UX designers are under a lot of pressure to produce designs that add value to users’ lives. But without input from your users, it’s nearly impossible to design an experience that actually helps alleviate their pain points. If you’re pressed for time and/or don’t have the help of a researcher, getting the user input essential to design a great product can certainly be a challenge.
The Top 19 UX Blogs and Why You Should Follow ThemApril 12, 2019
There’s no shortage of content about UI/UX, and the discipline itself is fast-moving. Whatever your primary interest—whether it’s accessibility, front-end design or user research—there’s a UX blog for you. So, how can you know which of blogs or news sources are worth exploring? Not to fear, we’ve done our own research and think that these 19 UX blogs are where it’s at.
Minds behind it: Fabricio Texeira, Design Director for Work & Co; Caio Braga, Product Design Lead at 99designs
What you’ll find: Thoughtful essays on all aspects of UX, case studies, design insight
Recommended for: UX pros and fans of the genre, information architects, visual designers
With engaging writing and a well-curated daily selection of articles, UX Collective is definitely a place to cruise with your morning coffee. You’ll find light articles like “Changing diapers and the UX revelation that came with it” but also meatier content like “Human error: An important ingredient in great designs.” This is also a resource for visual designers who want to mesh with the technical side to create truly great user experiences.
Minds behind it: The Google accessibility team
What you’ll find: All you need to know to make your site accessible on an ongoing basis
Recommended for: Usability and accessibility champions, developers
Weirdly, a lot of UX blogs don’t have regular articles about accessibility, but it’s at the forefront of what’s important in website creation today. If you’re not considering accessibility with your site or app, it’s time to get on this train. Google’s famous flair for comprehensiveness includes serving on standards committees and keeping developers up to date on what they need to know, use and do to ensure their sites are accessible. And it’s all brought to bear in this blog. This is a must-follow for everyone in this space.
Minds behind it: Recruiters for top digital agencies and major corporations
What you’ll find: UX career advice from real recruiters, job listings
Recommended for: Interaction, visual and experience designers; user researchers and strategists
This UX blog is a must if you’re looking for a job or just want to remain knowledgeable about the current marketplace. The site also offers plenty of free, interesting articles about building a portfolio, career progression, how to look for UX jobs and more. To connect with recruiters, you must join UXswitch through LinkedIn—it’s free and the listings area is quite active.
Minds behind it: Specialists in human-computer interaction
What you’ll find: A wide variety of best practices and tips on the fine details of good UX design
Recommended for: Practitioners and students of the genre
How should you design a Cancel button? Why is it so hard to ask for birthdate information in a form? How should you request input for form fields? The topics here may not sound sexy, but they are absolutely the stuff of good (and bad) user experiences. These posts generate opinions and debate, of course, but that can contribute to overall domain knowledge as well.
Minds behind it: In-the-trenches practitioners, both corporate and freelance, from all over the world
What you’ll find: Tips, a bit of theory, case studies in good UX, career advice
Recommended for: Those in the trenches (novice to intermediate) making websites
UX Planet is a publication on Medium, so the site is nice and clean. You’ll find articles on theory and practice in the areas of user research, front- and back-end dev, visual design and more, all with a focus on their practical application in creating good user experience. Interesting articles cover the current state of user research, making a career change into UX and the psychology principles UX professionals should know. There are also loads of best practices guides for nearly every aspect of site creation. UX Planet also includes articles in Spanish and Arabic.
Minds behind it: UX and content strategists
What you’ll find: Beginner’s guides, tips, practical advice
Recommended for: Those getting started in UX, those obsessed with all things content
A well-designed site with clear arrangement of topics, UX Booth styles itself as a place for “beginning-to-intermediate user experience and interaction designers.” As such, it has a handy “Complete Beginner’s Guide” for most of its topic areas, including analytics, IA, research, interaction design and content strategy. It also offers practical tips as well as advice on building your career in a UX field.
