Hi guys! Lately, the ux design field increased seamingly and its popularity on the internet went only up, but in this large expanse of sources and publications- there are a few that stand out quite a lot! In lieu of the same, here is a list of our favorite UX Blogs that you must check out. Enjoy!
1. Interaction Design Foundation
Interaction design is especially useful, because it is so much more than just a blog. In addition to well written and eloquent blog posts, this website allows audiences to sign up for multiple online courses and webinars, that teach you even more about the ux design world.
Even better is that you can do all this at your own pace, without ever missing a deadline or being late for a class. If that wasn’t enough, they are currently doing research regarding a more human-centered approach to problem solving. Also they aim towards creating products that enable users to achieve objectives in the best way possible.
Although this website does offer extremely handy blog articles about certain “How to”s of UX design, what is even more attractive is the websites ‘study guides’. These allow audiences to gain more wisdom about what the UX world offers to them. and the other way around.
Even if you are someone that does not particularly enjoy reading, you don’t need to worry about it, since nngroup also offers video posts about popular UX topics. Nngroup is also extremely helpful when it comes to user testing, and has hordes of research and information regarding users, which can prove highly useful to projects that you work on!
Usabilitygeek aims their blog posts towards a niche of UX design: usability. Their topics range from inclusion in terms of UX, to comparisons between new technology and old and also to articles that are aimed towards helping you make the most of the tools you have. All for increasing the usability of your site.
Another advantage to this site is of course the fact that it offers discounts to online ux courses!
Based on Medium’s platform, ux collective offers hooking articles, and has 416k followers to show it. It tackles a list of article topics ranging from comparisons between two different design tools, to editorial style articles such as motherhood and design.
For instance, they have a tremendously beneficial article regarding forms, design systems and how designers can make the most of buttons. Another element that they do really well is the graphics and images that go along with their blogs, always offering eye-capturing gifs and images to attract you to the articles.
Connect with large audiences with similar interests
Main Focus – aesthetics and usability
5. UX Movement
Uxmovement contains a vast variety of articles, and conveniently divides them up into certain subheadings such as “wireframes” or “thinking” that allow you to find the perfect article for you, in a short amount of time.
Additionally, this website offers all sorts of topics that raiders can debate upon, such as “Actionable Vs. Unactionable: Which are you getting?”, and readers can have a discussion in the comment section to understand different perspectives.
Flagship service – Tackles a wide expanse of topics
Main advantage – Debate spaces where you learn to argument your decisions
Topics – Wide variety
6. Just In Mind
Just in mind takes on a more hands-on approach to UX UI design, and provides a variety of tools and prototyping tools to help get started on any project.
This blog also offers several examples of features, designs, and websites/applications that you can use as inspiration for your creations. Making their brand increasingly convenient, justinmind also has a mobile application that you can download!
Uxbooth is an especially useful corner of the internet that discusses a large range of topics, even those that may not be directly related to designing, such as helping audiences with the more business related elements of the UX field. Their team, made up of field experts, also offers regular newsletters to readers, so that you never miss out on a trend!
Helpful even when it comes to understanding the more business and financial side of the field
Stay in touch through newsletters
8. Ux Design Institute
A great website that provide professional courses that allow beginners to earn a diploma regarding UX/UI design, all while sitting in the comfort of their house.
There are a variety of academic courses to join, that range from specialist courses to professional certificates, to shorter 6 week courses. Which means that they have a course for just about anyone that has an interest in learning UX design. The highly rated reviews on their website, from over 500 users, are proof of their expertise and high quality work.
Prices range from 950 Euros (for six week courses) to 1,850 Euros (for fully professional, 3 month courses)
2,750 Euros for a 6 month, professional diploma in UX design
Online and self paced
9. UX Mastery
This amazing blog, which partners with the Interaction design foundation, is the place you can go to for anything you are interested in. Learning about recent trends in design, reading more about research in particular, or just finding a space to connect to others that have similar interests.
