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Faceoff: Links vs Buttons

Also, check out an honest UX design portfolio, 5 reasons why I hate being a UX designer, and a case study review!

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 2022!

2022 Design Trends, questions junior UX designers can’t answer, a viral Michelin-starred restaurant review, and more! Welcome to the new year! We all hope that 2022 is not 2020, too (say that 3 times fast). Here’s our first UX nuggets to ring in hopefully what is the best to come

C is for Confirmation Bias

Confirmation bias = tendency to choose evidence that supports our existing beliefs. How do we account for that as UX designers?

The ABCs of Cognitive Bias: B is for Bandwagon Effect

The bandwagon effect is the psychological tendency to adopt certain behaviors or attitudes because other people are doing it. The more people that behave a certain way, the greater the potential for the bandwagon effect. Cognitive biases are systematic patterns in thinking that occur when people are processing and interpreting

Laws of UX applied IRL

This week’s UX roundup has 2 article highlights, 2 design tips/tools, 1 design quote, 1 UX book recommendation, and 1 case study review.

UX Designers, are you happy?

This week’s UX roundup has 1 UX Beginner exclusive, 2 article highlights, 2 design tools, 1 design quote, 1 UX book recommendation, and 1 case study review.

The UX of COVID-19 vaccine registration

This UX of COVID-19 vaccine registration review is written by Kim Chung, who is currently located in Chicago, IL.  It’s mid-March 2021 and Chicago is currently in Phase 1C of the vaccine rollout. This includes people between the ages of 65-74 years old, people between the ages of 16-64 with

UX Analysis of Missha: A Missed Opportunity in Responsive Design

This is Kim Chung’s UX analysis of a popular online store. Want to see more UX analyses or have a request to see one in a future newsletter? Let us know in the comments below and give us some inspiration! Lunar New Year, Valentine’s Day, and President’s Day. At least

Where should I create my portfolio?!

When applying to design jobs, the portfolio is an absolute requirement. A portfolio demonstrates how you present your work and approach UX projects. In a way, your design portfolio is a proxy for both your technical skills and soft skills. Therefore, where you choose to create your portfolio has a

UXBeginner’s 2020 Recap

Want UX updates? Sign up for the UX newsletter here. Last year, the anticipation of a turn of a new decade provided lots of predictions and expectations for what 2020 would bring as well. 2020 was unexpected to say the least: Australian wildfires; a global pandemic; massive social unrest and

The UX of Among Us

This week’s UX roundup has 3 article highlights, 2 design tools, 1 design quote, 1 UX book recommendation, and 8 remote UX jobs.

Best UX Courses on Skillshare

Here’s my 10 hand-picked UX Design courses from Skillshare. I also talk about some of the advantages of using the Skillshare platform.

Best UX Courses on LinkedIn Learning

The top 10 UX design courses on LinkedIn Learning (previously Lynda.com). I’ve hand-selected the top UX courses for this platform, and explain some advantages of using LinkedIn Learning.

Embracing the UX Mindset

Information overload, creativity exercises, and design documentation. Check out your weekly to-do list and the latest remote jobs too!

The UX of Time Change

Plus: Learning Code, Design Inspiration, UI Design Principles, Dark Patterns and Technical Writing.

Your New Favorite F-word

Feedback is your friend. [How to handle a design review] As a UX Designer, you will get all sorts of feedback in every phase of your career. There are many key stakeholders in designing a product and their feedback is valuable.  If you’re not used critiques, this process can be a

What’s on YOUR New Year’s Resolutions?

You’re reading the UX Career Newsletter, a weekly roundup of useful design nuggets to keep you update to date in our industry. You can sign up for the UX newsletter here. Plan your next trip! [The Best UX and Design Events in 2020] Many seasoned UX designers suggest that attending

How to prepare for UX interview design challenges

Design challenges, or design assignments, are often the least enjoyable and most daunting for UX designers during the interview process. In this guide, get an in-depth understanding of how to prepare for your next design challenge. You can click to jump to each section: Types of Design Challenges Preparing For A

UX 2019: That’s a “wrap”!

