UX/UI Links, April 2017

Oh, April! It was an exciting month here at Balsamiq.

We had our annual company retreat in Florence, Italy 😊. In the middle of all that fun, we managed to keep the machine going, including scanning the web for the best UX and UI links of the month for our community. So here they are, the best links from April:

Before You Can Master Design, You Must First Master the Fundamentals

How do I become a better visual designer? Jonathan Z. White, a Javascript Engineer at Airbnb and a generous writer, responds with a practical article to help readers improve their skills: Before you can master design, you must first master the fundamentals.

Typography, space, sizing and color are the starting points on the path described by Jonathan, peppered with resources and recommendations to rapidly build up your visual design muscle.

Mobile First, Desktop Worst

Making creativity spark within the constraints of a small screen is now a habitual task for designers. But what happens when we have to then translate that experience to multiple devices and screen sizes? On Mobile first, Desktop Worst, Oliver Brooks, Creative Director at Metalab, explores the challenges of taking our designs to other contexts under the premise of the Mobile First framework.

To expand on this subject you can also check Jess Hutton's article Where Do We Go from Mobile First?

Stop Shaming Your Users for Micro Conversions

Are conversions really worth making users feel bad? This is the scenario: You're in the middle of a task when suddenly the website prompts you with that awkward interaction - either accept their newsletter subscription offer or admit an embarrassing truth like "I don't read". This fast-spreading practice is sustained by the fact that it increases conversion, but at what cost?

The insightful Nielsen Norman Group is clear about this dark pattern: Stop Shaming Your Users for Micro Conversions. Read as the authors analyze how these "manipulinks" affect the user experience, as well as its real impact on website performance.

Information Architecture. The Most Important Part of Design You’re Probably Overlooking

We can all agree Information Architecture (IA) is a fundamental step to building well crafted website, but can we articulate exactly what it is, its importance and some basic good practices? Probably not. As much as we recognise its value, its application is still a complex endeavour no matter the size of the project.

All good reasons why Jacob Ruiz's article Information Architecture. The Most Important Part of Design You’re Probably Overlooking is a short and effective must read overview of IA.

The Most Exciting Design Systems are Boring

Don't let banality fool you: The Most Exciting Design Systems are Boring.

The hidden powers of a well crafted system are not in their novelties but in their potential to maintain consistency. One of its greatest advantages is that it "frees designers and developers to do the new stuff, to solve new problems". This is what Josh Clark, founder of Big Medium, shines light on based on his experience building enterprise design systems.

For Inspiration...

35 creative 404s! Even if the page was not found, your visitors can still love your site.


We're done with April but can't wait to see what's in store for May.

Want to keep reading? Here’s our previous finds.

If you have any favorite links that would like to see in this list, please share in the comments!


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