With the help of editorial pieces, articles on a vast list of topics, and a chance to join diverse learning communities, ux mastery becomes the go-to for anything you could need!
The last entry to our list defines itself as the “one stop resource for everything related to user experience”, and it’s impossible to disagree. With individual resources for professionals and beginners, this blog proves to be exceedingly beneficial for anyone interested in UX design, regardless of their expertise.
It also consists of different “episodes”, led by specialists, that users can subscribe to in order to stay up to date, and learn more specifically about art and the purpose of popular art pieces.
Guys, as you probably know reading ux blogs helps you pave the way in this amazing field, but practicing with trial and error is the most important aspect when it comes to shaping strong skills in any field not just user experience design. Staying up to date with latest updates, trends and best practices in ux/ui design industry is a must, that’s why we’ve outlined blogs that we believe are assets for your toolbelt!
Which one is your personal favourite? Or, do you think we missed out on any hidden gems? Let us know by writing at [email protected]
Hello designers! In this guide I will walk you through every step that will get you closer on becoming a ux designer. There’s no better time than now to begin learning ux design. After all, LinkedIn ranked it as one of the top 5 in demand jobs skills of 2020, with more and more job opportunities expected to open up each year.
This is a complete guide, that’s why I recommend you to grab a cup of coffee and take notes. I know that you probably feel overwhelmed by the amount of information that is out there and you probably don’t know where to begin, that’s why I’ve curated a list of ux learning resources and some useful tips that I have learned over the years. Here’s a short note before diving in:
Just start out! Take it easy and don’t panic, you don’t have to know it all.
Fun fact is there are no shortcuts or any secret sauce that propulsates you quicker than anybody else. You’ll have to be dauntless when you begin this wonderful journey, curious and seek new challenging projects that throws you into the unknown, and that’s how you grow.
It takes a lot of practice, patience and the most important key – your passion. Projects come and go, you will fail some and win many others. Dealing with criticism is another key aspect, but you will learn it the hard way. Hope not.
I know that most of you have their own fears and that’s okay, we’re all human after all. Here are some common ones I have faced with and I know many of you resonates with me:
Nobody will hire me because I have no experience.
Why choose me? There are plenty of designers out there, better than me.
What if I’m not good enough?
I don’t have an affinity for this area.
You will find the answer of each one, reading this article.
Due to the popularity of learning ux design, there are countless different methods of instruction available for students to use:
Tools to Master
With all of this available, it can be challenging to know the best method of how to learn ux design. We’ll take a closer look at some handy resources, here:
Get a UX Certificate
I think this is the most powerful way for you to get credibility in the eyes of employers. Usually a certified course takes a few weeks at least, and requires an extra effort because you have to pass exams for each chapter and finally you will receive your ux certificate. It requires you to invest time, energy and money, but this is the best investment you can do for yourself.
The only bootcamp that I strongly recommend is IronHack. Here you will learn about design thinking, ux, research, how to master Figma, and many others. It has many good reviews and It takes up to 9 weeks full time or 24 weeks part time without any previous IT background.
Don Norman’s – The Design of Everyday Things
Steve Krug’s – Don’t make me think
Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden – Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience
William Lidwell’s – Universal Principles of Design
Joel Marsh’s – UX for Beginners: A Crash Course in 100 Short Lessons
Many designers choose to learn from youtube because it’s free and accessible. These youtube channels are the best in my opinion because they are made up with teams of certified professionals who practice and teach people as a daily basis.
1. The Futur
2. UX Mastery
3. NN Group
4. Human Factors International
A very useful way to absorb valuable information is through workshops. The guys from Dribbble host some cool ones on their learning page. They are quite expensive, but you got the chance to interact and study from your favourites design leaders in the world.
You probably heard about this one too. If you want to see live experts in action, this is definitely a good choice. Type ux in the search bar and you get tons of results. Starting from ux fundamentals to user testing and ideating.
