Top 50 Design Blog Articles and Sites From 2017

It’s nearly the the close of 2017. Lots has happened and I’ve been reading about UX, Design Thinking, Design Systems, Agile, Block Chain, Crypto currencies, Machine Learning, AI, Startups and plenty more. 2018 seems to be shaping up to be an exciting year for digital! (and maybe we’ll stop asking ourselves, why didn’t we all buy Bitcoins 5 years ago?)

Trends running into 2018

  • Better personalisation (Machine learning, AI) – With tech coming to the forefront we need to made experiences individual
  • Better Security all over – We need to prevent those Cryptocurrencies form being stolen!
  • Wider adoption of design processes in product management (Design Systems, Design Thinking leading to better product design
  • The new breed of disruptors taking on AI, Machine learnings and Cryptocurrencies
  • Chat Bots & Speech – More and more popping up as people test the benefits

Top 50 Design Blog Articles and Sites

The Ultimate Guide to Minimum Viable Product

You’ll know exactly what MVP is, how to do it and what tools to use.

Topics: mvp, lean startup, product management
Read time: 7 mins

The Most Important Rule in UX Design that Everyone Breaks

The psychological phenomenon discussed in this article is known as Miller’s Law.

Topics: ux,design
Read time: 5 mins

How to promote a blog post: the ultimate guide

you’ve written an awesome blog post that provides lots of value…now what? How do you get it in front of the right eyes, and as many pairs of eyes as possible? Promoting your blog posts the right way is just as important as writing amazing content.

Topics: blogging, content marketing
Read time: 10 mins

The non-techie’s guide to machine learning

So, machine learning. Is that like… AI? Dive in to the fundamentals of Machine Learning

Topics: machine learning, tech
Read time: 5 mins

Design Systems Handbook – DesignBetter.Co

A design system unites product teams around a common visual language. It reduces design debt, accelerates the design process, and builds bridges between teams – Check out this 7 step guide

Topics: invision, design, design systems
Read time: 7 mins

Running in Circles

Why Agile Isn’t working and what we can do differently

Topics: waterfall, agile
Read time: 6 mins

Certbot

Automatically enable HTTPS on your website with EFF’s Certbot, deploying Let’s Encrypt certificates

Topics:web development, https, ssl
Read time: 2 mins

Artwork Personalization at Netflix

Given the enormous diversity in taste and preferences, wouldn’t it be better if we could find the best artwork for each of our members to highlight the aspects of a title that are specifically relevant to them?

Topics: netflix, recommendations, personalisation
Read time: 11 mins

Design Principles

This site is an open source resource created to help us understand and write Design Principles.

Topics: design, principles, design systems
Read time: 5 mins

How artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the news business

Reuters is scooping its rivals using intelligent machines that mine Twitter for news stories.

Topics: artificial intelligence, news, trust
Read time: 6 mins

A brief guide to psychology principles in UX design

Discussing various psychology principles and their relevance in UX design

Topics: artificial intelligence, news, trust
Read time: 2 mins

Machine Learning for Marketers

A comprehensive guide to Machine Learning

Topics: marketing, startups, artificial intelligence
Read time: 7 mins

What is Blockchain Technology?

Few people understand what it is, but Wall Street banks, IT organizations, and consultants are buzzing about blockchain technology.

Topics: blockchain, bitcoin, beginners
Read time: 7 mins

Wireframes, flows, personas and beautifully crafted UX deliverables for your inspiration

Here are a few examples of UX deliverables that are well polished, legible and simple to understand

Topics: ux, deliverables, wireframes
Read time: 11 mins

The Font-end Checklist

The Front-End Checklist Application is perfect for modern websites and meticulous developers!

Topics: front-End, checklist, website design
Read time: 11 mins

Six Steps to Superior Product Prototyping: Lessons from an Apple and Oculus Engineer

Tips and advice to make your product prototyping strategy better

Topics: prototyping, product management, product
Read time: 15 mins

An Introduction to Scrollama.js

Scrollytelling can be complicated to implement and difficult to make performant. The goal of this library is to provide a simple interface for creating scroll-driven interactives and improve user experience by reducing scroll jank.

