User Experience Article Roundup – Better Personas and Fast Research

Read our User Experience Article Roundup: UX rules, bold design, perspective on personas, and other articles and resources from the user experience world.

The 15 Rules Every UX Designer Should Know

An easy-to-read mix of rules, principles, and suggestions for anyone who makes products for users. #2 is “Know your audience” and #3 is “You are not the user”, but it gets more interesting from there.

Even if you’re already familiar with 90% of this, you might find revisiting the ideas helpful and energizing.

Along similar lines, but from another direction, there’s also…

Good Designer, Bad Designer

One man’s list of good morals and bad behaviors for the designers he manages, presented as a charming didactic comic.

Predictive Personas

It’s surprisingly easy to lose your way when creating personas. In trying to craft a realistic person, you stuff them full of attributes that don’t matter, instead of attributes that define whether or not they’d actually want to be your customer or use your feature to begin with. Laura Klein will set you straight.

Note: the meaningful user attributes you uncover when developing personas will help you later when you are defining participant pools for beta testing and user testing.

How to improve your design process with data-based personas

A good companion piece to “Predictive Personas”. Tim Noetzel goes deeper into a process you can perform to create demonstrably useful personas, in part by making hypotheses and talking to people.

He also references Laura Klein’s article. You’ll feel smart when you get to that part, because you already read it. (You read all of these articles in order, right?)

Rapid UX Research at Google

An interesting look at how Google’s “Rapid Research” teams do actionable user research with just a one-week turnaround. Heidi Sales details the rapid research process she built at Google, and includes some of the tools her team uses to keep things running smoothly.

Brutalist Design is the Bad Influence We All Need

Google’s Material Design and Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines are great, but they are certainly helping to make our web and mobile designs look safe and samey. Boldly breaking out of the monotony is tempting and inevitable. Here is the call to arms.

Also, this

Museum of Websites

See how the designs of some well-known websites have changed over the years. SPOILERS: The old web was jam-packed with blue links and black text, with a seemingly hostile regard for margins. Today we can afford pretty pictures and more whitespace.

By the way, my award for least-changed website goes to Reddit, which barely changed its visual design over its 12-year lifespan. Until this month’s new big redesign, that is. (Reddit did not follow UX Designer “Rule” #15.)

20 cognitive biases that screw up your decisions

Revisit this infographic of cognitive biases and think about how they may affect decisions you make about your product. Look for moments to question the limits of your own knowledge and perspective.

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