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The Best UX Articles of 2014, from the Usabilla Blog


As 2014 draws to a close, we say farewell to another year of blogging. Over the past 12 months, we have been producing an average of two articles a week here at Usabilla; that’s over 100 pieces of fresh new content out there – providing all manner of tips, tricks and discussion.

Admittedly, this may be a bit much for you all to wade through. So to ease that experience, our most successful articles of the past year have been summarised here for you to get a feel of just what’s happened in 2013.

In these Five articles, you’ll:

* Read how Flat design is going too Far
* Check out 10 of the best UX infographics from around the web
* Discover how *Idiot* buttons are an asset to aid your design
* Read how Humans now account for less than 40% of web traffic
* See that Flat design was really just a trend all along

In no particular order:

## 1. Flat Design Is Going Too Far

[Flat Design Is Going Too Far](http://blog.usabilla.com/flat-design-going-far/) by [Oliver McGough](https://twitter.com/omcgo).

  • “The issue with flat design is that it has become too powerful. We’re at a stage where creativity is being stifled in preference of sticking to a template that ‘works’. Where sites are becoming generic, sites are conforming. Usability is being sacrificed because… flat design works right?”

Flat design spring onto us in 2013, but in less than a year it already felt old. The design community was split between love for a new style that worked, and hate for a system that had to be conformed to.

Flat’s rise was undoubtedly down to its excellence in solving so many design problems, especially in a world where mobile computing is now so ubiquitous. Before material design offered us something a little different, the trust in flat design was so strong that it was springing up in places it didn’t belong – it still is.

This – somewhat ranty – article struck a nerve with many in the design community, fed up with how designers were jumping to flat for a quick fix, rather than truly fixing the problems they were employed to solve.

## 2. 10 of the Best UX Infographics

[10 of the Best UX Infographics](http://blog.usabilla.com/10-best-ux-infographics-2/) by [Oliver McGough](https://twitter.com/omcgo).

  • “Sometimes, as the old saying goes, pictures really do tell 1000 words. And if that’s the case, what’s better than a picture with 1000 words included on it?”

Truly not much to say here – they don’t get more explanatory than this. We compile 10 of the top UX infographics from around the web; insightful images helping you to improve your UX understanding.

This is just one part in a series of UX infographic collections, all of which I’m sure you’ll find extremely useful.

## 3. Idiot Buttons: The Placebo in UX Design

[Idiot Buttons: The Placebo in UX Design](http://blog.usabilla.com/faking-interaction-placebo-ux-design/) by [Oliver McGough](https://twitter.com/omcgo).

  • “In an age of ever more intuitive interfaces, control is slipping out of the user’s hands. Reduced inputs leave our user only a bystander.
    The placebo prevents this. The placebo places control back into our users hands. Yet, the placebo does nothing.”

It’s always great to learn new UX concepts – more so if the concept is truly interesting. With a name as striking as its effect, the concept of the idiot button was a hit with a our readers.

Of course, its not quite that explicit. I wouldn’t recommend you walk around calling your users idiots. However, the placebo effect treats your users as such. You create fake interactions in order to guide your sheep towards the objective.

A truly interesting, and an article certainly worth checking out.

## 4. Humans Now Account For Less Than 40% of Web Traffic

[Humans Now Account For Less Than 40% of Web Traffic](http://blog.usabilla.com/humans-now-account-less-40-web-traffic/) by Jenny Corteza

  • “You might assume that all web traffic is generated by actual people browsing the internet, but actually you would be wrong. In fact, statistically the human race is now a minority on the internet. Does this mean your pets are browsing the internet while you’re asleep? No! What it does mean is that now a days, bots are generating more internet traffic than humans.”

A striking headline that suggests the rise of Skynet. Of course, everything isn’t quite as sinister as it appears. Even so, in Jenny’s intriguing article it’s interesting to read how the bot plague is slowly consuming the internet.

## 5. Flat Design Was Just a Trend, Apparently

[Flat Design Was Just a Trend, Apparently](http://blog.usabilla.com/flat-design-just-trend-apparently/) by [Oliver McGough](https://twitter.com/omcgo).

  • “With the debate raging around it, we made a subtle addition to the article – adding a Usabilla Live Campaign. A small poll to count these Trendsetters and Revolutionaries by asking them whether they thought Flat Design was a Trend or a Revolution?

    Over the past year and half we’ve had readers continually contributing to this poll and providing us with their opinion. The answer? Surprising.”

Another offering of Flat Design, and this one with some real statistical basis. Last year, we played host to a great article from Sabina Idler, [Flat Design, Trend or Revolution?](http://blog.usabilla.com/flat-web-design-trend-or-revolution/) This article encouraged fierce debate from our community.

On the article we placed a poll. A poll to tally our readers thoughts on the subject. As we slowly collected our readers’ results over the year some intriguing findings became apparent!

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