Topics: javascript, scrollytelling, waypoints
Read time: 3 mins

First Round Search

The best tactical advice in tech

Topics: startups, advice, news
Read time: 3 mins

20 Product Prioritization Techniques: A Map and Guided Tour

Although it’s not what we are hired to do, it’s something that we have to do to achieve our real goal: creating successful products that bring value to our customers and to the business.

Topics: product management, prioritization
Read time: 4 mins

How to Stop UX Research being a Blocker

Fitting research into agile teams

Topics: ux, research, agile
Read time: 7 mins

Fontjoy – Get smart font pairings in one click

Generate font combinations with deep learning

Topics: fonts, typography, design
Read time: 2 mins

The 8pt Grid: Consistent Spacing in UI Design with Sketch

Spacing is everything in UI design.Forget colour, forget typography. Nail the spacing and you’re half way there. Why?

Topics: grid, sketch, 8pt grid
Read time: 4 mins

Another Lens – News Deeply x Airbnb.Design

A research tool for conscientious creatives

Topics: design, design thinking, research
Read time: 6 mins

Haiku – design meets production

Craft imaginative UI components that snap into any app.
Code optional.

Topics: animations, sketch, ui
Read time: 3 mins

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide

If you own, manage, monetize, or promote online content via Google Search, this guide is meant for you.

Topics: seo, google, basics
Read time: 10 mins

A/B tests that do more than validate – Inside Intercom

A/B tests provide more than statistical validation of one execution over another. They can and should impact how your team prioritizes projects.

Topics: a/b testing, best practices
Read time: 2 mins

Material Design and the Mystery Meat Navigation Problem

In March 2016, Google updated Material Design to add bottom navigation bars to its UI library. This new bar is positioned at the bottom of an app, and contains 3 to 5 icons that allow users to navigate between top-level views in an app.

Topics:navigation, web design, android
Read time: 9 mins

UXmas – Wishing you a great experience through the festive season!

An advent calendar for UX folk

Topics:ux, articles
Read time: 5 mins

How to Build a Successful Team

Building a successful team is about more than finding a group of people with the right mix of professional skills.

Topics:management, team
Read time: 11 mins

1000 different people, the same words

What hiring language from 25,000 recent job descriptions tells us about corporate cultural norms

Topics:hiring language, job descriptions, corporate culture
Read time: 2 mins

The Role of the Founder/CEO: You Have One Job

Most people have a certain image in their minds when they think of a founder/CEO.

Topics:startups, expertise, leadership
Read time: 5 mins

8 simple rules for a robust, scalable CSS architecture

This is the manifest of things I’ve learned about managing CSS in large, complex web projects during my many years of professional web development.

Topics:css, architecture, scalable”
Read time: 15 mins

Intro to Framer

Design and code animations with Framer

Topics:prototyping, design, animation
Read time: 7 mins

Action vs indecision – Inside Intercom

One of the most expensive parts of running a startup isn’t the new feature you shipped that nobody used or the marketing experiment you ran that failed. It’s indecision.

Topics:principles, management
Read time: 1 mins

12 Things Product Managers Should Do in Their First 30 Days

Here are some tips for how to approach that first month. Emphasize these three areas: People, Product, and Personal:

Topics:product management, product
Read time: 4 mins

A Primer on Android navigation

Before digging into common navigation patterns, it’s worth stepping back and finding a starting point for thinking about navigation in your app.

Topics:navigation, android navigation, android
Read time: 11 mins

The Guide to Mobile App Design: Best Practices for 2018 and Beyond

So what exactly can be considered as “good experience”? Let’s explore the six fundamentals of mobile app design.

Topics:mobile, app, design
Read time: 6 mins

How to Create Influencer Roundups: Tips and Tools for Bloggers

n this article, you’ll discover a four-step plan to create effective influencer roundups.

Topics:outreach, content, blogging, influence
Read time: 7 mins

The Role Of Storyboarding In UX Design

In order to create better products, designers must understand what’s going on in the user’s world and understand how their products can make the user’s life better. And that’s where storyboards come in.

