Articles & Videos

  • Quantitative Research: Study Guide

    Unsure where to start? Use this collection of links to our articles and videos to learn about quant research, quant usability testing, analytics, and analyzing data.

  • Service Blueprints: How to Choose What Experience to Visualize

    Start with a small-to-medium experience, that is known to be problematic, comes with existing data, will be redesigned soon, and that you can control.

  • Don't Overthink UX ROI

    It can be hard to calculate the return on investment (ROI) for user experience design improvements. But don't get bogged down in less-important details: often simple metrics can give a good-enough estimate to justify UX investments.

  • Video Game Design and User Experience

    Video game design is a special case of user interface design, with some differences (especially in user goals) but also many similarities with more traditional UX design problems and methods.

  • Design Thinking: Study Guide

    Unsure where to start? Use this collection of links to our articles and videos to learn about design thinking.

  • Problem Statements in UX Discovery

    In the discovery phase of a UX project, a problem statement is used to identify and frame the problem to be explored and solved, as well as to communicate the discovery’s scope and focus.

  • How to Fit Big Tables on Small Screens

    No matter your screen size, some data tables will be too big for the screen. This problem is particularly common on mobile devices. Simple interaction techniques can help, but you may need to offer users more advanced features for information hiding and column reordering.

  • Identify and Document Your UX Methods

    For each research or design method you employ, create a document that defines this method and can be used to educate other team members on UX activities.

  • 10 Usability Heuristics Applied to Complex Applications

    Nielsen’s 10 usability heuristics can be used to analyze the UX of applications that support domain-specific, complex workflows.

  • UX-Maturity Stage 1: Absent

    A company at this stage is either oblivious to UX or believes it doesn't apply to what it does.

  • 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design

    Jakob Nielsen's 10 general principles for interaction design. They are called "heuristics" because they are broad rules of thumb for UX and not specific usability guidelines.

  • When to Use Which User-Experience Research Methods

    Modern day UX research methods answer a wide range of questions. To know when to use which method, each of 20 methods is mapped across 3 dimensions and over time within a typical product-development process.

  • Empathy Mapping: The First Step in Design Thinking

    Visualizing user attitudes and behaviors in an empathy map helps UX teams align on a deep understanding of end users. The mapping process also reveals any holes in existing user data.

  • Service Blueprints: Definition

    Service blueprints visualize organizational processes in order to optimize how a business delivers a user experience.

  • Between-Subjects vs. Within-Subjects Study Design

    In user research, between-groups designs reduce learning effects; repeated-measures designs require fewer participants and minimize the random noise.

  • Usability 101: Introduction to Usability

    What is usability? How, when, and where to improve it? Why should you care? Overview answers basic questions + how to run fast user tests.

  • UX Research Cheat Sheet

    User research can be done at any point in the design cycle. This list of methods and activities can help you decide which to use when.

  • UX Mapping Methods Compared: A Cheat Sheet

    Empathy maps, customer journey maps, experience maps, and service blueprints depict different processes and have different goals, yet they all build common ground within an organization.

  • Journey Mapping 101

    A journey map is a visualization of the process that a person goes through in order to accomplish a goal.

  • Why You Only Need to Test with 5 Users

    Elaborate usability tests are a waste of resources. The best results come from testing no more than 5 users and running as many small tests as you can afford.

  • When and How to Create Customer Journey Maps

    Journey maps combine two powerful instruments—storytelling and visualization—in order to help teams understand and address customer needs.

  • Top 10 Application-Design Mistakes

    Application usability is enhanced when the UI guides and supports users through the workflow.

  • Open-Ended vs. Closed-Ended Questions in User Research

    Open-ended questions prompt people to answer with sentences, lists, and stories, giving deeper and new insights. Closed-ended questions limit the answers but give tighter stats.

  • Design Thinking 101

    What is design thinking and why should you care? History and background plus a quick overview and visualization of 6 phases of the design thinking process. Approaching problem solving with a hands-on, user-centric mindset leads to innovation, and innovation can lead to differentiation and a competitive advantage.

  • F-Shaped Pattern of Reading on the Web: Misunderstood, But Still Relevant (Even on Mobile)

    Eyetracking research shows that people scan webpages and phone screens in various patterns, one of them being the shape of the letter F. Eleven years after discovering this pattern, we revisit what it means today.

