A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

User Experience

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User experience design is a subset of the field of experience design which pertains to the creation of the architecture and interaction models which impact a user's perception of a device or system. The scope of the field is directed at affecting 'all aspects of the user’s interaction with the product: how it is perceived, learned, and used.'



The Making of iwannagothere.com

When Maria Martinez decided to go to India a few years ago, she couldn’t find a single website that provided travel recommendations without trying to sell her anything in exchange. In her disappointment, she opted for buying a normal travel guidebook in a bricks and mortar bookstore. However, an idea began brewing in her mind–she was probably not the only person with this need. Why not create a product to fill that void?

Correa, Joaquín Márquez. Want Magazine (2010). Articles>Web Design>User Experience>Case Studies


Making the Customer CEO

The key revolution of the Web is customer empowerment and engagement. The Web empowers the customer more than it empowers the organization. The implications are enormous.

McGovern, Gerry. New Thinking (2006). Articles>Web Design>User Centered Design>User Experience


Making the Most of Interactivity Online Version 2.0   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Examines new developments in interactivity for online authors and developers. Suggests the metaphor of procedural architecture for authoring strongly interactive technical documents. Considers rich internet applications and gaming as emerging forms of interactive technical communication.

McDaniel, Rudy. Technical Communication Online (2010). Articles>User Experience>Interaction Design


Making User Experience Part of Business Strategy | Understanding a Product’s Target Culture

In this edition of Ask UXmatters, our panel of UX experts discusses two topics: how to integrate user experience into an organization’s product and business strategy, and how to best understand the culture of an organization for which you are providing design solutions.

Six, Janet M. UXmatters (2014). Articles>Web Design>User Experience>Ethnographies


Mark Hurst Talks About Listening

UX Magazine contributor Michael Grossman spoke with Mark Hurst about his views on creating good experiences, getting companies and executives to care about good experiences, and how UX professionals might need to rethink their approach to advocating for UX.

Hurst, Mark and Michael Grossman. UX Magazine (2010). Articles>Interviews>User Experience>Podcasts


Marketing Isn't a Dirty Word

Think you're not into marketing? Think again. As UX professionals, we share much in common with our close cousins, the marketers. We all seek to understand customers--needs, preferences, behaviors, attitudes, and more. We all seek to create positive touchpoints with customers and, in turn, a positive affiliation with our product or company brand. We all know the importance of communicating effectively with customers and evaluating the performance of our work.

Jones, Colleen. UXmatters (2007). Articles>User Experience>Marketing


Review: Mental Models: Aligning Design Strategy with Human Behavior

Indi Young, a cofounder of Adaptive Path design consultancy, tells us what we should do before we create personas, scenarios, user profiles, or task workflows if our goal is to design based on how people actually behave. In a wonderfully concise book filled with vignettes from her long experience as a designer, Young encourages us to stop focusing on how someone uses a tool and shift to empathizing, understanding exactly what a person wants to do.

Deaton, Mary M. Usability Interface (2009). Articles>Reviews>User Experience>User Centered Design



A weblog on Information Visualization, eLearning, Rich Internet Applications and more.

Mentegrafica (2006). Resources>Web Design>User Experience>Blogs


Metaphorical Analysis

Every UX designer faced with a 6-inch stack of research notes and a looming deadline has wanted to take a nap and wake up with the most important insights neatly tagged. While we can’t offer that exactly, there is an incredibly powerful and fun shortcut that many designers aren’t using: working with metaphor.

Harrell, Cyd and Jodi Leo. UX Magazine (2013). Articles>User Experience>Methods>Tropes


Metrics for Heuristics: Quantifying User Experience (Part 2 of 2)

In part one of 'Metrics for Heuristics,' Andrea Wiggins discussed how designers can use Rubinoff’s user experience audit to determine metrics for measuring brand. In part two, Wiggins examines how web analytics can quantify usability, content, and navigation.

Wiggins, Andrea. Boxes and Arrows (2006). Articles>User Centered Design>User Experience>Heuristic Evaluation


A Midwesterner's Guide to Recruiting UX Designers

Midwestern organizations are competing against every Silicon Valley startup throwing cash and options at the limited talent pool. To win the recruiting battle against companies in hotspots like San Francisco and New York City, your opportunity can't be just a little bit better. It has to be remarkable, noteworthy, and significantly more interesting than the multitude of jobs in a coastal candidate's back yard.

Murphy, Kyle. UX Magazine (2013). Careers>User Experience>Regional>Iowa


Mike Kuniavsky

Before he co-founded Adaptive Path, Mike sold hot sauce online and built giant dancing robots. Today he thinks about things like boxes of chocolates that deliver joy and surprise long after the candy is gone.

