UX Resource Roundup (Part 1)

A couple of weeks ago, Wired published 101 Signals –  a curated who’s who’s list of great Internet thinkers, spanning expertise in everything  from Science to Design.  The list was great, it includes some of my personal favorites (Hover States, Dribbble & Typographie) but I felt it failed to provide any real value to designers trying to expand their knowledge.  Today is your lucky day because I’m going to spoil you with some knowledge.

This is part 1 of a weekly series… ENJOY!

Can Experience Be Designed?


(credit: David Salafia)

There is an age old argument on whether or not a user’s experience can truly be designed.  Read these two articles taking opposite sides of the argument and decide for yourself.

Can Experience Be Designed?  – by Oliver Reichenstein

“Do experience designers shape how users feel, or do they shape with respect to how users feel? A small but important nuance. Did you catch it? No? Then let me ask you this way: Do architects design houses or do they design “inhabitant experiences?” The bullshit answer is “They design inhabitant experiences”. The pragmatic answer is: “They design houses”. The cautious answer is: Architects design houses that lead to a spectrum of experiences, some foreseen, some not. But they do not design all possible experiences one can have in a house.”

“Can Experience Be Designed?”  Yes.  No.  Wait, yes.  But. — by Dane Petersen of Adaptive Path

“It may sound odd coming from an experience designer, but I would agree that it is impossible for us to design experiences. We can, however, design for experiences. The difference is subtle, but extremely important. I believe that we can create conditions so that people with a similar cultural perspective, a shared sociocultural background, a shared repertoire of previous life experiences, will perceive and interpret a product or service in an intended way.”

No matter what your stance is on the subject on designing experiences, I think we can all agree that the end goal is to design the best experiences that meet business goals and user needs.  With that said, the next group of links are geared toward ramping up your UX knowledge and  improving your UX process.

Improving your UX process


(credit: Pekka Nikrus)

Design Staff

Design Staff has one objective:  to help start ups design great products.  This site provides great insight on how to build great products… rapidly.

Here are some of my favorites articles:

The product design sprint:  a five-day recipe for startups

How we built a research lab for mobile app testing in just a few hours

A tip for effective meetings:  Always be capturing

Whitney Hess

Whitney has a great blog, and if you haven’t checked it out already you should definitely read her extremely popular post “So you wanna be a user experience designer — Step 1:  Resources”.

Her post on “The User Experience Process for the Seamless iPad App” is a personal favorite.


I would advise anyone interested at improving not only your process, but skills and knowledge to check out this site.  You can spend hours and hours reading their content (trust me, I have,) but one of my favorites is the on the method of Card Sorting.

Take aways

As you can see, the UX community is great at providing insights to become better designers, better researchers, better practitioners and in general better leaders of design.  My goal in subsequent weeks is to provide links to resources from some of the best designers of our booming industry.

If you are just getting involved in User Experience design, you are in for an amazing ride.

Let’s build amazing products… not products that end up on http://hadonejob.com

– Rob