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The Best UX Articles of May 2014


So, summer is here… apparently. Amongst the sporadic showers you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve travelled back to spring. Such is life in northern Europe. Regardless, we’ve done just that here, perhaps in a vague attempt to remember the glorious weather of last month.

With so much quality content out there, we take one more look back at May 2014. We’ve compiled the 5 best articles from May we feel are interesting, invaluable or otherwise a must read for anyone with an interest in UX.

From last month’s top 5 UX articles, you’ll:

  • Discover why you shouldn’t always design the home page first
  • See what the future of web development is, without net neutrality
  • Learn how UX can turn $2 into $100
  • Take note of the difference between UI and UX
  • See why and how to avoid hamburger menus

In no particular order:

1. Why I never design the home page first (and which page I design before anything else)

Why I never design the home page first (and which page I design before anything else) by Preston D Lee, published on Design Blender.

  • “Once you’ve really nailed your audience and superniche, once you’ve determined what “jobs” your site visitors are hiring your for, and once you know exactly who you’re talking to and how, it’s time to jump into the design.

    And I almost never start with the home page design anymore.”

It is always fascinating hearing how others go about their work. How others plan and carry out their designs or redesigns.

Here Preston reveals why doesn’t design the home page – the traditional starting point a website – first. Though it may seem logical to so, the reason he puts forward makes a lot of sense.

2. Why UX is critical: every $1 invested in UX yields a $2 to $100 return

Why UX is critical: every $1 invested in UX yields a $2 to $100 return by the AG Staff, published on The American Genius.

  • “User Experience (UX) is an often neglected step in the design process of technology companies, yet is a tremendous part of how a consumer connects technically and emotionally with an app or software.”

Historically, we’ve had quite a difficult time justifying what we do. UX has been a rather mythical beast. Thankfully this has changed in the past few years. We’re the best thing since sliced bread.

Articles like this do the industry no harm at all. Further justifying just how important our roles are in the modern era of web design.

3. Designing Experiences, not Screens

Designing Experiences, not Screens by Henry Cho published on The Loop.

  • “One of the biggest misconceptions making the rounds at the moment is that UI and UX can be neatly grouped together, perhaps separated only by “/” and blurted out like some sort of awful celebrity couple confab, “Oh look its Bennifer and UX/UI”.”

UI vs UX has always been one of the biggest annoyances within the profession. Confusing too similar but ultimately distant terms.

Henry vents his frustrations towards the misconception aiming to teach the uninitiated, serving a great read in the process.

4. The Future of Web Development Without Net Neutrality

The Future of Web Development Without Net Neutrality by Rean John Uehara, published on 1stwebdesigner.

  • “Internet neutrality has been under siege by corporations and world governments for several years now. They are discovering that it’s not just a tool for communication and entertainment, but also to spread ideas across borders and elicit action beyond governing.”

Net Neutrality has been a key talking point these past few months within the tech world. For my fellow europeans who may be unsure on what this is, it regards the US’ Congress potential plans to introduce laws to allow ISPs to pick and choose which content, and at which speeds, customer receive. Essentially remove the current neutral, level playing field.

Thankfully EU law prevents something like this happening this side of the atlantic anytime soon. Regardless, if this were to go through, it would have big consequences not only on how users browse the web, but how we design and develop for it.

An interesting read about a future which may not be too far away…

5. Why and How to Avoid Hamburger Menus

Why and How to Avoid Hamburger Menus by Luis Abreu, published on Imjabreu.com.

  • “I only ask you to read the problems, solutions and be aware of the consequences before committing to this pattern.”

The Hamburger has been a controversial topic of late. It is an icon with an uncertain future holding a love-hate relationship with designers. I even pitched in with my own views on the topic recently.

Regardless of your stance, knowing both sides of the argument never hurts. Luis serves some good reasons as to its redundancy, with sources acting as proof of his doubts

PS. There’s nothing wrong with the Hamburger!

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