by Darren Hood

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There are lots of folks out there today who spend time trying to convince people about what they call “the best way to learn.” One of the most interesting things about the vast majority (if not all) of these folks is that they’re not educators. They don’t have any training in learning cognition. They don’t know anything about instructional design. Yet, they present themselves as experts.

Someone might say, “Darren, you’re just a UX professional yourself. What do you know about the subject? Who are you to say anything about it?” Well, I’m glad you asked the…


by Darren Hood

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How do you define UX? I’ll explain why I’m asking in just a bit. Before we talk about what UX is, let’s consider what it is not:

  • Thought of by many to focus only on aesthetics.
    It’s not the job of UX professionals to “make things look good.” Our focus is on things like usability, optimal cognition, and ease of use — not “pretty.” And “pretty” can evaporate quickly if the usability, cognitive load, and ease of use are all painful.
  • UX is not UI. UX consists of a minimum of 120 methods, methodologies, principles, techniques, deliverables…


by Darren Hood

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Time for another book recommendation list (and this one’s overdue). As mentioned in a recent post, information architecture (IA) has been a forgotten and/or overlooked part of user experience for several years now. This is grossly inappropriate for several reasons. Most notably, in addition to serving as a core foundational discipline to what we now know as UX, its application is the only way to ensure optimization of findability and proper implementation of information design.

While there are some who still understand, embrace, and practice IA in their UX roles, this is still a new concept to…


by Darren Hood

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I spend time talking to and/or hearing concerns from up-and-coming UX professionals all over the world. The most common story involves the challenges and frustrations associated with finding their first UX job.

First things first…. I get it. Many of the aforementioned folks don’t think that senior UXers understand, but we used to be them/you. In addition to having been there once before, having come through the ranks and (for some of us) being current or former hiring managers, we have insights that can prove useful in the current push. …


by Darren Hood

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Source: Matthew Newman

There are over 100 cognitive biases at work in the digital world. Confirmation bias is when someone only gravitates and listens to things that are aligned with what they already believe or want to hear. With hindsight bias, after something takes place, a person behaves as if they knew what was going to happen all along when they really had no idea. When a person operates under the false consensus bias, they falsely assume others share their sentiments, resulting in overestimating the value and accuracy of said sentiments.

They all carry consequences, but one of extreme importance…


by Darren Hood

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Do you love smoothies? So do I. Whether they’re made at home or are from the Smoothie Kings, Tropical Smoothie Cafes, or Jamba Juices of the world, I love them immensely. I’m going to use smoothies as a metaphor to help make somewhat of a fun and interesting point in this post.


by Darren Hood

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Building upon my recent post where I presented 7 Things UXers Need to Stop Doing…. Immediately, I’m addressing more practices in today’s UX operations that need to be abandoned. This list is a bit more direct, a bit closer to the hearts of UXers everywhere, and will delve a bit further into the weeds of where we operate.

Ready? Let’s dive right in, shall we? Here goes!

Being “non-judgy”

Ever provided someone with constructive input and the person responds by accusing you of “being judgy?” On the flip side, maybe you were the one who made the “judgy” statement…


by Darren Hood

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Working as a UX professional requires a commitment to continued education. It also calls for ongoing introspection and personal maintenance. Interested in a pattern or approach to help with these responsibilities? Check out my prescribed UX Cycle of Excellence.

The steps are as follows:

  1. Properly define the discipline of UX
    Defining UX accurately will help people establish a proper foundation. Without this foundation, a person can head in any direction (all of which are detrimental to self and the discipline).
  2. Embrace UX’s foundational tenets Once you’ve defined the discipline, it is important to identify and gain at…


by Darren Hood

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Yep. It’s another list. This time, I’m focusing on some overlooked attitudes and practices that are seemingly small, but have major detrimental impact on the discipline, its perception, practitioners, stakeholders, and even UX maturity levels.

Short and sweet, let’s dive into the list of counterproductive and detrimental things UXers are doing around the world:

  1. Saying and buying into “UX/UI” Say it with me. “There is no such thing as UX/UI.” After 20+ years in the design mainstream, you would think we would have advanced beyond people associating UX with aesthetics or limiting us to such, but in…


by Darren Hood

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According to the Apple Fandom Wiki, Don Norman joined Apple in 1993. He had the title “User Experience Architect.” This was the first use of “user experience” in a job title on record. It would be approximately 12–14 years before UX became commonplace in job titles around the globe. Having a history of being holistic in his design approach, Norman already had a glimpse of the future.

Interestingly, the world of UX wasn’t holistic in its views. The first major focus of what we now know as user experience was that of information architecture. Considering the issues…

UX Uncensored

Darren Hood: UX pro (20+ yrs), adjunct professor, international conf. speaker, founder of Kaizen UX Consulting & Education, & host of The World of UX podcast

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