Learn about UX

As Don Norman and Jakob Nielsen of the user experience (UX) firm Nielsen Norman Group explain, UX “encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the [organization], its services, and its products.” This requires first understanding users and then exploring and iterating upon solutions with those users in mind.

In short, UXers are problem solvers learning how to design better experiences for people.

UX is interdisciplinary

Good UX requires collaboration across disciplines and areas of expertise, such as visual design, engineering, interaction design, and human research methods. UX professionals have varied backgrounds such as human-computer interaction, ethnography, communications, journalism, library science, psychology, computer science, and visual arts.

UX is more than the user interface (UI)

The UI is a key component of UX, but UX tends to look beyond the interface to the entire user journey across physical and virtual spaces. UX encompasses design, information architecture, content, cross-channel communications, infrastructure, workflows, and more.

UX is more than usability

According to Nielsen’s often-quoted definition, “usability is a quality attribute that assesses how easy user interfaces are to use,” as well as “methods for improving ease-of-use during the design process.” Usability is key to UX, but UX also extends across the entire design and development cycle.

Want to learn more?

Check out the websites and ebooks below to get started learning about UX, and check Slack regularly for articles our community shares.

Many of our past event pages include recordings, slidedecks, handouts, and more. Just look for the "Watch Recording" button and "Attachments" section. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Nielsen Norman Group: A renowned UX firm's website with a collection of how-to and research articles
  • 18F Methods: U.S. government employees' curated collection of UX resources
  • UX Matters: Articles on many UX topics including practical, actionable advice and best practices to overviews of broader topics
  • Smashing Magazine: Practical articles, many on UX, geared towards web designers and developers
  • UX Podcast: Hosted by UX professionals Per Axbom and James Royal-Lawson, the podcasts features discussion on information architecture, UX strategy, and story mapping 
  • UX Pod: UX consultant Gerry Gaffney talks about UX and its relevance to a wide range of topics from accessibility and banking to robotics and urban design 
  • User Defenders: UX Design and Personal Growth: Hosted by UX designer Jason Ogle, each episode features a casual and education discussion about UX
  • Method Podcast (Google Design): The exploration of the design behind Google podcasts and the people who make them 
  • New Layer: A conversation on everything related to digital product design, with hosts Tanner Christensen and Jasmine Friedl. Discussing design careers, tools, education, critique, and much more.
  • UI Breakfast: This podcast features discussions around UI/UX design, products, marketing, and more, all from the perspective of industry experts 
  • UX Radio: These podcasts focus on IA, UX and Design
  • What is Wrong with UX: The hosts, Kate and Laura, drink and fight about what is wrong with user experience design
  • Voice of Design: Having the conversations about design we want to have, sometimes with guests. You should listen. Hosted by Larisa Berger, Erika Hall, and Mike Monteiro
  • Human Tech: A podcast at the intersection of humans, brain science, and technology. Your hosts Guthrie and Dr. Susan Weinschenk explore how behavioral and brain science affects our technologies and how technologies affect our brains 
  • Presentable: Desiging the future: The host will use his two decades of experience to discuss how we design and build the tools that shape our digital world
  • Crazy One: Stephen Gates teaches you how to be a better leader, have a stronger career, build better relationships with your clients, and more.

"Design is really an act of communication, which means having a deep understanding of the person with whom the designer is communicating." - Don Norman