Photo of a review of HackDesign as a product design resource

A review of HackDesign as a product design resource

What does HackDesign do?

Curated by top designers in the industry, HackDesign is a free weekly newsletter that delivers a design lesson directly into your inbox. The curators took a mix of useful blogs, books, games, videos, and tutorials that had helped them on their design journey and then organized these assets into a digestible lesson plan.

The lessons help people learn the tools, technologies, and terminology of good design and provide interactive content like design games and challenges to put the skills to use. HackDesign also compiled a toolkit for designers to understand which tools work best for each situation and to discover new tools that can help them advance their skills.

Photo of HackDesign platform

Who is HackDesign for?

Current and aspiring designers can benefit from the lessons and tools curated by HackDesign. It is a good resource for anyone who is looking to keep their design thinking sharp, advance their skills, and learn new tools and technologies.

What does HackDesign cost? How much work is involved?

HackDesign is a free newsletter and they also give access to their lessons for free on their website. People who are interested in subscribing just need to give their email address. 

There is also a Patron that users can contribute $9 per month to, which gives them access to the Slack channel, video interviews with the curators, and swag (after 1 year). Users can also choose to contribute $5 per month in order to be a supporter, which also gives them access to the Slack channel.

Ratings and reviews

There are not a lot of reviews of HackDesign online, but the ones that exist are mainly positive. People explain that they have learned a lot from the lessons, though they don’t always do them (once a week is a lot). One reviewer says that the lessons skew more towards the advanced designers and might be difficult for someone who is less experienced or just at the beginning of their education in product design.

Alternatives to HackDesign

For people who are looking to learn more about product design, there are a few alternatives to HackDesign.

  • You can check out Udacity and Springboard, which are online educational platforms that students can use to brush up on the basics or advance their current tech skills. Read more about Udacity and Springboard in our reviews.
  • One of the most well known bootcamps is General Assembly, which offers full-time, part-time, and 1-day courses on a variety of topics like software engineering, data science, UX design, digital marketing, product management, and more. Read more about General Assembly in our review.
  • Aspiring designers can consider Designlab, an online bootcamp that teaches the necessary skills to land a job as a UX designer. Read more about Designlab in our review.
  • Students can also consider Kenzie Academy, a full-time tech bootcamp that offers in-person and online courses in 2 tracks: software engineering & UX design and front-end engineering. Learn more about Kenzie Academy in our review.
  • Flatiron School and Designation offer online and in-person design courses on the same campus.
  • GrowthX Academy is an online bootcamp with courses in growth marketing, UX design, and sales and business development. Learn more about GrowthX Academy in our review of the program.
  • Similarly, Bloc, Skillcrush, and CareerFoundry are online bootcamps with tracks in web development and design.
  • Another bootcamp option is DesignerUp, which is a self-paced bootcamp teaching the fundamentals of UX/UI design and research. Learn more about DesignerUp in our review.
  • Udemy, Coursera, and Pluralsight are additional online learning platform with courses in a wide variety of topics under the product design umbrella.
  • Students located in the Bay Area or looking to work in Silicon Valley can check out Tradecraft, which has tracks in product design, growth marketing, engineering, and sales.

For more product design resources, check out this article.

How does HackDesign compare to Pathrise?

HackDesign is an online educational resource, with lessons for people who are interested in learning a completely new tool or skill or furthering their knowledge. At Pathrise, job-seekers in our program should already have a background in the field they are interested in so that they can participate in and fully benefit from our technical workshops, where we provide a more specific curriculum based on what they will see in their interviews.

All of our workshops and sessions at Pathrise are live, as well as recorded, so that job-seekers in our program can review them afterwards and continue learning. Our program is flexible and personalized to work on the specific skills that people struggle with the most.

Specifically, Pathrise focuses on technical and behavioral interviewing as well as resume and LinkedIn optimization, portfolio building and strengthening, cold email and reverse recruiting lessons, and negotiation templates and guidance. Job-seekers in Pathrise find a job, on average, within 3-5 months of joining the program. There is a great opportunity for product designers to use HackDesign alongside Pathrise, as we always encourage fellows in our program to continue advancing their skills as they search for a job.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that works with students and professionals 1-on-1 so they can land their dream job in tech. If you want to work with any of our mentors to get help with your technical and behavioral interviews or with any other aspect of the job search, join Pathrise.

Apply today.

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