Topics:ux, research, storyboard
Read time: 11 mins

Best Tools for Web Designers to Use in 2018

The design world moves fast and there’s always new tools coming out. To stay ahead of the game requires an ear to the ground at all times.

Topics:tools, ux, ui
Read time: 7 mins

Looking to Horizon: Why We Built A Design System

Feather’s mission was to provide consistent and thoughtful experiences at scale. As the number of Feather’s components, patterns, and internal customers grew, this once-Hackathon passion project evolved into a well-supported team.

Topics:design system, twitter
Read time: 3 mins

Jobs-to-Be-Done in Your UX Toolbox

People want a quarter-inch hole, not a quarter inch drill

Topics:jtbd
Read time: 12 mins

Motion design for the web, iOS & Android with Haiku

JTBD provides a different way to think about solutions that compete for the same job:

Topics: android, animation
Read time: 3 mins

Lottie without After Effects

We designed Haiku from the ground up for animating UI components. Like Sketch, it is a simple tool with a specific purpose, and like AE, it is compatible with Lottie.

Topics: animation
Read time: 3 mins

I don’t care if you love red: how to work with your UX team, not against them

As a designer, I’m passionate about creating the right user experience. A great product should take you on a journey. It should feel seamless, clear, and fun.

Topics: ux, research, product
Read time: 7 mins

Team Alignment Map

An agile template to boost alignment in cross-functional teams: concrete discussions that bring concrete results.

Topics: collaboration, tool
Read time: 1 mins

8 Customer Discovery Questions to Validate Product Market Fit for Your Startup

During a typical diligence process, we will interview customers and might ask them questions like these…

Topics:product market fit, validation
Read time: 1 mins

Where Do We Put The UX Tasks?

I’ve seen teams try these three options to remedy the situation

Topics: ux, agile development
Read time: 3 mins

Where should designers sit? Making cross-functional design teams work

Traditionally design teams have been centralized, such that all designers worked on the same team and would take on projects together.

Topics: design, cross-functional, teams
Read time: 5 mins

Why Design Systems Fail

I’d like to go over a few considerations to ensure design system success and what could hinder that success.

Topics: design system
Read time: 10 mins



11 Tools That Can Help Empower UX Designers

No doubt user experience (UX) is a soul of a website. It is something that gives reason to online visitors to revisit the website. If a website fails to offer great UX, then you can say that all the efforts behind its creation gone into the vain. A website is beyond look and feel; it should have the power to hold the attention of the visitors for a long time. Therefore, for a UX designer, it is crucial to creating a website that offers fantastic UX.

An effective UX design is one that touches the nerves of online visitors by providing a pleasant web experience, and if your visitors go happy, then greater would be the chances your website attains a good traffic.

pexels-photo-28462

Today, when designers and developers (including novices and experienced) are riding the waves of responsive design, UX designers have a pretty tough task to make those created sites livelier. UX designers can do what others cannot. They put themselves into visitors’ shoes to see a nicely designed website from their perspective so that they could work to make a website more impactful.

Having said this, UX designers need several tools to accomplish what they aim for. Despite the fact that quite a few tools are available online, UX designers do not have familiarity with all of them.

Let’s take a glance at some best tools for UX designers whether they are newbies or an experienced one.

1. Typeform

Empowering websites to provide great UX is the real response to a real problem. Well, without knowing what people are facing, you would never be able to provide a solution. So, it is better to collect the feedback of online users.

To achieve the same task, you will need Typeform. It is great survey tool that lets you create simple and pleasant forms with many options. You can use built forms to analyze the users’ feedback to deliver the same they look for. You can choose the basic plan for free.

Typeform

 

2. Gliffy

If you are a UX designers, Gliffy is a must have and a fantastic tool that allows you to create enticing flowcharts, UML diagrams, sitemaps, and a lot more at a pretty low price. It is an ultimate solution for UX design related problems. Further, it empowers you by fulfilling all your requirements in the best yet simplest manner. It is a paid tool but a worthy one to rely upon.

