The Best UX Articles of February 2014
With spring slowly arriving earlier than ever, we can finally start spending more of our time outside. As you’ve been rejoicing outside in the sporadic showers or rare glimpse of a cloudless sky, you could be forgiven for not keeping up with the constant stream of great content.
So, with so much quality content out there, we take one more look back at February 2014. We’ve compiled February’s best 5 articles we feel are interesting, invaluable or otherwise a must read for anyone with an interest in UX.
From last month’s top 5 UX articles, you’ll:
- Discover 3 Ways your web design can better connect you to your audience
- Learn why being a web designer who codes is way cooler
- Look into the psychology of digital content
- Take note of how to make it in UX with no experience
- See what UX did or didn’t do
In no particular order:
1. 3 Ways Your Web Design Can Better Connect You to Your Audience
“There is a big difference between good and bad design. Many people can identify a good design, but they don’t know what makes the difference.
Most people are not looking at a website and thinking: That website has well-matched serif and sans-serif fonts and a nice usage of white space!
Nope. Only designers think that.”
We begin with the main aim of Web Design – to connect and engage audiences. If our designs can’t do this, they serve little purpose other than to provide extra fodder for that portfolio.
Rafal’s great article provides us with 3 key ways in which we can ensure we don’t leave our audience behind whilst designing. Afterall, that is UX – Dropping that artistic ego and putting your users into the centre of the process.
2. Why Being a Web Designer Who Codes Is Way Cooler
Why Being a Web Designer Who Codes Is Way Cooler by Sam Norton, published on 1stwebdesigner.com.
“Is it important that web designers need to know how to code?What are the advantages of the web designer who codes? The term “web designer” is a subjective matter.
Many believe this person is responsible for doing web layouts in Photoshop while others think of him or her as the one who does the HTML markup.”
The industry becomes more competitive by the day. Everyone vying for good jobs, good money. How can you set yourself apart, stand out?
Sam thinks he has the answer, and it makes sense. Being a web designer that can code, gives you that extra something special. Find out why here.
3. What UX did or didn’t do
“Some usual suspects are engaged in a feverish discussion on what UX “did” to this or that related practice — and now is the time to stop it from further destruction!
Let’s be clear: UX cannot do anything to anyone. UX is two letters of the alphabet, representing a philosophy, a process, a practice of designing with the user in mind. ”
Whitney makes it two months running on our list with this reminder of that UX is really about.
Sounding somewhat fed up with discussions elsewhere, she offers up a passionate and fiery reminder of what UX is really all about – users.
4. From UX-ling To UX Swan – How To Make It In UX With No Experience
“First things first; if you are new to UX, (User Experience) then you are a UX-ling. No, no! It’s not supposed to be patronising. It’s an affectionate name; honest! Secondly, if you are a struggling UX-ling, then I am hoping that this article will help you keep the faith. Because let’s face it, it probably feels like trying to make it in UX with no experience is harder than trying to make it in Hollywood.”
Oh how I could have done with articles like this when I was blagging my way through the field!
Leah produces an essential article for any budding, and indeed practicing, UX designer. Listing and detailing some of the key skills and practises needed to make your way in this booming industry.
5. The Psychology of Digital Content
“It’s hard to argue the effectiveness of navigation bars. As a matter of fact, I won’t. They are effective and are the norm in web design right now.
But, is there a better way to present our menus that could possibly change the entire way we think about web design? I believe so, and this way to change web design is to get rid of the navigation bar all together. But why?”
We end with an article with a bit more of an academic bite to it. Psychology is an endemic part of UX. It allows us to assert some level of control over our users through subconsciously guiding their interactions.
Increasing our knowledge of The Psychology of Digital Content is invaluable to any UXer. Serving as an extra tool in our arsenal, and I’d highly recommend this tough but informative read.