What is UX?

User Experience (UX) involves all interactions that a user has with a product, system or service. It sits at the intersection of research, design and engineering. The UX Designer performs user research, leverages it to create an effective design, and helps implement it into the final product. They focus heavily on usability, accessibility, and measurable outcomes. This is human-centered, data-informed design that assists both the users and the business in achieving their goals. UX work can be found in everything from websites, to software, to physical spaces.

User Experience (UX) involves all interactions that a user has with a product, system or service. It is human-centered, data-informed design that assists both the users and the business in their goals.


Hey, I'm Austin Knight, a Product Designer at Google. I began curating this guide a few years ago as a way to keep track of my favorite blogs and tools. It has since been circulated all around the UX community, and I now maintain it as a free public resource. I'm thrilled that you've found your way here, and I hope you enjoy having a look around.

Table of contents

Reading and Listening

UX Designers typically bring a diverse range of capabilities to the table, working cross-functionally on their projects. They will generally contribute:

  • User Research: Understanding user behaviors, needs, and motivations through qualitative and quantitative data, collected via user studies, market analyses, surveys, task evaluations, analytics systems, etc.
  • Information Architecture: Structuring and organizing information, supporting usability and findability.
  • Usability: Measuring, understanding, and optimizing the extent to which users can achieve goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction.
  • Accessibility: Ensuring equal access for users with screen readers, color blindness, etc. (legally governed by Section 508)
  • Interaction Design: Interface layout (wireframe), behavior and interactions which incorporate user needs collected during user research and testing.
  • User Interface Design: The structure and execution of the interface itself, commonly leveraging a design system.
  • Visual Design: The aesthetics or look-and-feel of the interface or brand, commonly serving as the building blocks for the UI design system.
  • Prototyping: Creating a usable or interactive version of the design.

Some UX Designers may also take on broader skill sets, encompassing motion design, content strategy, data analysis and project management.

UX Designers operate with the following principles:

  1. The design is based upon an explicit understanding of users, tasks and environments
  2. Users are involved throughout design and development
  3. The design is driven and refined by user-centered evaluation
  4. The process is iterative
  5. The design addresses the whole user experience
  6. The design team includes multidisciplinary skills and perspectives

The ideal outcome will be a design that is:

  • Useful: Your content should be original and fulfill a need.
  • Usable: The design must be easy to use.
  • Desirable: Image, identity, brand, and other design elements are used to evoke emotion and appreciation.
  • Findable: Content needs to be navigable and locatable onsite and offsite.
  • Accessible: Content needs to be accessible to people with disabilities.
  • Credible: Users must trust and believe what you tell them.


Reading and Listening

From academic and industry-leading publications to the books that define so much of this practice, these resources serve as reliable sources of information for beginners and experts alike. More signal, less noise.



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