10 Must-Read Articles on Web Usability

Web Usability Articles

It’s the last post of 2011 and we couldn’t be more excited about what 2012 has on the horizon. Now that Christmas is over, we’re back hard at work and have a big announcement to make…

We’re building a new website!

It’s cool if that doesn’t seem all that special to you. After all, we are web designers. It’s what we do.

But this time, it’s different.

We started the Better User Experience website with one goal in mind: to learn more about web usability and user testing. The technology was always a secondary consideration. What was most important to us were the hours of time that Newman and I spent talking, reading, debating, and rambling (oh my god, the rambling…) on about these issues. What came out of it were the articles and podcasts you’ve seen on this site.

Now, more than 4 months into our learning experiment, we feel an evolution happening. We’ve seen enough of the UX landscape to be able to more strongly report on it. And we want to tackle issues that are interesting to us, but also are interesting to the wider UX community. Or to say it more cutesy, “It’s not about me, it’s about we.”

That’s just a hard thing to do in this restricted format. And by ‘restricted format’ I mean a free WordPress blog that’s hosted on wordpress.com. It worked out perfectly for us at the beginning but now we’re feeling some growing pains without FTP access, access to Google Analytics, plugins, and so forth. So, we’re moving.

Yep! Today’s the last new post you’ll see on betteruserexperience.wordpress.com. As of tomorrow night (12/31) we’ll be moving to abetteruserexperience.com.

Now, as you can see, it’s all hyper-linked up there and stuff and you can totally click that and you’ll totally see the new website. It exists right now!

But be warned: it’s not done. We’re getting there. But we’re working on it live. Maybe it’s because we like to live dangerous or maybe it’s because I saw a NatGeo documentary about the honey badger this morning but I ain’t skurred to work live! Honey badger don’t care!

What will happen in this space tomorrow night is that magically, a 301 redirect will be put here and from then on, BAM! right to the new website. (Those of you who are also web professionals can vouch for the fact that it takes Emeril Legasse to do one properly.)

Kicking 301 redirects up a notch.

And the new website is more than an upgrade. It’s not like going from a mid-90s Geo Metro to a 2012 Nissan Leaf. No! It’s like going from a mid-90s Hyundai Sonata to a 1981 DeLorean DMC-12. Sure, it doesn’t sound as cool (Better User Experience vs. A Better User Experience or BUX vs aBUX) but wait until we get this baby up to 88 mph!

Cue the Huey Lewis! (Kids, ask your parents.)

Trust me, it’ll make sense when you see it. (The website, not the video.)

So on this last day of posting as betteruserexperience.wordpress.com I wanted to take a moment to look at 10 Must Read Articles about Web Usability. These articles are a small sample of the brilliant things people in the UX community are writing about and are ones that have pushed us to think in new ways about how we build websites.

The List

1. Jakob Nielsen – 10 High-Profit Redesign Priorities

2. Jakob Nielsen – Inverted Pyramids in Cyberspace

3. Jakob Nielsen –Why You Only Need to Test with 5 Users

4. Smashing Magazine – 12 Tips for Designing an Excellent Checkout Process

5. Smashing Magazine – Optimizing Conversion Rates: It’s All About Usability

6. Smashing Magazine – 5 Universal Principles For Successful eCommerce-Sites

7. Usability Counts – How to Get Started in User Experience for People I Want to Hire

8. A List Apart – Usability Testing Demystified

9. A List Apart – The UX of Learning

10. 37 Signals – Getting Real: The smarter, faster, easier way to build a web application (book, read online for free)

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