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Building IT Skills: 25 Guiding Principles for UX Designers

Whitney Hess

July 22, 2010



Five months ago I wrote a post titled, “So you wanna be a user experience designer,” in which I gathered all of the resources in my UX arsenal: publications and blogs, books, local events, organizations, mailing lists, webinars, workshops, conferences, and schooling. My intent was to give aspiring user experience designers, or even those on the hunt for additional inspiration, a launching pad for getting started.

The response has been pretty remarkable—the link continues to be sent around the Twitterverse and referenced in the blogosphere. I’m really pleased that so many people have found it to be a useful aid in their exploration of User Experience.

In the post I promised that it would be the beginning of a series, and I’m happy to report that Step 2 is finally here: Guiding Principles.

“Guiding principles” are the broad philosophy or fundamental beliefs that steer an organization, team or individual’s decision making, irrespective of the project goals, constraints, or resources.

I have collected a set of guiding principles for user experience designers, to encourage behaviors that I believe are necessary to being a successful practitioner, as well as a set of guiding principles for experience design—which I think anyone who touches a product used by humans should strive to follow.

DISCLAIMER: These lists are meant to be both cogent and concise. While there are certainly other universal truths that I may not have noted, the principles below are the ones I consider to be most critical to designing user experiences and are often the most neglected.

I would love to hear your additions and edits in the comments.


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