Hear ye, Hear ye [Why Spotify’s “Wrapped” Feature is the Growth Hack of this Decade] Spotify topped our holiday season with a cherry-on-top by releasing a personalized ‘Your Decade Wrapped’ that has been trending on all social media platforms. It’s no surprise that Spotify’s got their users hooked – they’re

UX Design Processes

With the growth of UX today, there are a plethora of design methodologies but a designer’s process will depend on the problem they’re solving. Approaches can differ based on the constraints of a project. One team may prefer a simple approach, whereas another may opt to blend two or more

Guide to UX Design Job Titles and Career Levels

What’s the difference between a junior, mid level and senior UX designer? UX job titles and the career pathways available to UX professionals can be unclear, especially when you’re just getting started in UX. In this guide, get an in-depth look at the career journey from UX Intern to UX

The Text-First Portfolio

Creating a UX Portfolio can seem like a daunting task. There seems to be a million items to take care of, from the visual design to storytelling. It’s going to take so much work! When I was redesigning my portfolio, I realized that it wasn’t the amount of work that

Should UX designers learn how to code? A definitive answer.

I once wrote about whether UX designers should code. Years later, my answer remains mostly the same. This article will help you stay away from fruitless “should you code” debates into perpetuity.  If you’re transitioning into UX, you’re probably wondering whether you need to learn how to code. It used

The 4 Types of UX Interview Questions to Master

So can you tell me about KPIs you used to measure the outcome of this design? I froze. Beads of sweat formed on my forehead. I didn’t know how to answer the interview question and stumbled through with a half-assed response. Interviewing used to be one of those painful, tedious chores

Top UX Interview Mistakes to Avoid

A collection of UX interview tips to increase your chances of getting a UX job. I’ve bombed my fair share of UX interviews. I’ve experienced interview failures from all spectrums of the rainbow, from arriving late to trying too hard to impress everyone. In fact, my failures feel even more painful when

How to Find a UX Mentor

I interviewed ten aspiring UX designers, spending over 30 hours conducting interviews about what UX mentorship was like from both sides of the table. This article reflects my best thinking on how to approach UX mentors, and a counterintuitive way of thinking about mentorship in general. It’s no lie: mentorship

Should You Take Time Off Between Jobs?

When I was transitioning into a UX career, my mother advised me: “Don’t quit your job until you’ve got another job lined up.” Sounds sensible enough. So I proceeded to do exactly the opposite and quit my job without another one lined up. In this article I’ll share with you

Top 10 UX Portfolio Best Practices

There’s an exciting UX job you want to apply for. You’re putting the finishing touches on your UX portfolio. Just to make sure you’re not missing anything, you want some portfolio advice that you can implement TODAY. Enter this list – a “quick hits” of the Top 10 UX Portfolio

Complete Guide to UX Resumes + 3 Free Templates

Step by step guide on how to craft a UX resume for getting a UX job. The resume has been around for some 500+ years now, thanks to Leonardo da Vinci. Today there are more subtleties and challenges around the resume than ever. We’re talking file formats, resume types and the

Two Common UX Career Paths

If you’re looking for a UX job, there are two primary UX career paths to explore: technical and managerial. Which one is the best for you?

How to Get a UX Job with No Professional UX Experience

It’s not unusual to come across a UX Job posting that reads like this: “7+ years of professional experience as a UX Architect, expert in interaction design, front-end web development…” And that’s not even for a senior / principal designer role. Whoever does have that much experience should be a

5 Hidden Sources of UX Portfolio Projects

The path to become a UX designer is often frustrating, especially if you’re faced with the chicken & egg problem. To get a job, you need UX experience. But to get UX experience, you need a job…right? In Minimum Viable UX Portfolio and How to Get a UX Job with No

The 1% Designer

You’re in UX design now? How did it happen that quickly? Catching up with old friends one night, I didn’t expect this comment. To them, my career trajectory changed vastly since they last saw me. It came as a surprise because all the changes – becoming a UX Designer, picking

List of Top UX Design Portfolios (Updated 2019)

This will be a continually updated list of UX Design Portfolios I admire.  Ah, the UX portfolio. Annoyingly hard to build, ridiculously essential for getting a UX job. In the years, I’ve written about how to quickly create a UX portfolio and how to create a content-first portfolio. I’ve even

How to evaluate UX jobs at Agencies vs Startups vs Big Companies

Searching for your first UX job is a big deal. If it’s going to be something that consumes at least 8 hours of your day, every day, for the next X months years, you better know what you want, and what you’re going for. In your job search, you’ll come across an