Beside the fact that awwwards is being an authority in the design field for many years, here you can find ui inspiration, design articles and of course amazing ux/ui design workshops. They also provide videos on how to animate your ui elements and create amazing presentations, so it is good also for ui part.
Tools to Master
There are many great tools made by talented people and I apologize if I’m not mentioning some of them here, but I have chosen to work with these ones and in time I get used to them. I will strongly recommend to you guys the following:
1. UX Pin
A very good tool that allows you to create simple and complex use cases based on a high fidelity prototyping. They’re providing a native design system / language all vector based, so you can scale every component without losing its quality. You can collaborate with other team members. It is very complex and easy to use.
An enterprise software that allows you to prototype like a pro. It has very cool interaction attributes like conditions, triggers and actions in order for you to build amazing products.
A complex tool that allows you write, plan and collaborate with your team. It’s very cool overall, I am using it for two years now and it helps me get things organized and be much more productve. It’s browser based, so it accessible for everybody.
Browser based app that enables you to wireframe any idea. Helps you avoid any situation where your design get rejected. I think any designer should start ideating using wireframes.
This one’s got a lot of attention lately. It is an online tool for collaboration between teams. From scenario mapping, strategy, planning to brainstorming and ideation, this tool embodies the right amount of what you need. I strongly recommend it.
6. Survey Monkey
This app helps you make your research by creating surveys that enables you to collect data about your prospects and existing users. We all know how important this aspect is in ux design.
2. UI Design
Now, that you have a clear understanding of what ux design is, you won’t be able to go further with the ideating part of a project if you don’t know how to handle the art of ui design. But what exactly is ui design, and how is it different from UX design?
User Interface Design (ui design) is a subsection of User Experience Design (ux design). While UX is focused on the user’s overall experience, with a complex process that begins with stages like empathy, research and defining the problem, ui deals with structure and appearance, basic the actual interface that users interact with it.
UI without UX is like beauty without brains
Both UI and UX design elements interact with each other in order to create a positive experience for users.
You’ll have to embrace every stage of the process, because each one of them, is equal important no matter what the order is. You will have to gain insights and learn about the people you’re designing for, in order for you to be able to offer them a solution to their problem.
So, How Do You Learn User Interface Design? First of All You Have to Learn to Observe Good Design.
How do you notice good design if you don’t have experience? My suggestion is to visit online communities websites like dribbble, behance, awwwards and pay attention to shots from the best designers in the industry. Try and do this as a daily basis.
If you take a look at any designer’s work, start from bottom to top. You will see that their first shots are not as creative as their latest ones, but with persistence, work and dedication their work become better. This is not going to happen over night, but you will get there, if you work hard and smart.
There are countless visual and structural elements that professional designers use in ui design in 2021. Some of the key features include:
All of these UI design elements need to come together to create one cohesive image. No single design element exists in a vacuum separate from other design choices when it comes to ui design. By learning the essentials of UI design and understanding aesthetic design, it’s easy to build up strong ui skills.
Master UI Design Tools
Creating the actual visual output, requires for you to study the basic fundamentals of these tools. My favourite ones are Figma, XD and Sketch.
For optimizing your design environment I encourage you to explore some ui kits, see how they’re done, maybe create your own, so you can reuse it on multiple projects. You have to find the best practices that make your life easier, that’s why you should learn how to work with symbols, auto-layout, typography, styles and so on.
I know that some people still work in photoshop 13, argumenting the idea that the design software represents 10% of the final result and the major part is coming from our creative brain. I agree, but let’s embrace technology and make the most out of it, especially if it reinforces our creative process don’t you think?
Replicate Other Designs
If you are really newbie at user interface design, and you just done some tutorials, if you don’t practice, you will forget everything you learned. Just pick some designs that you like on dribbble and copy them as they are, in order to get familiar with your favourite design tool. Do this for a while and you will become a pro, you will know all the keyboard shortcuts and this is really helpful if you want to accelerate your process.
