Introducing Smashing UX Design: Changing The Conversation

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In the Web industry, a lot of exciting knowledge and diverse opinions are shared daily. They are delivered in fragments across hundreds of blogs, feeds, Twitter accounts and apps. In addition, the number of topics seems to multiply daily. We are building and designing for moving targets. Technology is constantly forking and disrupting the way we interact and do business. This is our industry, and I love it. I also know it could be better.

Why does finding and reading content have to be so painful at times? We set out to build great (user) experiences, yet our own experience of reading and learning from blogs is not always so pleasant. We end up relying on our peers and trending topics to see what we should be reading. Just knowing how to get a handle on what’s going on becomes a job requirement — more of a distraction than a good use of time when we have project deadlines, among other responsibilities.

An Evolving Industry

Before Web industry blogs such as Smashing Magazine, the conversation was a lot smaller, and much different. It wasn’t about followers or how many RSS subscribers you had: it was about experimenting, discovering and then sharing with others. Things were a bit more personal.

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Early Web design blogs like Kaliber 100002 shared interesting links, with unique designs that paved the way. (Image: Ida Engholm3)

Finding unique and beautiful websites was something rare and exciting, not fodder for an hourly tweet. It was fun figuring out how someone was able to make an HTML table look… well, not like a table at all. It gave us an amazing sense of discovery, while constantly challenging our notion of what the Web could be. With the exciting new devices and design challenges popping up in the world today, that feeling of discovery is returning.

Today, our once fledgeling community is bursting at the seams with information and people trying to make a career of it. Although there are a lot more blogs, many are saying the same things and delivering the same broad-stroke discussions. Finding valuable content in a sea of generic posts is becoming a challenge. It’s time we evolve. Over the course of the next few months, Smashing Magazine will break out sections, like this one, dedicated to specific topics and focused content.

Shaping New Conversations

When Smashing Magazine presented me with this opportunity to help it build a new section focused on UX design, my reaction was, “Absolutely!” After the initial excitement, though, my next thought was, “How the heck will I pull this off?” I realized that just as an experience has no value without users, a blog has no value without readers or contributors.

We have been working on building a solid group of authors who have a fresh outlook and experiences to share. I believe that by presenting great content, audiences will find us. We have an opportunity to continue shaping the future of UX by educating and sharing our experiences with others. The team here at Smashing Magazine is up to the challenge of shaping this new conversation in the community and of contributing great content and ideas.

We will be covering the many dimensions of user experience design, with a deep focus, exploring some new article formats to tell the story of UX. You might find an article that introduces best practices for interface design or perhaps a case study of something surprising that we learned in our user research. We look forward to your feedback, suggestions and commentary. You, dear reader, are what inspires and drives this magazine. And if you think you’ve got what it takes to contribute, please contact us.

Welcome to the new UX Design section of Smashing Magazine!

About Our New Editor: Francisco Inchauste

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Francisco has been designing websites and applications for over a decade — initially in print design and then in interaction design. He now works as a senior UX designer for Universal Mind5, guiding companies in designing applications that meet the needs of their customers through a desirable user experience.

In the past few years, he has continually contributed to the Web community, writing for many6 industry7 publications8 and his personal blog, Finch9. He most recently co-authored the Smashing Book 210, with the chapter “Visible vs. Invisible Design.”

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Francisco Inchauste is an interaction designer at Universal Mind, helping clients create great Web experiences. He regularly contributes to Web design blogs, magazines, and books. He recently served as Editor of Smashing Magazine’s UX Design section. You can connect with him on Twitter, or read more on his blog.

  1. 1

    So happy to see UX being added. I know you’ve had articles here and there but really looking forward to seeing more from Francisco!

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  2. 2

    Good to see a new section devoted to UX Design! I’m looking forward to in-depth background articles and best practices.

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  3. 3

    great news :-)

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  4. 4

    Congrats Francisco! Couldn’t think of a better person for this. You are among the few I look up to for high quality writing on the subject of UX.