Staying 20/20 in 2020

UX NUGGETS WORTH READING Stay relevant! [5 Trends UX Designers Should Know for 2020] With 2020 being just around the corner for designers, this is a solid time to keep your eyes peeled for ways to keep your UX game 20/20 in the new year. Emerson Schroeter shares in an

Applying to jobs makes you a better UX designer

Job hunting is brutal. Looking for a UX job is no exception. Let me know if you’ve ever felt like… An impostor designer who doesn’t belong No company is giving you a chance, or worse… Companies show interest in initially, then ghost you Comparing yourself to those amazing designers on

Minimum Viable UX Portfolio

Ah, the portfolio…the magic key to the UX universe. In terms of hiring anyway.Nowadays a UX portfolio is required for many good reasons: it highlights your work and shows your process as a UX Designer. Job listings nowadays often say “link to portfolio” required or “no submission without a portfolio will

TUT 45: Designed in China, Assembled in California

The 45th edition of the UX Training newsletter looks at a lot of trends in the field of design and technology. I start with the most important article I’ve read about the state of technology in quite a long time. It worries me. Followed by an analysis of Apple Design

TUT #37: UX Resume Tips, 2018 Remote Work Report and Is the Party Over for UX?

A DESIGNER’S JOURNEY INTO FACEBOOK DESIGN Garron Engstrom writes a detailed account of how he started at Mitchell International, then Intuit, and finding his way into Facebook Design. Some great thoughts about being a generalist versus specialized designer: Highlight: “What is your dream company? Find out about their hiring practices.

Should You Pay for a UX Design Course?

Relevant: here’s a curated list of the best free and paid UX courses. Prospective UX designers often wonder whether they should spend money on UX classes. Get an informed decision by considering the 2 dimensions of free vs paid courses and in-person vs online training: Free Online UX Courses (skip to section) Paid

To transition into UX, don’t ignore your past

2 things surprise me about students transitioning into UX. The first is their diversity of backgrounds. I’m talking architects, nurses and engineers. The second is that they often dismiss their prior professions. “How do I transition into UX from a TOTALLY different background?” As a UX career coach, I challenge

TUT #32: New UX FAQ page, UX becoming a commodity & 2018 design trends

Launched: the brand new UX frequently asked questions page. After curating hundreds of questions from readers via email, Facebook and my own career coaching, I present you the top questions & answers across 4 categories. If you have a question about UX careers, this page is likely to have an answer

UX Job Tenures: Is Job Hopping Bad For Your Career?

“Hmm…I don’t know about this candidate. His design skills are good… but he looks like a job hopper.” I looked at the resume again. Was management referring to the candidate’s last position, where he stayed for 9 months? It wasn’t an awfully long time, but to me I wouldn’t have labeled

Design Group Critiques: A Primer

A group critique, according to the Nielsen Norman Group, refers to “analyzing a design, and giving feedback on whether it meets its objectives.” Group critiques can occur when collaborating with classmates in a UX course, during UX interviews and of course on the job as a UX designer. This often

UX Storytelling Techniques for Design Portfolios

By Daljit Ahluwalia, UX Writer You passed the initial phone interview and now comes the final test to show potential employers what you are capable of: the UX portfolio presentation. You might wonder… “Which projects should I talk about?” “Should I just walk through projects on my website?” The purpose

How to Navigate the Ocean of UX Job Titles

One real (but kinda silly) barrier to entering the UX job market is the sheer number of confusing UX Job titles. Today, I’m going to help you navigate, understand, and evaluate the many UX job titles and descriptions you are bound to come across. Why The Problem Exists  User Experience is a very

Tuesday UX Training: Design automation, applying to Google & resume advice

*UXBeginner Updates* I’ve brought on amazing interns who are going to help create UX-specific resources like lists and guides for the design community. Look out for these in the coming weeks – and thanks to everyone who applied! UX School development: I’ve added a new section on Personas and am currently

Tuesday UX Trainer: Design & Data Privacy

Housekeeping news: I’m hiring Content Strategist + UX Writer interns for UXBeginner.com. Meanwhile, development of UX School is going along smoothly. > This week’s TUT is about privacy, data and ethics in design in light of the recent #deletefacebook debacle. 🚨 Facebook has been under fire for privacy breaches, and I