Gliffy

 

3. Balsamiq

Balsamiq is the best platform for UX designers like you as it gives wings to your creativity. It lets you repeat quickly and create rough drafts of your design ideas that you can compare and pick out the best one. Further, it is wire-framing tools that help you create a balance between different UX choices so that when you design something, you would have the exact idea about the things you are doing.

Balsamiq

4. Visio

Microsoft’s Visio is a paid tool and lets you create diagrams pretty quickly and easily. It is a paid tool and enables you to share your creations with SharePoint or Office 365. This tool is pretty simple to use, easy-to-navigate and offers a plethora of shapes, graphics, and lines that let you create something creative without worrying much about limitations. So, take full control of your mind and creativity with this tool.

Visio

5. Canva

Canva is a pretty simple tool that empowers you to design quickly and modify graphics and typographies as per individual elements of your UX design. With the aid of this tool, you can create captioned images, infographics, button, and a lot more with an easy drag and drop editor.

canva

6. Axure

Axure a paid tool and provides a comprehensive wireframing and prototyping service. It let you create interactive prototypes with simple drag and drop canvas. It is a must have tool as it empowers designer to create enticing web designs with excellent user experience.

Axure

 

7. Pixate

Pixate is a paid tool and the most powerful prototyping platform that empowers designers to test our complex interactions and animations in the simplest manner. Further, with the aid of this tool, designers can make crucial changes in real time to create fascinating user experiences.

Pixate

 

8. Google Fonts

Several elements effects UX of a website and web typography are one of them. With the help of Google Fonts, you can choose the right combination of fonts to make your design intuitive. It provides the most exhaustive collection of fonts in the world that have been used on countless websites.

GoogleFonts

 

9. InVision

InVision is a product design collaboration platform that allows you to build prototypes, gather feedback, and make designing fast and simpler. You can also share your design ideas with your stakeholders to get approval on the creations. Overall, this tool is a must-have for designers as it empowers them to create phenomenal user-centric experiences for web and mobile.

InVision

 

10. Peek by Usertesting

With the aid of Peek by Usertesting, you can work in a collaborative manner with your team and others. It is a perfect tool that allows you to share your perfect creations and get valuable feedback for further improvement.

peek

11. UX Pin

UX Pin is a paid tool and lets you create responsive prototypes on your browser. Further, with the help of this tool you can share prototypes pretty quickly and easily with your teams in real time.

uxpin

 

Do you use any other tools?

I hope the tools mentioned above will prove helpful for you. How many tools have you used? Did I miss to include any essential tool? Don’t forget to share your valuable feedback via Twitter



Key Things To Know About The Role Of Big Data In Validating & Measuring UX

Messy Desk with Big Data Related Notes

 

For companies, the quality user experience is crucial to gain competitive advantage. This is often ensured by monitoring and tracking user interactions. How far the quality of the experience can be delivered to customers remains a challenge for most businesses. The digital signature or traces left by business today tells a lot about their performance. Well, to measure the performance and customer experience in digital interaction, data analytics can offer a mine of resources. Big Data analytics besides offering data-driven insights about customers is helping us a lot in validating and measuring UX.

Big Data is a big scope

Big Data across devices
Big Data across devices

 

Big Data refers to the expansive digital data produced across platforms, devices and interfaces and they represent 5 crucial characteristics, namely, variety, volume, velocity, value, and veracity. The exponential fast paced growth of digital data in volume and variety is taken into account by this emerging field of data analysis. Obviously, data is increasingly becoming a valuable source for gaining business insights that traditional analytics often failed to obtain.

Big Data offers the most formidable scope of rigorous business analytics just because a diverse array of data sets belonging to both structured and unstructured data types from diverse sources now can be put under analytics to obtain deeper and more result driving insights. Big Data thanks to its robust potential in delivering business insights is widely regarded as the most important technology for the decision-making process in businesses.

