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Our 5 Favorite UX Articles (November 2013)

There’s a chill in the air as we brace for inevitable snowy onslaught. The heating has been cranked up, that Coca Cola advert is on TV again, and we’re beginning to draw up our new year’s resolutions. November is drawing to a close. It’s Christmas from here on in.

Not to worry, we’ve brought together our favourite UX articles of the last month to provide some relief from the thought of that Jolly fellow and the turn of yet another year.

With so much quality content out there, we’ve compiled November’s best 5 articles we feel are interesting, invaluable or otherwise a must read for anyone with an interest in UX.

From this month’s top 5 UX articles, you’ll learn:

  • Discover how important the difference between Customer Experience and UX is
  • Learn how to pretend you know UX, when you don’t
  • See what happens when Flat Design, falls Flat
  • Find out why The Period is Pissed
  • Be taught to differentiate Flat Design and Minimalism

In no particular order:

1. Customer Experience Versus User Experience: What’s the Difference and Why Does It Matter?


Customer Experience Versus User Experience: What’s the Difference and Why Does It Matter? by Jon Innes, published on uxmatters.com.

“ ‘What’s the difference between user experience and customer experience and does it really matter?’ This was a tough question to answer in a short, panel-style format. (…) But I thought this subject warranted more in-depth consideration. Now, here’s the extended version of my answer.”

We begin with a brilliant discussion about how Customer and User Experience are two separate entities, and should be regarded as such. With great insights into the history of UX and it’s amalgamation into many different fields, it is all very interesting

Jon details how UX has been diluted to involve aspects of Customer Experience, a profession in the ‘real world’. Something which is still very relevant today, and important to distinguish from UX due to their ability to co-exist and compliment one another.

2. 10 Ways to Pretend You Know UX (When You Don’t)


10 Ways to Pretend You Know UX (When You Don’t) by Joel Marsh, published on The Hipper Element.

“The most amazing thing, to me, is when people try to pretend that they have expertise when they actually know very little. This is an epidemic in UX. And like any good vaccine, I have to infect you with a small dose so you can kill it in real life. So here is my guide to how it’s done”

As Joel himself says, he has taken it upon himself to save UX from the burden of false pretense. His ten step guide detailing how to spot the blaggers and put a stop to it.

A great, hilarious read for anyone with an interest in UX, or hoping to casually hop on the bandwagon, hoping no one will notice them.

3. When Flat Design Falls Flat


When Flat Design Falls Flat by Rick Debus published on Six Revisions.

“I believe that a few prominent flat designs sacrifice usability and best practices such as consistency for the sake of aesthetics — and this is what I’ll primarily be talking about.”

Flat design has been the design trend of the year. We see it everywhere! That mainstream-ness though, brings with it problems. With so many interpretations, the meaning is becoming open to interpretations and mistakes rife.

Rick shows us how not to do it, and how to do it with some great famous examples.

4. The Period is Pissed


The Period is Pissed by Ben Crair, published on The New Republic.

“The period was always the humblest of punctuation marks. Recently, however, it’s started getting angry. I’ve noticed it in my text messages and online chats, where people use the period not simply to conclude a sentence, but to announce ‘I am not happy about the sentence I just concluded.’ ”

Text, an oft-forgotten key element in User Experience. This article is both great fun, and extremely insightful – as all great articles should be!

Ben explains how a staple of our writing has had its meaning changed over the years. And how in the present day, it is becoming a scarcity, but for adding added anger to messages! A brilliant read.

5. Flat Design vs Minimalism


Flat Design vs Minimalism by Addison Duvall, published on Speckyboy Design Magazine.

“Flat Design. It’s everywhere these days. (…) But many people seem to be confusing this exciting new trend with what is commonly known as minimalism, or minimal design. The problem is, these two concepts are quite different (…) So, what’s the difference, and why should designers care?”

The recent release of iOS 7 had everyone talking about Flat Design, and Minimalism. Why? Confusion. People are using the terms interchangeably when they are really two distinct design styles.

Addison teaches us the various aspects of each, why they are independant, and why they are not the same thing!

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