The ultimate guide to user experience

If you've not heard of the term 'user experience' the clue's in the title. It's about creating a great experience for the users of your website. And that's less about making it look aesthetically pleasing as it is making it easy to use.

The secret to a good user experience (often shortened to UX) is not to make users have to think about what they're doing: it should come naturally to them to find what they're looking for and interact with your site. In a web design agency, user experience may be the responsibility of the team as a whole or a specific 'user experience designer'. There are even entire firms that specialise in user experience consultancy.

In this post we've grouped together the best articles, interviews and tips features on Creative Bloq on the subject of user experience. Whatever your level of expertise, you're bound to find something to help your understanding and improve your technique. And we'll keep coming back to the post and updating it, so make sure you keep it bookmarked!

Introduction to UX

Discover user experience design

Clearleft's Andy Budd explains how modern UX is more about sketches and prototypes than reams of documentation.

Why design is about solutions, not visuals

"Design" is often confused with "decoration", but it's actually about responding to problems, argues Steve Fisher of Yellow Pencil.

5 reasons you should learn UX design

Matt Cynamon of General Assembly drills down five reasons why you should get into UX design - or brush up on your skills.

UX tips and advice

Hacking the brain

User experience is often considered a dark art. Here Richard Shepherd argues that a healthy curiosity in human nature helps us create delightful sites and apps.

10 steps to engaging user experience

Irene Pereyra rounds up 10 top tips to help you deliver an amazing interactive user experience.

10 pro tips to get people to trust your site

Users decide quickly if they trust an interface based on its appearance. Keep them on your side by following Jason Cranford Teague's UX tips.

The pro's guide to being a UX lead

UX architect and web developer Rachel Guthrie-Maynard offers the benefit of her experience on digital projects.

UX for startups

10 common UX mistakes startups make ... and how to avoid them!

A positive user experience can transform your business. Here Laurence McCahill, co-founder of Spook Studio, comes up with 10 essential tips to put you on the right track for a better customer experience.

UX design for startups: the age of user experience design

UXPin CEO and seasoned UX designer Marcin Treder guides you through the fundamentals of user experience design.

UX design for start-ups: get to know your users

UXPin CEO Marcin Treder explains his techniques for carrying out low-cost user testing that will make a world of difference to your UX design.

UX design for startups: efficient design techniques

Marcin Treder of UXPin explains how to weave UX considerations into the visual design process and create an efficient workflow.

UX design for startups: get it optimised

UXPin CEO Marcin Treder explains why launching a new feature isn't a cause to celebrate, but an opportunity to optimise your product.

UX design for startups: growth and design hacking

Marcin Treder of UXPin explains how to back up the user experience design process in a startup with a lean process of measuring the right metrics.

User research

Make user research work for you - 7 expert tips

Stuart Pill from TH_NK guides you through how to collect objective insights using ethnographic research.

Why user research is everybody's job

User research should be conducted by all team members throughout a project's lifecycle, says Emma Boulton.

Chui Chui Tan on the importance of international user research

User experience consultant Chui Chui Tan talks to Martin Cooper about international user research and how to do it.

User-centred design research for international users

Chris Rourke of User Vision on designing for a global audience.

UX testing

Why UX testing is a no-brainer

Many agencies don't offer UX testing as standard to their clients. That's a mistake, says Mark Stringer of AHOY.

Rolf Molich on usability testing

User experience design pioneer Rolf Molich explains where quantitative usability testing is going wrong, and how the usability industry needs to mature.

10 UX things we remembered this year

TH_NK's senior experience designers Stuart Pill and Gavin Wye present 10 key takeaways from 50 hours of usability testing.

The Winnie the Pooh guide to UX

Instead of developing features based on untested hypotheses, ideas should be tested as early as possible, says Dan Frost of 3EV.

Lean UX

An introduction to Lean UX

Laurence McCahill, design lead and co-founder of Spook Studio, spills the beans on the Lean Startup and Lean UX movements, which bring a groundbreaking approach to product development, and what it means for designers, developers and clients.

Jeff Gothelf on Lean UX

User experience designer Jeff Gothelf talks about lean UX processes, designing by committee and breaking down discipline silos within companies.

UX techniques

The importance of writing in UX design

UX writing is a key part of your content strategy, says Ben Barone-Nugent. But what is it?

Power up your UX design with experience mapping

Tom Dougherty explains how creating customer experience maps can enhance the UX design process.

Putting the U in UX: users and understanding

Sandi Wassmer on using digital personas for UX design.

UX controversies

Has web design become too slick?

According to Jason Fried, people prefer messy but cosy sites like Amazon and eBay to slick online experiences. What does our panel of experts think?

Flat design threatens tablet usability

Jakob Nielsen's usability tests find the flat design trend threatens tablet usability due to unclear UI element functions.

User experience vs financial institutions

Paul Wheatley argues that banks' online services need to step up to meet customer expectations.

UX design not "better" than visual design

Clearleft MD argues that visual designers should not feel diminished.

UX designer warns: success takes time

Zoltán Gócza on the dangers of believing in instant internet success stories.

UX developments

The birth of the HUGE UX school

Michal Pasternak, partner (user experience) at HUGE, explains how the agency developed a training program for prospective interaction designers and how it changed the company.

UX designer launches Dark Patterns Awards

Harry Brignull shames sites into ditching manipulative design.

Meet the UX experts

Andy Budd on the rise of user experience

If you want to know about the state of the user experience profession today, Andy Budd is the man to ask. Clearleft's MD talks to Tom May about the rise in demand for UX skills, the lack of good practitioners and abuse of the term 'Lean UX'.

Jared Spool on usability and intuitive design

He's been working in the field of usability since 1978 – before the term was ever associated with computers. Speaker, author and CEO Jared Spool chats to Tom May about how to research your users and make your sites and apps intuitive.

Stephanie Troeth on trusting gut instincts

User experience strategist Stephanie Troeth chats with Tanya Combrinck about being a web jack-of-all-trades and bettering the world with UX.

Kevin M Hoffman on user experience

Happy Cog's user experience director Kevin M Hoffman answers your questions on selling UX to clients, making meetings work, and whether designers should know how to code.

Ryan Singer on user experience

Ryan Singer of 37signals tells Richard Shepherd how empathy is essential to great user experience.

The top 20 UX designers to follow on Twitter

Seeking user experience-related tips, updates and inspiration? Head to Twitter and follow these UX-centric accounts.