Several years ago, in answer to numerous requests for the names of the design journals that I read, I wrote an answer that started with this paragraph:
I am often asked - and I often myself wonder - for the names of high-quality research journals in the design field. Oh, there are lots of design magazines with pretty pictures of products as well as occasional articles in many technology and business magazines, but these are mostly pretty pictures and glowing text without much depth or substance.
Today several years later, the answer is pretty much the same. ID Magazine no longer exists. The two major quality design journals that I wrote about then were Design Issues and Design Studies, but these are only available by subscription. I also welcomed (and now I quote myself): "one new, truly excellent journal, The International Journal of Design (IJD), edited by Lin-Lin Chen, Dean of the College of Design at National Taiwan University of Science and Technology. This is available on-line, free."
IJD is still an excellent experimental journal. Lin-Lin Chen has moved from Taiwan to Eindhoven, in the Netherlands, where she is now Dean, School of Industrial Design, Eindhoven University of Technology (she is still the editor of the journal and I am still a member of the editorial board).
A few years ago, another excellent journal appeared: She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation (She Ji (设计) is "Design" in Mandarin). It's published by Tongji University's School of Design and Innovation and edited by Ken Friedman. (Tongji is in Shanghai: I am an honorary Professor there and am on the editorial board of She Ji.)
IJD and She Ji are completely open go to either journal's website and read any of the issues or download the articles.
Which journals do I read? Here is how I do it, with the journals listed in my order of preference. I start by reading the Table of Contents of my two favorite design journals: She Ji and IJD. Then I do the same for Cognitive Science journals and for the Human Factors and Ergonomics journal. I then look at Design Studies and Design Issues. If the titles or abstracts look interesting, I download the article for reading.
In addition, I read many non-design journals and books. For example, IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems and on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Systems. And American Scientist, The Bridge (the magazine of the National Academy of Engineering), Daedalus (the magazine of the American Association of Art and Science. And articles, books, and videos sent to me by friends. And of course the journals on Human Computer Interaction (HCI).
I'm not going to discuss the many excellent journals on HCI because these are well established, well known, to those people in HCI (computer scientists, psychologists and cognitive scientists and designers, especially those in product, service, and interaction design). (The list of HCI journals is at the end of this note.)
Interactions magazine, the official magazine of the CHI organization, is high-quality and always interesting, although not scholarly. The articles are reviewed but not refereed. So think of them as opinion pieces, but written by really good people. The editors are excellent. For example, they often reject my pieces, scolding me until I do better. Finally, many (but not all) of their articles are freely available on the internet.
CHI is HCI spelled differently. Those who put pronounceability first say CHI. Those who want the Human (the "H") to be more important than the Computer ("the C") say HCI. It is a typical kind of tradeoff argument that occurs frequently in design: There is no correct answer because the choice depends upon your point-of-view. Indeed many of of believe both points of view are correct and appropriate, but the serial nature of language forces us to make a choice.
I am certain I have left out valuable resources.
Summary hotlinks: items marked with * require subscription or payment
Journals in the field of Human Computer Interaction are listed in the HCI bibliography site and also on Prof. Matthias Rauterberg's site at the Eindhoven University of Technology.