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  5. 5

    Excellent! I look forward to more posts about UX.

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  6. 6

    Congrats and very much looking forward to this new section.

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  7. 7

    Very exciting!

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  8. 8

    This is what i expected … !!! Expecting More … Voila … !!!

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  9. 9

    Great! Any plans of having a separate Twitter handle as well? How does @smashinguxd sound? ^_^

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  10. 10

    Francisco Inchauste

    August 15, 2011 6:43 am

    @RaSh There aren’t any plans at the moment. However, it’s an interesting idea!

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  11. 11

    Interesting…

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  12. 12

    I’m glad you guys will finally write more about UX. One very essential element in design.

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  13. 13

    Brandon Holliday

    August 15, 2011 6:54 am

    Love it! I’m always looking for more innovative, yet effective, ways to engage users. Having a site dedicated to this will certainly prove valuable!

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      Rachel M. August 12, 2011 Ok Bachelor Pad of coruse you should know I watched it I have a love for Trashy TV just like you hahaha1. I hated Vienna during Jake’s season; then hated Jake during the break up and once again, hating Vienna even more after the premiere of Bachelor Pad and loving Jake again even though he was dumb for giving her a rose2. Kasey is completely different than he was on Ali’s season but I guess that’s the Vienna manipulation coming through3. Josh watched the intros of contestants with me and was shocked when it came to Erica he was like SERIOUSLY?!4. Oh Justin gotta have a big exit as usual5. I don’t think I’m really cheering for anyone maybe just against Kasey and Vienna lol

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  14. 15

    Brandon Barringer

    August 15, 2011 7:30 am

    This is amazing news. I can’t wait to see the freshness. And good luck!

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  15. 16

    Sounds exciting. I can’t wait to see what you have.

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  16. 17

    Welcome, Finch! For now I’ll check out yoru blog, but can’t wait to see what you do here.

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  17. 18

    First of all, Welcome Finch. It’s very awesome addition to Smashing Magazine. Keep it up guys!

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  18. 19

    Finally! Can’t wait to read the articles :) Congrats Francisco

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  19. 20

    I am glad to see UX Design taking a prominent space in the smashingmagazine blog.

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  20. 21

    Very excited to see UX section in SM. Best of Luck Francisco. Your article was also great in Smashing Book. It gave us new dimension in interaction design.

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  21. 22

    Francisco Inchauste

    August 15, 2011 12:43 pm

    Thanks everyone! I look forward to seeing some great conversations in the community around the experiences and articles shared here.

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  22. 23

    I love that you want to look beyond the broad-stroke discussions and really deliver content that are more than just generic in their information. Looking forward to this section and hope to contribute to the community :)

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  23. 24

    Super cool. Really Design UI/UX is so interresting.

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  25. 26

    This is indeed a smashing news for the community. Congrats Francisco!

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  26. 27

    I guess I will be spending more time around here now. Better start subscribing ;)

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  27. 28

    This is great!

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  28. 29

    wow good stuff…

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  29. 30

    Anders Ekkje Slettebø

    August 16, 2011 10:56 pm

    Would this article been a better user experience if it provided a link to the UX section?

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  30. 31

    Really loving this direction.

    Keep up the great work!

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  31. 32

    That’s interesting to see an UX Design section on SM. All the best!

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  32. 33

    Very nice to see these new articles about UX. Makes our design so much better :D

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  33. 34

    Nassimbwa Catherine

    August 23, 2011 3:03 am

    This is fascinating ope this helps some of us get past mediocrity.. thnx again for the new initiative….

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  34. 35

    This is the most exciting news I have had all day!

    It is easy to underestimate the power and influence of good UX design. Smashing was already important to my daily browsing. Now with this addition, even more so…

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  35. 36

    klayankumar Bethi

    September 6, 2011 9:20 pm

    Good to see a new section.

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  36. 37

    Wonderful beat ! I wish to apprentice even as you amend your website, how can i subscribe for a weblog website? The account helped me a appropriate deal. I have been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided bright transparent concept

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