UX can’t be defined by one set of "rules"

Even though UX is a very broad subject to write about, to find new ideas for my newsletter on a bi-weekly basis is sometimes hard. I don’t want to sound like a broken record and after 300 posts - it’s just hard to come across new ideas sometimes.

I’ve found a lot of the posts that get traction on Medium all seem to offer the golden recipe for how to make your UX ‘right’. Just like for personal advice, they all seem to offer this perfect formula of ‘if you do UX this way then you’ll see great results and users will love your product’. They all claim to be the “Ultimate Guide to UX in 2019”…

Don’t get me wrong, I do read some of these guides myself and find that they all seem to have one or two things that are worth reflecting over. Also, I know that especially junior designers or people just starting off with UX like to get these kinds of rules to follow. So what to do?

As you might know, I’m a big fan of learning about great user experiences not only from UX design, but from design, writing, and life in general. In Kaleigh Moore’s newsletter the other week, I read this quote from Gary Provost:

This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety.

Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length.

And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals–sounds that say listen to this, it is important.Gary Provost

For me, this highlights perfectly how to think about these golden UX guides. They’re fine as long as you use them in moderation. If you adapt them to the product you’re currently designing for. However, to think there is one set of rules to apply to any product and get a great user experience is nonsense. Total nonsense.

Just like the rule that a blog post should only be 700-800 words for good SEO, this post is only roughly 400. I’m breaking that rule simply because I have nothing more to say on this. You wouldn’t want to read uninspired filler text for 300 more words, would you? I didn’t think so. :)

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Books

User Experiences that Matter (2016)
Mastering Freelance (2017)

If You're Getting Started in UX

What's a 'User Experience' Anyways?
How Do You Learn UX?
Working as a UX Designer

Next Steps in UX

Working as a UX Lead
Defining a UX Strategy
Writing as Part of the UX Process

Thought-pieces

AI Ethics - A New Skill for UX-Designers
Designer Ethics & The Moral Implications of our Apps
The Future of the UX-Designer
Voice Input’s Effect on Social Norms

The Work We Do

Chasing Growth
New Tools Don’t Always Equal Productivity
Why Designers Need to Write
The Tools I Use to Run My Business

Featured Writing & Interviews Elsewhere

Q&A With Anton Sten, Author of User Experiences that Matter - Adobe
What the F*#!ck is a UX Designer anyway - Working not Working
It’s Time for a Code of Ethics for Designers - Medium Modus
The Art of Going Freelance - .Net Magazine
It Takes Time - Being Freelance episode 100

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Stay humble, stay eager

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The Cost of Lies

Big Mood Machine

Simplicity is a war

The next iPhone

Working as a UX-lead

Leadership or management

Everyone should own a dog

Silence is gold

Cameras that understand

Humans, not users

Keeping AI Honest

Right to privacy

2018 in review

What’s my location?

The State of UX in 2019

Why scrap scrappy?

I’m taking a break

Organized for browsing

Stay humble, stay eager

The iPhone Franchise

Why Small Teams Win

Back to Work!

The Bullshit Web

Just keep at it

Let them eat cake

Netflix Culture

Skype

Unfoundered

Vanity Metrics

Tech is not Neutral

Productivity

Whose risk?

Why Small Teams Win

Phone Bored

Karim Rashid

Dieter Rams

Bleeding Out

Fake News is spam

Conversational Design

Dropbox

Bye bye Facebook

Cuba

The seat at the table

Givenchy

Love letters to trees

Pricing Philisophy

Specialize

Personas

Make me think

The Future of Retail

Hawaii Missile Alert

2017 review

Why Design Systems fail

What You Build

Checkout for Winners

Living a Testing Culture

What do you do?

Creative Class

How To Predict Your Future

Carpe Diem UX-designers

What´s Good Design?

Chasing Growth

Github

Medium

A Redesign

Design quotes

Enough

Why?

ARKit

Designing for Mobile

Is Less More?

Why Simple is Hard

Pricing It Perfectly

Failure, Reflect, Renew

Trusting Your Gut

Built to last

An Eye on the Future

Growth

Working with me

UX Design explained

Great user experience

Naming your icons

Conversations