Great reads from 2016

We read a lot of great posts last year that we shared on a weekly basis with the community. So let’s take a look back and reflect on the things that helped us to make progress and kept us in the loop.

Here are the top posts that we read, learned from and shared with you last year to help you review the most important, creative, helpful and actionable writings collected in no particular order. Enjoy!


Airbnb’s Matt Gallivan writes about the real value of UX research
UX research isn’t about proving users hate carousels; it’s about embracing uncertainty, Airbnb’s Matt Gallivan writes.

Low cost usability testing called Heuristic Evaluation
A heuristic evaluation is a lightweight evaluation that allows you to identify usability issues without the involvement of users.

Tasty CSS-animated hamburgers
Even though they don’t provide the best UX, there is a lot you can learn from them. A collection of CSS-animated hamburgers 🍔

How to Speed Up Your UX with Skeleton Screens
In software design, skeleton screens provide an alternative to the traditional methods. Rather than showing an abstract widget, skeleton screens create anticipation of what is to come and reduce cognitive load.

Design Better Forms- Common mistakes designers make and how to fix them
Whether it is a signup flow, a multi-view stepper or a monotonous data entry interface, forms are one of the most important components of digital product.

When to Use a Switch or Checkbox
When deciding between a switch or checkbox, focus on context, not function. Ask yourself whether a setting should take immediate effect or not. Ask yourself whether users need to check their settings before they apply them.

The Best User Interface Upgrades of 2016
10 of 2016’s most noteworthy user interface upgrades.

Designing inline validation and error handling
Keeping the user informed. Inline form validation and error handling design techniques.

Progress Bars vs. Spinners: When to Use Which
Progress bars make longer processes tolerable. Users don’t mind waiting if they know the app is doing work for them. But if it’s taking longer than expected, they need visual feedback. Not knowing what they’re waiting for makes them impatient and leave.


To Use or Not To Use JS Frameworks?
In the real world, it all boils down to the type of project and the timeline associated with it. If the project in question needs to be accomplished quickly, a framework will help you get the job done by offering you a solid code base to begin with. Similarly, if the project in question is a large and complex application, a framework will offer you the bug fixes and helpful documentation that you might be in need of.

Accessible, Simple, CSS-first Responsive Tables
CSS- Tricks: Your guide to accessible, simple and responsive tables.

Future CSS – the way we think about CSS is changing dramatically.
It’s a weird, confusing, exciting time for CSS.

Caching best practices & max-age gotchas explained with chat
Getting caching right yields huge performance benefits, saves bandwidth, and reduces server costs, but many sites half-arse their caching, creating race conditions resulting in interdependent resources getting out of sync.

The :target Trick
We can use the :target pseudo-element in a much more useful way creating interactive elements on the page without needing javascript.

The 100% correct way to do CSS breakpoints
For the next minute or so, I want you to forget about CSS. Forget about web development. Forget about digital user interfaces.

12 JavaScript libraries to watch in 2017
Twelve alternative JS libraries that are less well-known but rising rapidly.

Web design

Designing for everyone
Accessible and usable design is good design. And we should design services that everyone can use it without trouble.

The 8 qualities of a great design leader
Responses from Peter Merholz, Uday Gajendar, Libby Bawcombe, and Chris Thelwell.

Building a Visual Language
Visual language is like any other language. Misunderstandings arise if the language is not shared and understood by everyone using it. As a product or team grows, the challenges within these modalities compound.

The 7 most controversial rebrands of 2016
The most controversial and noteworthy rebrands in 2016.

Stop designing interfaces, Start designing experiences
We don’t want our designers to spend any more time on interfaces, we want them to focus on the experience only.


The 9 rules of innovation
The truth is that there are many paths to innovation. Here are nine of them.

Trello’s Michael Pryor on building a mass-market product
Michael shares how marketing, timing and product need to align to build something that has such a huge success, like Trello.

More than mattresses: using Jobs-to-be-Done research for software
Jobs to be done can help you learn about the hidden needs of your users and align your team to build products that ultimately serve them better.

From 0 to $1B – Slack’s Founder Shares Their Epic Launch Strategy
Every customer interaction is a marketing opportunity. If you go above and beyond on the customer service side, people are much more likely to recommend you.- Stewart Butterfield

Things we wrote

The UX of Password fields
An authentication screen is one of the most viewed screens of your app so it’s kind of important to make signing in and signing up as painless as possible.

Bottom Navigation
Making navigation as easy as possible should be one of your top priorities. How well people get around and find information on your website or in your app correlates with how likely they are going to stick around. You ultimately want people to stay, so help them.

15 tips for building better products
We’re in it to build better products for our customers and make their lives better. What makes certain products stand out? There is no easy answer… There is also no single way to build a successful product, so here are 15 tips building better products.

How to build UI for Date Range selection
No matter if your users are picking dates to look for upcoming schedules or analyzing logs and past data, make it easy on them by providing smart defaults, presets and shortcuts.

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