The 10 Most Popular Articles of 2013

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In 2013 I published many articles about the latest trends, opinion pieces, book reviews, free goodies and more. In this post I have gathered the 10 articles that garnered the most interest from my readers. Without any further ado, here are my 10 most popular articles of 2013:

10. A Book Review of The Design of Everyday Things

The Design of Everyday Things is a best selling book by cognitive scientist and usability engineer Donald A Norman. Originally published in 1988 as “The Psychology of Everyday Things”, the emphasis of his book is on people, and how we, as human beings, interact with psychical objects.

9. The Impact of Gesture Recognition on UX Design

Gesture recognition is the detection and understanding of human gestures and movements by computing devices. In the last few years, the rapid advance of gesture recognition technology along with the falling cost (and size) of 3D sensors have spurred greater adoption of touch-free interaction, creating a growing market.

8. All About the Heuristic Evaluation

A heuristic evaluation is a fast and cheap process to improve your site’s usability. Personally, I found that it helps to optimize silly and obvious mistakes which, when fixed, make for a much better overall experience. You’ll find that these evaluations are simple to do and I urge you to embrace them and use them as often as possible because you will never catch everything at a single glance.

7. Up and Coming Mobile Design Trends

Many posts out there don’t actually talk about mobile design trends; some talk about mobile design being a trend but that is by far very different. Because mobile apps and websites are growing in popularity and design quality, I wanted to write a post about the up and coming mobile design trends. I’m certain that if you haven’t already utilized these trends yourself, you will.

6. How Responsive Design Improves User Task Completion

Since the earliest days of the mobile Web, designers have struggled with the challenges inherent in presenting content across multiple devices, and with the explosion in the number and range of devices – from desktops, laptops and netbooks to tablets and smart phones – the difficulties of covering all the bases only become more complex as time goes on.

5. Empathy in UX Design

Empathy – the capacity to recognize emotions that are being experienced by another person – is one of the many ‘soft’ skills a great UX designer should possess. Empathizing with users leads to a genuine understanding of how to solve their problem and ultimately building better products.

4. 9 Common Misconceptions about Users

Many website owners have persistent misconceptions about users, which could lead to a bad interface design and overall user experience. During meetings, when discussing new features or reviewing an existing one, website owners and managers often use their own experience and behavioral habits with a website to praise or shoot down the idea.

3. Free Responsive Sketch Sheets

With responsive design and new design approaches such as ‘Mobile First’, a new kind of UI sketching came to life. I’ve collected several free responsive sketch sheets, allowing you to sketch out rough ideas with paper and pencil and to quickly iterate those ideas, refining, redesigning, or tossing them out as necessary.

2. Introduction to Mobile UX

Mobile has changed the way we interact with content. As UX practitioners, we need to rethink the design paradigm for the web. Simply translating desktop designs to mobile screens is not an option. Small touch screens on smartphones, tablets, and e-readers change the way users input and interact with content.

1. The Decoy Effect in Price Tables

As a UX Designer I like to understand why some design patterns work while others stand in the way of a great user experience or perform outright counterproductive. I found myself intrigued by the psychology of persuasion, how these techniques are used throughout the web and how it affects our decision making. One of those techniques is called the Decoy Effect.

What was your favorite in this list of the most popular articles of 2013? Let me know in the comments.

A special thanks to my guest writers and a Happy New Year to you all!

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Paul Olyslager

Paul is the creator, editor and most regular writer of paulolyslager.com. He’s also working as UX Lead for Home24, a leading online shop for furniture and home accessories, based in Berlin, Germany. Read all about Paul or find him on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.


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