Looking for a place to ask questions, talk shop, and meet other designers? Here are the best UI/UX design communities to join this year.
A creative community is a place for people to share their interests and goals, connect, grow, and thrive in a competitive environment.
There are now countless forums and websites that serve this purpose, meaning that anyone can benefit from these communities – even graphic designers. If you’re looking for a place to talk shop or meet like-minded individuals, here are seven of the best UI/UX design communities you can join this year.
There are countless benefits to joining a design community. Before we get to the list of some of the most popular design communities out there, here are some of the many reasons networking with fellow designers is a must.
Smartphones are getting smarter, and the internet is getting faster as technology evolves. Consumer behavior is also continuing to change, with higher standards and expectations.
This means the onus is now on user experience designers to step up their game, and new industry trends are constantly emerging. One example is the QR code generator, which was ahead of its time when it first came out in 2011. It has now become an integral part of everyday life, and the number of QR code-capable devices is growing yearly.
Whether you are a new or experienced UI/UX designer, it’s your job to keep up with the latest trends. This can be very hard to do on your own, but belonging to a community of designers who are each others’ eyes and ears can make it much easier to stay ahead of the curve.
As people become increasingly dependent on smartphones and mobile devices, the demand for better UI/UX will keep growing. In 2032, experts believe the industry will need around 228,000 skilled designers, so there’s no doubt that there are a lot of job opportunities in the UI/UX game. The question is, how do you find them?
While there are plenty of job portals to explore, connecting and networking with other talented designers is the best way to find the diamonds in the rough. While it takes a certain skill level to succeed in this field, you also need people to see your work. Joining a supportive, creative community gives you the proper avenue to showcase your work, get noticed, and possibly get hired.
Another reason to join a creative community is to help advance your career. Peers can provide constructive feedback, career advice, or tips to improve your skill set.
You can also gain access to various design resources that can be hard to find on your own. For instance, watching interviews with renowned designers to gain valuable insights.
If you’re stumped by any challenges, your community can help you overcome them – being a member of these groups means you don’t have to tackle everything alone.
Building a professional network is essential, and joining communities in the technology or design industries can help you meet new people to add to this network.
This can also be a great way to find a mentor: someone you can turn to for tips, feedback, or advice on pursuing a particular career path. You can accomplish anything with a lively community sharing resources and supporting your growth.
Many creatives – including designers – experience a creative block at some point in their careers.
If you lack inspiration, turning to your creative community can give you a much-needed spark. You can utilize this network for tips and tricks and tons of inspiring content to get the creative juices flowing.
UX design can be a tough job but an enriching career path. If UI/UX design is your calling, here are seven of the best communities to help you succeed in your career.
Graphic Design Forum, or GDF, is one of the oldest and largest design communities of its kind, with over 20,000 members.
GDF stands out for its many resources for aspiring and seasoned designers. You’ll find many different categories on their website, from web design and typography to motion graphics and photography.
The site even has a section where you can introduce yourself, post your work for design feedback, or catch up on the latest designer news. You name it, GDF has it.
Another thing to like about this site is its straightforward navigation. While the site contains much information, it also has around 30 search tags, making it easier to find what you’re looking for.
Simply choose a category and select from the available tags. All the topics will then be filtered automatically, narrowing down your options. From there, you can sort further to find the top or most recent discussions. To learn more about the site, click the menu icon in the upper right corner and select the About or FAQs section.
Sitepoint is another go-to website for web developers, programmers, and entrepreneurs. Established in 1999, it is one of the most extensive social networks for those seeking programming tips or business advice from industry members.
At the top of its homepage is a selection of options, one of which will take you to its community forums. You will then be redirected to all the recently discussed topics.
Sitepoint is a rich resource that covers design systems and style guides and also has forums for internet marketing, hosting, coding, content creation, and more. Basically, it’s a one-stop shop for web developers and designers.
Aside from its forum section, Sitepoint has a Discord channel you can join. Being a member allows you to interact with other Discord users or participate in communities or servers, whether public or private.
