Great Introduction to the Essentials of User Experience Design

I recently came across this introduction to UX design by Joel Marsh – UX Crash Course: 31 Fundamentals. This series of 31 articles is a great overview of the subject, broken down into a series of short, readable articles on each aspect.

Joel also includes some choice quotes, such as this one on design patterns:

Some design ideas become popular because they allow lazy UI designers to ignore a challenging feature. It’s like putting a bag over someone’s head because they are ugly.

The entire ‘crash course’ touches upon pretty much everything you’d want to know about user experience design, organized into common-sense groupings:

Introduction & Key Ideas

  1. What is UX?
  2. User Goals & Business Goals
  3. The 5 Main Ingredients of UX

How to Understand Users

  1. What is User Research?
  2. How to Ask People Questions
  3. Creating User Profiles
  4. Designing for Devices
  5. Design Patterns

Information Architecture

  1. What is Information Architecture?
  2. User Stories & Types of Information Architecture
  3. What is a Wireframe?

Visual Design Principles

  1. Visual Weight, Contrast & Depth
  2. Color
  3. Repetition & Pattern-Breaking
  4. Line Tension & Edge Tension
  5. Alignment & Proximity

Functional Layout Design

  1. Z-Pattern, F-Pattern, and Visual Hierarchy
  2. Browsing vs. Searching vs. Discovery
  3. Page Framework
  4. The Fold, Images, & Headlines
  5. The Axis of Interaction
  6. Forms
  7. Calls-to-Action, Instructions & Labels
  8. Primary & Secondary Buttons

User Psychology

  1. Conditioning
  2. Persuasion
  3. How Experience Changes Experience

Designing with Data

  1. What is Data?
  2. Summary Statistics
  3. Graph Shapes
  4. A/B Tests

This whole course is well-worth sharing with designers starting out in this field. Thanks to their brevity and conversational tone, I could also see individual articles being useful to share with colleagues and stakeholders if you’re trying to explain certain concepts to them.

One thought to “Great Introduction to the Essentials of User Experience Design”

  1. Understanding UX and an impact of implementing a usable UX is most important. I’m sure the fundamentals shared in this will be very useful for all of us. Thank you for sharing!! 🙂

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