Adlin, Tamara and Mike Kuniavsky. UX Pioneers (2007). Articles>Interviews>User Experience


Mike's MadCap Life

Mike Hamilton covers topics like technology, PDAs, MadCap products, technical communication and more.

Hamilton, Michael. Wordpress (2008). Resources>User Experience>Technical Writing>Blogs


Million Dollar Web Usability Tips

What has long been a struggle for UEX professionals can actually be a great tool to demonstrate the importance of your role. We have found a way, using tools that you may already have, to support the users' needs that can positively impact your company’s bottom line.

Remus, Jacqueline and Jessyca Frederick. Usability Interface (2006). Articles>Web Design>Usability>User Experience


Mobile UX Sharpens Usability Guidelines

Many guidelines are similar for mobile and desktop design, but their mobile interpretation is much more unforgiving.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2011). Articles>User Experience>Mobile>Usability


Modeling User Workflows for Rich Internet Applications

As Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) become more advanced, the tasks, problems, and processes they address become increasingly complex, making it more important than ever to accurately model user workflows. Early Internet applications were often narrowly focused in scope, and the steps were relatively simple and sequential, for example, purchasing items through simple e-commerce, reserving hotel rooms, or renting cars. But as productivity applications move toward a web-based distribution model, the tasks become more complicated.

Hogue, David. Adobe (2008). Articles>Web Design>User Experience>Flash


More Like This: A Design Pattern

This month, we’ll explore the simple, but very powerful design pattern called More Like This, which provides the information scent and motivation necessary to make customers navigational decisions quick, easy, and intuitive. Unfortunately, most sites do not make sufficient use of this pattern and some that do use it design and implement it incorrectly.

Nudelman, Greg. UXmatters (2010). Articles>Information Design>User Experience


Motorcycle UX: Riding in the Fast Lane

The design decisions that both industrial designers and interaction designers have made on the Breva provide an enhanced experience for the rider--that is, for me.

Sokohl, Joe. UXmatters (2008). Design>User Experience>User Interface


Moving into User Research: Establishing Design Guidelines

The best technical writers do user research to understand the audience for their documentation, create user profiles or personas, perform task analyses, and do usability testing to ensure that their documentation meets users’ needs. All of these are activities in which a user researcher engages. Thus, as a technical writer, you can start amassing experience in user research and building a portfolio of user research documentation.

Six, Janet M. UXmatters (2009). Articles>User Experience>Research>Technical Writing


Moving UX into a Position of Corporate Influence: Whose Advice Really Works?

Was documenting and evangelizing (i.e., explaining and advocating for) UX work considered to be a critical component of what it took to move UX into a position of corporate influence? It was in some companies, but not in others.

Anderson, Richard I. uiGarden (2007). Articles>Management>User Experience>Workplace


Muddling Through

Web site designers should think hard about how to keep users from muddling around on their sites. 'Users muddle when it isn’t clear what they are supposed to do in any given situation.'

alt tags (2004). Design>Web Design>User Experience


Multivariate Testing in Action: Five Simple Steps to Increase Conversion Rates

The attention span on the Web has been decreasing ever since Google had arrived and changed the rules of the game. Now with millions of results available on any topic imaginable, the window to grab a visitor’s attention has decreased significantly (in 2002, the BBC reported it is about 9 seconds). Picture yourself browsing the Web: do you go out of your way to read the text, look at all the graphics, and try to thoroughly understand what the page is about? The answer is most likely to be a straight “no.” With bombardment of information from all around, we have become spoiled kids, not paying enough attention to what a Web page wants to tell us.

Chopra, Paras. Smashing (2010). Articles>Web Design>Usability>User Experience


The Narrative Web: Beyond Usability and Design

The point is not that we should add stories to our sites to ensnare narrative-starved readers. The point is that the reader's journey through our site is a narrative experience. Our job is to make the narrative satisfying.

Bernstein, Mark. List Apart, A (2001). Articles>Usability>User Experience>Rhetoric


The Nature of Choice Sets and Their Affect on Decision Making

In this column, I’ll expand upon the concept of relativity and how the context in which people make decisions significantly influences decision outcomes. Specifically, we’ll look at how the nature of a choice set affects people’s ability to decide.

Roller, Colleen. UXmatters (2011). Articles>Management>Planning>User Experience


New Levels of Experience Design

The internet was originally developed as pure technology - interactions and navigations were very complex, so there were huge opportunities for anyone who could make the user experience easier, more intuitive, more compelling. But now experience design isn’t just about the usage of a device, but all the other aspects as well.

Sinclair, Matt. Ping Mag (2006). Design>User Experience>Technology



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