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January 2021
(can we get a vaccine yet?)

Bonne année

(Happy New Year)
I'm glad you've made it to the other side. It feels like leaving a crowded plane after a 14hour flight with crying babies, drunk passengers and rude crew, doesn't it? Not that I have any recent memory of that. Anyway, I hope you had decent holidays. But whatever happened, we can finally start fresh (unless you're in the US, in which case, I'm so sorry). But no more "It's 2020" excuses.

Speaking of fresh, you'll notice this newsletter has got a new 2021 look (and so does my site). Who said I'm spending too much time on Japanese design websites? I heard that!

Before we all went on holiday, we also re-designed Thea. Empowered by our clients' feedback, mentoring sessions and other friendly debugging advice, I worked with Laura, Coni & Natalia to better represent what we do, who we are and how we can help you. Thea 2.0 is over here.

Case study

Designing a freelance collective website

If you’ve ever launched a start-up, a side project or even a blog, you know that the first version of your site never lasts long— and not only because good design is never finished. Your positioning will need refining, you’ll gain valuable user feedback over time and like the first crêpe, the first one is always messed up anyway. Here's what I learnt from my mistakes in the first version, what I did differently the second time and why.

Articles

Laws of UX

UX is based on a series of usability heuristics. There's a few out there, Jakob Nielsen's probably being the most popular ones. If you want to know what those seemingly enigmatic rules are, check Laws of UX. Created by Jon Yablonski, it's a collection of comprehensive maxims and principles anyone should consider when building interfaces.

How to make an LGBTQ+ inclusive survey

I recently sat in a UX research training class where I was told users could only be split into two gender categories. The trainer explained their platform couldn't record any other data field. Which got me thinking about how to make inclusive surveys. So I'm really glad I found this great article to make LGBTQ+ inclusive surveys. The author breaks down each question to explain the problems with it and ways to make them more inclusive.

The overwhelming world of Japanese web design

I know I said above that my site's new look is inspired by Japanese design and I do mean it, but not in a traditional web design sense. It's actually quite the opposite. And before you faint at the sight of these, please know there's a reason behind all this noise and glitter. I learnt all about it in this article by Maxwell Forrest. My point is, do not judge until you understand the reasons for something.

UX tips

Make beautiful designs

More often than not, you'll read and hear that great design isn't about being beautiful. True, but also, not exactly true. Users often perceive aesthetically pleasing design as more usable. The question remains to define what is an aesthetically pleasing design, but this newsletter isn't an InterIntellect salon. Feel free to ask the question on Twitter though.

Don't reinvent the wheel

It's also called Jakob's Law. Yes, the same Jakob Nielsen I was mentioning above in Laws of UX. People spend most of their time on other people's sites (and not yours, sorry). That means that they expect your site to work in the same way these other sites operate, so they can use it easily. A little bit like driving abroad. It can be different, but not too much (so not like wild countries who drive on the left side of the road, no).

Polish the start AND the end

We talk a lot about how important first impressions are. But actually, peak-end rule teaches us that what people remember the most are the peak and end of an experience rather than the total sum of every moment. So do take care of that confirmation email for your newsletter as much as you did the sign-up section.

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