CX Insights

The Best UX Articles of July 2014

5 min read

With the baking summer sun outside, there are many places we’d rather be that cooped up in the office. No wonder then if you’ve struggled to keep up with the endless swathes of UX content.

With so much quality content out there, we take one more look back at July 2014. We’ve compiled the 5 best articles from July 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 UX can impact a company’s financial performance
  • See a step-by-step guide to creating effective user journey maps
  • Check out some great Google Analytics tips for UX research
  • Learn why over-reliance on responsive design could be losing you visitors
  • See what design thinking is in practice

In no particular order:

1. How UX Impacts a Company’s Financial Performance

How UX Impacts a Company’s Financial Performance by AG Staff, published on The American Genius.

  • “Take a moment with the story of the UX Fund, a year-long experiment in 2006 that inevitably comes up when the UX crowd talks about the value and importance of great user experience design.

    The premise behind the UX Fund experiment is simple: companies that deliver a great user experience will see it reflected in their stock price.”

Teehan + Lax setup their own ‘UX Fund’ with the aim of proving investement in UX would generate positive results. This UX Fund consists of companies showing interest in, and investing within the UX field. Shares were bought in the major companies thought to show the most investment in UX in order to discover how UX relates to financial performance.

It has been 8 years since this fund was first created, and it has produced some great results that the UX community can rightly be proud of.

Read on to learn just how UX correlates with a company’s financial performance in this real, long running test.

2. Google Analytics Tips for UX Research

Google Analytics Tips for UX Research by Chris Myhill, published on Speckyboy Design Magazine.

  • “Google Analytics has continually evolved since it was originally released, and now offers a mind-boggling amount of information about your site visitors. This is a double-edged sword though, as one of the most common mistakes I see analysts making is getting lost in a labyrinth of data without any kind of clear goal or direction.”

Analytics form a major backbone to UX, analysing user data and interpreting their actions. Without a good grounding in analytics, we’re more than likely going to become stuck somewhere along the line.

Don’t be put off by the relatively bland title. Chris puts together an excellent list of helpful tips helping to increase your understanding of Google Analytics, and improve your use of it. Not limited to Google Analytics in particular, these helpful hints can help anyone aiming to use analytics improve their understanding of users.

3. You May Be Losing Users If Responsive Web Design Is Your Only Mobile Strategy

You May Be Losing Users If Responsive Web Design Is Your Only Mobile Strategy by Maximilliano Firtman published on Smashing Magazine.

  • “You resize the browser and a smile creeps over your face. You’re happy: You think you are now mobile-friendly, that you have achieved your goals for the website.

    Let me be a bit forward before getting into the discussion: You are losing users and probably money if responsive web design is your entire goal and your only solution for mobile. The good news is that you can do it right.”

Responsive Design has been heralded as the great web saviour these past two years. Helping to blur the line between the mobile and desktop web that has crept up ever since the rise of the Smartphone.

This supposed infallible technique is seeing wide adoption. Yet, Maximilliano stops you in your tracks. Responsive design isn’t the great saviour of mobile web design everyone claims it is. At least, not if it is your sole reliance.

The great article brings in some fresh ideas about Responsive Design which we all too often forget when caught up on its bandwagon.

4. A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Effective User Journey Maps

A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Effective User Journey Maps by Armen Ghazarian, published on Web Design Views.

  • “In a world where you can reach your customers in so many different ways, how can you ensure consistently high levels of user experience across all of those channels?

    That’s a really daunting task. It requires a smooth and effective communication between multiple departments and a clear strategy. Fortunately, we have UX to bridge the gap between the needs of both product development and marketing teams, while also designing a delightful experience for the end users.”

Learning new UX techniques is something we can never go amiss on. Adding more tools to that arsenal of ours just makes us more effective; only makes us better UX designers!

User Journeys are a key component of that arsenal. If you don’t have it, you’re missing out. If you haven’t mastered it, you’re missing out. Hence, this article is gold dust.

Armen’s detailed guide to User Journey Maps ensures the new can learn, and the learned can improve. With nice examples thrown in, this is a must read.

5. Which Layout? Static, Liquid, Adaptive, or Responsive

Which Layout? Static, Liquid, Adaptive, or Responsive by Nick Pettit, published on The Treehouse Blog.

  • When discussing a page layout, web designers will often use terms like fixed, static, liquid, adaptive, responsive, and a few others. If you’re a web designer, a web developer, or even a project stakeholder or client, it’s important to understand what these terms mean and when each type of layout should be utilized

Responsive design crops up again, and this is another article that challenges its status as the be-all and end-all.

Alongside Responsive and the historically Static design, we have liquid and Adaptive layouts. Each holds its own strengths, weaknesses, and niche in the online world. So when do we use which?

Nick Evaluates each, and provides excellent Codepen examples to view. The examples especially brilliantly convey exactly what each design consists of so we may see those differences alongside one another.

Oliver McGough
Passionate UX Designer and Marketer.