What a tailored UX job application process looks like

See UX job, apply to UX job. Is it that simple? To increase the likelihood of a recruiter looking at your application, a tailored approach is best. Step 1: if you find the listing through a job board site like Indeed, don’t apply on the job board. Instead, go directly

The UX Designer’s Guide to Informational Interviews

Where do I start in UX? How do I know if UX Design is the right job for me? What do people do to get a job at Google or Facebook? My answer to all these questions is to talk to somebody. Specifically, hold informational interviews. Not only do informational

Common excuses holding back UX career transitioners

Transitioning into UX is hard enough. But the toughest hurdles come from ourselves. From years of serving as a UX coach, I’ve seen the entire spectrum of excuses, avoidance, and self-imposed mental barriers that UX career transitioners impose on themselves. Knowing about these excuses up front can keep beginners accountable,

Tuesday UX Trainer: Content Strategy

You reading an issue of Tuesday UX Trainer, a series that teaches you something new about UX design every week. Housekeeping news: I’ve been quiet while making some website upgrades (https!) and creating new UX education. Yes, I’ve missed you. Most of us produce content every day. An email to colleagues,

Tuesday UX Trainer: Blockchain and Design

You reading an issue of Tuesday UX Trainer, a series that teaches you something new about UX design every week. In an issue of Remote UX Jobs (a separate newsletter curating UX jobs), I noted that “blockchain” is becoming a new industry UXers can design for, including AI, VR and eCommerce. In this

Tuesday UX Trainer: Automated cars and UX

You reading an issue of Tuesday UX Trainer, a series that teaches you something new about UX design every week. Each day in the United States, approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.  (Source: CDC.gov) Isn’t that statistic just

Tuesday UX Trainer: Users hate these ads the most

You reading an issue of Tuesday UX Trainer, a series that teaches you something new about UX design every week. This week, I decided to be ironic. Today’s issue is going to be talking about the relationship between advertising & UX. Not coincidentally, I have two UXB announcements for you before we

Tuesday UX Trainer: Should UX designers learn how to code?

You reading an issue of Tuesday UX Trainer, a series that teaches you something new about UX design every week. This week’s issue is all about the “should designers code” debate… The question “should designers code?” is such a long-running debate in the design community that it’s now a meme about

Tuesday UX Trainer: User testing your designs + usability

You reading an issue of Tuesday UX Trainer, a series that teaches you something new about UX design every week. These are the UX articles worth reading this week… In a new article, I explain why the “Fine Dining” method of presenting case studies is far superior to the “Fast Food” method

Presenting a design? Try the fine dining method

This is one of the most common problems I see with UX portfolios – Designers will show their work without context… “This is a wireframe. This is a user flow. This is a sitemap.” It feels like the designer is just going through the motions of what they think they’re

Tuesday UX Trainer: User testing your designs + usability

How do you know if your design works? This week’s links are all about usability and testing your designs 1. When presenting your UX work in an interview, sophisticated design teams know to ask you this question: how do you know that’s the right design? They’ll be wondering if you

Is applying to jobs a “numbers” game?

“It’s all a numbers game.” We’ve heard this when it comes to dating, with sales, and of course with the job hunt.. Does that mean you just blast out hundreds of resumes to whatever website will take it? Or that you need to burn yourself out going to endless UX

UX Career Newsletter: What is an affordance?

You’re reading the UX Career Newsletter, a weekly UX newsletter covering UX career tips, UX training, and UX jobs One of the first words I learned in UX class was affordance. It sounded fancy and made me feel 10% more hipster as a designer. To oversimplify, an affordance is a signal for something

UX Career Newsletter: How to design your UX career

You’re reading the UX Career Newsletter, a weekly UX newsletter covering UX career tips, UX training, and UX jobs Pre-PS: You can design your UX career however you want…but you still have to interview. Master the UX Interview teaches you how. Designing your UX career (link to video) Approximately 99.99*%

Tuesday UX Trainer: Designing for trust

You’re reading an issue of Tuesday UX Trainer, a series that teaches you something new about UX design every week. It wasn’t too long ago that inviting strangers to sleep in your living room would be considered a risky bad decision. Now we do it with our cars, cameras, and

