UX Techniques Guide
An iterative methodology for producing practical and creative resolutions to problems or issues.
- A Brief History of Design Thinking: How Design Thinking Came to 'Be'
- Design Thinking 101
- Demystifying Design Thinking: Interview with Tamara Christensen
- Design Thinking... What is That?
- Design Thinking | Employing Design Principles | Defining Ease of Use
- Design Thinking Comes of Age
- How to apply a design thinking, HCD, UX or any creative process from scratch
- The Design of business: Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage
A brief description of the issue that needs to be solved by a project or group.
- Bridging User Research into Design
- How to come up with great UX ideas
- Lean Product Design: Write a problem statement
- What’s Your Problem? Putting Purpose Back into Your Projects
The ease of use and learnability of physical and digital objects.
- A Business Case for Usability
- Fact vs. Fiction: What Usability is Not
- Usability 101: Introduction to Usability
User Experience Design
The holistic experience of a digital or technological product or service.
- CUBI: A User Experience Model for Project Success | UX Magazine
- Four Myths About UX and How to Bust Them
- Getting Started in User Experience
- The Experience Makes the Product, Not the Features
- User experience design is not what you think
- What is UX Design? 15 User Experience Experts Weigh In
User Interface Design
The design of the communication between the user and a system.
A specific form of user-centered design where the focus is on user activities and tasks rather than user characteristics.
- Activity-Centered Design - Bokardo
- Designing Web Applications for Use
- Redefining User-Centered Design, Part 1
A variation of the Agile methodology, which supports a more collaborative approach to various user experience design methods.
- Agile User Experience Design
- Bringing User Centered Design to the Agile Environment
- Fitting Big-Picture UX Into Agile Development
- User Experience and Agile
- UX and Agile: Tying the knot
Design ethics are values or aspects considered by designers during the creation of a service or product.
- A Guide to Everyday Design Ethics
- Conducting Ethical User Research
- Designing ethically pt. 1
- Ethical Design: The Practical Getting-Started Guide
- Findings from Ethics in Design
- Start designing for transparency.
Often associated with use in start-ups, this methodology is focused on the rapid evaluation of hypotheses (i.e. learning loops), while putting in the minimal amount of effort required to test these hypotheses.
- Andy Budd::Blogography - My thoughts on Lean UX
- Jeff Gothelf on Design as a Hypothesis | The Hipper Element
- Lean Design for Good User Experience
- Lean UX: Rethink Development
Scenario-based Design (also known as Task-Centered Design)
Another form of user-centered design that relies on stories of user interaction as the source of guidance for design requirements.
- Five Reasons for Scenario-Based Design (PDF)
- Task-Centered User Interface Design - A Practical Introduction (incl. Amended Version)
User-centered design (UCD)
A methodology and philosophy where users and their goals are the focal point.
Planning the creation, publication, and governance of useful, usable, and desirable content.
- Content strategy 101, Part 1: giving context to your content
- How to Develop a User-Centered Content Strategy (PDF)
- Practical Content Strategy in Action
- UX Designers Should Be Content Strategists Too
Product Design Principles
A set of design principles specific to the creation on a particular product.
- Creating Great Design Principles - 6 Counter-intuitive Tests
- Developing Design Principles
- Design Principles: a guide to less sh*tty feedback
- Experience / Design Principles
- MapBox Design Principles
A map of a person's experience throughout an existing service.
- Journey Mapping in Real Life: A Survey of UX Practitioners
- Nine sample customer journey maps – and what we can learn from them
- The Anatomy of an Experience Map
- The Value of Customer Journey Maps: A UX Designer’s Personal Journey
- Using Customer Journey Maps to Improve Customer Experience
- When and How to Create Customer Journey Maps
- Why All UX Designers Should Be Creating User Journeys, And Here’s How To Make One
A model representing 5 types of customer requirements (or potential features).
- Feature Grading: An Introduction to the Kano Model
- Leveraging the Kano Model for Optimal Results
- The Kano Model – A tool to prioritize the users’ wants and desires
- Using The Kano Model To Prioritize Product Development
Open Source Business Strategies
Business strategies related to open source software products.
