If you've not heard of the term user experience (UX), 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 and more about making it easy to use.
The secret to a good 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 UX 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 featured 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 this post and updating it, so make sure you keep it bookmarked.
Opening illustration: Neil Stevens
Introduction to UX
Bear with us for a second. If you're looking to get started in UX design, you can learn some fundamental lessons by focusing on... ahem... basic functions. In this amusing but super-useful article, Chris How runs through the UX lessons you can learn from public bathrooms.
02. Laws of UX
Laws of UX explores the links between UX design and 10 key psychological principles, to provide valuable guidance for designers building user interfaces. On this helpful site, each of the 10 vital UX rules is accompanied by an overview, explanation, and a selection of further reading to dig into. It's also beautifully designed and a breeze to navigate, with subtle animations that help the information shine.
Do you know what TED stands for? Technology, education, design. As such, there have been plenty of talks exploring the intersection of technology and design over the years. Here we've rounded up the best – starting with Tom Wujec's 'Got a wicked problem? First, tell me how you make toast'.
Technological advances and consumer trends have had a big impact on the shape of user experience. This article explores the big themes that UX designers need to focus their efforts on in 2018, from invisible interfaces to the rise of VR. You can also take a look at what went down in UX in 2017.
If you're in a hurry and are after a quick rundown of the fundamentals of user experience, look here. This infographic lays out 10 essential UX principles in a snappy fashion.
UX tips and advice
06. Unified UX
In this talk from the Generate New York 2016 conference, Cameron Moll takes on the challenge presented by the increasing numbers of devices and connected objects in the digital landscape. He offers advice for how to create an experience that flows seamlessly between different devices as the user moves from one to another.
It's no secret that mobile browsing is on the up. It's no good designing an experience that works perfectly on desktop but falls apart on mobile. So with that in mind, this tutorial rounds up advice for keeping your mobile users happy.
Getting your typography right can have a big impact on the usability of your website or app. In this short article, Sam Kapila takes a look at the principles you need to follow to ensure your type doesn't frustrate users, and presents some best practice examples.
09. Building device-agnostic UX systems
Users increasingly switch between different devices to complete the same task, depending on what's convenient for them at the time. This means our UX strategy now has to transcend devices – offering a consistent experience no matter where the user is coming from. This Generate talk from Anna Dahlström will help you get started.
In this in-depth long read, Jaime Levy breaks down four key elements you need to understand in order to develop a cohesive and effective UX strategy. The extract is taken from Levy's book UX Strategy, which focuses on advice for how to devise innovative digital products that people want. You can read more of the book on her website, where you'll also find useful links to her talks.
11. The theory of UX
This long-read takes a closer look at the scientific theory behind user experience. It explores the type of data you can collect and how to find the right meaning in this data to inform the user experiences you design.
12. Designing for a crisis
Nobody wants to think about the worst-case scenario, but it's in cases like these that the right design can have the most impact. In this moving talk from Generate London, Eric Meyer draws on personal experience to make a case for building extreme use cases into your UX design. You can also read the article on Medium here.
13. Conflict is the key to great UX
Many people would argue that good UX is about creating smooth, snag-free experiences, but in his Generate talk, Steve Fisher presents the idea that conflict is an essential ingredient.
Next page: The role of UX and case studies