Top 10 User Experience Resources You Should Check Out
If you have an online business, then you know how important your online presence is. Unlike small business owners of old, your website is your storefront.
You need your website to look good, and work flawlessly. And you know that your website’s user experience is one of the most important aspects of your customer’s journey.
User experience (UX) is a conceptual design discipline and some of its basic elements, such as a focus on usability and clear communication, are timeless. But people and the technology they interact with are always evolving. That means UX is evolving along with them.
As a business person, you know it isn’t necessarily feasible to constantly redesign your website whenever some new trend in web design becomes popular. However, like the business it drives, your website should be always evolving. Understanding current UX design principles can give you insights that will help when it is time for the next redesign.
The following list of sites are blogs and industry publications that have gained reputations for being among the leaders in UX design, many with a focus on web usability. Keeping some or all of these Web publications on your reading list is a great way to learn more and stay current with UX and Web usability.
1. A List Apart
A List Apart began as a mailing list in 1997 then a web magazine in 1998 to help propagate the then-new field of web design and usability. Since then it has become one of the leading publications for web professionals and a source of knowledge and an early champion of web standards.
With a focus on encouraging good design and usability practices, A List Apart has become one of the Internet’s most authoritative voices on the trends and evolving best practices in web design.
2. Boxes and Arrows
Since their debut in 2001, Boxes and Arrows is another early proponent of web design and usability with a special emphasis on information architecture. In their words, their peer-published articles are for web UX professionals “who want to provoke thinking, push limits, and teach a few things along the way.”
If you’re interested not just in web usability, but also in content strategy for your online business’ website, Boxes and Arrows is a good blog to follow for ideas and tips from the professionals who organize and create the web we all use.
3. Smashing Magazine
Beginning in 2006, Smashing Magazine was another early pioneer in bringing together web designers and developers interested in creating and defining best practices around web usability. Since then, they’ve expanded into book and video publishing in an effort to create resources for web designers.
Smashing Magazine’s UX Design blog is a must-read not just for understanding current trends and thoughts on web and mobile usability, but also for real, hands-on tips on how to improve the UX of your own website.
4. UX Booth
Starting in November 2008, UX Booth has focused on one thing: spreading knowledge about online usability to web professionals from a variety of backgrounds. Because UX Booth is dedicated to UX information for those of us who aren’t necessarily experts in web development, it’s a great blog to follow whether you’re a web designer, a content marketing specialist or a digital advertiser.
For online business owners and managers, their Business Strategy blog is a particularly useful trade journal that highlights the important of UX to a lot more than just your website’s navigation menu.
5. Usability Geek
The UX blog Usability Geek was created by Justin Mifsud in 2011 to “bridge theory and academic research with practical and personal recommendations on how one can improve website usability.” With this in mind, it makes a great read for those interested in UX and web usability.
Considering its roots in web usability, Usability Geek can be a good place to get ideas or information for improving the UX of your website.
6. UX Matters
UX Matters is dedicated to discussing user experience since 2005. Created by Silicon Valley UX expert Pabini Gabriel-Petit, it’s become one of the leading online journals for user experience.
UX Matters focuses more on general user experience topics, but it’s still a rich source of information about usability testing and designing user interfaces.
7. Nielsen Norman Group
The Nielsen Norman Group is a UX consulting firm known for their analyses of the user interfaces in products like software applications, websites, mobile devices and mobile apps.
Their blog has a wealth of practical knowledge gained from real-world research into the way people interact with objects. You can find actionable, science-based advice to apply to your own site by reading their Web Usability topic.
Based in London, Webcredible is a UX and customer experience agency known for their research and training programs. Their blog is a great source of ideas and information revolving around UX design.
Amsterdam-based Usabilla offers SaaS products focused around gathering and measuring customer feedback. Their foundation statement affirms their belief that “continuous user feedback is the key to any successful website, product or service.”
Users and customers are at the heart of understanding how to optimize the usability and UX of your website, mobile app or email campaign. Usabilla’s blog focuses on the gathering of the feedback that helps you understand what improvements to make.
Our final mention is the US government’s Usability.gov blog and website. This is a critical resource for understanding how to design your online products with accessibility in mind. While incorporating accessibility for disabled users into the website of your online business may not need to meet stringent requirements like government websites do, it still makes good sense to ensure all your potential customers have the best user experience possible.