- Creative Commons Toolkit for Business
- Making Money With Software, or Because of It?
- Open issues: lessons learned building an open source business
- Open source software has to sell user experience
User Experience Strategy
Defining a set of end-user goals in relation to design and development work.
- 3 Keys to Aligning UX with Business Strategy
- How Design And User Experience Translates To The Bottom Line
- Making Research Actionable: An Introduction to Design Criteria
- Planning Your UX Strategy
- There is no such thing as UX strategy
Value of UX
Associating a value to the practice of user experience design.
- Making a Strong Business case for the ROI of UX
- Mapping Business Value to UX: An Idea’s Inception
- “Sell me this pen”: Explaining the value of #UX
A clear statement which communicates the benefits of a product or service.
A tool to visually organize ideas and information
- Affinity Diagrams – Learn How to Cluster and Bundle Ideas and Facts
- How to Prepare and Use an Affinity Diagram
- Using Affinity Diagrams to make sense from Brainstorming
Having participants sort various items into groups of their own choosing.
- Card-Based Classification Evaluation
- Card sorting: a definitive guide
- Information Design Using Card Sorting
Observing participants in their own environment performing their actual work.
- Conducting Contextual Enquiry (or Site Visits)
- Contextual Inquiry - A Primer
- Field Research in Commercial Product Development (PDF)
- Focus Questions for Site Visits
Remote Contextual Inquiry
Remotely observing participants using their own to perform their actual work.
- Overcoming Distance in User-Centered Design (PDF)
- Remote Contextual Inquiry: A Technique to Improve Enterprise Software
A qualitative technique for collecting information about user behaviors, activities, and experiences over an extended period of time.
- Dear Diary: Using Diaries to Study User Experience
- Diary Studies: Understanding Long-Term User Behavior and Experiences
- Jumpstart Design Research with a Diary Study
A simple tool to better understand people using a product or service.
- Agile Coaching Tip: What Is an Empathy Map?
- Empathy Maps for UX
- How To Use Empathy Maps To Make Better Services
- Updated Empathy Map Canvas
A technique that utilizes a question-asking method to explore the causes/effects underlying a particular issue.
A conversation where an interviewer asks a series of questions to one or more interviewees.
- Asking the right questions during user research, interviews and testing
- How to Make User Research a Conversation
- Interviewing Humans
- Never Ask What They Want — 3 Better Questions to Ask in User Interviews
- User Interviews: How, When, and Why to Conduct Them
- When Interviews Go Wrong
An approach to task analysis that is inspired by Jobs To Be Done.
- 5 Tips For Writing A Job Story
- Designing Features Using Job Stories
- Job stories are great, but personas aren't dead
Fictional persons, based on research, where each one represents a specific type of user.
- An introduction to personas and how to create them
- Describing Personas
- Five Factors for Successful Persona Projects
- Persona Grata - Welcoming users into the interaction design process
- A Closer Look At Personas: What They Are And How They Work (Part 1)
- Personas: Setting the Stage for Building Usable Information Sites
- Three Important Benefits of Personas
Hypothetical persons, where each one represents a specific type of user.
- Assumptive Personas
- Boost Empathy Quickly With Proto-Personas
- The UX Designer’s 5-Minute Guide to Lean Personas
- Using Proto-Personas for Executive Alignment
A visual representation of a user journey to help prioritize a product backlog.
- Buying better digital products part 3: Mapping user stories
- Story Map Concepts (PDF)
- The new user story backlog is a map
A data collection tool to gather responses to a series of questions.
- 8 Research Based Insights for User Experience Surveys
- Preparing an Online Questionnaire - How to Conduct an Online Survey
- What Is a Survey - Booklet
Task analysis is the decomposition of how tasks are currently performed.
- Hierarchical Task Analysis
- Task Analysis: The Key UX Design Step Everyone Skips
- Task Analysis - Hierarchical, If/Then, and Model-Based
- Uncovering True Motivation: The Whys and Wherefore
A summary of relevant user characteristics, which can include both demographic and behavioral information.
The process of learning about the audience for your system or product.