Tuesday UX Trainer: How to use color in your designs

You’re reading an issue of Tuesday UX Trainer, a series that teaches you something new about UX design every week. Today’s training? Using color in design. Here are the top 3 practical resources for working with color in your designs… 1. Color In Sight (20 min documentary on color in design) “If Coca

Tuesday UX Trainer: Empathy is not everything

You’re reading an issue of Tuesday UX Trainer, a series that teaches you something new about UX design every week. heads up designers – I’m working on a comprehensive soup-to-nuts (& cilantro) UX master course set to release in a couple months. If you’d like to be the first to

Tuesday UX Trainer: Learning Typography

You’re reading an issue of Tuesday UX Trainer, a series that teaches you something new about UX design every week. Today’s subject line is adapted from Jason Santa Maria’s talk on typography: “Err on the side of making something too big, than making it too small.” Designers stress over a

UX Career Newsletter: Writing is Design

You’re reading the UX Career Newsletter, a weekly UX newsletter covering UX career tips, UX training, and UX jobs I wonder how many of us learn to write before we draw. Maybe 50/50? If you know anything about me by now (I know, I’m super mysterious), you know that I

UX Career Newsletter: Should you design for free?

You’re reading the UX Career Newsletter, a weekly UX newsletter covering UX career tips, UX training, and UX jobs It’s a hot balmy day in Los Angeles. You’re sippin’ on an ice latte in the lull of the afternoon and want to get some good UX training in on an

UX Career Newsletter: “But that’s not my job”

You’re reading the UX Career Newsletter, a series that teaches you something new about UX design every week. Maturity and Experience (1 hr podcast) It always bugged me when I heard “But that’s not my job” around the office – which is usually more a junior designer mistake. In this

UX Career Newsletter: Trends in User Research

You’re reading the UX Career Newsletter, a series that teaches you something new about UX design every week. Trends in User Research Methods “Micro tests are preferred over long formal user research studies” is among some of the gems in this World IA Day lecture. As tools and methods multiply

UX Career Newsletter: How do we design designers?

You’re reading the UX Career Newsletter, a series that teaches you something new about UX design every week. 1. How do we design designers (video) Three years ago, Jared Spool shared a meta-level talk about how to design a better educational experience to create the next generation of designers. Whether

UX Career Newsletter: Startup Stock Options – Are They Worth Anything?

You’re reading the UX Career Newsletter, a series that teaches you something new about UX design every week. 1. Startup stock options: are they worth anything? “Well, we also offer equity…” Might be something you’ve heard before when negotiating a UX design offer with a startup. TL;DR (meaning too long;

UX Career Newsletter: Getting into UX at Age 40

You’re reading the UX Career Newsletter, a series that teaches you something new about UX design every week. These are this week’s UX lessons that are worth your time: 1. A guide to becoming a UX Designer at 40 3 years ago, Guy Ligertwood stepped into a UX bootcamp and fought

How to say “UX Design” in the 25 most spoken languages

Imagine you’re on a plane, and the person next to you wants to know what you do. If they speak another language, how do you say UX design in their mother tongue? This got me curious about how to say “user experience design” in the world’s most spoken languages. That

Should you do free UX Design work?

You feel a little used. What you thought was a short, free project turned into an unsavory season of unpaid work. It’s not your fault. You wanted more experience. It’s neither the company’s fault. The founder told you their budget (zero, ha!) from the beginning. Almost every designer has done free

The Best Udemy Courses for Every UX Skill

Udemy is a giant learning marketplace with courses on virtually every topic under the sun, from learning piano to, of course, UX design courses. Because of the immense selection, it’s difficult to choose which courses are the best in each category, and UX design is no exception. So I present to

The Lean UX Job Hunt Strategy

I love The Lean Startup not only because it introduced a new methodology to build products, but also because “lean” thinking can be applied to many other facets of life. You guessed it – Lean Startup can help with the arduous UX job search. To get some context, let’s start with a common conversation

Medium – a Setup Guide for Designers

So, what’s Medium? Questions that haunt every UX Beginner: How do I get noticed in the industry? How do I make myself stand in the crowd of new UX Designers?  What are the steps that I need to take to attract clients as an independent consultant or my preferred employer?

