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UX Resources Worth Your Time

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UX Resources Worth Your Time

With the constantly evolving environment of user experience design and research, it always helps to keep up with the latest industry news and trends. We thought that we would share some sites that our team routinely likes to read for the latest articles and discussions on user experience. Also, since not all UX  sites are the same, we wanted to share what we like best about each one and why it is on our reading list.

1. Smashing Magazine

Smashing Magazine is an excellent site for UX designers and has articles covering a range of topics, from Coding (CSS, JavaScript, Techniques), to Mobile, to UX Design. From a research point of view, they are a great source for best practices and ideas on the latest design techniques. Smashing Mag’s articles are structured in such a way that gets right to point, where you are learning exactly what you want to know and are not distracted by too much background information. Our team also finds the content very thorough for everything that you should consider to create an optimal customer experience. For example, their article Designing Efficient Web Forms: On Structure, Inputs, Labels, and Actions, provides definitions (e.g., input field, action button), examples with screenshots, and important considerations based on device type (i.e., desktop vs. mobile).

  • Best For: Design Ideas, Inspiration, and Best Practices (Responsive Design, Topography, UI Design, etc.).
  • Why we like it:  Smashing Mag is very design-focused and is a great resource to keep up-to-date on new ideas, technologies, books, and considerations about UX design for both desktop and mobile.


2. UX Booth

UX Booth is another go-to resource for our team. They have articles on a broad range of topics related to product development, not just UX research or design. Their blog articles are categorized into 9 relevant topics including Business Strategy, Content Strategy, Interaction Design, Research, and Visual Design. So, it provides a holistic overview of how to roll out a product from generation to launch and post-launch. Uniquely, UX Booth has a section for Universal Design and Accessibility with articles, such as Accessibility for Visual Design, which discuss accessibility best practices.

  • Best For: Discussions on a range of categories – Analytics, Interaction Design, Information Architecture, etc.
  • Why we like it:  In addition to the selection of topics that play a part in creating an optimal user experience, UX Booth publishes articles contributed by various UX designers and researchers, each with different perspectives.


3. UX Movement

UX movement provides insights into very specific topics that our clients often ask about – Is a mobile app menu best at the bottom of the screen? When to use “My” or “Your” for authenticated state labels? The articles focus on design elements and features (e.g., Progress Bars vs. Spinners: When to Use Which, Why Your Gray Text Should Never Exceed 46% Brightness, Add to Cart vs. Add to Bag: Which Button Label to Use), and the conclusions are based on their own testing of alternative designs to learn which one is the most user-friendly. While it is always recommended to conduct usability testing either on a live site or with prototypes to ensure the site / apps meet your customer’s needs, UX Movement is a helpful resource when developing a testable design.

  • Best For: Design heuristics on specific features and head-to-head comparisons of these elements.
  • Why we like it:  UX Movement articles are short, to-the-point, with clear takeaways of what works when considering different alternate designs.


4. Usability Geek

Usability Geek has been a newer add to our list. Its topics are broad, but are generally centralized to product design – ranging from UX to Human Computer Interaction and Information Architecture. For researchers and designers with varying levels of experience, there is a helpful set of guidelines on design and SEO. Most interesting is their strong focus on mobile, and in June 2017 they started publishing walk-through case studies of newly released mobile apps (e.g., Duolingo, HBO GO, ESPN, and Venmo). These case studies document the experience from onboarding and through the various features offered on the app. Each article provides access to a small library of ideas of how other apps are updating their digital experience.

  • Best For: Unique mobile-focused articles on design and customer onboarding / app walk throughs.
  • Why we like it: Usability Geek has a very simple interface and easy to scroll through; the mobile walkthroughs are an interesting new feature that details the entire app experience.


5. Nielson Norman Group

The Nielson Norman site is a research-based fixture in the UX community, and rightfully so. They have a strong focus on empirical articles, both based on in-house studies and from the academic world.

For those with varying levels of UX experience, it’s a great source on UX design and research. Specifically, their article, When to Use Which User-Experience Research Methods, provides a helpful overview of different research methodologies and how to choose the optimal one, depending on the type of feedback, number of participants, and the context of use or test environment. They also write about research from the academic world – an interesting one that we read recently was The Aesthetic Usability Effect on how good design impacts how user-friendly participants find the site.

The research foundations of their articles are reflected in standard quantitative (e.g., website evaluation and online card sorting) and qualitative (e.g., in-depth interviews and focus groups) methods.

  • Best For: Psychology focused articles and understanding the users’ mindset; also articles that give an introduction to what method works best for a research situation.
  • Why we like it:  Nielson Norman is trusted source for very empirical, research-backed information. They frequently publish with data from their own research studies.


Hope you enjoy some of our favorites – Happy Reading!