- Communicating User Research Findings
- Doing Research with People Who Are Not Users: Consultation
- From Research Goals to Usability-Testing Scenarios: A 7-Step Method
- How to get participants for your user research
- One page user research plan
- Step By Step Guide To More Structured User Research
- The two questions we answer with user research
- Quantitative User-Research Methodologies: An Overview
- UIETips: Three Questions You Shouldn't Ask During User Research
- UX Research Cheat Sheet
- When to Use Which User-Experience Research Methods
Informal (Guerilla) User Research
A rapid and less rigorous approach to conducting user research.
- Are you doing your user research on the right people?
- Discovery on a Budget: Part I
- Getting Guerrilla With It
Brief narratives that describe on user interactions with a system, with a focus on the value gained from such interactions.
Brainstorming is a common group ideation technique.
- 7 Tips on Better Brainstorming
- How to run a brainstorming meeting
- Ideation in Practice: How Effective UX Teams Generate Ideas
- Tips for Structuring Better Brainstorming Sessions
- Troubleshooting Group Ideation: 10 Fixes for More and Better UX Ideas
A diagram showing how various concepts are related.
Exploring what interaction model will be presented to the user through the use of structure, behavior, and visuals.
- Book Review: The Design of Everyday Things
- Conceptual models: begin by designing what to design (PDF)
- Conceptual Design for Interactive Systems: Designing for Performance and User Experience
- Specifying what we want the user experience to be - the designer's model
General solutions for commonly occurring system design problems.
A design system is a collection of reusable components, which can be used to build any number of applications.
- Design Systems Handbook
- On the Current State of Design Systems in UX
- The User Experience of Design Systems
Re-examining the underlying goals, assumptions and perspectives that are assumed to be part of the problem.
- Abductive Thinking and Sensemaking: The Drivers of Design Synthesis
- Reframe: Shift the Way You Work, Innovate, and Think
- Reframing is a Strategic Skill and a Design Thinking Skill
An illustration of specific processes a user may undertake within a system.
The creation of a working model of a system or interface.
- Design Better And Faster With Rapid Prototyping
- Designer’s Toolkit: Prototyping Tools
- Designing with Code
- Five Prevalent Pitfalls when Prototyping
- Flavors of Prototypes
- The Right Tool For The Job: Picking The Best Prototyping Software For Your Project
- The Skeptic’s Guide To Low-Fidelity Prototyping
- Using prototypes in user research
Descriptions of how a specific user accomplishes their goal, with regards to an existing or yet-to-be system.
- Create Scenarios
- Context-Rich Scenarios Make UX Projects Manageable
- Tell me the story: the unifying role of scenarios in conceptual design
Graphical or textual representation of the structure of a website.
A means to explore ideas and iterate on concepts quickly and easily.
A sequence of images or drawings representing a specific period of time.
- Storyboarding a user experience
- Storyboards and Startups
- Telling Your Website's Story with Sketchboarding
- The 8 Steps To Creating A Great Storyboard
A combination of process flows and wireframes.
Drawings of individual screens that represent major content and navigation elements.
Accessibility is the practice of removing barriers that prevent interaction or access to websites by people with disabilities.
- 4 Ways to Make Online Content More Accessible
- 7 Things Every Designer Needs to Know about Accessibility
- Accessibility according to actual people with disabilities - Axess Lab
- Accessibility for Visual Design
- Accessibility Guidelines
- Accessibility resources for designers
- Baby Boomers Are Aging–And Designers Need To Adapt
- Design Accessibly, See Differently: Color Contrast Tips And Tools
- Font Awesome & Accessibility
A chatbot is a service, powered by simple rules and sometimes artificial intelligence, provided in a conversational style.
- Best practices for designing a chatbot conversational experience
- Chatbots Deliver the Worst Customer Service
- Chatbot UX – Does Conversation Hurt Or Help?
- Conversational UI Principles — Complete Process of Designing a Website Chatbot
The branch of psychology that studies mental processes including how people think, perceive, remember and learn.
