Extremely useful articles about UX content and design

“Would I share this with someone else?”

That’s what I ask myself before bookmarking articles about UX design and content. There’s lots of interesting stuff out there, but much of it requires more context, experience, or patience than suits my purposes as a management consultant and design coach. For me, useful articles are ones I know I’ll want to share with a client, team member, or stakeholder in the future.

Tired of Googling for the same articles over and over, I decided to collect my favorites in one place. I quickly realized there was probably a bunch of stuff I was missing or not remembering. So I asked my 4,300 or so Twitter followers which articles they find really useful. My followers are, of course, beautiful and lovely geniuses, and the thread generated some great recommendations. As of this writing, there are over 40 replies along with lots of faves and replies to those replies.

Note: My interests, and my network, are heavy on digital strategy, content, and design leadership. So there isn’t much in here about visual design, UX software, UI design trends, and so forth. That’s not the kind of stuff I consult on.

I’ve combed the Twitter thread, applied some light curation, and mixed it together with my own favorites to create this list of the most useful articles about UX content and design. I also added some nominal headings, just to give the thing a bit of shape. If you’ve got more suggestions, please add them to the thread! (RIP twitter)

Strategy & The Big Picture

What is Strategy (and Why Should You Care)?
by Kristina Halvorson

What Really Matters: Focusing on Top Tasks
by Gerry McGovern
via @Jamogck

Top tasks are the small set of tasks (usually less than 10, often less than five) that matter most to your customers. Make these tasks work well, and you’ll be on the right track. Get them wrong, and chances are you’ll lose the customer.

Gerry McGovern

Fast Path to a Great UX
by Jared Spool
via @maaike

Product vs. Feature Teams
by Marty Cagan

Stock and Flow
by Robin Sloan

Writing & Communication

The Grammar of Interactivity
by Jonathan Richards

Plain Language Is for Everyone, Even Experts
by Hoa Loranger
via @metrokitty

All writers, including producers of technical and academic content, owe it to readers to communicate information simply, and clearly.

Hoa Loranger

Is this my interface or yours?
by John Saito
via @andywelfle

Engaging Users With App Updates
Apple Developer Guidance

Attack of the Zombie Copy
by Erin Kissane
via @HeyJessiBrown

by Justin Jackson
via @vidhster

Content Mechanics & Operations

Content Personalization: A Reality Check
by Deane Barker
via @angusgmelb

Content in a Zombie Apocalypse
presentation by Karen McGrane
via @laurazoee

Creating a copy system along with your design system
by Bobbie Wood
via @pdstafford

Everyday Information Architecture: Auditing for Structure
by Lisa Maria Marquis
via @liminalcat

Talking People Out of Things

XKCD 773: University Website
via @teganglasheen

Should I Use a Carousel?
by Jared Smith
via @yourolepalsami

NHS Content Style Guide: PDFs
via @NoCarsScott

Surveys are the most dangerous research tool — misunderstood and misused. They frequently straddle the qualitative and quantitative, and at their worst represent the worst of both.

Erika Hall

On Surveys
by Erika Hall
via @vidhster

UX Myths
Myth #3: People don’t scroll
Myth #19: You don’t need the content to design a website
Myth #28: White space is wasted space
via @plexusdesigner

Citizens Portals Y / N?
by Carrie Bishop
via @local_man_31

Thoughtful & Inclusive Design

Don’t Poke the Bear: Creating Content for Sensitive Situations
by Kate Kiefer Lee

As with any form field, if there isn’t a clear benefit to the user, you probably shouldn’t ask about it.

Sabrina Fonseca

Designing for Cognitive Differences
by Brandon Gregory
via @ContentCPH

Methods and Tools

Action mapping: A visual approach to training design
by Cathy Moore
via @criticallearner

The Core Model: Designing Inside Out for Better Results
by Ida Aalen
via @rpkoller

A content-first approach to product onboarding
by Jonathon Colman
via @keepitrustic

Updated Empathy Map Canvas
by Dave Gray

Ways to test content with users
by Josh Tong
via @slowburnweb

How to Clean Up Your Content Mess
by Meghan Casey
via @annehaines

Voice, Tone & Content Guides
curated by John Moore Williams

Being a Designer

Self Care As A UX Researcher
an interview w/ Vivianne Castillo
via @jfordthompson

Stop Doing What You’re Told
presentation by Stephen Anderson

The Boring Designer
by Cap Watkins
via @joelanman

Building an accessible portfolio website
by Jessica Weeks
via @LouShackleton

Design Fundamentals

How to Arrange Interface Elements
by Devon Ko
via @BradleyHawkins

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