UX lessons I wish I had learned earlier

Weekly curated resources for designers — thinkers and makers.

Everyone has to start somewhere, so when we teach UX we talk a lot about “the design process”. Many books outline steps as if design in the real world were still using the waterfall framework. This causes many designers to struggle when they get into the real world and there isn’t time for some technique they learned in design school or used at their last company.

UX lessons I wish I had learned earlier

The UX Collective is an independent ad-free design publication that elevates unheard design voices, reaching over 422,900 designers every week. Here are our editorial plans for 2021.

Editors’ picks

Biden's first 100 days
What it means for digital transformation.

Cars and memory
The human working memory and the implications on Apple CarPlay.

Disney UX
Genius ways Disney’s customer experience keeps the magic alive.

Photographer Johann Clausen sheds rare light on Apple’s product packaging in a captivating new series.

Food for thought

The factory is the product
“The factory determines the product. The factory determines the culture. The factory determines the speed, execution, iteration, stability, and vision of a product. Anyone can copy designs, anyone can copy public-facing features, but no one can copy a factory. At the core it’s internal. It’s hidden. It’s behind the scenes.”

Why Apple’s new privacy feature is such a big deal
“App Tracking Transparency has been praised by groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which called the concept of making companies ask before they track users on the internet an ‘obvious baseline.’”

Customization vs. configuration in design systems
“When evolving a design system, there is a range of strategies you can take. A more abstract configuration approach can increase consistency and maintainability, but at the risk of the system being a bottleneck for outgoing features. The less abstract customization approach enables quicker feature development; however, overall consistency of the product can suffer as a result.”

Little gems this week

Testing fonts for accessibility

Illustration teardowns: Refactoring old work

The interface effect

Tools and resources

Figma branching
A separate space to iterate and explore freely in Figma.

Exploring color-contrast in CSS for the first time.

UI & UX micro-tips
A collection of handy tips to help improve your designs.

Data scientist Michael Li studied the fonts of the top 1000 websites. Here's what they learned.

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