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UX/UI Links, September 2017

I’m always concerned about all the things that I'm missing out on.
When it comes to the web, this fear intensifies 10X. I want to read everything every time.

One example of this happened a few weeks ago.

I set a goal for myself to find a good article on User Research every week. The article should be valuable for beginners and apply to any role, not only UX designers. I put a time limit but spent more than I'd like to admit.

My agenda for that day collapsed, affecting the rest of my goals for the week.
In the end, I settled (uneasily) on Your Empathy Toolbox: Ensuring You Design a Product Your Users Will Need. Good content, good writing, novel source --and it was among the first I had found interesting.  

The lesson I'm trying hard to assimilate is that we don’t need to gobble up everything about anything on the web. We might be missing out, but we're also learning a lot.

Here are my favorite UX/UI links this month. Only 5, and even that might be more than you need for a month. 

Flat UI Elements Attract Less Attention and Cause Uncertainty

The latest Nielsen Norman Group study has caused quite a stir online. It takes on the beloved flat interface trend.

According to the author, Flat UI's biggest usability issue is the lack of strong signifiers on clickable elements. The recent research showed that "participants spent 22% more time (i.e., slower task performance) looking at the pages with weak signifiers." These results don't mean that users were more engaged, "they suggest that participants struggled to locate the element they wanted or weren’t confident when they first saw it."

The article titled Flat UI Elements Attract Less Attention and Cause Uncertainty, offers some clues on how to make flat UIs work. They require "just good, basic UX design best practice: visual simplicity, external consistency, clear visual hierarchy, and contrast."

UX Designers: Are You Focusing Too Heavily on Creating a Beautiful UI?

Pretty UIs aren't inherently effective. To make good products, UX Designers need to fulfill their users' expectations and this is only possible if they learn to think "beyond the edge of the screen."

In UX Designers: Are You Focusing Too Heavily on Creating a Beautiful UI? User Experience Designer and expert in digital transformation Paul Boag points out three areas outside UI that UXers should consider when creating e-commerce sites: top-notch communication, removing risk, and offering outstanding customer service.

Why Every Product Manager Should Be Able to Prototype

Communication and collaboration techniques are always subject to reflection within product teams that want to excel. For Product Board "prototyping is the glue that holds together a well-functioning product team", and empowers them to co-create.

Inspired by Prototyping is Product Management, Product Manager Winston Christie-Blick explores Why Every Product Manager Should Be Able to Prototype and shares how they apply this technique at Product Board.  

(A little naming sidenote: The early stage of this process--and the most crucial for PMs--focuses on creating what Product Board calls low-fidelity prototypes. But the schematics or blueprints we produce in this crucial step are really called wireframes. It's a widespread misunderstanding, but with your help we're going to bring back the right term 💪🏼!)

If you'd like to take a dive into collaborative wireframing, take a look at our new editor and upcoming generation of tools. 

Becoming Jared Spool

To listen to our heroes explain how they became who they are is a gift. This is what the Mixed Method podcast episode "Becoming Jared Spool" offers to all makers. 

Aryel Cianflone interviews co-founder of Center Centre and the founder of UIE, Jared Spool, for almost an hour of learnings and insights into the career and ideas of a man on a mission to "eliminate all the bad design from the world."

40 books to maximize your creative potential and level-up in design

There’s a Japanese word for the habit of buying lots of books and not reading them, tsundoku. It can be translated as "book lover" 😉. 

Here's a great list of books to read this Autumn... or to just let pile up. 

If you'd like to keep reading handpicked articles, here are our previous lists.

To check out the rest of our selection, follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

Remember to share your favorites in the comments!

Jessica for the Balsamiq Team

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