Photo of a review of HackDesign as a product design resource

A review of HackDesign as a product design resource – 2021 update

Hi, I’m Elle! I work as a product designer at Getaround and as an industry mentor here at Pathrise. I help our fellows land great jobs in product design through technical workshops and 1-on-1s. Check out my review of HackDesign.

Updated in 2021

What does HackDesign do?

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

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

Photo of HackDesign

Who is HackDesign for?

Current and aspiring designers can both 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?

Not only is HackDesign a free newsletter, but also they 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 Patreon where users can contribute $9 per month. This 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. If they do this, they also get 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 explained that they have learned a lot from the lessons, though they don’t always do them. They reported that once a week felt like a lot. One reviewer said 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. These 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.
  • edX is one of the largest online learning platforms. They have courses from top universities like Harvard and MIT as well as big tech companies like Microsoft. Learn more about edX in our review.
  • One of the most well known bootcamps is General Assembly. They offer 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. This online bootcamp 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, Kenzie 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. Other options are Beginex, Avocademy, and Memorisely, UX design bootcamps with part-time courses.
  • GrowthX Academy is an online bootcamp with courses in growth marketing, UX design, and sales and business development.
More alternatives

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 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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