User Experience Newsletter: Foundations, Considerations + Inspiration
Being the first UX designer at a company can be exhilarating, sometimes exhausting, but overall it’s a lot of responsibility. Companies bringing in their first ux designer are asking to elevate their customer’s voice internally and feature it as an integral part of developing and designing their product.
I, sometimes, take for granted that everyone knows the best practices / terms / references / noted experts I’ve learned about throughout my career and through day-to-day reading. When you work at a company where UX and digital developmental terms are new, you can’t assume people in the room understand why you made certain choices, or even when you explain your thought process they may not know what you mean. This doesn’t mean the people in the room can’t understand, it means that it’s our responsibility as UX and digital advocates to share our knowledge and help socialize best practices across the company.
People want to understand how best to reach the customer, from a user experience perspective, we can help. To that end and to help create a culture of knowledge-sharing, I started the UX Newsletter. I began just sharing this with my team, who I assumed would be the only ones interested, but eventually cross-team members asked to see it, and finally it grew to be shared more publicly.
The premise of the newsletter is quite simple. Do you:
- Want to learn about user experience in articles ranging from basic understanding to advanced?
- Want to see what experts in this field are warning about / advising on / recommending?
- Want to know who and what sites or podcasts or vlogs to follow in this industry?
- Want to find great tutorials to help develop your skills in the field?
Then subscribe to the UX Newsletter where each month a new theme will be featured and illustrated: 4 select articles, 1 featured site or individual, and 2 tutorial recommendations at the end.
In this first newsletter, I focused on the basic foundations of user experience from design thinking and customer psychology to problem solving and the future of web experience in practice.
The first article in the newsletter focuses on the basics and breaks UX down to the heart of what the role and related roles intend: to solve and prevent problems that impede the user on their journey. Peter Morville’s article about User Experience Design emphasizes how as UX representatives we must strike a unique balance on each project between business goals and context, user needs and behavior, and content.
Overall, it’s a great article to share with anyone interested in learning what services UX roles are responsible for and how to begin from these core foundations.
In Tubik Studio’s Psychology in Design. Principles Helping to Understand Users, this takes the time to break down the fundamental basics of human-centric design. From gestalt to color theory and hick’s law to customer behavior, the article is a great introduction to the very important and prominent role psychology plays in user experience design.
Design that doesn’t solve a problem or serve a need is just a decoration. In his excellent TED Talk Design for people, not awards, Timothy Prestero walks us through how his team was talented enough to win an award for a design that missed the mark and how they took the time to iterate based on human interaction. An excellent resource to understand the base foundations of user testing, iterative development, and progressive enhancement.
A look at the future
What you learn about here is just the beginning. Every day we see advancements in accessibility, virtual and augmented reality, and the variety of new and different user interfaces with which we interact daily. Scott Belsky draws our attention to the wide scope that is the future of user experience design and how the tenants of creative design will see it through in his article The Future Of Creativity & A New Challenge.