By Jessica Hupp
Web designers often concern themselves with optimizing sites for spiders from Google, Yahoo, and other search engines, but pay little attention to creating sites that real people can use. This problem has sparked a movement towards user-centered web design, a topic that covers accessibility, web standards, and interfacing. Check out these blogs for the latest and greatest in this people-centric field of design.
The Top 10
These blogs are the best of the best when it comes to user-centered discussions.
Signal vs. Noise: Written by 37signals, the makers of simple, elegant tools like Ta-da List and Basecamp, this blog discusses up-to-the-minute information on design, experience, simplicity, and more.
456 Berea Street: Visit this very popular blog for insight into the world of web standards, accessibility, and usability.
./with Imagination: As a leader in user interface engineering, Dustin Diaz has a lot of knowledge to offer in this arena.
Functioning Form: Luke Wroblewski’s Functioning Form offers extensive information on user interface design.
This is Broken: This is Broken features a round-up and commentary on user experiences, good and bad.
Adaptive Path: Adaptive Path strives to create experiences that “improve people’s lives,” and they love to share what they’ve learned with others.
Boxes and Arrows: The subject matter focuses on interaction design and other closely related topics, but this blog sets an example because it’s a peer-written journal composed of mainly user-generated content.
A List Apart: A List Apart’s insightful articles cover important issues in design and development with an emphasis on web standards.
UX Matters: This web magazine delivers top-notch content about strategies for improving user experience.
UX Magazine: For this magazine, “user experience is everything.” Check it out for a round-up of all that’s important to enhancing user experience.
When designing your site, you can’t forget about people with disabilities. Find out more about how you can make your web development open to everyone by reading these blogs.
200ok: This blog by Ben Buchanan discusses web development, paying special attention to accessibility and web standards.
Accessify: Check out Ian Lloyd’s Accessify to learn how you can make what you develop more accessible.
Curb Cut: Visit the Curb Cut blog for loads of resources and discussions about accessibility.
Unintentionally Blank: Phil Nash writes about web standards, particularly focusing on accessibility and usability.
Clagnut: Check out Clagnut for Richard Rutter’s insight on design and accessibility.
MCU: Jim Byrne, author of 60 Hot to touch Accessible Web Design tips, offers insight into the world of accessibility, disabilities, and web design.
Anitra Pavka: This blog provides news, commentary, and articles on topics concerning web accessibility.
Rosie Sherry: Rosie Sherry discusses testing and tools that revolve around accessibility and web standards.
Wise Guys Only: Tim Roberts discusses the tricky combination of Ajax and accessibility.
Accessities: Accessities proves that websites can be both accessible and attractive.
Segala: Segala evangelizes accessibility and trust in web design.
Human Computer Interaction
Web pages don’t just load themselves — people find them and open them. These blogs discuss the intersection of humans and computers in design.
Interaction Design: Visit Interaction Design for an introduction to human computer interaction, interaction design, information architecture, and more.
Population of One: Sylvie Noel discusses her work on human computer interactions.
Human-Computer Interaction Design: Read David Roedl’s blog for information on human-computer interaction with a focus on topics like sustainable interaction design, experience-focused HCI research, and more.
Ergonomenon: Ergonomenon discusses the intersection of ergonomics and human-computer interaction.
Information Architects: Information Architects takes a look at interfaces that people like to use.
User Designer: Mike Bennett writes about human-computer interaction and interaction design, focusing on research and resources for user implementation.
Gotomobile: Gotomobile discusses people-friendly interface design and standards in user-centered design principles.
Another HCI Blog: Read about Beck Tench’s thoughts on her HCI work at Another HCI Blog.
YuBlog: The YuBlog helps readers learn how to improve user experience by considering human factors.
Web standards ensure that it’s easy for a wide variety of people to be served with quality web pages. Check out these blogs to find out more about web standards and how you can implement them in your own design.
Standard Web Standards: Regnard Kreisler C. Raquedan covers the essentials of web standards and usability.
Indelv: Check out this portal for web standards that includes reviews, news, tools, and more.
Standards Schmandards: Peter Krantz shares solutions, tools, and code for designing within web standards.
Muffin Research: Muffin Research focuses on web development with special attention devoted to web standards.
Zeldman: Jeffrey Zeldman, author of Designing With Web Standards, discusses the importance and implementation of web standards.
The Web Standards Project: The Web Standards Project evangelizes standards that make development easier and websites more accessible.
Meyer Web: Eric Meyer discusses the importance of web standards and good design.
Ordered List: Steve at Ordered List covers the imporance of web standards in information architecture, web design, and more.
Max Design: Max Design focuses on web standards, usability, CSS, and accessibility.
Andy Budd: Andy Budd’s blog is about web design, particularly web standards, user centered design and information architecture.
Duoh: Verlee, CEO of Duoh, promotes the benefits of web standards.
Just Add Water: On Just Add Water, you’ll find a wealth of information on web standards, usability, and accessibility.
Monday By Noon: Jonathan Christopher discusses the latest in web standards and how they affect the Internet.
User Experience and Interaction
In user-centered development, it’s all about how people experience what you’ve designed. Get more on this subject with these blogs.
Flamelab: Read this blog to find out about user experience, the aesthetics of interaction, and more.
Interaction Design Online: Lindsay Lauters discusses topics concerning user-centered design, accessibility, and more.
