I have recently tried to put together a list of resources I regularly turn to for UX-related news and user experience research. This list has been mostly for me since I am working through a number of challenging projects in the Hearing Aid industry where some of the more traditional means of research and design aren’t as applicable as they might be in other areas of healthcare or other industries. In the process of seeking and finding resources, I have also come across quite a few other lists that were helpful. I noticed a lot of trends between the lists and there are some “usual suspects” who frequently come up. I have included them here.
I have broken my list into three categories – The Usual Suspects, Off the Beaten Path and Honorary Appointments. I performed an extensive search using Google Blogs and other resources to put this list together. It wasn’t pieced together quickly by any stretch of the imagination and I used a set of criteria for inclusion. How I chose sites was based mostly on the content and how applicable it was along with the frequency of updates and finally the design of the site itself. There are a few sites under the Honorary Appointments where the site design needs updated, but the content is simply “king” and thus they must be included. In fact, a couple of them should be required reading for designers at all levels.
The Usual Suspects
These sites are easily found and see a huge amount of traffic. Chances are, you have already read something from each or most of these sources.
I started out my career years ago in Information Architecture and naturally gravitated to user experience design and interface design. It was a pretty natural transition for me despite the subtle nuances between the fields. I still have a great love for IA and a burning passion for it. That is why Boxes & Arrows is still one of my top favorite sites. There is also a great variety and broad coverage of the profession from IA to UX and the publishing schedule is frequent. Boxes & Arrows has become a staple in my readings and is one of the original blogs to have emerged in this profession.
For the greatest variety of topics and most frequent publishing schedule, UX Magazine is a great choice. They publish on dozens of topics and the articles are well-written. The site also has a nice, clean design and there are plenty of resources beyond just design articles. There are job postings, book resources, seminars and events here. There is literally something for everyone.
The publishing schedule for UX Booth isn’t as frequent as some of the other resources in this category. But there are still some great articles and the site is put together quite nicely. This is a site I often frequent or find myself on for very practical coverage of topics.
Off the Beaten Path
You might not have ever encountered a few of these or maybe all of them. They aren’t quite as mainstream, but are great resources and have high quality content.
Totally practical and lots of great tips, product reviews and things I have never even heard of. Plus there is a great variety of content. For example, a recent post outlined 8 Awesome Business & Entrepreneurial Podcasts. The site also gets kudos for its wireframe-like design.
Probably best known for form design, but a top-notch designer and one who writes frequently on the latest design trends, Luke W is the site of Luke Wroblewski. It is a well-designed site and the blog is updated weekly at a bare minimum. If you ever have to design for mobile or have a large project dealing with forms, this is your site. But, the content is broad enough to include topics for all interests.
It isn’t updated as frequently as some of the other sites herein, but the content is solid and the site has a clean minimalistic design. On average, you’ll get a post per month on this site. The upshot of that is that it isn’t hard to keep up with the posts.
This is a really well-designed site developed by Michael Angeles who works as a designer at Balsamiq. This might be the best designed site of the lot…or at least it falls at the top of my list with its minimalistic design and clean navigational structure. The posts are updated frequently and the content sticks mostly to sketching, UI design and tools for prototyping.
Jeff is best known (currently) for his Lean UX book (which I am halfway through right now). His blog is updated weekly, on average, and the content is primarily focused on Agile UX these days. I find it quite a nice supplement to his book. The site also contains a list of his articles and publications from other sources, which is extremely useful.
This is, perhaps, one of the more interesting sites I have come across. It was put together by Luke Chambers and Matt Magain out of Australia and seeks to educate new designers in UX. The site has a lot of free articles and resources along with a lot of paid resources. There is a community of authors and an entire team working to keep the content fresh. And they have recently released an eBook I will be reviewing shortly containing “10 inspiring interviews with some of the best user experience designers in the world.” This site is definitely worth tuning into regularly and has a wealth of resources for those who may be new to the field.
These sites are the staples of a UX reading diet and it would be a cardinal sin to not include them.
The site needs to be updated with a new design and the writing is not always as clean or polished as some other sites. But as with all websites in this category, it is the content that truly makes this site worthy of regular reading. There are simply a wealth of topics and since the site has been around for more than a few years, there is a rich history to be mined within the pages of articles and posts.
This is another great site in relation to content. The history of the site means you have access to years of articles and posts. There is a series of podcasts I wish they would update more or make more of. And the best thing about this site is there is a newsletter you can sign up for that will remind you to tune in for new content. I love the fact they make it easy for me to consume new posts this way. Last, this is a site in which Jared Spool is involved with. He is one of my favorites and I always find the articles on here worth reading.
The site design here is still very user-friendly and somewhat minimal. It isn’t flashy by any stretch, but it is Jacob Nielsen and Donald Norman’s site. I could probably end right there. But, in the event you are new to the field or don’t know who these two are, Nielsen and Norman are the giants whose shoulders the rest of us in this field stand on. And, this site is, perhaps, the best on this list for content. Hands down. Bookmark it and visit regularly. Repeat often. ‘Nuff said.
So, there you have it: A listing of the sites I currently use as resources for UX work and to keep myself informed of industry trends. If you are new to the field or experienced, there should be something in here for you. Add them to your RSS reader, Pulse or whatever app you use to make it easier to tune in to content. Or, sign up for the newsletters if the sites have them.
If you know of another site I have not included here that is updated regularly with high quality content, please send me a line or leave a comment below.