Common Pitfalls of Survey Design (And How to Avoid Them)

Welcome to the second part of the Beginner’s Guide to Writing Great Surveys.  The first part of this guide explained how to draft a series of survey questions that will provide you with the data that you most need, based on your goals. In this article you will learn some

Beginner’s Guide to Content Strategy

In the beginning, there was content. But there was not very much of it. As the web expanded and new spaces filled with content, Content Strategists arose to take on the awesome responsibility of creating, organizing, and caring for it all. | Article written by Emerson Dameron, UX Consultant, Content Strategist,

LinkedIn Profile Guide For UX Beginners

Linkedin is the largest professional network on the web. According to Linkedin, the social network now has over 400 million users. That’s a huge opportunity missed in your job search if you don’t have an optimized and professional Linkedin profile! | Written by Tara-Lee York, UX designer and participant in

The Myth of the UX Degree

“Hmm, I know I don’t have a formal design background, but I think, um, my experience as an engineer and PM is certainly going to help…” Here I was, at my first-ever UX job interview, trying to convince a total stranger that I can be a UX designer. I could

Design Communication Toolkit – Part 2: Giving Design Feedback

You worked hard. Maybe you even spent hours toiling over the pixels, the placement, the idea your design was conveying. And then come those terrible, dreadful, no-good words. “I just don’t like it.” Nails. On. Chalkboard. How is that helpful?! What ever happened to constructive criticism?! It’s all you can

Beginner’s Guide to Design Thinking Methodologies

Introduction Yes, user experience, human centered design, usability; all those things, even affordances. They just sort of entered the vocabulary and no longer have any special meaning. People use them often without having any idea why, what the word means, its origin, history, or what it’s about. Don Norman in

Beginner’s Guide to Writing Great Surveys

A UX researcher is constantly asking: what do users think and experience while using our product. Why did they choose it and how do they use it? Surveys are popular with UX practitioners, as well as marketers, social scientists, ethnographers, and strategists to answer these questions. UX Bootcampers can use

The Beginner’s Guide to Conversion Centered Design

Until recently, marketers have had a lock on several persuasive design techniques, often referred to as conversion centered design (CCD). Usually found on landing and order pages, these techniques employ psychological principles that advertisers have relied upon for decades. | Article written by Sara Hov, UX Content Strategist Now, savvy

[Intro guide] UX Research

UX research is a broad discipline encompassing an array of specific practices. Its goal is to cut through the fog of assumptions and shine a light on the reality of who people are, what they do, and what they want. Article written by Emerson Dameron, UX Consultant, Content Strategist, and

UX Cover Letters – a Step by Step Guide

Nearly every job hunter has one part of the job application process that they hate – creating a resume, designing a portfolio, preparing for a job interview or writing a cover letter. In preparing for my personal launch into a UX career, creating cover letters has been one the most difficult parts

Design Communication Toolkit – Part 1: Communication Styles

Communication is a word that gets tossed around freely. UX managers and recruiters are looking for individuals with not just the right design chops but also good communication skills. I’m certain no one has ever gone in for an interview and said, “You know I have every technical skill you

[Intro guide] The ROI of UX

Article written by Meghan Hartman as part of the Design Writing Apprenticeship. The concept of “value” has been weighing on my mind as of late. I’ve been wrestling with some heavy questions like, how do I bring value to the world through my work? and, perhaps more importantly, how do I explain

No One Cares How Much You’re Paid

I hear and learn interesting things from UX job coaching mentees all the time. “I have 3 projects to include in my portfolio, but only 1 of them was paid.” This assumes that unpaid projects are not as valuable as paid ones. And it makes some designers feel that unpaid projects aren’t worth

The Best UX Portfolio Building Tools

Creating a UX Portfolio is hard enough. Luckily, there are a handful of tools that make the portfolio-building process much easier. Some tools are the obvious, popular ones. But I’m excited to share some “hidden gems” with you as well. My favorite UX Portfolio tools are organized in 4 different sections:

How to Get People to Fill Out Your Damn UX Surveys

Surveys are a staple of research work. If you’re a UX Designer working on a product (especially a new one), it’s likely at some point you’ll have to craft a survey. I think surveys are great – they can help you gain insights quickly from many people, often for cheap

How to Read 10x More Books This Year

You’ve probably read at least one book that has changed your life. For many UX designers, there are certain books that helped them decide to enter this industry. Reading books has made my life better – it has helped me transition into UX, become a better communicator, improve my health, and countless other

