6 Resources for UX Designer Skills

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Breaking into the realm of UX and UI design can feel like a formidable process. UX beginners can use this post as a directory of sorts. We’ve rounded up a handful of the best resources for broadening and improving your UX designer skills. Whether you prefer to learn via video or pour over detailed blog posts to expand your knowledge, you’re sure to find a helpful resource that will boost your capabilities.

A List Apart

A List Apart presents UX novices and pros alike with a wealth of thought-provoking blog posts. While not every blog is strictly UX-focused, the site does place emphasis on spheres that tend to interact with the world of user experience. The site once focused on standards-based web design. Over time, the content has shifted and now serves as a source of information for “all people who make websites.”

Topic categories range from CSS techniques and business to good-old-fashioned UX content. Industry experts offer insight into reaching the heart of digital accessibility, the untapped power of vulnerability and transparency in content strategy, and how to achieve ethical design.

Vital UX Skills That Few Designers Have and How to Develop Them by Jeremy Bird

This article serves exactly the purpose that it sets out to serve– Bird offers insight into several UX designer skills that are often neglected in the pursuit of more popular abilities. Bird is an industry expert and regularly performs interviews. He’s hired numerous UX candidates and tells readers which skills he looks for but has difficulty finding in potential hires.

It’s difficult to understand the depth of these qualities and capabilities without reading the piece thoroughly, but here are the key takeaways:

  • Growing creative maturity 
  • Improving your knowledge of business
  • Focusing on facilitation skills
  • Balancing innovation and practicality in projects and the workplace

7 UX Deliverables: What Will I be Making as a UX Designer? by Andreas Komninos

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Understanding the types of deliverables that you’ll be expected to offer clients as a UX designer is essential to preparing for any UX career. This quick read by Andreas Komninos offers an analysis of the most commonly produced and requested UX deliverables as told by Norman Nielsen Group.

Readers will get a quick peek into the process of prototyping deliverables after they’ve learned a little about some of today’s most popular user research deliverables. It’s an easy way to get bite-sized bits of information about personas, storyboards, customer journey maps, and user flow diagrams.

The User Experience Wheel created and proposed by Magnus Revang

User Experience Architect Magnu Revang has several decades’ worth of web design and UX knowledge and experience. He shared “The User Experience Wheel” two years back on his UX-centric blog User Experience Project. Not only is the infographic aesthetically pleasing at a glance, but it’s also easy to understand and serves as a useful guide to understanding just what constitutes user experience.

With the concept of value placed firmly in the center of the wheel and highlighted as the primary goal, ideas and concepts begin to fan outward in order to offer insight into how that value is achieved. Both customers and providers are considered here. Next come the core components for creating value from user experience: Findability, accessibility, desirability, usability, credibility, and usefulness. The outer part of the wheel expands upon each component. The result is a holistic view of what user experience encompasses.

Immersive Design: The Next 10 Years of Interfaces by Gabriel Valdivia

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This article is a useful introduction to how interfaces and user experience might evolve over the next decade. Of particular interest is Valdivia’s take on how content is changing and different ways users might interact with content.

One example is Valdivia’s stance on the difference between UX and content. He notes that explicit lines between content and UX  work well in certain formats, such as video games. This distinction does not, however, transfer easily to  the world of immersive design. UX designers will need to hone their skills with one goal in mind: “finding solutions for UI that follow the rules of our augmented world.”

A Rant Against Pretty App Designs by Miklos Philips

Miklos Philips, a seasoned industry expert with nearly two decades’ worth of experience, argues that UX designers should not be seen as artists. He argues that designers should eschew focusing solely on aesthetic appeal. Instead, UX designers should concentrate on usability.

Philips notes that UX designers who seek to elevate their capabilities (and the industry as a whole) know that they should check their egos at the door when work day begins. That means less focus on the superfluous and more effort toward creating usable and valuable products for users.

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