UX News

A look at what's going on in the field of user experience.

Responsible JavaScript: Part III

, A List Apart: The Full Feed

A depiction of a long task in a flame chart from the performance panel in Chrome DevTools.

You’ve done everything you thought was possible to address your website’s JavaScript problem. You relied on the web platform where you could. You sidestepped Babel and found smaller framework alternatives. You whittled your application code down to its most streamlined form possible. Yet, things are just not fast enough. When websites fail to perform the way we as designers and developers expect them to, we inevitably turn on ourselves:

“What are we failing to do?” “What can we do with the code we have written?” “Which parts of our architecture are failing us?”

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Request with Intent: Caching Strategies in the Age of PWAs

, A List Apart: The Full Feed

Screenshot of a component showing a series of user profile images of users who have liked something

Once upon a time, we relied on browsers to handle caching for us; as developers in those days, we had very little control. But then came Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), Service Workers, and the Cache API—and suddenly we have expansive power over what gets put in the cache and how it gets put there. We can now cache everything we want to… and therein lies a potential problem.

Media files—especially images—make up the bulk of average page weight these days, and it’s getting worse. In order to improve performance, it’s tempting to cache as much of this content as possible, but should we? In most cases, no. Even with all this newfangled technology at our fingertips, great performance still hinges on a simple rule: request only what you need and make each request as small as possible.

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Making Room for Variation

, A List Apart: The Full Feed

Sixteen Public Theater posters in black, white, and yellow, with slanted wood type letterforms and high-contrast images of people.

Making a brand feel unified, cohesive, and harmonious while also leaving room for experimentation is a tough balancing act. It’s one of the most challenging aspects of a design system.

Graphic designer and Pentagram partner Paula Scher faced this challenge with the visual identity for the Public Theater in New York. As she explained in a talk at Beyond Tellerrand:

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Invisible design systems

, UX Collective - Medium

State of UX in 2020We see the term Design System everywhere: conferences, articles, tweets, courses, capabilities slides. While a design system is a powerful way to scale a product, our focus on its output (the pattern library itself), rather than outcome makes us miss the invisible value of its systematic approach.A quick search for “design systems” on Google Trends shows that interest in this topic has been on the rise over the past few years. On Medium, a handful of new articles are published with that tag every single week. The topic has become such a buzzword that even a Twitter account was created this year to mock designers’ obsession with design systems.

every discussion of design systems ultimately becomes a discussion about buttons

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How can UX professionals actively practise empathy?

, UX Collective - Medium

Empathy is probably the most important skill for UX professionals and enables our imagination to consider the world from our users’…

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How to regain sanity in an overstimulating smartphone world

, UX Collective - Medium

Digital Detox by going Light.

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Book Review: How Not to Be Wrong

, UXmatters

Cover: How Not to Be Wrong

By D. Ben Woods

There are certain topics—politics, religion, sex—that are sure to invite disagreement, judgment, and the gnashing of teeth. I want to add math education to that list of uncomfortable discussion topics. Math education—how math is taught and whether it is really applicable to the real world—as been a consistent source of irritation for parents and students across generations.

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Is Focusing on Agile or Lean Damaging the Practice of UX? Part 1

, UXmatters

By Janet M. Six

This month in Ask UXmatters, our panel of UX experts discusses how development teams’ prioritizing the use of agile or Lean methodologies affects the practice of User Experience. Our panelists lament how the goal of speeding up development devalues UX research and design, leads to design inconsistencies, and encourages product-team members to take shortcuts. Agile and Lean’s focus on speed can also make it more difficult for product teams to keep the big picture in mind.

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Popular Excuses for Not Doing Exploratory Research and How to Overcome Them

, UXmatters

By Michael Morgan

At your company, what percentage of your time is spent doing evaluative studies—for example, usability testing or expert reviews—versus formative, early-phase research, using such approaches as contextual inquiry or low-fidelity prototype testing?

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