4 people holding books — illustration
4 people holding books — illustration
Illustration courtesy of rawpixel.com

I love a good UX book and I am always looking for books that inspire and encourage me. Want to get into that mindset of being inspired and doing great work too? Here are a few books that can help.

Book cover for ‘Remote research’
Book cover for ‘Remote research’

Remote Research: Real Users, Real Time, Real Research by Nate Bolt and Tony Tulathimutte

This is one of the more obvious choices right now. It’s a great book with all the tools and methodologies that you might find useful in a remote environment. It goes over recruitment, organizing research and carrying it out. …


Workshops are an integral part of UX work. Now that we are all remote, do you miss whiteboards and post-its? Or maybe snacks and banter of those in-person sessions? I do! I used to work in a company where everyone was in one office building, so personal communication was at the core of everything.

Now that we are all remote, have you found yourself speaking into the void — black screens with microphones and cameras off? Or asking people to speak up, only to hear silence? Or maybe halfway through the workshop someone says they are not sure what we are all doing there? …


‘Reading is for awesome people’ a cat reading a book
‘Reading is for awesome people’ a cat reading a book

Remember the last time you got so annoyed at an app experience that you just gave up and quit? Amazon Audible was that app for me. In this article I want to deconstruct my Amazon Audible experience, pointing out the highs and the lows. And even though some of the interactions have already been improved in the latest app version, there is lots more that can be done.

Signing Up

I went for Amazon Audible purely because I saw an offer for 2 months free. My commute is short, so between music and podcasts, I never felt the need for audio books. …


Football Stadium
Football Stadium

*Which turned out to be more relevant in other industries than expected.

Online betting is an ever-growing market. More and more apps are popping up every day with hundreds of things to bet on. However, there are still not that many gaming and betting-specific UX resources available online, and I’m hoping to see that pool grow.

When I started working for a betting company, — being a non-native English speaker and a non-bettor, the learning curve was pretty steep. The first couple of weeks were a blur of people showing me screens and saying dozens of abbreviations and industry jargon. …


Bambi cartoon scene and bambi a deer photo in exact same pose
Bambi cartoon scene and bambi a deer photo in exact same pose
Courtesy of I can Has Cheeseburger?

“Our biggest competitor is doing this, I think we should add this feature too. Can you put some mockups together?”

I am sure a lot of us have heard a variation of this from our stakeholders. (If not, you are very lucky or have no competitor products!) So how can you communicate that approaching a problem differently will be more valuable in the long run? Especially if the short-term gains look sooooo appealing.

Working for a betting product, there are also numerous specific challenges; like displaying lots of complex information. More and more stats become available all the time, the odds change dynamically, the number of things to bet on increases by the minute. So how do we offer the users the best experience? We don’t want to overwhelm them while still making it obvious how to find everything. Quite a challenge. …


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It’s been a few weeks of the lockdown and working from home, so, if you are used to being in the office, the feeling of being left out might have crept up on you. This feeling of isolation has nothing to do with how productive you are or how well you organize your project-related communications. In the office you can just join in the conversation if you run into someone; being in the squad area automatically makes you part of some ‘in’ jokes and it is hard to replicate that when everyone is working from home.

This is going to be a very quick read, with just a few things we do with both y UX and project teams to keep the the fun going and reinforce the human connections. There are many more fun remote activities and I hope this article inspires you to try them. …


Or why do language app creators consider app UX but completely ignore the usability of the language skills they are teaching?

A night view of Times Square in NYC.
A night view of Times Square in NYC.

Who of us wouldn’t want to be fluent in a few languages? There are lots of online courses and apps that promise you ‘fluent Spanish in 3 weeks’ or ‘learn Russian fast, just 10 minutes a day’. This sounds really enticing, doesn’t it? I am not going to debate whether it’s possible or not to learn a language that fast, it is a different topic. But how do you know that what you learn is going to be what you will actually use?

Often when promising to learn a language fast, apps refer to ‘proven scientific methods’ for memorising vocabulary more efficiently or learning the basic phrases. …


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Continuing the travel theme, now we are jumping onto travelling by train. I’d like to touch upon what makes a good train app and on the example of the Swiss SBB Mobile.

Within the last few months I had two similar train experiences which were handled very differently by two apps. Both times I had to switch trains halfway through the journey, both times there were delays and I couldn’t make it to my connection trains. Living in UK I have to say that the weather is an overarching presence and has a massive influence of public transport; train delays and cancellations are common throughout fall and winter, and you have to gamble if you need to commute. …


I love travelling. And I always try to get around fast and cheap. Some people are averse to the idea of public transport and try to Uber everywhere. Me, on the contrary, I love using the subway when travelling — it’s cheap, convenient and tells things about local culture and people that you won’t see anywhere else.

Just think about it — in Paris the subway has a reputation of being for tourists and poorer people, while in New York or Moscow you can see girls in gowns going to cocktail parties; business people in Rolexes are no strangers to this mode of transportation in Hong Kong and Korea. …


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I want to talk about personal growth and development. If you are anything like me then you can relate to a constant need of learning something new, doing things and never sitting still. And just like professional athletes need to switch up their training routines to get better results, learning new skills will help you keep your UX mind sharp.

I feel very blessed to be working in user experience, as it gives me an advantage of not only of moving across different industries but also of trying different hats on. From doing more quantitative work and getting into data to leaning towards social sciences or product management — the opportunities are limitless. I’m going to share some of my personal experiences and what worked for me. …

About

Ellina

Anything can be an adventure. UX Professional

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