To create an account, you must provide a username and develop a secure password. In addition, they will ask you to give them a way to contact you, like an email address. You must then verify your account to access specific communities or features.
Slack is a popular business communication app that allows people to share conversations and data seamlessly. It has multiple chat rooms, channels, and groups that cover a wide range of topics, including UI/UX design.
One example is Designer Hangout, an exclusive Slack community of UX designers and researchers. It is an invite-only network, but if you manage to get in, you can join discussions on trends, explore business opportunities, and connect with other designers in person.
Designer Hangout is much more than just a place where you can relax and enjoy the company of other like-minded professionals. It has many features that can help you advance your career, including:
To join Designer Hangout, you need to request an invite. You can do this by clicking on the “Request” button at the upper right corner of the homepage. The same button is present just below the first headline. You will then be asked to provide your name, LinkedIn profile, and email address.
All applications go through a manual vetting process, so the bad news is that you may have to wait up to 12 weeks for the outcome. The good news is that there are no joining fees. Winning!
Design Buddies is another highly active design community that uses the Discord platform. Established in April 2020, it’s relatively new compared to Sitepoint and Graphic Design Forum. That said, the fact it’s new is one of its more notable characteristics.
In a short period, it became one of the most popular online communities for designers. It offers everything you need to level up, from events and design challenges to mentorships and job opportunities.
If you want to expand your skill set, Design Buddies has you covered with its treasure trove of resources. It even allows its members to post their design projects and portfolios for other members to critique.
It also offers paid opportunities and internships for those who need them – a feature that may be beneficial if you are new to the industry and want to gain some experience.
To join its Discord community, click the “Join Us” button at the upper right-hand corner of the homepage. Again, you must provide the required information and await your application’s approval.
Once you get in, you can do everything discussed above, access content or designs created by other talented Discord users, and interact and collaborate with other designers on specific projects.
Facebook is a wildly popular social media platform with roughly three billion monthly active users as of last year. It’s a great tool not only for personal use but also for professional and business applications. In fact, around three million companies worldwide actively use their Facebook profiles for advertising purposes.
This is good news for aspiring and established designers who want to up their game. Facebook is home to several online communities that cater to different niches, including UI/UX design. One such community is UX Weekly.
UX Weekly is open to anyone genuinely interested in UX. Here, you can learn more about design, share ideas, or have a good time. It’s also a great place to visit if you are looking for Inspiration, with tons of curated content that can give you great ideas for your projects.
Another thing to love about UX Weekly is that joining is straightforward. All you have to do is click the “Join Group” button, and you’re in. You can even invite your Facebook friends who share the same interest.
According to Stormlikes, “good design is crucial to staying relevant in a competitive market.” Nothing improves a product better than a continuous cycle of iteration and feedback, the core idea that drives Designlab.
Founded in 2012, Designlab is a community with a strong focus on learning. It has the UX Academy, where you can hone your skills and become job-ready. You can also research, test, share knowledge and ideas, or even job hunt.
Designlab has a Discord community consisting of different channels for various situations. You can upload your coursework here and see what other students or career coaches think. You can find the answer within this community if you have any design-related questions.
User Experience Professionals Association, or UXPA, is unique because it has a presence on Facebook and LinkedIn. Initially founded by 50 members in 1991, it has grown to a 2,400-strong community dedicated to research, design, and user experience evaluation.
With 59 local chapters scattered in 30 different countries across the globe, UXPA has come a long way from its humble beginnings.
Today, not only does it have a thriving community, but it has also published its UX findings in the Journal of Usability Studies or JUS and User Experience Magazine. If you are new to design and want to hear from more experienced professionals, this is the place to be.
Being a part of a community offers several benefits, whether you are a design newbie or a design industry expert. They can provide advice, offer tips or assistance, and help you connect with other people who share your passion for UI/UX.
There are many different groups to choose from, so choose one that aligns with your unique needs and career aspirations.