The Ultimate List of UX Topics All Beginners Should Know

When entering a new field, there’s usually a standard curriculum to learn. Front-end developers learn HTML & CSS. Content producers learn the basics of copywriting. But… What are UX skills UX designers should learn? Since everything about a product is technically tied to the user’s experience, it can be confusing to determine the

10 Useful Questions to Ask in UX Interviews

When it comes to UX interviews, it’s easy to feel like you’re the one getting grilled. But remember, you’re interviewing the company too.  You may spend a third of your life (~8 hours) for years at a job. So you might as well determine if a company is right for you. You can figure

UX Beginner Case Study: Claire Campbell’s Journey into UX

Claire Campbell’s journey into a career in UX design is a far from conventional story. Claire had no previous experience of UX design before deciding to take an online, mentored course in the subject. Unlike many UX designers, Claire did not start out as a graphic designer, or a web

Design Avocados

dedicated to Terri, who told me this story when I was a young whippersnapper In a previous post, I talked about a particularly challenging job assignment I had. In my darkest hour, a seasoned co-worker pulled me aside. She told me a story that left an imprint on me to

2 Pivotal Lessons on Identity for Designers

Like many of you, I took a circuitous route that landed me in UX design.  After graduating, I started my career in a management rotation program. The program consisted of 6 rotations over 2 years, meaning I was changing jobs every 4 months. As an Econ major with no clue

Finding a UX Job: Farming Vs Hunting

Dozens of tabs filled my browser window. I was applying to as many UX jobs as I could, and it was hard to not get overwhelmed. It felt like I was sending my resume into a digital black hole, with little chance of getting callbacks from recruiters. Granted, after dozens of job applications over

Axure’s Ridiculously Useful, but Overlooked Features

A UXB member recently asked…”How do you make links in Sketch?” The simple answer is you can’t. Due to the popularity of Photoshop and Sketch – which are dedicated UI design tools – prototyping tools like Axure get overlooked. If Photoshop is the reigning queen of design software, then Sketch

Defeating Product Blindness

Customer: “Wait, I thought this place closes at 11pm?” Barista: “No, we close at 6” C: “But Yelp says 11pm!” B: “Yeah…that’s weird. Sorry.” This is a real interaction I overheard at the local coffee shop, but not the first time I’ve seen this interaction unfold. As a coffee & tea

Are We in a UX Job Bubble? [Mar 2015]

People are concerned that we’re in the midst of a UX job bubble. And they have a right to be. “UX” is now corporate jargon used as a filler word anytime there’s a discussion regarding design or digital strategy. Anyone could throw up “UX” in their LinkedIn profile and probably get

“Users Are Stupid”

This is a guest post from Christine Ramirez, a UX/UI Designer and Art Director hailing from sunshiny Boulder, Colorado. She’s worked with several brands like Mercedes-Benz and Goldman-Sachs and writes about managing a career in design on her site. Every so often, I hear in various different ways that users are

Set Higher Expectations for Yourself

On the drive home today, I listened to an incredible episode of This American Life (you can listen to it directly for free). The story is about Daniel Kish, a blind man who bikes, runs, and operates just as freely as those who can see. But this story is much more about a

Learn UI Design by Copying

Throughout most of our academic careers, we’ve been taught that copying is a bad thing. Getting caught copying an author’s work is considered plagiarism. Copying someone else during an exam can lead to expulsion. So it’s not a surprise that we have negative associations with copying, even to this day.

Take Me Seriously: Establishing Yourself as a UX Designer

World Usability Day comes once a year, and the one this past Thursday was one of my favorites. Someone asked the panel such a good question, I wrote it down in my notebook: You can also watch a Youtube video of the conference (I was behind the camera). I paraphrase

Hacker News UX+UI Redesign Process

A few weeks ago, I took a weekend to redesign one of my favorite sites, Hacker News. Having not done a redesign in a while, I knew the first thing I had to do was establish some baseline of why I was motivated to redesign the site. Original HN Design:

How UX Recruiting Agencies Work (and how to use them to your benefit)

I’ve had friends , who I’ll refer to as Camp A, get great jobs at companies like Google through recruiting firms. But I’ve met much more in Camp B – those who’ve had bad experiences with talent agencies. What you’re reading now serves to help you fall into Camp A, and hopefully avoid the

