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The Best UX Articles of June 2014

So, summer is here… apparently. Amongst the sporadic showers you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve travelled back to spring. Such is life in northern Europe. Regardless, we’ve done just that here, perhaps in a vague attempt to remember the glorious weather of last month.

With so much quality content out there, we take one more look back at June 2014. We’ve compiled the 5 best articles from June 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 how to solve the hamburger icon problem
  • See if hollow icons really harder to recognize than Solid Icons
  • Check out an eye tracking study on how recruiters see your LinkedIn profile
  • Learn why every terms of service page needs summaries
  • See what design thinking is in practice

In no particular order:

1. Why I never design the home page first (and which page I design before anything else)


How To Solve The Hamburger Icon Problem by Paddi MacDonnell, published on Web Designer Depot.

  • “The hamburger icon—three little bars used to indicate a link to a menu—is one if the most controversial techniques on the Web right now. Designers, we are told, all hate it; customers, we tell everyone, hate it too. Why then, is it everywhere?”

The Hamburger continues to dominate the UX headlines. It has done for the past year, and it refuses to go away. Many see it as a problem that need solving, others aren’t too fussed.

A divisive symbol, it has continued to split those in the industry for a while. Despite seeing widespread adoption, a symbol doing so well still appears to draw plenty of hate.

Love it, or hate it, here Paddi drops some tips on how we can can solve the Hamburger ‘problem’.

2. Are Hollow Icons Really Harder to Recognize Than Solid Icons? A Research Study


Are Hollow Icons Really Harder to Recognize Than Solid Icons? A Research Study by the Curt Arledge, published on Viget.

  • “I hope that this study highlights the importance of using real evidence to back up UI design decisions. Designers of all types need to think critically about best practices and back up their recommendations with solid (pun not intended, but embraced) research.”

A refreshing article. There is a trend for UX blogging to be largely theoretical – with relatively little real data. For once, we look not only at theory, but at real results.

Curt performs a great test as to whether hollow icons – the new design must-have – are any more or less effective than their solid counterparts. An interesting read for anyone who loves the blurred line between numbers and graphic design.

3. Eye tracking study on how recruiters see your LinkedIn profile


Eye tracking study on how recruiters see your LinkedIn profile by The AGBeat Staff published on The American Genius.

  • “How many times have you wished you knew what an interviewer was thinking? Of course, no one knows for sure, but a new study gives a pretty good idea of where a recruiter’s focus may be. TheLadders recently conducted a study on recruiters’ behavior when they view your LinkedIn profile.”

UX in practice is always great to see. Even greater to see is UX applied in scenarios that can help us in the real world.

This great study helps us get into the head of recruiters. Allowing us a glimpse into what’s happening when we apply for a job. What they see and think about us on first impressions.

Great for those of us applying for new jobs, those wanting to always offer a great impression, or those just wanted a great UX read!

4. Why Every Terms of Service Page Needs Summaries


Why Every Terms of Service Page Needs Summaries by Anthony, published on UX Movement.

  • “Have you ever read the terms of service agreement that you have to agree to when you sign up for a website? A survey shows only 7% of users read the full terms when signing up for online products and services. Terms of service agreements are so wordy and legalistic it’s no wonder why users don’t read them.”

We’ve all been there, endless pages of lawyer drivel. Nobody’s got time for that. We just want to get through the content, to where we’re trying to get to. Ever actually read a terms of service? We avoid the text walls, barely reading a thing. Who knows what we’re signing up for?

Anthony’s fix is simple but effective. Simple summaries, saving us for the torture. So simple, so effective, but why does nobody do it?

5. Design Thinking: What is it in Practice?


Design Thinking: What is it in Practice? by Soren Petersen, published on The Huffington Post.

  • “Promoted heavily by academic institutions and consultancies alike, design thinking has been a big buzzword during the past decade, turning some people on and others off. Though design thinking has actually been around for half a century, when asking creative professionals how they define it; I always get completely different answers and most are an inch deep and a mile wide.”

With the design field ever growing – UX alone being a product of the past 20 years – ‘design thinking’ is becoming an ever harder thing to define. Despite being yet another industry buzzword, no one really knows what it is. And with so many different design sectors, is it really possible to have one flat term to describe the thoughts of those within the profession.?

Soren lets loose on this great topic, discovering what it really means from those within the profession – and not the corporate suits.

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