CX Insights

The Best UX Articles of April 2015

Best UX articles of April
5 min read

We’re a third of the way through the year already; a year that seemed to have only started yesterday. In hindsight, that’s rather depressing thought… lets take our mind elsewhere and into the amazing world of UX!

With so much quality content out there, we take one more look back at April 2015. We’ve compiled the 5 best articles from April 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:

  • Get on the road to becoming a UX leader
  • Learn where you’ve been going wrong with statistics
  • Check out Ryanair’s terribly dark UX patterns
  • Learn how UX Myths that you thought were true, aren’t
  • See how ESPN doesn’t believe the homepage is dead

In no particular order:

1. Don’t tell ESPN the homepage is dead


Don’t tell ESPN the homepage is dead by Ricardo Bilton, published on Digiday.

  • “Much of the new ESPN.com is designed around that idea of making the site a destination — and to keep people sticking around.”

Due to social media’s total domination of content linking, many would call the traditional homepage dead. Our users no longer visit our main domain to find their content, they find it through curations elsewhere – from their twitter followers or facebook friends.

Yet for ESPN, this trend is irrelevant. Their bold move shows trust in the traditional browsing pattern – building a website centered around one page, the homepage.

Ricardo does a great job of telling us just why this isn’t as bold a move you may at first think.

2. 9 UX Myths that you thought were true but are not

9 UX Myths that you thought were true but are not by Michael Georgiou, published on Usability Geek

  • “It looks easy doesn’t it – earning profits simply by enhancing the user experience? The reality is, great UX doesn’t come easy. Things also get difficult because there are plenty of UX myths going around, which hamper the creation of a highly satisfying, extremely user-oriented UX. So, the first thing you must do is identify these myths and ensure you don’t believe them.”

UX is famous for being hard to define and difficult to fully understand. This lack of firm knowledge is dangerous, as it harbours presumptions. Presumptions which are all too easily warped towards the realm of myth.

The danger of myths are that they may dissuade people by believing something is what it isn’t. To this end, myths must be dispelled to ensure everything is in the open. This is where Michael’s article comes in.

Describing 9 common misconceptions with UX, he details the real truths behind them. Truths which may help you persuade your superiors of the true importance of your position.

3. Three things every tech startup should know about statistics

Three things every tech startup should know about statistics by Pim Bellinga published on I hate statistics.

  • “Analytics, A/B-testing: every tech startup is doing it (or at least know they should). But going at it without understanding statistics can be dangerous and counter-productive.”

With everyone jumping on the “big data” bandwagon, you’d be forgiven for thinking every start-up going hosts it’s own crew of data scientists. Eagerly hacking away at tidbits of their data in order to produce the next great discovery.

It is no different for us UXers. We come for a variety of fields – from psychology, visual design, computer science, and elsewhere. Some of us now the significance of a p value, the rest of us just about know the value of peas in a supermarket.

As big data only gets bigger, and as our field only becomes more data centric, this article is an invaluable intro to common mistakes we undoubtedly (and unwillingly) make. check it out and you may just learn something..!

4. A Case Of Bad User Experience: Ryanair

A Case of Bad User Experience : Ryanair by Simone Gobbo, published on simonegobbo.co.uk.

  • “I won’t say that this is a scam. There is a clear disclaimer that explains how to NOT stipulate the insurance. I am just saying that the user experience is not optimal. ”

Dark UX is a plague on the industry, it taints our profession and leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Yet dark UX is not only inevitable, but essential.

So much of what we do is focused on putting the customer first, ensuring their experiences are golden. If we UXers were solely in charge, I’m sure they would be. However, when marketing gets involved – when CEOs get involved – our work gets skewed. Skewed towards not doing what is best for the customer, but what is most cost-effective for the company.

Simone has picked up a classic example of this on a site where you would expect nothing less. See Dark UX pattern in practice on one of the shadiest of shady websites…

5. How To Become a UX Leader

How To Become a UX Leader by Robert Hoekman Jr published on Smashing Magazine.

  • “No matter your status or situation, whether director or loner, you are in a position to lead, to raise the bar in a place where it consistently sits lower than you think it should.”

We all have aspirations to be great UXers, to lead teams to great creations. We’re all on the ladder there somewhere – whether it be at the top or the bottom.

At some point we all have to lead, we all have to understand the team around us and work as a cohesive unit. It is only then we can perform to the best of our abilities.

I know from experience being a leader doesn’t come easy. Some people are harder work than others, and life is wholly different to being a one-man-team.

Robert’s excellent article is arguably the pick of the month, as he details his experiences to teach us what it takes to be a UX leader, or a leader anywhere.

Oliver McGough
Passionate UX Designer and Marketer.