All data is not insight

While large sources of data are always an asset, but their potential largely depends on upon extracting insights from them. There is a common misconception that all kinds of information contained in the operational process are needed for well-informed business decisions. Actually, understanding customers require more contextual data than dry numbers. When one is buying a product, all data corresponding to his preferences, time, and venue of buying, historical data concerning his buying habits, all these things matter as crucial data for drawing insights about the transaction and the customer. So, while operational data lurks insights, it is up to the integrated analytics to draw insights from them. Bridging the gap between the huge pool of data and insights is a big challenge for enterprises.

UX measurement and validation

Looking at diagram
Measureing UX

 

A web or app designer can feel content with a unique UX design. He may consider it out-of-the-box, engaging, fast-paced and performance driven. But all these claims have no meaning until and unless it is validated in quantifiable terms. To what extent the UX helps the business to drive customer engagement and conversion will be the final determinant factors. The business and outcome of customer’s interaction with the business should be clearly measured in quantified terms and that should be the principal determinant of the effectiveness of a UX.

UX validation and measurement is basically a streamlined approach with a set of measures for tracking business performance against the objectives and strategy. On the other hand, when working with Big Data, you need to start with a huge volume of data set and derive insight from them. But now, various businesses are showing interest in integrating this seemingly vast field of data to obtain insights on the performance of the UX.

The scope of analytics in measuring UX

While analytics tools have always been used for well-informed business decision making and strategy building, their utilization has been mostly restricted within marketers and strategists. With the increasing focus on UX performance for driving business growth in the recent times, it has now become a crucial area of focus for UX professionals as well.

Well, traditional analytics is limited in scope since its focus lies mostly within the operational business data and do not take other unspecified sources of data into account. For example, analytics can deliver insightful data in graphs and charts with the in-store sells, customer interaction, comparative study of various business outputs among stores, etc. But, it can totally miss the external factors related to customer’s mood-swings, buying habit over time and demographic insights on a various group of customers.

 

Measuring UX with Big Data

Now with the Big Data analytics, the overall picture is quite different. You not only have operational business data for immediate insights into customer interaction, but you have huge chunks of data from diverse sources to tell about customers and user interaction with more depth. With new and huge chunks of data assets, available decision-making can be more apt to take each and every influence factors into consideration. From customer intention, their emotional reactions to expectations all contribute to the measurement and validation of user experience now.

Actually, the objective of this multi-sourced analytical measure is tracking the effectiveness of UX measures from which your organization can have a deeper understanding of the customer interactions, engagement and potential loopholes that need to be addressed. Measuring UX against specific business insights help to know the areas that need change and positive focus to deliver business value.

UX and data visualization

 

Dashboard visulisation
Dashboard visualisation

 

User Experience (UX) design and Big data can make valuable interaction in data visualization. Data visualization refers to a type of data-oriented visual communication in which various sets of contextual data are presented in graphics or images. The complex of data in this way can thus be presented in an easily comprehensible way.

The information dashboards in the web, product specifications described in graphics, product shipping and movement described in pictorial graphics in websites, are some of the examples of this intersection between user experience and data visualization. Dashboards convert data into robust data visualizations by presenting them in graphs and charts. This allows easier understanding of the data and the statement that it wants to confer to the audience. When creating such data visualizations UX designers not only need to ensure that the data is presented in a comprehensive and sensible way, but they also need to ensure that the visual data drives business conversion.



An Overview Of How UI & UX Design Are Different Yet Completely Entwined

Whether you are a professional designer or a novice having a keen interest in web designing, you definitely must have heard of the terms UX and UI (viz. User Experience and User Interface). Although they have same starting initials but are very different in aspects and existence.

Both UX and UI are well-known terms in the web industry but are often mistaken for their meanings and scope. Even experienced designers and developers tend to get mistaken most of the times, which ultimately affects their designs and coding. Let us explore UX and UI more and learn about them.

flow-chart

UI (User Interface) refers to the seamless interaction of the user and the system with the help of some input/software devices. It includes a bunch of screens, pages, buttons, icons and some other visual elements that help in establishing an interaction of the user with the device. While UX (User Experience) refers to the extensive process of increasing customer retention and satisfaction by improving its usability. It is the first impression a user gets when s/he interacts with the product or service. Or in simple words, it is the first interaction of a user with the system.

