The most difficult UX concepts to explain

This week's UX roundup: 2021 UX Bootcamp Reviews, 2 article highlights, 2 design tools, 1 design quote, 1 UX book recommendation, and 1 case study review.

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Best UX Bootcamps: Reviewed & Updated for 2021

We updated our popular review of top UX bootcamps. This updated 2021 edition takes into account the rise of remote learning (over in-person bootcamps), arriving at 2 top recommendations + 2 honorable mentions. Our review takes in 3 different considerations:

  1. Self-reported student experiences
  2. Comparisons from Course Report and Switchup
  3. The secret sauce – perspective from UX mentors and career coaches

Read the updated UX Bootcamps review here

If you recently completed a UX bootcamp, here’s a 2021 UX Bootcamp Review survey – we can use your help. We’ll start formally collecting responses over the next few months and report a summary of updated boootcamp ratings.


UX Design: The most difficult concepts to explain (list)

UX design is complex, new, and broad. Scott Berkun puts together an amazing list of the most difficult concepts to explain as captured from Twitter responses. The 3 most common responses are: 

  • You are not the user (#).
  • The difference between UI & UX.
  • It’s not just what it looks like… it’s how it works too. Perception is often that UX is just a lick of paint (#).

My personal favorite on the list is “Looks good ≠ is good (#)” because I’ve been approached multiple times with website redesign requests for a “prettier” site when the problem is beyond how it looks. 



It can be hard to motivate yourself to “be productive”. Here’s a solution: Focusmate. Decide when you want to work by scheduling a session, get on for a 50-minute session and get to work! This is great for having some human accountability as we continue to WFH. 


Predicting Disaster

This podcast episode had a great build-up because Kate and Laura start by talking about the earthquake model and natural disasters that we can’t always predict. We can’t predict everything that will happen but as designers, we try to be very thorough and think of as many possibilities as possible. 

They also spoke about the drawback of automated systems. Calling customer service can be a nightmare, especially with long wait times and having to deal with an extensively automated system before reaching a human. Humanize your users and their experiences! 


Playful Creative Summit

An awesome FREE virtual event for creatives to interact with each other and be inspired to continue doing side-projects. Creativity for this group is not limited to design so there is something for everyone to enjoy. 


Why is it so hard to break into UX?

From my perspective, it’s so hard to break into UX right now for 2 reasons: saturated market of career-changers and recent grads, and time needed to recover from the pandemic.

But this article suggests a few other reasons such as UX being seen as a luxury for companies, and the perception that UX lacks value to a company. For many product-based startups, they start with a core team of developers and product managers to launch the product.  Once they’re on a stable trajectory, they go back and think about establishing a design team and tackle accessibility

Despite the harsh barriers that keep us from breaking into the industry, there are ways career changers can stay competitive:

  1. Keep learning: stay up to date on new design trends and tools
  2. Network: chat with current UX professionals for insights on their experiences or build a connection for a referral (it’s easier to go in the side door!)
  3. Work on side projects: volunteer for non-profit, find an internship, try something new to gain experience and applications of skills


“When UX doesn’t consider ALL users, shouldn’t it be known as “SOME User Experience” or… SUX?”

Billy Gregory, Senior Accessibility Engineer at The Paciello Group


Brené Brown on Empathy

Dr. Brené Brown’s question, “What is the best way to ease someone’s pain and suffer?” is explained in this quick short. We’re reminded that we can only create a genuine empathic connection if we are able to also be brave and understand our own fragilities and hesitancies. 


Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation

Some say Tim Brown’s book is a long infomercial for IDEO but there are great takeaways about design thinking, budgeting, taking a human-centered approach, and building out ideas visually. It’s a pretty easy read with storytelling that makes the book friendly and perfect for beginners.


The A11y Project Checklist

A holy grail resource if you’re always checking for accessibility on your products. If you click the dropdown next to the checklist items, you get a description of why it is important to make the change. 


Parking Finder App – UI/UX case study

Designer: Soumitro Sobuj

Case Study: Parking Finder App

The objective of this mobile app is to help users find parking slots, especially in bigger, overcrowded cities. 

Why this case study is awesome: 

  • Presentation: The visuals on Behance were very polished and well done – especially the screens of the final product. The information architecture was also laid out with solid details to inform the wireframe build. 
  • Human-centered approach: This case study explored the user flow in great detail and kept the user experience in mind while designing. In the introduction, the idea is to help cities like Bangladesh where there is overpopulation. 

This is a great example of using Behance to engage the community – you can see comments from others below and it also limits the designer to put their information together in the most concise way possible while walking through their process. It’s like creating a very good infographic!

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