UX Implications of the Apple Watch (and smart watches in general)

It’s been a month since the September 9th unveiling of the Apple Watch. I more or less agree that it is Apple’s “most personal device yet,” and with that comes huge UX implications. We’re no strangers to wearables, much less smart watches. But I strongly believe that with its design leadership, Apple

How to hack your design learning

I’m the best at psyching myself out when starting new projects. Before I even sketch out a simple plan of the project, my mind enters ultra-irrational mode: Well first, don’t I need to finish that Photoshop tutorial to learn how to make a better UI? Shouldn’t I also get a better grasp on

UX Essentials Lesson 3: Strategy and User Experience

In the previous post, we covered what UX Designers actually do on the job. (For a refresher, please re-read What UX Designers Do.) In this lesson, let’s dig into Strategy, an underrated component of design. Readers with a business background will especially appreciate the relevance of this lesson. This is a bigger post, so let’s

Who to Listen to When Transitioning into UX

Staying in hostels throughout Colombia, I’ve met a number of inspiring people. Over dinner one night, a fellow traveler shared how her sister became a veterinarian after years of trying. “How many years?” “5 years.” So this chick got rejected from vet school four years in a row and still kept pushing on.

UX Essentials Lesson 2: What UX Designers Do

In the previous post, we defined User Experience Design in many contexts. For a refresher, please re-read Defining User Experience Design. In this lesson, let’s dig into the real-world applications of what UX Designers do. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the UX field, practitioners need to be able to think at

UX Essentials Lesson 1: Defining User Experience Design

Welcome to the first lesson of the UX Essentials Course! It’s a course containing lessons on the different elements of User Experience. By the end of this course you should be able to: Understand and explain the different elements of User Experience Design Learn exactly what UX Designers do Get inside knowledge on

UX Portfolio Case Study: Zach Kuzmic

This is the second in our series of UX Portfolio Case Studies, featuring Zach Kuzmic. Today’s post is organized as follows: Intro to UX Designer Zach Kuzmic Case study of Zach’s UX Portfolio Interview with Zach. In-depth portfolio and UX career advice here. Intro Zach Kuzmic is a User Experience Designer

UX Portfolio Case Study: Ed Lea

Kicking off our first series of UX Portfolio Case Studies, featuring Ed Lea. Today’s post is organized as follows: Intro to Ed Case study of Ed’s UX Portfolio Interview with Ed. Really great UX career advice here. Intro Ed Lea is a product designer who has been working in the

The UX Buffet – How to Learn UX Without Going Insane

this post is inspired from a conversation with a UXB subscriber, who asked… I feel overwhelmed with the number of things to learn in UX. There’s visual design, usability testing, information architecture…not to mention skills like coding. Where do I start? Indeed, learning UX isn’t necessarily the smoothest user experience itself.

How to Remember the 3 Vital UX Laws (and impress your interviewers)

In a competitive UX job market, those who pay attention to the details and ask the high-level questions stand out. Questions like: Do our designs solve problems in the best possible way?  Here’s a quick and effective framework to answer that very question: Know Your Usability Laws + Test Your Designs  It sounds

UX Beginners: How to Move Beyond UX Tools

Every craft requires its tools. Carpenters have their drill bits and utility belts. Accountants have Excel. Digital creatives have…an endless number of tools at their disposal. Because the internet. Thus it’s no surprise that one of the top questions I get about working in UX Design is: “What tools do you

How I Transitioned into UX from Business

My transition into UX was a long and slow one. It took many “ah-hah” moments in succession to finally leave a comfortable business analyst job and switch over to something I was more passionate about. Here is my journey: Entrepreneurship as the goal, from start to finish Soon after starting my

UCLA Extension User Experience Design Class – Detailed Review

For those of you who want a solid intro to user experience in a traditional class setting, UCLA Extension puts forth a damn good offering. I’ll be writing specifically about my experience with the Fall 2012 User Experience Design course taught by professors Jaime Levy and Mark Sloan. Both professors

Cal State Fullerton User Experience Certificate Program – Review

CSUF’s UX Certificate program is in its early years of experimentation, but has already gained a strong reputation in Orange County. Unlike the more established UCLA UX Design (link), CSUF’s UX courses may undergo drastic change with each iteration. Thus keep in mind that the following review is for courses