CX Insights

The Best UX Articles of May 2015

Best UX articles of May
5 min read

Summer’s here! You’re probably all outside, kickstarting that tan – unless you’re with us here in Amsterdam of course… With the sun shining it’s harder than ever to keep up with the wonderful world of UX.

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

  • Question whether UX is a Process or a Task?
  • Learn some design tips from one of the founding fathers of UX
  • Take note of the 10 commandments of form design
  • See how time perception impacts interaction design
  • Check out an excellent usability review of Spotify

In no particular order:

1. UX: A Process or a Task?

UX: A Process or a Task? by Marli Mesibov, published on UX Booth.

  • “For some, UX is associated with process, rather than a specific job or activity. The “UX process” is the steps taken by a design team in order to create… something. For others, UX is a job, or a responsibility that feeds into many jobs, or perhaps it’s just a fancy word for “design.”

UX often sits in an uncomfortable place., as is perhaps inevitable with all industry buzzwords. Hiring managers are told they need some ‘UX’, but are not entirely sure what UX is in the first place. I mean, do we even completely understand what UX relates to ourselves?

This leaves the industry in an interesting position. There are a plethora of UX roles on the market currently, but as we delve into their requirements we find a huge disparity in the roles they encompass. This leads us to ask that questions again – so we understand what UX is ourselves?

Marli’s great article delves into this, asking whether UX is a process or a task. Are we simply designers, or full on product managers? A worthy read.

2. 18 Design tips from Don Norman

18 Design tips from Don Norman by Wendy Soon, published on Virtual Workspace.

  • “We were extremely honored to have one of the world’s most renowned designers, Don Norman, at our grand year end Igniters meetup!”

It’s not often that you get to pick up some lessons from one of the grandfathers of UX. A simple article detailing words of wisdom from Don Norman himself.

This article doesn’t need much introduction – just go in and learn 18 design tips from the man himself.

3. The 10 Commandments of Good Form Design on the Web

The 10 Commandments of Good Form Design on the Web by Johan Ronsse published on Mono.

  • “There is a trend in web design to show form labels only when a field is focussed. This can be cool on a simple form like a username/password form, but for anything longer it is probably a bad idea.”

The scope of this article is simple: Johan presents 10 essential rules to follow when designing forms. These truly are 10 commandments, deserving a stone-etched carving some place.

Presented in beautiful gifs, the article is an experience in itself. The message is what matters however and the learnings within it are essential. This is a must-read – and a must-save – for any UX designer just to ensure you never forget those cardinal rules.

4. How Time Perception Impacts Interaction Design

How Time Perception Impacts Interaction Design by Jerry Cao, published on Designmodo.

  • “How can you use time to your advantage in interaction design? Is it even controllable?
    The elements of timing can be difficult to describe, but we all feel them, from the annoyance of waiting for something to load, to the exhilaration of breezing through page after page.”

Personally, I’m a huge fan of psychology in UX design – manipulating our users with their own minds. Some may think it deceptive, but it really is the essence of user experience. A great experience boils down to our perception, our thought processes.

Time perception is one of these many thought processes – time can last a mere minutes at home gaming, or whole hours at work.

Jerry’s article is great at showing us how we can use this manipulation of time to our advantage!

Ebook download – Idiot Buttons: The Placebo in UX Design

5. I Love You, Spotify … Now Change – A web app review in the form of a guerrilla usability test

I Love You, Spotify … Now Change – A web app review in the form of a guerrilla usability test by Lin Wang published on UX Magazine.

  • “I’m a big indie music fan and Spotify provides my daily soundtrack. I use it happily all the time, but, as with any great product, there’s still room for improvement. As a quick usability test revealed, people run into critical issues using some Spotify features.”

Spotify provides one of the best experiences out there – I must admit a personal love for their mobile application. Yet even the best have their pitfalls.

Lin’s article – her UX review – is extremely refreshing. As far as I know, there is no corporate mandate. It’s a simple usability review of a frequently used application – uncovering pitfalls and mistakes. An honest review from the audience that matters most to Spotify, a user.

I’m sure this review is invaluable for Spotify themselves, but for us it provides excellent insight into how a usability review should be performed and picks out insights we otherwise wouldn’t have realised.

Oliver McGough
Passionate UX Designer and Marketer.