Minds behind it: Information architects, digital strategy managers, UX leads
What you’ll find: Articles on user psychology, organizational psychology, the role of design and more
Recommended for: User experience champions, managers, creative and tech leads
Before UX had moved into the wider consciousness, there was Boxes and Arrows and its formidable stable of information architecture and UX design pros. Around since 2001, Boxes and Arrows has always understood that good design and development are about good process on the back end and respect for the user on the front end. Nerd out on topics like “Card Sorting: A Definitive Guide,” “The Cult of User Personae” and “Somewhere Between Vulnerability and Design Thinking.”
Minds behind it: Designers, coders, content strategists, engineers, UX professionals
What you’ll find: Nitty-gritty articles on IA, usability, coding and design, plus big-think pieces on process and the effects of tech on business and our species
Recommended for: Creators of interactions, experiences, processes
A UX blog that is not afraid to take on hard topics, A List Apart started as a mailing list in 1997. Its contributors were early champions of accessibility and web standards; their expertise in these areas continues to this day. It also concerns itself with how the current web landscape is affecting us as humans and as societies—and how design and business models can change (or not change) that. As with Boxes and Arrows, the archives make for interesting reading because you can track the development of the web and its design over time.
Minds behind it: High-level UX professionals and academics
What you’ll find: Think pieces, book reviews, practical advice and tutorials
Recommended for: Digital product developers in corporate/enterprise environments
This blog features thoughtful writing on the actual human interaction aspects of web dev and design. Sharp perspectives on communication, development/design process and how we humans actually use websites (in everyday life, to do seemingly mundane things) will add some serious smarts to your UX toolbox. For example, articles have covered how to design for the fact that people don’t really read instructions and how the life-insurance industry needs to radically shift its thinking about customer engagement.
Minds behind it: The designers and engineers at UXPin
What you’ll find: Excellent news-you-can-use blog, free publications, UI element kits
Recommmended for: UX professionals—practicing and aspiring—who want seriously applicable knowledge
UXPin is an end-to-end product design collaboration platform, but it also serves up relevant blog posts on UX topics and has an incredible library of resources, all free for the downloading! The blog covers prototyping, accessibility, process, design systems and more. The tagline for the site’s freebies library is “UX Design Knowledge. Shared.” And boy, does it deliver on that, with a boatload of UI elements and publications. Titles include “The Building Blocks of Visual Hierarchy,” “Content Wireframing for Responsive Design,” “Developing UI Mockups Developers Won’t Hate” and so many more. Make some time because you’re going to want a bunch of them.
Minds behind it: Behavioral scientist Susan Weinschenk, PhD
What you’ll find: Serious information on behavioral science
Recommended for: User research nerds, designers, managers and team leaders in customer journey mapping
Between podcasts and written posts, The Team W blog serves up research-backed information that, simply put, will make UX professionals better at what they do. With a PhD in psychology, Susan Weinschenk is an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin and a consultant for companies from startup to Fortune 1000. She has authored many books, including How to Get People to Do Stuff and 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People. Podcast topics have included Designing Usable Chatbots and A Rant About User Research. It’s good, smart stuff.
Minds behind it: To name a few, Leonardo Losoviz (creator of PoP) and brilliant designer Veerle Pieters
What you’ll find: Tips and tricks
Recommended for: Developers and designers who love the latest and greatest
Tutorials, CMS walk-throughs and tips galore are Smashing’s highlights. This is the place if you’re looking to quickly add to your bag of coding tricks—say, learn to align things in CSS—or even do something a little more complicated, like create a VR game. Plus, Smashing is a great resource for free design tutorials in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, high-quality textures and beautifully designed calendars, with new ones released each month.
Minds behind it: Product and visual designers, managers
What you’ll find: Great tips, interviews and smart takes on big topics from those in the know
Recommended for: UX designers on all sides, team leaders
This site, from the makers of InVision (a digital product design platform) is chock-full of quality tips, inspiration and news from the worlds of UX and digital product design. You’ll find articles like “What’s a Progressive Web App and Why Should Designers Care?” and “Building Your Design Operations Team.” Rounding out the offerings are loads of helpful resources and insightful interviews, in both podcast and video form, with leaders in the field.
