Time flies. We just celebrated the start of a new year and already one month has passed. However, we are happy to see that the UX community doesn’t sleep either, providing us with great new articles and interesting insights. Like we started last year, we want to continue to share some of our most favorite articles on UX with you this year.
Here are our first top 5 articles of 2013:
1. Effectively Planning UX Design Projects
Planning user experience projects is a balancing act of getting the right amount of user input within the constraints of your project. In this article, the authors Jesmond and James explain how UX projects typically look like and how we can best manage them. They discuss the different phases of a typical UX project, which are a research, a design and another research phase. Further, they offer some practical benefits of a user-centered design approach, and give us a list of tools to help us handle our next UX project successfully. I recommend this article to anyone, who is involved – even remotely – in the UX field.
2. Characters and Mascots in Web Design and their Role
Characters and Mascots in Web Design and their Role by Stelian Subotin, published on Designmodo.
This article might be somewhat basic, but still we thought it was a great read for those, who are into web design and creating exceptional experiences for users. The author discusses the importance of characters or mascots in web design and how they affect your website. He does not only define the concept of a mascot, but also offers some practical guidelines for designing a good mascot. Besides, he offers a case study of many visual examples to illustrate his points.
3. Prioritizing Problems In The User Experience: The FMEA
In any user interface, some portion of users will have difficulty accomplishing their intended goals. Even after several rounds of testing and improvements, some users will still have some problems. In this article, the author explains how the Failure Modes Effect Analysis helps facilitate a more critical examination of the tasks users attempt and helps to uncover problems and prioritize fixes. He guides us through a hypothetical case study step by step to demonstrate the effects of FMEA. This is a great read for those, who want to minimize the frequency and severity of problems, errors, and failures on their website.
4. Conceptual Models in a Nutshell
In this article, Jeff and Austin explain what conceptual models are and describe the value of developing a conceptual model of a software application before designing its user interface. Besides offering practical tips to help us understand conceptual models, they list several benefits that come from starting a design with a conceptual model. This is a recommended read for anyone, who is involved in designing easy-to-use products and interfaces.
5. Functional Beauty and User Experience
Beauty is a desirable feature of the products we buy, with the power to shape consumer choices and preferences. The author of this article explains how the user experience is similar to the concept of beauty, and how UX professionals can create it intentionally. She claims that designers need to understand functional beauty as a key element of user experience design. The article discusses the major components of a well-designed product: Usability, Ingenuity, Aesthetics, Rhythm, and Personality. This is a great read to bring you closer to understanding the impact of beauty on the user experience.