Usability Forum: Visit this blog for a group discussion on the usability of everyday things and the frustration that ensues when functionality isn’t considered.
[BEEP]: Find out what Peter Boersma has to say about user experience design in Web 2.0 and information architecture.
Mike Industries: Mike Industries covers commentary on user interfaces and web design.
Warpspire: Kyle Neath’s Warpsire blog is about web design, and it’s full of resources for interface architecture and usability.
Experience Planner: Scott Weisbrod discusses the many factors that go into creating a positive customer experience.
Good Experience: Good Experience encourages readers to focus on customer experience.
Customer Experience Crossroads: Visit Susan Abbott’s blog to find out how to create a “branded customer experience.”
Church of the Customer: Jackie and Ben evangelize positive customer experiences.
Keith Instone: Keith Instone keeps readers up to date on the latest in making websites usable.
Advanced Common Sense: Steve Krug helps readers improve the interfaces and usability of their websites.
Total Experience: Bob and Paula discuss design and experience as it affects our lives.
GUUUI: GUUUI is a resource for interaction designers, with posts about tools, tests, and handy tricks.
Software As She’s Developed: Michael Mahemoff, author of Ajax Design Patters, discusses the intersection of usability and Ajax.
WebWord: John Rhodes educates readers on topics in usability and human factors in design.
Logic+Emotion: David Armano writes about experience design and the intersection it makes with business.
D. Keith Robinson: Find out what web experience expert David Keith Robinson has to say about design, web standards, content, and more.
Design By Fire: Andrei Michael Heraslmchuk, owner of Design By Fire, was one of the first official interface designers for Adobe Systems. Check out his blog for insight on web standards, design, and user interfaces.
Challis Hodge’s UXblog: Challis Hodge discusses user experience and provides loads of resources for further UX education.
Compete on Usability: Joshua Ledwell encourages readers to concentrate on user experience.
Experientia: Experientia offers a look into user experience, design and innovation that puts people first.
The Product Usability Weblog: This blog discusses news, research, and current events related to consumer product usability.
Usernomics: Read Usernomics to find out more about user interface design, human factors, and ergonomics.
ExperienceCurve: Karl Long discusses the intersection of social media, marketing, and customer experience.
Vanderwal: Thomas Vanderwal covers the topics of information architecture, interaction design, and more.
Louis Rosenfeld: Lou Rosenfeld, author of Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, discusses current issues and thoughts in the fields of user experience and information architecture.
iaslash: iaslash covers topics related to user interface design, usability, and other concerns surrounding access and use of information.
Etre: Etre discusses usability, accessibility and findability in this interesting blog.
Design is more than just aesthetics. Read these blogs to find out how to make your development attractive and functional.
PinPoint Performance Solutions Blog: On this blog, you’ll find commentary on user-centered design, testing, and performance improvement.
Usability Blog: Read this blog for Paul Sherman’s take on usability, user-centered design, and user experience.
Presentation Zen: Presentation Zen focuses on presentation design, both in person and otherwise.
User Interface Engineering: UIE delivers the latest in interesting usability design news.
iQ: iQ takes a look at what works and what doesn’t, and offers advice on how you can design a good user experience.
Design Thinking Digest: Chris Bernard discusses design thinking that revolves around user experiences.
Bokardo: Joshua Porter offers his take on web design with people in mind.
Cre8pc: Cre8pc focuses on holistic usability, accessibility and “people on purpose” web design.
Dexo Design: Russell Wilson, an expert in the field of interface design, offers his take on issues and current events in user-centered design.
Interesource: This blog discusses designing the web for people.
Engage!: Dave Malouf reminds readers that “the core purpose of design is to engage” and solve problems.
Information Aesthetics: Information Aesthetics celebrates data visualization and visual communication.
Small Surfaces: Small Surfaces discusses interaction design, user interface, and other design topics related to mobile technology usability.
Alertbox: Jakob Nielsen, the “king of usability,” offers insight into ways to make the Internet easier to use.
Design & Emotion: Brush up on the latest in user design with Marco van Hout.
Laws of Simplicity: John Maeda discusses how the laws of simplicity affect design, business, technology and life.
Eyetools Eyetracking Research: Learn about design and content optimization that revolves around where users’ eyes rest.
User-Centered Writing and Content
Web 2.0 has brought on all sorts of social media and crowdsourcing content. Find out how you can successfully harness this phenomenon to become more user-centric.
Viaspire: Discover content strategies, information architecture, and other user-centered topics at Viaspire.
What’s Next Interactive: Find out about functionality and interactive content from Kathryn Campbell.
User Effect: This blog discusses how the user-driven Web 2.0 movement makes usability and user-centered design essential.
Futurelab: Futurelab covers the why and how of customer-centric marketing and strategy.
Consumer Generated Media: Pete Blackshaw discusses the future of consumer generated media.
InfoDesign: InfoDesign writes about the importance of “relevant, clear, and memorable information.”
UXB: Shane Morris, a user experience evangelist for Microsoft, covers interaction, usability, user-centered design and more.
Work Play Experience: Adam Lawrence tells readers how the showbiz approach can help strengthen experience design.
Subtraction: Read what this design director for the New York Times has to say.
A Brief Message: A Brief Message discusses (briefly) real-world design.
Nooface: Nooface explores design and content for interfaces beyond the PC.