Once you get to master a tool, just create or take some ready low fidelity wireframes and apply a new fresh design, but this time without copying style from other fellow designers. Ask some experienced designer to express their opinion and suggestions about your outcome.
3. Less Theory, More action
Okay, now that you have a solid base, we can move on to the next step, the action phase.
When it comes to learning ux design in 2021, having a strong foundation in the fundamentals of ux theory is a good start. However, if you’re truly trying to effectively develop professional ux design skills, trust the age-old adage —“practice makes perfect.”
The most essential secret to learning ux design is by actively using everything you learn as soon as possible. In other words, don’t get caught up in reading too much and forget to hone your hands-on skills. Here’s a list of what you can do in order to obtain a job in user experience field.
Join Online Communities
Find instagram, facebook or any other social groups and seek out internships, or volunteer on small projects in order to truly develop your design potential. Ask designers to join you on their side projects as a coworker and you will gain experience and a chance to steal from them.
The main key aspect here is to seek work opportunities everywhere. Even if you are an introvert and this might sound uncomfortable as hell, you can ask for work on Linkedin for example. Make a post where you present yourself and your experience so far, emphasize your abilities, ask for help and make a promise.
Create Your Own Projects
Find an idea and turn it into a ux project. Let’s say you want to build a fitness mobile app that helps busy people eat better and exercise. It all starts with empathy. Open Notion tool and write down questions like: Who are these people? What are their struggles? Why they lose motivation?
Do your research. Go to google play or apple store and search for competitive apps and see user’s opinions. Make two lists; Complaints and Nice to Have and fill out under each one. And you keep going with the process of user experience design, and after you have the wireframes of each use case then you start the ui design.
Build Your Portfolio
A valuable resource that will help you book more jobs as a ux designer is through your portfolio. Therefore, it’s crucial that all beginners and student designers initiate developing their portfolios as soon as possible. Create a Dribbble or Behance account and add projects like I mentioned above, to it.
Additionally, don’t be afraid to reach out for feedback from other ux industry professionals. Seeking out weak points in your design may seem painful, but can overall improve the quality of your work. After all, it’s better to get constructive criticism from friends and mentors, rather than from clients, in order to help you learn more about ux design.
Learning ux design is an endless process – there will always be more things to learn, apps to develop, and challenges to overcome… but that’s precisely what makes learning ux design so rewarding. Above all, beginner ux designers should actively pair learning the basics of ux design with hands-on experience in order to accelerate their progress.
Get started on putting your practical design skills to use with our premium ui kits that give designers everything they need to creatively and effectively complete new projects for their clients!
What are your struggles when starting a career in ux design field? What would you add on the list?
If you enjoyed this article or find it useful, please share it so more people can benefit from it. Have questions? Write us at [email protected].
In this article you will find some key tips that helped me create better user experiences. Hope you will find them useful. Let’s dive into it.
1. Always Start with the User
Either is a client or an entire team that you’re meeting with, when working on a new project, you have to have a pen and paper to take notes. You cannot begin without understanding the people you are designing for. Ask questions, find out what their needs, motivations and fears are. Long story short:
This is the process every ux designer should follow. I strongly recommend taking a course or reading articles from these guys.
And What We See in The Real World
Ui Designers fixate too much on the artistic side of an interface and sometimes they hide features or push them below just for the sake of receiving validation and appreciation from a beautiful result.
On the other hand ux designers don’t care at all about aesthetics, but rather on functionality. Anyways, I don’t know what’s the big deal with these two terms, so many people use them in the wrong context. Let me put it simple:
UI is part of the UX.
You cannot afford to say that I am more into the esthetic part of a product, neither that it doesn’t matter how it looks like as long as it works. Find the middle ground, but put functionality prioritar.
