Design Educational Resources, Version 1 (Nov 2022)

This post is about the initial launch of the Design Educational Resources list curated by Julia DeBari, Bibiana Nunes, Jose Barrera, and Grace Lau.

Design Educational Resources, Version 1 (Nov 2022)

As of October 27, 2022, the first version of the Design Educational Resources list was released. Bibi shared it on LinkedIn in Spanish, followed by Julia in English.

How this list came to be

We started this project in May 2022. Bibiana Nunes asked on Linkedin whether there was a list of resources available where one might be able to find resources to develop their design skills. She was looking for something that might be a filterable list, crowdsourced, and made available to anyone. Of course, we had lists. What would we do without lists or bookmarks stashed in various browsers?

Grace gathered the team together on LinkedIn, Bibi set up the Airtable, and Julia started pulling together things from her bookmarks. José Barrera joined the team at the end of June; he had a list on Notion that he was managing with a similar intention: a public list of courses, masters, and more for design.

Screenshot of a mind map showing the breakdown of "design" and "resource". Image credti: Grace Lau.

Defining our project vision and scope

We started with adding fields: format, location, starting date, currency, and URL. We had to think globally, not assuming that only people from the US were the only people to make use of this. Our team was global and spoke various languages. This would also be the resource we’d point our apprentices and our network about learning more about information architecture, content design, and whatever topic came up.

We asked clarifying questions around design – what’s “design”? What’s a “resource”? What’s the difference between live training vs workshop? How did we want to define resource types?

Individually, it was easy to keep an on-going list of things that we individually felt were “good” resources.  Coming together as a team, we had initially jumped first into the resources, but soon we realized that we had to step back and define our vision for the project and outcomes we wanted to bring about.

Articulating what an educational resource for design is or could be

What’s considered a design resource? Was it educational? What kind of value might someone find from a resource? How might a resource be described?

As information architects, designers, and taxonomists, we started to define what design was. It needed to be broad enough to include UX, product, content and research, but not too vague to include fashion design, built architecture, or environmental design. We might not include resources to learn about digital asset management systems, but we’d include things for learning about inclusive design, ethnographic research, and data science.

Of course, we’re still working through a taxonomy for common understanding around disciplines and types. For instance, what’s the difference between an apprenticeship and an internship? Is an apprenticeship a recognizable term that could be understood in an international context? And then, what’s considered an academy vs a bootcamp vs an internship?

Questions lead to more questions and not enough answers to help us “define the damn thing.” This is what we do, of course: determine people’s needs, research and ask questions, design something, and iterate over and over to build something that others find useful.

At the end of the day, getting the ugly first draft out is important. We wanted to get this resource out there sooner than later to be helpful in some way.

Acknowledging what a resource is not

We’re not including job boards. That’s another type of list. Maybe another day, another team, but that’s just not what we wanted to include. One might learn a lot from visiting job boards, but that’s not the type of learning outcome we’re after. We’re looking to help people develop the skills they need to succeed, and that learning can be found in podcasts, newsletters, communities, and other people in the community.

We’re looking to help people develop the skills they need to succeed, and that learning can be found in podcasts, newsletters, communities, and other people in the community.

Exploring the list

This first version of the list is pretty rough. A resource might be tagged with multiple resource types and thus may be placed in unique groups, rather than large groups that you’d need to further narrow down.

Screenshot from a collapsed list on Airtable, showing resource type groupings that are repeated, i.e. community and mentorship, community and project resource.

You have the following fields available to search, sort, and filter however you’d like:

  • Name
  • Design field
  • Resource type
  • URL
  • Supported language
  • Starting price (USD)
  • Pricing strategy
  • Author
Screenshot of the resource list with the filter interface displayed, showing the various fields that the list could be filtered.
Design Educational Resources
We created the Design Educational Resources by compiling as many resources as possible. Our goal is to provide you with the information you need to find ways to learn and develop design skills. * Jose Barrera, who inspired the beginning of this list * Bibiana Nunes, who got the group together an…

Thinking ahead

We’ll be continuously updating the list. We’ll summarize the updates when we can.

Most importantly, we’re planning to add additional features and information:.

  • Resource descriptions. We’ll be working to include descriptions for every resource. Take a while, but we think it’ll be useful information to help people decide whether they want to continue learning about a resource and clicking through.
  • Ability to submit reviews. We’re adding the ability for anyone to share their review or perspective of a resource we’ve included.
  • Ability to rate a resource. We’re figuring out a way for people to rate a resource and show an aggregate resource rating.

Supporting the list

If you find the Resource List helpful, there are a few ways you can help support the work: