HOWTO: Style Guides

Style guides are indispensable for design teams. The bigger the design and development team gets, the more important they are. Unfortunately, the style guide is often an afterthought–and often out of date. In Susan Robertson’s Creating Style Guides article, she gives some advice on getting started. She also points out some good tools and strategies for keeping style guides up to date.

My UX Bookshelf

From time to time, people will ask if I recommend any books or sites on the subject of user experience. At some point, I thought it would be a good idea to catalog some of my favorites. Embarrassingly, I think that point was a few years ago–better late than never.

Behold, the UX Bookshelf. The list is short, and not very well organized right now, but it’s a start.

If you have any recommendations, please let me know in the comments here.

Assessing Organizational UX Maturity

It’s easy to talk about putting the user at the center of an organization’s processes, but much harder ensure that the user experience is taken into consideration when decisions are made throughout the organization. It’s not unusual to hear about the need to “delight the user” at the same time the user experience of a product or service is being gutted to meet some corporate goal or ridiculous constraint.

The likelihood of providing a good user experience has a lot to do with an organization’s UX maturity. Those familiar with CMM, will notice some parallels to the Keikendo Maturity Model mentioned in the above article. Especially the fact that an organization can’t skip steps overnight:

Maturity progresses one level at a time…they won’t be able to skip ahead…

It’s worth taking a look at where your organization falls within this maturity model. It will likely show some areas where your UX team can help lead the organization to the next level.