You have to come through every stage of the process and each one of it is equal important no matter what the order is. You will finally gain insights, learn about your users and offer them a solution to their problem.
2. Think More, Design Less
This one I’ve learned it the hard way. Late nights spending and failing in creating something beautiful and functional at the same time. Whenever I have this problem, I’ve got to take a step back and reflect on the idea, talk with my wife or a friend to liberate myself, or you can do any other activity that you love.
Projects come and go, you will fail some and win many others. Knowing how to balance and understand yourself in the creating process is key, and over stressing with the thought of failing will not be productive or healthy on the long term.
Whenever you feel overwhelmed with a complex task that you don’t know how to solve it yet, just do this:
Question Everything. Go and gather the team and ask questions until you find the root cause of the problem. I strongly recommend the The Five Whys Method, by Taiichi Ohno who founded Toyota Industries.
Make Sure Developers Have no Limitations regarding the implementation of the solution. There is nothing more frustrating than designing something and finally find out that it can’t be done.
Research and Ask for Help. As always either you like it or not, there are people better than you at some skills, as you are better than others at others and that’s ok. Talk with other designers, see how they approach the problem, wireframe a lot, and go to your team to see what they think.
Finally, Start Ideating. Now that you have a clear view and gathered all the requirements, it is time for the fun part. Open up Sketch, Figma or Xd and start designing. Just trust yourself and enjoy the process. You will succeed.
3. Stick to Simplicity
Even if you end up with complicate design that has multiple features on it, you still can make it look simple, yes you can. This situation is called featuritis. First of all, who says design it’s easy? No one in the right mind, I hope.
If you’re working on a large enterprise, a product becomes complex with every release and what seemed a clean and easy to use interface in the early days, is no longer available now. Only a tiny minority of expert users can fully understand its capabilities. We don’t wanna’ do that.
How do you overcome featuritis?
Let’s look at gmail for example. What do we see here?
A lot of nav links, some buttons, but somehow the information is well structured, the layout is still balanced, your eyes feel comfortable and you get the message right away. Here’s a method they have used.
Let’s a look at a ui part of a design. Now, break down the key elements that make the design. What do you see?
4. The Imagery
I know that you might be thinking why I decided to start with them? We all know that the first elements that draw our attention right away are the images ui designers pick to create great impact.
Believe it or not, they will do anything to match a high quality photo with the chosen colors, that together depict a spectacular output among their work.
It doesn’t mimic the real world apps that we use in order to satisfy our needs, but, when you make a presentation on Dribbble or Behance, it certainly does the trick. If you don’t know yet what I am referring to, let’s take a look at this example:
This is a mobile coffee concept that I am working on lately. I don’t try to promote my shot, just that I don’t want to critique someone else’s work.
The accent color here is a combination of orange and brown, or something in between. Its official name is Di Serria. Now, this color will go well with a light cream, white, and dark brown, basically coffee colors. The images that I’ve used, have these colors in their composition, as you can see. Overall, it looks pretty clean, modern and pleasant to the eye (can I praise my work, more?).
Let’s add an ordinary product image as we see in a live mobile app, where coffee shop owners don’t spend a lifetime picking the right photo, and put them together.
I think we all agree that the image on the right matches better in this particular case than the one on the left. The photos in both are great, but for my case I will stick to the one on the right.
You don’t need to spend too much time finding the perfect image, as long as you prioritize usability over aesthetics you’re still on the right path. But why not usable and beautiful at the same time?
The details are not details. They make the design. Charles Eames
I want you to keep focusing on details. What else do you see when you look at a great design? First of all, how do you recognize it? Is it crowded? Of course not. Can you see long paragraphs crossing side to side, many font styles, with low visibility? I think not.
At first glance a clean interface is well balanced with hierarchized and visible typography pleasant to the eye, that communicate well the purpose and the intent of the product/service.
