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Cataloging the art and science of user experience design
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User error dialog window.

Title: How Bad UX Makes Users Blame Themselves Context: Unless your design task is to “make users feel stupid”, you are going to need to work very, very hard to succeed. Synopsis: We’ve all been there. Staring clench-jawed at a

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Delight heirarchy

Title: Is There a Formula for Delight? Context: “Delight” is the newest UX buzzword. And the buzzing is deafening. Synopsis: We’ve all said it. It’s the latest in a long string of expletives we use in order to vaguely—but passionately!—declare

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Title: Breaking up with the User in User Experience Strategy? Context: There are only two types of people who have “users” for clients; us, and drug dealers. Synopsis: Semantics can be a helluva thing. You design stuff, but do you

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The first use of a hashtag on Twitter

Title: Dropbox’s Head of Design on the Dawn of Personalized Products Context: You can dictate the final destination, as long as you allow the user to help pick the route. Synopsis: Users—for some unfathomable reason—appear to have minds of their

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“FirefoxImage credit: Johan Larsson, “Firefox Mobile”, March 21, 2011, Flickr

Title: Mobile First? Not So Fast. Context: “Mobile first!” is the lazy UX designer’s rallying cry. Understanding context is hard. Synopsis: Why should we design for mobile devices first? Because industry thought leaders tell us to? Because executive stakeholders have

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Title: Designing Features Using Job Stories Context: The closer designers get to actual customers the less valuable personas become. Synopsis: The good ol’ persona. The abstracted, generalized, neutered version of the people actually using your product or service. Indispensable for…well,

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Expert AbilityImage credit: Peter Dutton, “Expert Ability”, March 11, 2006, Flickr

Title: User Expertise Stagnates at Low Levels Context: All those hours you spent building out those new product features? Yeah, you wasted most of them. Synopsis: ROI. NPV. Benefit deferment. There are times that we sound more like economists than

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Neues Facebook Anti-LikeImage credit: Frerk Meyer, "Neues Facebook Anti-Like", September 7, 2013, Flickr

Title: How Facebook Did UX Testing For Facebook Home (With Fewer Than 60 People) Context: It’s not the size of the usability test, it’s what you do with the data. Synopsis: Facebook engages more users in a single second than

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Title: The Art of Guerilla Usability Testing Context: No time, budget, or access to full usability research resources? Go guerrilla on their ass instead. Synopsis: For those of you who have the luxury of full time research resources at your

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Title: Your app makes me fat Context: How long before the Surgeon General places a warning on your app about how harmful it can be to your users’ health? Synopsis: You know what’s hard? Choosing salad over cake. At least

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Title: Psych 101: The Psychological Basis for UI Design Rules Context: Sometimes – just sometimes mind you – user experience can be more science than art. Synopsis: Man this is an ugly presentation, but it is even more insightful than

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Title: iOS 7 User-Experience Appraisal Context: Lots of hype around iOS 7 usability improvements. But how much of it is warranted? Synopsis: As we play our never ending game of “keeping up with the latest OS improvements”, our most recent

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Title: Users don’t hate change. They hate you. Context: Redesign all you want. Just know that people are probably going to hate you for it. Synopsis: All redesign is done with nothing but the best of intentions. Old designs get

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Title: Cognitive Overhead, Or Why Your Product Isn’t As Simple As You Think Context: Making software is hard. Using software better not be. Synopsis: 8 billion features later you don’t have a piece of user-friendly software, you have a usability

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Title: 6 Evil UX Things Companies Do (That Also Happen to Work) Context: Dark side UX is the father of invention. Really crappy invention, but invention nonetheless. Synopsis: User experience as a term is actually neutral. All it denotes is

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