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Top 10 UX Articles of 2020

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The following user-experience articles published in 2020 were the ones our audience read the most:

  1. Dark Mode vs. Light Mode: Which Is Better?
    In people with normal vision (or corrected-to-normal vision), visual performance tends to be better with light mode, whereas some people with cataract and related disorders may perform better with dark mode. On the flip side, long-term reading in light mode may be associated with myopia.
  2. How People Read Online: New and Old Findings
    Looking back at findings from a series of eyetracking studies over 13 years, we see that fundamental scanning behaviors remain constant, even as designs change.
  3. 5 Principles of Visual Design in UX
    The principles of scale, visual hierarchy, balance, contrast, and Gestalt not only create beautiful designs, but also increase usability when applied correctly.
  4. 7 Ways to Analyze a Customer-Journey Map
    Evaluate your journey map to identify low and high points, failures to set expectations, unnecessary or too long steps, channel transitions, and moments of truth. Use this information to find opportunities for improving the journey.
  5. Listboxes vs. Dropdown Lists
    Listboxes and dropdowns are compact UI controls that allow users to select options. Listboxes expose options right away and support multi-selection while dropdowns require a click to see options and support only single-selection.
  6. PDF: Still Unfit for Human Consumption, 20 Years Later
    Research spanning 20 years proves PDFs are problematic for online reading. Yet they’re still prevalent and users continue to get lost in them. They’re unpleasant to read and navigate and remain unfit for digital-content display.
  7. What a UX Career Looks Like Today
    Our latest research on UX careers looks into specialization, explores unique backgrounds of practitioners entering the field, and details the skills and responsibilities needed to work in UX today.
  8. The Discovery Phase in UX Projects
    Although there can be many different instigators, roles, and activities involved in a discovery, all discoveries strive to achieve consensus on the problem to be solved and desired outcomes.
  9. UX Roadmaps: Definition and Components
    A UX roadmap is a high-level, living artifact that prioritizes and communicates a UX team’s future work and problems to solve.
  10. Journey Mapping for Remote Teams: A Digital Template
    A collaborative spreadsheet is an efficient, effective tool for virtual customer-journey mapping. Because of the format and structure it affords, almost everyone will be able to access and easily use it.

The new set of downloadable posters about the 10 usability heuristics that we published this year were also very popular in 2020.

Bonus: Top 5 from Last Year

These five articles from last year got so many hits in 2020 that they would have placed high on this year’s top-10 list:

  1. 5 Steps to Creating a UX-Design Portfolio
    A portfolio highlighting your design process and past work shows others who you are as a designer. The process of creating a UX-design portfolio allows you to reflect on your skills and achievements.
  2. Top 10 Application-Design Mistakes
    Application usability is enhanced when the UI guides and supports users through the workflow.
  3. User Need Statements: The ‘Define’ Stage in Design Thinking
    User need statements, also called problem statements or point-of-view statements, are a powerful, fundamental tool for defining and aligning on the problem you are going to solve.
  4. Marking Required Fields in Forms
    Using an asterisk to mark required fields is an easy way to improve the usability of your forms. Only marking optional fields makes it difficult for people to fill out the form.
  5. DesignOps 101
    The practice of Design Operations focuses on processes and measures that support designers in creating consistent, quality designs.

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