A correctly built typography offers the base for creating a harmonious user interface. If possible stick with one or two typefaces in order to give your text unmatched legibility, clarity, and consistency through all of the pages.
I’ve played a bit on a mockup to showcase the difference between bad and good typography.
In the above photo we barely read the paragraph due to a poor contrast. Maybe a white bg underneath the entire content will increase readability. Let’s see:
This is better in my opinion. As you can see, a small change can provoke a big difference.
I can go further and present some other tips for designers when dealing with typo, but this is a complex subject, so I strongly recommend this article.
6. Geometric Shapes
Designers often do anything to stay up to date with latest design trends by adding that ‘spark of magic’ to their layout. I think this is ok as long as usability is not sacrificed for esthetics.
There is a thin line we don’t want to cross when using these graphic elements that serve no purpose but making a pleasant layout. We should delight our users with them, that’s why we should keep them ‘quite’.
Before you add that these details to an interface just make sure:
The user still can perform his desired actions quick and easy.
Developers can easily implement your design.
These non-functional shapes are not that proeminent and don’t overlap with the main components of your layout.
Don’t over use them. We don’t want to distract our users from the main actions. Keep it simple.
7. White Space
Another key aspect that contribute to a successful design is the white space or negative space. We all know how stakeholders and clients want to add complex features to their product in order to accommodate users needs. We still have to maintain that clean aspect.
According to Mark Boulton, the white space represents the empty space between the elements of your designed website.
Take advantage of your space by offering it real use and don’t try to squeeze or disperse your content. Find the middle ground; white spaces give an elegant and peaceful note which relax the eyes while emphasizing the main message.
So many designers waste their time on creating the same components over and over again on every new project. Consider using ui kits to reinforce your creative process, or create your own set of elements that create consistency throughout the pages and depict a better overall look.
You can reuse them on future projects by applying different styles. This is how you build a toolkit.
By using common elements and patterns that leave no skeptical feelings, users will feel comfortable and happy to user your product and will encourage their friends to utilize it. What this has to do with anything?
I see some designers trying to alter basic elements like buttons for instance. A button is still a button, with straight or rounded corners, covered by a simple color or a gradient. Don’t try to be too creative, you don’t want your users stuck, wondering what element is that.
Although I am not a big fan of illustrations, they are quite fancy & fashionable at the time. I can’t deny it.
Designers love to create all kinds of illustrations, especially 3D ones, with bright and vivid or warm colors, that convey a strong feeling of originality that make your clients differentiate from competitors.
Why to use them? Here are some highlights:
It brings that stain of uniqueness that sets you apart.
They are fun & memorable and connect the user on a visual artistic level.
Overall illustrations ignite the entire look and feel of an app or website by bringing emotion, joy and why not, a smile on people faces.
Have significant impact and create a better user experience.
Easy to customize
Why am I not a big fan of them? A few reasons:
They’re not for everybody. If they are not designed well, the chances of being seen as a pro, decrease significantly.
Sometimes a good photo transfer the message way better than an illustration, quicker and cheaper.
Designers copy from one another and you risk to see your illustrations used elsewhere, or a at least good copy of them.
Creation time gets increased.
10. Practice, Practice, Practice
You can read articles, tutorials, even books, but if you don’t practice a lot, all the information will be forgotten. You must strive for progress, not for perfection.
Don’t try to be a perfectionist, just try to be better than yesterday.
If you take a look at any designer’s work, start from bottom to top. You will see a history of progress, hard work and dedication. There are no shortcuts.
The Take Away
In essence, creating a good design is something you can’t achieve in a month. Working on several companies, I have noticed designers at work, and saw how they managed some of the challenging projects and guess what, it always comes out to a human centered approach. Behind every app there are people, not users.
Continuous learning and practicing needs to be a constant in a ux designer’s career. Doing ‘good work’ is not enough. You need to be curious and challenge yourself, step out of your comfort zone to become the best designer you could be.
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