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Use these free online resources to become a great UX practitioner

Use these free online resources to become a great UX practitioner

One of the key tenets of User Experience is to share knowledge and expertise with your peers. Throughout my career, I have been fortunate enough to have crossed paths with many UX experts who are always willing to point me in the direction of great content.

The ample amount of online resources available — whether it be a blog, newsletter, meetup —are endless. There are libraries of easy-to-access online content to be taken advantage of, so I recently wrote a list and have compiled (what I think) is the best free UX content out there

Top UX blogs

With a quick online search, you can find an extensive list of UX thought leaders who regularly discuss new trends and learnings from their time in the industry.

I recently attended a meetup here in Melbourne, called the UX Book Club where we had Steve Portigal on VC discussing his new book “Doorbells, Danger, and Dead Batteries: User Research War Stories”.  His blog has fantastic insights into User Research amongst other things.

UX Myths is another great resource. To quote their words: “UX Myths collects the most frequent user experience misconceptions and explains why they don’t hold true”. Their engaging blog shares an endless amount of research findings and articles by design and usability gurus.

Another great blog worth mentioning is Usabilla. Usabilla includes articles on user engagement, design and UX research. Similarly, the blog by Invision takes an in-depth look at the current trends in UX, as well as other trending topics. I would highly recommend signing up to both of these.

Online UX magazines

For broader insights, there a number of online magazines who will – more often than not – have practitioners who provide engaging and useful content.

A good read is the magazine of the User Experience Professionals Association. They cover the broad field of user experience topics with contributions from experts across the industry. Each edition explores a different facet of User Experience, ranging from innovation to content strategy.

UX Magazine is another great online publication. The online resource finds and celebrates great design. I recommend having a look at their recent winners of the UX Magazine awards.

The aggregators

As you’ve probably realised by now, there is a HUGE amount of information out there.

Luckily, UXers are a benevolent bunch. Usabilla has been so good as to compile a number of UX resources for us, as have the team at UX Mastery. UX Mastery’s website is a treasure trove of UX gold. They also run an open Slack Channel which regularly hosts an “ask the expert” chat, where you can put forward your question in real time.

Social media

Rehashing my earlier point about the ethos of UX is to share experience. Anyone who’s anyone in the world of UX is sharing meaningful thoughts and links on Twitter.

I have found 4 UXers who I think are leading the way in social media sharing, but do some research and you’ll find a vast community of experts sharing their thoughts and knowledge.

Luke Wroblewski | @lukew.
Luke is one of the most influential people in the UX field and an avid Twitter user. Luke is currently a Product Director at Google and came up with the idea of “Mobile First”.

Steve Krug | @skrug
Steve Krug,  is one of the best known names in the field, he is the usability expert who wrote the book; “Don’t make me think!” It’s considered to be the go-to book for usability people.

Patrick Neeman | @usabilitycounts.
An avid Twitter user, with over 41500 tweets, Patrick has worked for companies like eBay, Disney and Microsoft. He shares a huge amount of fascinating content as well as his thoughts and experiences.

Don Norman@jnd1er.
Don is one of the world’s most famous UX designers who coined the term “user experience”. Not an avid poster on Twitter, but a must follow.

Podcasts

OK I know, everyone is busy. But if I need to get my design thinking fix, I have found these excellent podcasts to subscribe to:

UX Podcast | UX Podcast is recorded by user experience experts, James Royal-Lawson and Per Axbom on a twice-monthly basis. “UX Podcast is for people passionate about balancing business, technology and users within the realm of digital media”

User Experience Podcast | Gerry Gaffney runs UX consultancy Information & Design in Melbourne, Australia. He is former Director of Publications at UXPA. Gerry discusses topics of interest to practitioners or others with an interest in UX.

Now, this is not a “best of” list, purely the resources I find the most interesting. One of the challenges I’ve found is managing all the information that is out there. But what a great position to be in.

With a bit refining, I am sure you can streamline the content to suit you.

Happy hunting.

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