User Experience

UX Insights from around the Web :: 05.11.16

Every week I read brilliant articles on UX, UI and Design that really inspire and impress me — and in some cases leave me wishing I’d written them! Because I think they’re infinitely valuable to anyone who practices UX (or would like to), I’m going to share them with you here today. So without further delay, here are my “best of the best” UX articles of the week — may you find them useful, usable and valuable!

UX Pick of the week

Designing for happiness

Designing for Happiness: Interview with Pamela Pavliscak


Tips & Advice

The Fast (and Easy) Way to Uncover User Needs

UX improvement for big sites and systems begs equally big questions. And in B2B or Enterprise environments, the level of complexity inherent in the tool and its use makes it hard to know where to start. What’s more, when it comes to figuring out user needs, there are hundreds of potential questions you can ask.


In the majority of B2B and Enterprise circumstances, however, reality dictates that no one has the time to ask (or answer) all of them. When time and budgets are tight for UX and Development teams, the only


Tips & Advice

The Right (and Wrong) Way to Wireframe

I need to start with what I’m sure will appear to be a painfully obvious question:

What is a wireframe?

I ask it because on a weekly basis I see things that are called wireframes, but, in fact, are not wireframes. And as such, they’re not really helping their creators move things forward and answer questions of proposed features and functionality. Here are few things that tell you whether you’re looking at a wireframe (or not):

  • If you’re using any color aside from blue to indicate hyperlinks, it’s not a wireframe.
  • If you’re using real images, it’s not a

Customer Experience

[ Interview ] UX Storytelling: Focusing on Problems Instead of Products

I was recently honored to be asked by my longtime friend and colleague Eliot Wagonheim to be a guest and talk UX on his Business 3.0 podcast. Eliot is a brilliant business strategist masquerading as a business lawyer; in the 20+ years I’ve known him, his strong suit has always been calm, clear-eyed strategic business advice. The fact that he also happens to be an amazing lawyer is really just an added bonus.

Listen to the Podcast

We had an engaging conversation across several


UI Design

Is it OK to design my UI before content is created?

Which came first, the content or the design?

This chicken-and-egg debate has raged for as long as there have been designers, and content needing design. On both sides you’ll find seemingly sound reasons to do one before the other, but to my eye the balance has shifted greatly, where we all too often see UI design happen before content. The house, in my opinion, is being built before we understand how many rooms it should have or how big it’s supposed to be.

UI design

With the proliferation of fully-designed themes, UI kits


Tips & Advice

[ Video ] The Long Wow: Delivering Great UX with Every Update (3 Critical UX Questions, Part 7 of 7)

Designing and building products that deliver valuable UX is certainly a tall task. And most teams breathe a sigh of relief once the product launches and that mountain of effort is at long last receding into the sunset.

But in truth, as you’ll see in this final installment of our video series, the hard work of delivering value to people has only begun:

We’ve moved the mountain and gotten this thing to launch. But how do we make sure it remains valuable, meaningful and useful to people? How do we make sure it remains


Tips & Advice

[ Video ] The Be-All, End-All Key to Delivering Great UX (3 Critical UX Questions, Part 6 of 7)

No matter what you’re designing or building, nothing you do matters much if you can’t answer the be-all, end-all, mission critical UX question to end all questions:

What VALUE does this provide to people?

In this the sixth video in our series, we’ll dig into answering that question:

Products of any kind are used by people, so making sure you understand what they care about is a good place to start. Down to the most specific detail we can uncover, who’s going to use this thing? What experiences can we provide that might be


Tips & Advice

[ Video ] How to Avoid Last-Minute UX Scope Changes (3 Critical UX Questions, Part 5 of 7)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: You’re in the home stretch of development heading toward toward launch, when people in the organization you’ve never heard from suddenly swoop in and mandate changes to everything you’ve done. In this fifth video in our series, I’ll show you how to make sure this doesn’t happen:

Author and tech business guru Guy Kawasaki calls this scenario a “swoop and poop.” It’s what happens when people with power and influence swoop in, dump all over everything that’s been done and fly away — until the next


Tips & Advice

[ Video ] Eliminating Misunderstanding: What Are We Creating? (3 Critical UX Questions, Part 4 of 7)

Have you ever reached a point during a design or development sprint where team members or stakeholders were surprised at what they saw in the build? Did you hear things like, “why does it work like this?” Or “where’s the place where we show them this content?” Or “I thought we were going to…” And you think to yourself, “weren’t we all in the same meetings where this was discussed/decided?”

In this fourth installment of our video series, I’m going to show you how and why those disconnects happen.

Even though we spent


Tips & Advice

[ Video ] Convincing Stakeholders to Shorten the Feature List (3 Critical UX Questions, Part 3 of 7)

Your client or your product owner comes to you with a laundry list of features and functions they want to implement. Naturally, because you know you can’t do it all, you ask “which of these are most important/have to be implemented now?” We both know what the answer to that question is: “all of them.”

In far too many organizations, the urgent always trumps the important. In this third video in the series, I’ll show you how to change that:

Of the UX questions I’m asked most often, the one that absolutely tops


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