Blog posts to help you learn UX design

I read a lot of blogs and articles – Pocket is one of my most well-worn apps. I harvest them from various sources and I try not get tied to the same ones, to keep stocked in fresh ideas. However when people ask me for books and blogs to read about UX and design thinking, it becomes hard to recommend any one in particular. So it felt time to put together a reading list.

Here are ten articles I’ve come across in the last six months or so that teach a range of UX principles and feature the current thinking. Read together they are a starting point to learn the subject area. Alternatively you can dive into just one or two of them as there are plenty of useful nuggets in there.

Understanding users

Interviewing humans
by Erika Hall on Medium

A great primer for how to go about talking to people face-to-face to understand them and how they use your product. It demystifies to prove it isn't rocket science and explains some simple things that mean you’ll get good results. She’s also written a bunch more under the title of Research Things.

Customer journey mapping
by Hannah Alvarez on UserTesting

A big part of designing great user experiences is getting inside your customer’s heads and applying some thought to how they interact with your product, in particular which device they are on at different times. This article outlines how you can go about doing that to help identify pain points and areas to deliver delight.

Stories not screens
by Daniel on the Zurb blog

Nicely following on from the previous article, this makes the point about the design process being a continuation of thinking about users journeying through your product. And to avoid falling into the trap of designing isolated pages at a time.

Hypothesis driven UX design
by Maximilian Wambach on Medium

Having a hypothesis before you build, redesign or change anything has become the norm in recent years. Put simply, it’s about making explicit what you think will happen when a design is released so you can judge whether it reaches that goal. Here’s how it can be applied to UX design too.


The low hanging fruit of user onboarding
by Des Traynor on Inside Intercom

As more and more complex services exist online, getting users into your site or app for the first time is one of the most important conversion points for many businesses. Here are Intercom (always a high quality blog) with some practical ways you can tackle this.

One magic formula to calculate user experience
by Wouter de Bres on Gibbon

OK, so there obviously isn’t a formula to calculate this (magical or otherwise) but this article does take you on an effective rundown of the things that contribute to user experience from the speed of your servers to how good the design looks. Good high-level stuff.

The psychology of notifications
by Ximena Vengoechea and Nir Eyal on TechCrunch

A piece on psychology and design of mobile notifications, which are for many people the primary way they interact with a lot of apps. Here’s how to make them useful and actionable.

The three laws of interaction design
by Diogenes Brito on his blog

I’m not sure it can quite be boiled down to just three but this is a good piece on how to make usable software that doesn’t mess with your user’s minds. A bonus piece on rules of usability is Jakob Neilsen’s ten usability heuristics.

Affordances: the designer’s secret weapon
by Jerry Cao on Inside Envato

On the theme of usability, one of the most important things you can do with your designs is give affordance or make it clear what each element on the page is going to do. This article is a thorough rundown of all the ways in which you can achieve that.

There is no fold
by Welch Canavan on Storify

Not quite an article more a collection of links and graphs that aim to put to bed the concept of the fold in web design—something that just never quite goes away and as a UX designer is something you’ll find yourself talking about far too often…

Published on 9 April 2015

ux / web design / teaching / learning / users / user testing / interfaces / interview /

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