- Cognitive Styles: Get inside the user's head
- Designing for Human Memory
- Improving Usability with Fitts' Law
- Reducing Cognitive Overload For A Better User Experience
- Reducing Reliance on Superstition
- The Psychologist's View of UX Design
Conceptual models involve three views of a system; the user's mental model, the designer's model, and the system image.
- Affordances Design
- Human Centered Design & The 6 Fundamental Principles of Interaction Between Products and Users
- IBM Design: The three models - User
- The Secret to Designing an Intuitive UX: Match the Mental Model to the Conceptual Model
Platform Design Principles
A high-level of advice for general platform design decisions.
Creating experiences that are emotional appealing to people.
- Design for Emotion: Expert Tips by Aarron Walter
- Design for Emotion and Flow
- Designing Fun
- In Defense of Eye Candy
- Not Just Pretty: Building Emotion Into Your Websites
- The dangers of delightful design
An empty state is the initial appearance of an application when there is no user generated information yet.
- UX Best Practices: Designing the Overlooked Empty States
- Why Empty States Deserve More Design Time
- Writing empty states
The display and input of information within online forms.
- An Extensive Guide To Web Form Usability
- Design Better Forms
- Inline validation in forms — designing the experience
- The New Rules of Form Design
How a system prevents, or handles, users making mistakes.
- 4 rules for displaying error messages from a user experience perspective
- Avoid Being Embarrassed by Your Error Messages
- Non-Fatal Errors: Creating Usable, Effective Error Messages
The design of products and services that consider the full range of peoples ability, age, culture and language.
- Designing for Inclusion
- Inclusive - Microsoft Design
- Making the Web Accessible for Everyone With Inclusive Design and Diverse Personas
- What the Heck Is Inclusive Design?
Information architecture primarily involves the organization of a system and how navigation is supported within that system.
- Complete Beginner’s Guide to Information Architecture
- IA Heuristics: A Journey
- Information Architecture: The Scaffold of Good UX
- The Difference Between Information Architecture (IA) and Navigation
The structure and behaviors of interactive products, services, and systems.
- Dan Saffer - Designing Microinteractions
- Defining an Interaction Model: The Cornerstone of Application Design
- Interaction Design Tactics For Visual Designers
- Users Don’t Hate Change. They Hate Our Design Choices.
Machine Learning is a type of artificial intelligence (AI) that allows software to learn without being explicitly programmed.
- Applications Of Machine Learning For Designers
- Getting to Know Machine Learning
- Human-Centered Machine Learning
- Machine learning and what UX designers need to know!
Natural User Interfaces
A natural user interface, or NUI, is an effectively invisible interface that is used via natural and human movements.
- Designing UX for Natural User Interfaces
- Eight Principles of Natural User Interfaces
- Natural User Interfaces Are Not Natural
A visual representation that shows a key sequence of a task.
Aspects of an object described in terms of hue, lightness, and saturation.
- Color - Usability Matters
- Color Basics: Dos and Dont's
- Color Theory for Designers, Part 1: The Meaning of Color
- Colorblindness - A Usability Guide for Commercial Applications, Part 1
- Designing for Colour Blindness
A visible or invisible structure of intersecting lines.
- Create a grid that adapts to all screens
- The Grid System: Building a Solid Design Layout
- Using Layout Grids Effectively
Differences between items shown visually.
- A Closer Look at Hierarchy in Web Design
- Creating Better Typographic Hierarchy
- Visual Design and Usability Yellow Brick Road
Visual symbols representing concepts or commands.
- Designing For User Interfaces: Icons As Visual Elements For Screen Design
- Icons As Part Of A Great User Experience
- Small Elements, Big Impact: Types and Functions of UI Icons.
The use of animation to enhance the feedback and overall experience of a user interface.
- A beginner's guide to designing interface animations
- Animated Interactions. Motion on Purpose
- Communicating Animation
The arrangement of individual visual objects within a composition.
- Designing With Grid-Based Approach
- Getting Started with Page Layout: Principles of Graphic Design
- The Four Basic Principles of Design
- The Grid System: Building a Solid Design Layout
- Unbox the Web!
