I recently came across this introduction to UX design by Joel Marsh – UX Crash Course: 31 Fundamentals. This series of 31 articles is a great overview of the subject, broken down into a series of short, readable articles on each aspect.
Joel also includes some choice quotes, such as this one on design patterns:
Some design ideas become popular because they allow lazy UI designers to ignore a challenging feature. It’s like putting a bag over someone’s head because they are ugly.
The entire ‘crash course’ touches upon pretty much everything you’d want to know about user experience design, organized into common-sense groupings:
Introduction & Key Ideas
- What is UX?
- User Goals & Business Goals
- The 5 Main Ingredients of UX
How to Understand Users
- What is User Research?
- How to Ask People Questions
- Creating User Profiles
- Designing for Devices
- Design Patterns
- What is Information Architecture?
- User Stories & Types of Information Architecture
- What is a Wireframe?
Visual Design Principles
- Visual Weight, Contrast & Depth
- Repetition & Pattern-Breaking
- Line Tension & Edge Tension
- Alignment & Proximity
Functional Layout Design
- Z-Pattern, F-Pattern, and Visual Hierarchy
- Browsing vs. Searching vs. Discovery
- Page Framework
- The Fold, Images, & Headlines
- The Axis of Interaction
- Calls-to-Action, Instructions & Labels
- Primary & Secondary Buttons
- How Experience Changes Experience
Designing with Data
- What is Data?
- Summary Statistics
- Graph Shapes
- A/B Tests
This whole course is well-worth sharing with designers starting out in this field. Thanks to their brevity and conversational tone, I could also see individual articles being useful to share with colleagues and stakeholders if you’re trying to explain certain concepts to them.