This Month’s User Experience Must Reads

This was a pretty exciting month in the world of user experience. The focus of the past couple weeks ranges from navigation techniques to exciting new software announcements. From helpful tips on how to use photos in web interfaces in order to make sure your brand stands out, to useful insight on the best ways to maximize the results of your usability test- this collection has it all! I hope you enjoy this list I put together, I know I have!  

1. Getting Users to a Specific Feature in a Usability Test

In usability tests you are generally seeking some sort of directed outcome from the users. Usually usability studies are aiming for the feedback of one specific feature, and at times it’s tempting to simply direct the subject to the feature you’re looking to test in order to just get your results and be able to advance already. Jakob Nielsen is here to tell us why that is NOT a good idea at all, and can even hurt the usability test, and make it that much harder to tell if your product is ideal for the market.Enjoy Better User Experience by Guiding your Users Through your Product and Keeping them Engaged
Enjoy Better User Experience by Guiding your Users Through your Product and Keeping them Engaged

2. Hierarchy of Trust: The 5 Experimental Levels of Commitment

Before I enter a site, I usually check to make sure it doesn’t look off in any way, or unsafe, and I’m assuming most you do the same. In this article by Kate Sherwin, she discusses the importance that a site meet the users’ basic trust needs before expecting users to log on. Sherwin tells us about the five levels of user commitment and what each one includes, using the “pyramid of trust” to explain her points. This is an extremely important topic, as these are some of the key foundations of a successful website.

3. The 7 Best strategies for Using Photos in Web Interfaces

A photograph that stands out and calls your attention is much more memorable then something you would just glance over and forget about. A memorable photo can make or break a brand’s identity, and Jerry Cao is here to explain the seven best strategies to make sure your brand stands out. From black and white, to color overlay, Cao delves into the intricate world of photography and brings you his wisdom on to make sure your brand is noticed.  

4. 3 Principles for Strong User Experience Through Navigation

In user experience there is the simple design, how the website looks for instance, and which colors and effects are more appealing, and then there is the navigation design. Joel Diaz discusses how to evaluate an existing digital product, and introduces three important navigation principles that can be utilized to design the navigational aspect successfully. Diaz is a user experience consultant and imparts on us some of his vast knowledge on how to successfully design your site so it is aesthetically appealing and easy to navigate for its users.  

5. The Toy Awakens: The UX of Sphero, Star Wars, and BB-8

In this exclusive interview given by Gigi Peccolo, Spehro’s chief product officer, John Blakely shares his insights about user experience, the breakout bot BB-8, and the nature of play. Blakely is in charge of bringing his company’s products to life which is done in a unique and creative way. “What the digital world allows you to do is make things much more immersive,” he states. He continues by discussing the importance of creating a user experience that attracts your customers in this competitive digital world we live in. This is an interview you don’t want to miss!

6. When Online Behavior Becomes Second Nature

We all want that ease when chatting online, knowing what each feature does so we don’t accidentally send a message before it’s ready. And so do our customers. Tammy Guy discusses the challenges customers face when companies change or modify the features on messaging sites that results in a more complicated and frustrating navigation, which doesn’t make for a positive user experience. Bringing in a recent experience Guy had on LinkedIn as an example, he stresses the importance of consistency and usability in your design, and the consequences of lacking in that field.

7. Front –End Style-Guides: Definitions, Requirements, Component Checklist

According to this article by Page Laubheimer, front-end style-guides help with the efficiency of design and testing, enforcing UI consistency. Front-end style guides are a modular collection of all the elements included in your product’s interface. Give this fascinating article a read to find out how you can utilize this technology to improve your company’s UX. Laubheimer outlines the benefits to front-end style guides, while also clarifying what exactly they do for the user experience design.

8. Adobe Launches Experience Design CC: A New Tool for UX Designers

Take a look at one of our latest news update about Adobe’s newest feature. One of the many positive outcomes of this exciting new design is that it is said to solve many issues UX designers face in their workflow. Adobe’s product manager discusses the challenges they encountered when developing their newest product, and how they overcame them. Adobe has always been the leader in artistic digital design, and I think it’s important that we learn what we can from the big guys.
Megan Wilson is user experience specialist & editor of UX Motel. She is also the Quality Assurance and UX Specialist at WalkMe Megan.w(at)