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UX/UI Links, March 2017

Each month, a countless number of articles are published on the web, and we read a ton of them. We focus on those related to UX, UI and product management, and then share a selection with our social media followers. Our motivation is simple: help our friends learn, stay current and be more awesome at what they do.

For a while now, many of you have suggested that we go a step further and share the most outstanding items on our blog. So, here we go: our first post with the best links we find on the web each month. Let's start!

Play your cards right

Card-based layouts are increasingly common yet very complex to implement. From large gaps formed by different content lengths to cards overloaded with information, there's a long list of things that can go wrong.

Fortunately, Andrew Coyle, Lead Design at Flexport, wrote a great piece about what goes into designing better cards. Learn the details of what cards are, how they work and the best practices to create layouts that translate into an astounding user experience.

Make a Better Modal

"If people have been trained to automatically try to close modals, why would you want to use them?" asks Naema Baskanderi, UX Designer at Autodesk. Great question! Modals can be appropriate and useful if we apply Best Practices for Modals / Overlays / Dialog Windows. Follow these recommendations to leverage the benefits and mitigate the downsides.

Why wireframes?

Here are a few good reasons: to generate more ideas, for rapid iteration, to work faster and smarter, to get meaningful feedback and keep your focus on what's really important about your design... want more? This article by Joel Marsh for The Hipperelement delivers the goods. Here, Joel makes an awesome case for introducing wireframes in your design process as the best way to get your ideas across.

We agree with every line! (Well, maybe not the last one 😉)

What happens in between?

There's a difference between what's obvious to us and what actually happens when users try our products. This disconnect impacts their goals and can eventually push them away. This is the reminder that user-onboarding expert, Samuel Hulick, gives us on Product People, Mind the Gap. A great read that'll put you on the path to asking the right questions to build the right products that people will really love.

Ready... Set... Sprint!

Sprinting is running a short distance at top speed. When it comes to design and product development, a sprint is no different.

In the latest episode of Presentable, Jeffrey Veen interviews Jake Knapp, author of The Sprint Book and current Design Partner at Google Ventures on How to Get Your Boss to Draw in Just 5 Days. Fast forward to the 16:30 mark for a detailed guide to applying this framework in your product development process and materializing your ideas, saving a ton of time.

If you're ready to give Sprints a try, here's Google Design Sprint Kit, a website full of resources to help you throughout the whole process. Sweet!

UX Revolution

For many of us interested in or even practicing user experience design, there's a gap between what’s being talked about in the industry and what's really going on inside our companies. The overflow of information has tricked us into believing that finally building products centered around people's needs is at the heart of businesses everywhere. But for most people, this notion vanishes when they get to the office.

Bringing UX into organisations is challenging. However, there has never been a better time to getting started. Paul Boag shares tricks and techniques in How To Spark A UX Revolution and encourages companies to embrace the value of user experience design.

Getting Better Feedback

The ability to give (and receive) constructive feedback enables growth and progress in creative environments. Professionals from all levels and disciplines recognise this and dedicate time to explore better ways to do it.

So, what is the best way to ask for or elicit critique from our colleagues? Claire Lew, CEO of Know Your Company, believes the key to Unlocking Honest Feedback is in our choice of words.

Still, accepting feedback is the part of the exchange that requires more effort and carries a bigger emotional investment. Julie Zhou, Product design VP at Facebook, reflects on Taking Feedback Impersonally and leave us with a couple of suggestions on the best ways to do it.

That’s it for this month. We’d hope to have given you interesting tools and thought starters.

If you know other good links that deserve to be on this post, please, leave us a comment! We'll be delighted to see what you've been learning and what really matters to you.

Jessica for the Balsamiq Team

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