Minds behind it: Jason Mifsud, a usability/UX expert with deep academic roots
What you’ll find: Articles bridging theory and practice
Recommended for: User research leads, information architects, UX professionals
This blog was started way back in 2011, when usability was still not on as many radars as it needed to be. You’ll get actionable tips on things like how to write a good usability testing script and guerrilla testing. Additionally, you’ll find essential knowledge on the difference between UX and usability, decontextualized testing and other fundamentals of good process in experience and interaction design.
Minds behind it: Future media group, publishers of Web Designer, Computer Arts, 3D Arts and other magazines
What you’ll find: Product reviews, design inspiration, design and tech tutorials
Recommended for: Designers, digital artists and UX professionals who lean toward the visual
CreativeBloq bubbles with great tips, a bit of fun, buying guides and coverage of the latest and greatest tools. UX professionals (especially those who focus on visual design) will find plenty to keep them reading, including articles on trends, theory, practice and resources. It also covers some essential ground, like how to create good user flows, and provides much-needed doses of funny (“5 Design Student Stereotypes to Avoid”).
Minds behind it: UX and visual designers as well as managers
What you’ll find: “Daily curated design knowledge”
Recommended for: Designers who don’t necessarily code
This site has both a blog and newsfeed component. Recent articles on the blog include “When Your Design System Fails,” “The Power of ‘I Don’t Know’ in Product Design,” and “Designing Adobe’s Brand Illustration Style,” all by expert practitioners. The newsfeed pulls in stories from UX Collective, Hackernoon, Nielsen Norman Group and other reliable sources (even GitHub). You’ll find plenty of variety, with topics running the gamut from how to handle privacy through design to variable fonts.
The minds behind it: Coders, web developers, front-end designers
What you’ll find: CSS and WordPress tutorials, roundups and listicles
Recommended for: Developers and designers
This site offers some interesting takes on the usual topics, such as WordPress 404 pages and design debt. Around since 2009, the site is still written by “the community it serves: designers, developers, producers, web professionals and other assorted specialists.” Many of the articles are only tangentially related to UX, but those offer actionable advice on things like creating high-conversion landing pages and designing good contact forms.
The minds behind it: UX professionals and people who make stuff and give it away for free
What you’ll find: Lists, tips, tutorials and free icon packs
Recommended for: Tip junkies, people who like free stuff
This site features snack-size articles on tech tricks and trends along with loads of free icon packs and other design resources. Start your day with a quick tutorial on WordPress, Dreamweaver or app building and have a new skill by lunchtime.
Minds behind it: Noupe is owned by JotForm, which was founded by Aytetin Tank, a startup guy and the popular author and editor behind the Medium publication The Startup
What you’ll find: Tutorials by the bucket load
Recommended for: Small businesses running their own sites, freelance developers
Though not strictly UX focused, Noupe provides a little of this and a little of that, with some good guides to the fundamentals. Those starting their own businesses or running small-business websites will find this site helpful for its focus on WordPress themes and plug-ins, branding and other essentials.
As a UX designer, getting your leadership to support your major projects can be as much about talking the talk as it is about walking the walk. As much value as your work may provide, you also have to know how to sell it in a world of competing priorities and looming deadlines.
Even as UX design and user research are becoming a more prominent focus in today’s leading companies, it can still be tough to get executive leadership onboard with user research-related initiatives. We know the struggle.
This post originally appeared on UsabilityGeek.
This post was written and contributed by Alex Birkett of Hubspot.
Understanding the steps users take as they interact with your brand and how they feel along the way is crucial to managing in today’s digital experience landscape. A customer journey mapping tool gives you the ability to put yourself in a customer’s shoes and see what the end-to-end experience is like. By visually representing this process, you can begin to understand which of your company’s touchpoints bring joy and which cause frustration for the customer.
We all know that user feedback is important, that goes without saying. It should be the primary source of information you look to if you’d like to improve your user’s experience and your product itself.
Sometimes it feels like apps, tools, and services we use are an extension of the work that we do. That’s especially true if you work in UX, product management, or any sort of design. UX tools do a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to user research and design.
This post originally appeared on Design Thinking and was written by Paulina Wójciak and Sarah Cantu.
This post was written by Qualaroo team member Sarah Cantu.