User Experience Is Everything
March 26, 2010 3:35 PM   Subscribe

UX Magazine — design, strategy, technology, and common sense.

Featured at present are Connectile Dysfunction, the key challenge in designing for a continually aging population is that the target user group changes with each generation; Where Do Heuristics Come From? Knowing the origin of a heuristic is important to making good design decisions; What Magic Can Teach Us About Empathy In UX, presentation by magician Jamy Ian Swiss, who explains concepts like mental models and storytelling by equating software to magic; and Streams of Content, Limited Attention, about the flow of information through social media. The archives in Strategy, Design, and Technology are well established.
posted by netbros (21 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not so sure that I like the User Experience at their website. perhaps the content makes it worthwhile
posted by Dr. Twist at 3:46 PM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm going to sound like a hater, but I believe the design of the home page could use some better hierarchy. If anything, the "many boxes" approach is a throwback to earlier web aesthetics. That said, I look forward to checking out the articles.
posted by quadog at 3:55 PM on March 26, 2010

I've got to agree with Dr. Twist. That website design is angrymaking.
posted by aspo at 3:56 PM on March 26, 2010

A personal rule of mine is that making a neat look at the expense of being easy to navigate is worth a death sentence or two. I can see a lot upon loading, but I don't know by looking what content is worth a damn.
posted by Rory Marinich at 4:06 PM on March 26, 2010

Boy, "design" sure trumps the fuck out of the other three.
posted by mhoye at 4:11 PM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

I've always been interested in UX presented in a more formal way. Are there any really good textbooks or seminal papers on modern interface design? Is there a Martin Fowler of UX?
posted by geoff. at 4:13 PM on March 26, 2010

I'd like to second geoff.'s question. I stopped caring about what people on delicious bookmarked a long time ago because all the informal literature they link to is incredibly hand-wavey.
posted by invitapriore at 4:19 PM on March 26, 2010

On that note, though, I did enjoy the "Where Do Heuristics Come From?" article. I discovered a few months ago and it's a really great source for usability information and methods.
posted by invitapriore at 4:36 PM on March 26, 2010

Thirding that. What I have heard of user interface design often sounds something like "if they didn't know how to use your app before they even saw or heard of it, then it is too complicated".
posted by idiopath at 4:37 PM on March 26, 2010

posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:52 PM on March 26, 2010 [5 favorites]

A three word column width is a bad experience.
posted by iloveit at 5:12 PM on March 26, 2010

Wow. A site called UX with an atrocious design. Whooda thunk? Obligatory.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:14 PM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

The great thing about setting a minimum font size in my browser is knowing that when half the text on a site disappears, I probably don't need to read any of it.
posted by mhoye at 5:39 PM on March 26, 2010

I have no problem with the design. Whether it's an older style of web design or not, it presented a variety of articles non-hierarchically (ie I didn't feel the ones at the top of the page were newer or better.

It's just unfortunately that User Experience is even a separate category from web design in general. What else is there? Looking cool?
posted by msalt at 6:17 PM on March 26, 2010

It's like dealing with someone who never shuts up -- I can't seem to get a thought in edgewise...too talky...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 6:25 PM on March 26, 2010

What else is there? Looking cool?

"Working right."
posted by mhoye at 6:30 PM on March 26, 2010

Gawd, that's a worse page design than Salon's new layout.
posted by octothorpe at 7:52 PM on March 26, 2010

It seems like Salon rolled out a big redesign several months ago and have been re-re-redesigning it on the fly ever since to patch it up. It's a shame because the previous design was pretty good.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:43 PM on March 26, 2010

Thorzdad: "Wow. A site called UX with an atrocious design. Whooda thunk? Obligatory.
posted by Thorzdad

I want to thank you for bringing this object's existence to my attention. I shall be requiring one mailed to me post-haste thank you. Also please sign me up for your newsletter as your beliefs are highly relevant to me.
posted by Babblesort at 12:42 PM on March 27, 2010

I actually wrote a two-part article for them (part 1, part 2). They seem like pretty cool people, but yeah, the site design is pretty busy.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 8:02 PM on March 27, 2010

So, just because I don't like being one of those people that complains about something and then does nothing about it, I have a simple, easy-to-implement suggestion to the UX Magazine people that could easily have solved all these gripes: group your topics by color. To get an idea of how dramatically easier it is to parse that frontpage, I have provided a simple piece of code that anyone with Google Chrome or Firefox + the Firebug plugin can execute:
$("div.article-item a").each(function() {
  switch (this.className) {
    case "Design" : = "#f4e8a8"; break;
    case "Technology" : = "#b2d4a7"; break;
    case "Features" : = "#fff"; break;
    case "Strategy" : = "#c4d8dd";
    break; default: break;
It appears UX is using JQuery, so I'm just piggy-backing. But presumably the folks at UX have actual control over their content, and would just add colors to the CSS file.

One other recommendation, guys: if you're going to use PNG files for the cutesy little headers for each of the sections, USE THE GODDAMNED ALPHA CHANNEL. Why would you hard-code a white background? If the background of the image were transparent, you could just change the background-color CSS property and, voila! instant color-coding without having to recreate images over and over again.

posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:33 AM on March 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

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