- UX & Psychology go hand in hand— How Gestalt theory appears in UX design?
The terms used to describe various concepts and objects.
- Plain Language and Usable Accessibility: Whitney Quesenbery
- Tell It To Me Straight: Plain Language in UX
The design of typefaces, and the way type is selected and arranged.
Identifying and classifying the content in an existing product or system.
- How to Conduct A Content Audit
- Tips for laying out a responsive site
- Tools for the UX Architect: Content Inventory
Determining the relative value of content in relation to its audience.
- Devising a Strategy for Responsive Design
- Responsive-Ready Content
- The case for responsive web content: it's all about the users
Designing for Touch
How to make applications and website touch optimized.
- Design for Fingers, Touch, and People, Part 3.
- Hover is dead. Long live hover.
- Responsive Navigation: Optimizing for Touch Across Devices
- The Pursuit of Tappiness
- The Cost of a Touch
- The Thumb Zone: Designing For Mobile Users
- Touch interaction design (Windows Store apps)
Mobile and Multi-device Web Design
How to more effectively design and build for mobile and multi-device usage.
- Design for Every Screen
- Designing Exceptional Mobile Experiences
- Eight Tips to Make Your First Mobile Design a Success
- Mobile first: Insights from going mobile only
- Framework for Designing for Multiple Devices
- The Hamburger Menu Doesn’t Work
- Think Again: Assumptions About Mobile To Reconsider
- Tools for Mobile UX Design
Responsive HTML Frameworks
HTML frameworks that support responsive web design.
Responsive Web Design
A technique where individual web pages automatically adjust to various screen sizes.
A step-by-step evaluation of a system, from the viewpoint of a specific type of user.
- Cognitive Walkthrough: bare bones - quickie example
- The Streamlined Cognitive Walkthrough Method (PDF)
- Usability Inspection: Cognitive Walkthrough
The evaluation of a user interface against a checklist of design rules or heuristics.
- An Introduction To Heuristic Evaluation
- How to Conduct a Heuristic Evaluation
- How to run an heuristic evaluation
- Severity Ratings for Usability Problems
- Applying ISO 9241-110 Dialogue Principles to Tablet Applications in Emergency Medical Services (PDF)
- Ergonomics of human-system interaction -- Part 110: Dialogue principles
- Usability Expert Reviews: Beyond Heuristic Evaluation
Rapid Iterative Testing and Evaluation (RITE) Method
A highly iterative and rapid usability evaluation method.
- The Rapid Iterative Test and Evaluation Method (RITE): Better Products in Less Time
- Using the RITE method to improve products; a definition and a case study (DOC)
Usability Test Reports
How to write more effective usability test reports.
- How to Deliver a Report Without Getting Lynched
- Making Usability Findings Actionable: 5 Tips for Writing Better Reports
- Writing usability reports
Usability Test Surveys
Post-session usability test surveys which have been shown to be valid and reliable.
- After-Scenario Questionnaire
- If you could only ask one question, use this one (SEQ)
- Recent Advances with the System Usability Scale
- System Usability Scale (SUS)
- Two Simple Post-Test Questions
- When A Survey Is The Better Research Method
Usability Test Tasks
Creating effective tasks for observational usability tests.
An evaluation method where participants try to complete certain tasks using a specific system.
- 4 forgotten principles of usability testing
- 10 Tips For Benchmark Usability Tests
- 20 Tips For Your Next Moderated Usability Test
- Beginner's Guide to Moderating a Usability Study
- One page usability test plan (dashboard)
- Seven Common Usability Testing Mistakes
- Success Rate: The Simplest Usability Metric (Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox)
- Talking with Participants During a Usability Test
- Usability Testing (Usability BoK)
Informal (Guerilla) Usability Testing
A rapid and less rigorous approach to conducting usability testing.
- 7 Step Guide to Guerrilla Usability Testing: DIY Usability Testing Method
- Quick and Dirty Remote User Testing
- The Art of Guerilla Usability Testing
- The Pros and Cons of Guerrilla Research for Your UX Project
Remote Usability Testing
An evaluation method where remote participants try to complete certain tasks using a specific system.