I recently taught myself to use Figma (yes! the editors here do UX and design work full time when we’re not editing awesome articles), and then a coworker sent me an article about Figma plugins. My brain went into overdrive. That seems to be a common feeling for me lately, so I wanted to share it with y’all. Here are some more articles that got us really excited in the last couple months:
Please Define “Literacy”
Readability is a hot topic, especially among content strategists, but what does it actually mean when so many adults have such varying levels of education? Can you really write effective copy by lowering the complexity of what you’re writing? If we use plain words that everyone understands, is it inelegant if it works?
“Grade level is a meaningless concept when writing for adults. What we really care about—and what modern literacy assessments look for—is functional literacy: Can adults understand what they are reading so they can do the tasks they need to do to find and keep jobs, take care of themselves and their families, and so on?”
Break It Into Bite-Size Chunks
Most of us are familiar with the final dilemma of a user researcher: how do I present my findings? What is relevant and to whom? Tomer Sharon does a great job picking this puzzle apart — he actually turns to science and the periodic table (be still my nerdy heart!).
“My conclusion is that a report is not the atomic unit of a research insight.
A nugget, as I like to call it, is an observation gathered through research. The idea is that every time we sample the member experience we can parse that into nuggets that are tagged for future use.”
Don’t judge this article by its publication date — it holds up so well as an emergency checklist for people using tech. This is a psychologist’s perspective on our daily lives, threading our social patterns into the way we interact with digital devices. It’s an excellent gut check or refresher course or even just bumpers at the bowling alley: this list makes sure that you keep our common humanity front and center while you build.
Taking Accessibility in Hand
The quirky sweetness of this deck of cards had me feeling warm and fuzzy for a while. It’s an alphabet of accessibility issues, with faces and symptoms to help build empathy for people who struggle to use the things we build. While it loosely resembles any of the popular card games going around right now (Exploding Kittens, anyone?), the Alphabet of Accessibility deck is intended to level the playing field.
Last but Not Least, User Interfaces
Think you’re a pretty savvy interface designer? You’ve done a bunch of usability tests, huh, and know all the best practices. Well, test your chops on this website — we all tried it, and I’ll be honest: I quit in frustration. A few of our peers made it valiantly through, but definitely not in record time. May the usability odds be ever in your favor!
Universal design considerations increasingly comprise a prudent approach to design and development for the web. Interaction designer Andrew Maier details some of the broader implications this has for user-centered designers.