  • User Interviews: How, When, and Why to Conduct Them

    User interviews have become a popular technique for getting user feedback, mainly because they are fast and easy. Use them to learn about users’ perceptions of your design, not about its usability.

  • Comparison Tables for Products, Services, and Features

    Use this versatile GUI tool to support users when they need to make a decision that involves considering multiple attributes of a small number of items.

  • Memory Recognition and Recall in User Interfaces

    Showing users things they can recognize improves usability over needing to recall items from scratch because the extra context helps users retrieve information from memory.

  • User-Experience Quiz: 2019 UX Year in Review

    Test your usability knowledge by taking our quiz. All questions and answers are based on articles that we published last year.

  • Don't Overthink UX ROI

    It can be hard to calculate the return on investment (ROI) for user experience design improvements. But don't get bogged down in less-important details: often simple metrics can give a good-enough estimate to justify UX investments.

  • Video Game Design and User Experience

    Video game design is a special case of user interface design, with some differences (especially in user goals) but also many similarities with more traditional UX design problems and methods.

  • How to Fit Big Tables on Small Screens

    No matter your screen size, some data tables will be too big for the screen. This problem is particularly common on mobile devices. Simple interaction techniques can help, but you may need to offer users more advanced features for information hiding and column reordering.

  • Identify and Document Your UX Methods

    For each research or design method you employ, create a document that defines this method and can be used to educate other team members on UX activities.

  • Breaking out of the Content Silo

    Coming from a traditional content/writing background, Michelle Blake presents her case study of broadening her remit to a fuller range of user-experience issues and improved the design of her organization's website.

  • Using Fitts's Law to Make Links and Buttons Easier to Click

    Fitts's Law describes how long time it takes to click a target, based on the distance to the target and its size. Use this information to make buttons and links faster to click.

  • Better Charts for Analytics & Quantitative UX Data

    Spreadsheet defaults don't generate the most meaningful visualizations of UX data. Modify charts to enhance Context, Clutter (less of it than spreadsheet software likes!), and Contrast.

  • Partner with Other Research Teams in Your Organization

    To gain a holistic picture of your users, exchange data with the non-UX teams in your company who are collecting other forms of customer data, besides the user research you do yourself. You gain; they gain.

  • 3 Types of Onboarding New Users

    How to familiarize users with new user interfaces? Onboarding techniques include feature promotion, customization, and instructions. All must be kept simple.

  • UX Roadmaps 101

    A roadmap is a strategic plan for future user-experience work and user problems to be solved immediately vs. next vs. in the far future.

  • Quantitative Research: Study Guide

    Unsure where to start? Use this collection of links to our articles and videos to learn about quant research, quant usability testing, analytics, and analyzing data.

  • Service Blueprints: How to Choose What Experience to Visualize

    Start with a small-to-medium experience, that is known to be problematic, comes with existing data, will be redesigned soon, and that you can control.

  • Problem Statements in UX Discovery

    In the discovery phase of a UX project, a problem statement is used to identify and frame the problem to be explored and solved, as well as to communicate the discovery’s scope and focus.

  • Design Thinking: Study Guide

    Unsure where to start? Use this collection of links to our articles and videos to learn about design thinking.

  • 10 Usability Heuristics Applied to Complex Applications

    Nielsen’s 10 usability heuristics can be used to analyze the UX of applications that support domain-specific, complex workflows.

  • UX-Maturity Stage 1: Absent

    A company at this stage is either oblivious to UX or believes it doesn't apply to what it does.

  • Qualitative Usability Testing: Study Guide

    Unsure where to start? Use this collection of links to our articles and videos to learn about planning, conducting, and analyzing qualitative user testing.

  • UX vs. Service Design

    User experience is focused on what the end user encounters, whereas service design is focused on how that user experience is internally created.

  • Overlay Overload: Competing Popups Are an Increasing Menace

    Today’s users are overwhelmed by a plethora of site and browser-initiated popups with content unrelated to their current task.

  • Data Is More than Numbers: Why Qualitative Data Isn’t Just Opinions

    Systematically gathered qualitative data is a dependable method of understanding what users need, why problems occur, and how to solve them.