Categorisation Of Each Discipline

UX
UI
Information Hierarchy
Identifying valuable content that appears on website pages including sitemap, and also remaining thoughtful with design elements, links and much more is all that UX designers generally work to render.
Branding Of Products
UI Designers meticulously look after the color patterns, logos, typography, etc. to make a website look more interesting, engaging and interactive.
Wireframes
Wireframes are the most integral part of a design on the basis of which PSD files are built. These wireframes can be used to exhibit the functional component of a web design, despite the presence or absence of the graphics.
Mock-ups
UI designers efficiently monitor the building of mock-ups that are ready to be delivered. These mock-ups contain elements that help in understanding the functionality of the entity/product.

designing-02

Responsibilities

UX
UI
UX designers are mainly concerned with the purpose of exploring and enhancing the feel of a product designed. This is done by addressing the issues of UX in multiple ways. These designers focus on design, content and orientation of the framed product. They crucially evaluate the functioning of these products/services when used by users, to see how it actually works. While UX designers focus on enhancing the feel of the product. On the other hand, UI designers keep a tab on how these products/services are designed. They are the one who make sure that all visual and interactive design elements are efficiently placed in the product. The UI designers are mainly responsible for creating designs that uniformly serve all the users.

How they overlap

wireframing

After knowing the differences of UX and UI, let us know the general features that define the similarity between them.

Despite knowing the major differences between UX and UI, at some point of designing phase, UI overlaps UX. Let us know what are those phases:

  • Both are subject to improve customer satisfaction
  • Focus on leveraging the user’s interaction with service and products
  • Both are essential during product/service development

Continuing the discussion, here are some proven theories commonly followed and accepted by technocrats and designers in the web industry.

  1. UI is mainly focused on the look and function of the product/service whereas UX is primarily associated with the process of enhancing the experience a user gets while interacting with the device or its elements. For an instance, if medicines, equipment, syringes, stretchers and bed are the elements (UI) of any hospital, then everything from the operation, to parking, waiting, announcements, and the food is the user experience (UX).
  1. UX and UI are two different designing aspects that aren’t comparable with each other at all. And asking difference in any of these is exactly like distinguishing a brick from the elements it is made of. Ultimately, the user interface is one of the parts of user experience which, on a whole, is a vast entity containing different elements (including UI too).
  1. UI is limited to the screens, focusing on visual styles, structures and guidelines of the icons/buttons while, on the other hand, UX refers to the journey of users with the product/service.
  1. UI comprises the elements and factors a user will interact with while, on the other hand, UX is the total experience that user gets with the product/service. Both UX and UI are two different things that must run together to give long-lasting digital experience to the user.

Role and Responsibilities of UX designer:

wireframing

A user experience designer must know the value of creating a user experience or providing things that understand the association of a user with the product/service. Getting an idea about the factors that can readily affect the user experience should be the major concern of a UX designer. And s/he should look up for all the possibilities to enhance this experience every now and then. A company, looking to hire a UX designer, must pick the one who understands the need of proffering improved user experience with each of their services/products, thus claiming a long-lasting growth.

Role and Responsibilities of UI designer:

designing

As known, the prime responsibility of the UI designer is mainly concerned with visual and front-end designing. Improving the visibility, alignment, and orientation of the product are the major concerns of UI designers. Complete control on designing of web pages should be meticulously done by a UI designer along with performing other activities like doing research on designs, prototyping, and documentation of UI, etc. From regulating the flow of visual elements to ensuring the graphical consistency website’s user interface, a UI designer must do it all effectually.

Conclusion

Evidently, a large number of people associated with web design and development industry tend to mix both these terms, either for having the same meaning or mixing with their function & serviceability. Many of them often use these terms without having any idea about their meaning, origin, and scope of usage.

If you have some other reasons to differentiate UX and UI that can add up to this content and its credibility, then feel free to add your suggestions in the comment box below.

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