards to infographics, just sign up and gain access to thousands of free pictures, templates, and layouts available to help you practice and create designs quickly.


One of the best ways to see design strategies in action is to look at a variety of different websites. Check out lists of the top websites or those that have won awards, and try to identify what makes them winners. Then, see if you can incorporate their methods into your own design tactics.


  • Design Blogs and Podcasts

There are a variety of blogs, publications, webinars, and podcasts dedicated to design theories, best practices, and tips. Check out a few different ones to see which ones are most relevant for your goals and needs. These sources can also help you stay up-to-date on design trends and new platforms, so your skills don’t become obsolete.


For those unaware, reddit is an online community with a variety of unique subgroups or subreddits dedicated to a topic of choice. Community members share articles, news stories, tips, and advice in their subreddit, with everyone free to “upvote” relevant content and comment on what others have posted. Reddit has a variety of subgroups specifically-focused on design, including and, just to name a few.  


  • YouTube Design Tutorials

The benefit of YouTube tutorials is that they can answer questions and can solve problems you might have been stuck on for hours. The video-viewing format makes it easy to learn step-by-step processes on how to work in an unfamiliar design program or implement a new style. Use these guides to learn everything about Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and more.

While your associations website and landing pages might not be winning awards any time soon, there are always small changes you can make to improve the look and feel of your site. Use these resources to brush up on old design skills or start from scratch. Either way, we hope these 8 design resources for the newbie can give you a jumping off point to get started.

Do you want more information on why a design-focused approach is important in development projects?

Download our eBook!

 Design First: A Guide to the Design-Focused Software Development Lifecycle.

All Articles