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
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.
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
- Contextual Inquiry: 8 typical patterns and issues
- 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.
- 10 diagrams to help you think straight about UX Research
- 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.
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
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.
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
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
A visual representation that shows a key sequence of a task.
- Tools for Mobile UX Design: Task Flows
- Stop Designing Pages And Start Designing Flows
- UX Glossary: Task Flows, User Flows, Flowcharts and some new-ish stuff
- What are Task Flows?
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.
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
- Learn to Create Accessible Websites with the Principles of Universal Design
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
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.
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
- Importance of White Space in Design
- The Four Basic Principles of Design
- The Grid System: Building a Solid Design Layout
- Unbox the Web!
- Using White Space (or Negative Space) in Your Designs
- 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.
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.
- UI/UX sketching techniques 101
- User interface sketching tips part 1
- Wireframe 101: Sketch First, Wireframe Later
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.
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.